Thursday, May 26, 2016

Los Angeles Doors Tour Part IV

When I visit Los Angeles, I enjoy the warm weather, meeting up with my cousins, and watching classic films on the big screen. However, the highlight for me is my annual Los Angeles Doors Tour!

I have found most of the places the Doors hung out in Los Angeles. The two that eluded me are The Topanga Corral which was the inspiration for, "Roadhouse Blues" and the home Jim lived in on Kings Road. 

Unfortunately, The Topanga Corral is no longer standing. It burnt down in the 1970s, rebuilt, then burnt down again. If there was something left I could justify trekking out there, but not for an empty lot.

I found out about the Kings Road location only recently. Jim had purchased a property on the advice of his accountant to reduce his tax liability. Tony Funches, a former bodyguard, remembers going there with Jim a few times. Jim never intended to live there, having a, "few crates and a lamp of two." Tony cannot remember the number on the residence. I stumbled across a forum on the mystery home and one person who worked for a real estate title company spent hours and hours pouring over real estate records with no success. He speculated it was listed under another name as he could not find any connection to Jim Morrison ever owning a house on Kings Road.

Home The Doors lived in 1966.
8826 Lookout Mountain Ave. - home 3 of The Doors members lived in 1966

This location in Laurel Canyon is the house Jim, John and Robby lived in 1966. It was here Jim feeling depressed went for a walk and came up with the lyrics for, "People Are Strange".

Another view of 8826 Lookout Mountain Ave.
I walked from the corner of La Brea and Hollywood Blvd to Laurel Canyon Blvd in Part III. When I could not walk any more because I was running out of room to walk safely, I found a cab who took me to the Country Store. This time I drove from Hollywood Blvd. to Laurel Canyon. I was blown away by how steep and narrow the roads are. How does a delivery truck or fire engine navigate these hills?

Morrison Hotel album photo shoot location
1246 South Hope St. - Morrison Hotel
This is the location of the, "Morrison Hotel", cover shoot for the album of the same name. It was shot by Henry Diltz who also shot the locations on Brooks Ave. in Venice.

Pershing Square, downtown LA
Here things got murky. I was looking for 300 5th St. This would be the location of the Hard Rock Cafe. I was looking for street numbers to determine where the Cafe would be. Unfortunately they are not clearly marked so I walked to the next block. I took this photo thinking the Cafe resided on this block and the building had been demolished. Consulting Google Maps, it looks like I was at 300
West 5th St. not 300 East 5th St. I was on the wrong side of Main St! Hopefully next time I can make it downtown and find the original Hard Rock Cafe.

JIm Morrison's rooftop home
14 Westminster Ave. - Now the Morrison Apartments.

This is the building Jim lived on the roof in June of 1965. As I have mentioned before this location is important because it is here Jim "heard a concert" in his head thus spawning the lyrics for the first two Doors albums. This what the front "Door" looks like. I was waiting around to see if the manager might pop out to ask questions about Jim's time living here. No luck!

Dios mio! I don't think even Jim could afford these 2016 rents. After all he did live on the penthouse level for free.

A better view of the roof.

Harry Diltz Venice Beach photo shoot location of The Doors
30 Brooks Ave.
We go back to Brooks Ave. This is the location at number 30. As you can see the white "doors" are covered.

Harry Diltz Venice Beach photo shoot of The Doors
50 Brooks Ave.

A fence stands in the spot the guys posed for the shoot at number 50 Brooks Ave.

Robby Krieger, Doors guitarist live performance
Cabot Cinema

Before I left for LA, I was on Robby Krieger's website and noticed he was on tour and going to make an appearance near my home the week after I got back from LA. I immediately purchased a ticket for only $55 and started counting down the days.

This was truly one of the highlights of my life! Meeting John Densmore in 2013 was a great experience, but this was the music of The Doors being played live by the guitarist of The Doors. It was surreal that I was at the closest I would ever get to a Doors concert and twenty-five percent of The Doors was on stage in front of me. The auditorium was filled to capacity and everyone was singing along. Waylon Krieger, Robby's son, was filling in for Jim. 

Robby Krieger, Doors guitarist live performance

The picture is a bit fuzzy. He was wearing a shirt with a white body and under the harsh white lights it completely washed him out in the photos I took. 

Robby Krieger, Doors guitarist live performance
Fuzzy picture of Robby, sorry!

When the lights changed to color, I started snapping away! A sign on the "door" to the cinema stated, "Absolutely no photography during the performance". I looked around during the show and everybody was taking photos! So I did the same, thinking when will I get this opportunity again?

Robby Krieger, Doors guitarist up close
Robby up close!

I waited an hour after the show ended to see if I could catch a glimpse of Robby. A crowd had gathered in front of the parking lot where his ride was parked. He took a few minutes to greet the people waiting as he left. As he went by me he shook my hand!

Here is the playlist from the show (I arrived late and missed the first five songs):

Wild Child
When The Music's Over
Peace Frog
Waiting For The Sun
Riders On The Storm
20th Century Fox
The Changling
Maggie M'Gill
LA Woman
Touch Me
People Are Strange
Light My Fire