The subject was houses. When we last left The Doors they had taken up residence in the “Hyacinth House”. In “Crawling King Snake” they’re setting up housekeeping and in light of the generational change and alternative lifestyles being espoused in the 60’s it sounds like a pretty traditional set-up.
The leitmotif for this evocation of a traditional relationship is a blues song (courtesy of John Lee Hooker) which probably had traditional associations for The Doors. To this point “L.A. Woman” has been a good-bye letter to Los Angeles and the rock and roll lifestyle. What comes after being on the road and the women ‘loved your ways” (“L’America)? Settling down and having a stable life could be an answer. Most of his life Jim Morrison had led a pretty unstable life even within his nuclear family were frequent moves and the psychic disruption that brings to a child. As an adult, Morrison’s life as a rock star emulated the constant moving and disruption. Maybe it was time for Jim Morrison to try a lifestyle that had long eluded him, a traditional relationship and a stable home.
This isn’t as far-fetched as it may sound. Morrison, in his Rolling Stone interview with Jerry Hopkins said he could imagine doing something different in a few years. Rock and roll was not yet the business it has become (although the 60’s did make rock and roll big business). When most bands of the 60’s started there was no anticipation of making it a lifetime career. It was something that you did in your youth and you would move on to a ‘real’ career. Morrison himself thought of rock and roll as a vehicle to become known in the movie industry and for recognition of his poetry. To that point, only one person had made a successful living at rock and roll and that was Elvis Presley, but even he had only been around for a little over a decade. Only two bands from that era have survived past the 60’s and created lifetime careers and produced new albums and that’s the Rolling Stones and The Who. All other groups from that era survive as nostalgia.
One thing that may show where Morrison’s head was at is a song that didn’t make it onto the “L.A. Woman” album, even though it was recorded for those sessions. In “Paris Blues” the last two verses give a definitive idea of which direction Morrison wanted to go. “Know right where I’m goin’/but I can’t remember where I’ve been/Goin’ to the city of love, gonna’ start my life all over again/Once I was young now I’m getting old/Once I was warm, now I feel cold/Well, I’m goin’ overseas, gonna grab me some of that gold”. Morrison did it in his life, perhaps in the noir movie of “L.A. Woman”. When you’ve tried the rock and roll lifestyle, maybe domestic life is a viable end?
Go to introduction
Note on sources: “The Lizard King: The Essential Jim Morrison” by Jerry Hopkins, “The Doors: The Complete Lyrics” by Danny Sugerman. All lyrics copyright The Doors Music Co.
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