The lifespan of The Doors career was short lived from July 1965 until August 30, 1973 when the band officially broke up. The Doors’ Jim Morrison years are well known and documented but from Morrison’s death until August 1973 has seemed more of a footnote in The Doors career, with most casual rock fans considering the span of The Doors career ending with Morrison’s death.
Following the death of Morrison The Doors, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Robby Kreiger released “Other Voices” on October 18 of 1971. In such close proximity to Morrison’s death it is apparent that The Doors were already working on new material. but some of the songs were obvious references or homage’s to Morrison, “Tightrope Ride” and “Hang On To Your Life” Being the most obvious. “Other Voices” being suggestive of a change in the band, were The Doors already considering a new lead singer for the band? According to The Doors manager Bill Siddons The Doors auditioned Mike Stull of The Wackers in this period. Whether there were creative differences or because of Morrison’s death it was felt a new lead singer would be inappropriate, to greater or lesser success vocals were handled by Manzarek and Krieger.
Perhaps signaling that The Doors were internally falling apart the second post-Morrison album, “Full Circle” was released August 15, 1972. Despite its title “Full Circle” moved away from The Doors classic rock sound and toward a funkier rock sound and jazz fusion. With obscure song titles like “Verdilac”, “The Peking King and the New York Queen”, singles like “Piano Bird” and “The Mosquito” didn’t chart very high on the Billboard charts or in the public’s consciousness.
In effort to recharge their batteries The Doors decided a change of scenery may help their creativity. So, the band from L.A. headed to London. There they decided to look for a new lead singer considering candidates such as Paul Rodgers, right before or as he was forming Bad Company. At the suggestion of Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman they auditioned Howard Werth of the band Audience. There was even a blurb in Melody Maker Magazine reflecting the audition:
Howard Werth former singer with Audience is virtually certain to become the successor to Jim Morrison as lead singer with The Doors. Audience broke up last September and the job with The Doors has come about due to the friendship between Werths label boss Tony Stratton-Smith and Jac Holzman head of Elektra in America, The Doors label.
‘Jac gave the early Audience albums to the Doors and they really liked Howard’s singing and writing’…Stratton-Smith told MM this week. ‘Then he called me from The States and asked how Howard would feel about working with The Doors. And he is very excited about it.’
The Doors are coming over to England next month to rehearse with Werth and tie up a deal which will put Howard into Jim Morrison’s shoes.”
Melody Maker 3rd February 1973
But the plans quickly fell apart, Manzarek, Krieger, and Densmore were writing material that was diverging into different creative areas. The Doors had lost their creative focus, Jim Morrison. When Ray Manzarek and wife Dorothy left England The Doors had officially broken up.
Note: The Doors are releasing “Other Voices” and “Full Circle” will be re-released September 4, 2015.
Subscribe to The Doors Examiner and get article’s as they’re published, just click the subscribe button below. Thank you for reading The Doors Examiner!