(That day I jumped on the stage at a Doors concert.)
Warning: This is a longer-than-normal read. There’s no way I could edit out more or the story wouldn’t make sense.
Sometimes I love the internet SO much.
I live a sort of quiet, uneventful life; mostly concerned with animals and my son and now his babies; not really any major excitement unless you count meeting the Dalai Lama as excitement, or being in a few films and doing a little modeling back in the day…seeing a coyote or a wolf counts as excitement in my world; as does seeing a mountain etched against the sky or finding a special rock or seashell on a hike.
But there’s one certain time that I broke out of the mold. I guess I’m unpredictable.
I suppose it all started when I was a young teenager and crushed SO HARD on Jim Morrison that I would use the old computer paper that my brother brought home –reams of it–to hand write story after story about how Jim and I would meet, fall in love, and marry. There was no reality to my desires; I was immersed in total limerence and fantasy.
Moving from the east to the west coast was a total culture shock I don’t think I ever recovered from.
On this particular day, I don’t have a memory about how I managed to get out of the house to attend this concert, but I did.
Here’s the backstory–two of them; intertwined:
On of my Twitter friends attempted to divert all of our stressed out political chatter to something more benign and queried,
“What was your favorite concert that you attended?”
My response was concerts with the Doors and Guns N’ Roses; one I saw in high school and GnR more recently.
I couldn’t remember exactly what year it was, so I Googled Doors concert San Diego and discovered it was August 22, 1970, which means I had just turned sixteen and when school started in September, I would be a senior. (I used to be very smart. That was a long time ago and I’m not so very smart anymore.)
The articles that popped up about the concert totally blew my mind. I wonder why I have no recollection of the concert, what happened, or later reading about it! (I was not into drugs, so that’s not the reason why I don’t remember.)
But not yet. This is a twisty windy story.
Before I share the info, the other piece of this story is that I hadn’t even remembered anything about that Doors concert until I attended the 2017 Womens’ March.
I was there with friends, caught up in the passion of the movement, and then, right in front of me, in the middle of the street on Harbor Drive, was a very familiar face that I hadn’t seen in thirty-plus years.
I yelled her name, she turned around, and we screamed and hugged each other. Apparently, I looked familiar, too. Always with the curly hair, lol.
Right then and there in the middle of the street with 25,00+ people milling around us, we caught each other up on the highlights of those lost decades.
That’s when she reminded me of something she could never forget; the day we went to the Doors concert together, and in total conflict to my normal personality, I jumped on the stage to try and touch/kiss/marry Jim Morrison.
I had totally forgotten.
There were no cell phones back then and hardly anybody brought a camera, so there was no documentation. Until now!
Crabby Appleton opened the show. (I kinda remember that.)
The Doors setlist:
- Roadhouse Blues
- Back Door Man
- Break On Through
- When The Music’s Over
- Soul Kitchen
- Little Red Rooster
- Unknown Track (Poem)
- Louie, Louie
- The Celebration Of The Lizard
- Heartbreak Hotel
- Light My Fire
Post-concert article by unknown author:
“…The venue was the San Diego Sports Arena, used mainly for basketball and hockey games. ‘Festival Seating’ was in effect: no reserved seats, and no seats at all on the floor. Acoustics were poor.
Prior to the Doors coming out, a local DJ appeared on stage, and told the crowd how glad the Doors were to be back with ‘their people’. This was a reference to the fact that Morrison’s obscenity trial (stemming from a charge of indecent exposure at a Miami concert) had required them to spend a lot of time in Florida.
The DJ also read something that was getting quoted a lot around that time, due to demands from George Wallace and other conservatives for ‘law and order’ to suppress student protest and social unrest:
“The streets of our cities are in turmoil. The universities are filled with students rebelling and rioting. Communists are seeking to destroy our country. Russia is threatening us with her might and the Republic is in danger. Yes, danger from within and without. We need law and order! Yes, without law and order our nation cannot survive.”
This was attributed to Adolf Hitler, though in fact he probably never said it. Whatever its source, it served well as a statement of the sort of counter-cultural, anti-establishment militancy that seemed obligatory at every rock concert around that time.
Soon after that, The Doors came out. As Robbie Krieger launched into the opening riff of Roadhouse Blues, the spotlight fell on Morrison, who stood on the right side of the stage (the audience’s left) a bit apart from the rest of the band. He was dressed only in a white t-shirt and blue jeans. He had a full beard. As the song intro continued, Morrison remained stock still, eyes closed, his only movement being to wind the microphone cord, looping it over his left shoulder. This seemed to go on for quite some time; he must have wound at least 30 feet of cord.
******As he did so a girl from the crowd leapt onstage and wrapped her arms around him, only to be quickly taken off by a roadie. (This would happen several times more).
In the middle of Back Door Man or Soul Kitchen, Morrison ad-libbed something like “San Diego baby, gonna catch ya, gonna clean ya, gonna cook ya, gonna eat cha!”.
He drank frequently on stage, and I doubt it was water. At one point Morrison wandered to the side of the stage where amps were stacked, and placed his mike into the speaker cones, producing squeals of feedback. Also he came downstage and pointed the mike at several members of the audience, each of whom merely gave out inarticulate yells. When Morrison asked the crowd “What do you guys want to hear?”, the response came back: ‘Light My Fire!’
The San Diego gig was the Door’s fourth from last before Morrison died.”
And YES, in case you haven’t figured it out, I was one of those girls!!!!
I don’t think I actually got close enough to touch him, but there it is; proof in black and white.
If my attorney dad had read those articles and put two and two together, I would have had a barrage of a trial-worthy interrogatory and would need to think fast. Thank goodness there were no pics of me! (No cell phones/a blessing??)
I can’t figure out how or where I conjured up the chutzpah to jump on the stage-but it happened. Was it a premeditated decision or one I made just prior to the actual act? I don’t have any answers.
It was a moment in time memorialized in a few old newspaper articles.