THE DOORS “13” – Reflecting On My First Album By This Beyond Legendary Band


THE DOORS - Today was a gorgeous late Summer day where I live. Eastern Pennsylvania has had it’s fair share of oppressive humidity the last few months, so taking advantage of more mild temperatures with little to no humidity is essential for the mind, body and soul. Outdoor activities are once again in the fold for Stone and his family! So, the family and I set out for some mini golf this afternoon. My wife found what I consider to be the cleanest and most fun mini golf course I’ve ever seen or played. Sittler Golf Center is quite the place… with a driving range, pro-shop, take-out window and of course, mini golf. This cool place is located in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.

There are those many moments in my life, where being somewhere and hearing a song sparks a memory. Today there were two songs I heard being played at Sittler Golf Center, they were Touch Me and Light My Fire by the beyond legendary – The Doors. Listening to these kind of Rock Classics while playing mini golf makes Stone very happy. The memory these two songs sparked in my mind were of the first vinyl album I ever owned by The Doors, which was 13.

It was an immediate vision in my minds eye, the album 13. I could see it as plain as day as I moved about the mini golf course today. 13 is a slab of classic vinyl I wish was still in my collection. All I kept thinking to myself as the vision of this album drifted through my mind was… why did I get rid of so many damn great albums years ago? This question gets brought up by me so frequently and the answers are always the same. CD’s were invented and I traded or sold many of my vinyl albums so I could buy… more vinyl albums and/or CD’s! It was an economic cycle I was in for years, buying and then selling my favorite albums. I guess now I know better, the collector and nostalgic parts of me helps to keep my collection intact.

Yes, I did not own a studio album from The Doors until after this “greatest hits” of 13 ran it’s Rockin’ course through my young Rock ‘N’ Roll hungry veins and consciousness. 13 was as terrific a starting point as I could ever ask for in exploring The Doors. I believe I bought 13 sometime around 1983. I remember choosing this 13 album over The Doors Greatest Hits album, due to my liking the album cover of 13 much better. 13 has all four members of The Doors on the cover, with of course Jim Morrison taking up the majority of the cover… and rightfully so. I can honestly remember, holding both albums, debating which one to buy, while standing in the record aisle at the Caldor department store.

Here is what The Doors – Greatest Hits looks like:

Granted, both album covers have a fantastic photo of Jim Morrison. My thinking back in ’83 was to get the “greatest hits” of The Doors that everyone else was passing over. Thinking back, it seemed most of my friends and cousins had bought the Greatest Hits from 1980. L.A. Woman, Not To Touch The Earth, Break On Through and Riders On The Storm are not on 13 and on the Greatest Hits from ’80. However, 13 did have… 13 songs versus the 10 songs heard on the “original” Greatest Hits album from ’80. So, three more songs plus I liked the album cover better, making 13 my first album of choice in adding The Doors to my record collection and life.

It’s funny, yet as I played 13 over and over again back then, my favorite song on this album was You’re Lost Little Girl. Why it’s funny is that this song was never a huge hit for The Doors. I can recall hearing this song being played on WCCC, WHCN and maybe WPLR up in very expensive Connecticut while growing up, only very rarely. Heck, compare this song to the timeless classics of Light My Fire, L.A. Woman, Riders On The Storm and Hello I Love You and forget about it… these songs were staples in the FM rotation of any reputable station back in the 80’s, today as well for some.

What lured me in first and foremost, upon my initial listening experiences of 13 was the voice of Jim Morrison. Whoa. Jim Morrison sounded like no other dude I was listening to of any band at the time. This wasn’t Rob Halford, Ozzy, Paul/Gene/Ace or Peter of KISS, Dennis DeYoung, Lou Gramm, Tom Petty, Bon Scott, Brian Johnson, Jeff Lynne or Robin Zander. Nope. This was a more mysterious voice I was being exposed to at this time of my young life. The previous names I mentioned were all being digested by my ears and mind around 1983, slightly before my “real” exposure to the Thrash Metal movement that enriched my life to this very moment. All of these vocalists I named off are extremely unique and I admire them all greatly.

The voice of Jim Morrison to this day, makes me wonder as to what exactly was going through his mind as he sang. The only other vocalist that I could consider mysterious, with an unreal alluring X -factor, is the late and so sadly missed by me and countless others… Ronnie James Dio. To me, the voice and persona of Jim Morrison was Rock ‘N’ Roll in it’s most profusely exposed state. Sure, I could rant on about the drugs and misfortune of Jim Morrison here, only that’s not what I take from this legend of Rock ‘N’ Roll. Just knowing at that young age back in ’83, that drug abuse defeated Jim Morrison was enough for me to understand the consequences of living such a lifestyle.

13 motivated me to buy this amazing book:

This fabulous biography, No One Here Gets Out Alive, was written by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman and was printed back in 1980. I remember being mesmerized by the content that I absorbed from these pages. Whoa… was I becoming schooled on the life and times of a Rock ‘N’ Roll legend. I was so fascinated by this book, that I can admit to reading it several times over before I graduated high school. I can remember that my mom was just happy that I was reading a book at all! So many kids had this book under their arm, in their locker or tucked away in their stash back in those early ’80’s that it was alarming.

My memory of watching this album, 13, spin around on the turntable seems like yesterday to me. Yes, I held that album jacket and stared at The Doors. I even read No One Here Gets Out Alive as this album played. Listening to Ray Manzarek on keyboards, Robby Krieger on guitar and John Densmore on drums was a lesson in how American Rock Music was formulated in the late 1960’s and into the early 1970’s. I remember back in ’83, as I still do now, the feeling of amazement that The Doors released their debut album in 1967… when I was only 22 days from turning 1 years old!

The Doors and their 13 album only enlightened my adoration for Rock ‘N’ Roll, making me all the more better prepared for the onslaught of Metal Music that has been an important part of my life for so long now. This is not nonsense about The Doors actually pushing me head first into exploring so many other cool and historical bands when I was a teenager. I actually took a keen interest in listening to The Animals, The Rolling Stones, The Who and a slew of other Rock Music heavyweights back in those early to mid ’80’s due to this remarkable album called… 13.

* The Doors – 13 was released back in November of 1970, on Elektra Records.

* The Doors – 13 was their first “greatest hits” album release.

* Apparently, 13 has never been released on CD. I’m going to find it on vinyl again someday… hopefully in the same mint condition as I once owned it!

* For more info on The Doors, just click here: THE DOORS – Official Website

* For more info on Sittler Golf Center, just click: Sittler Golf Center – website

Track Listing For The Doors – 13:

Light My Fire

People Are Strange

Back Door Man

Moonlight Drive

The Crystal Ship

Roadhouse Blues

Touch Me

Love Me Two Times

You’re Lost Little Girl

Hello I Love You

Land Ho!

Wild Child

The Unknown Soldier


LONG LIVE THE DOORS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!

R.I.P. Jim Morrison & Ronnie James Dio

Stone.

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4 Responses to “THE DOORS “13” – Reflecting On My First Album By This Beyond Legendary Band”

  1. The Doors are my favorite band of all time, and it was not just music to me but life changing. Jim Morrison’s influence and the band’s on my life, I was 13 when I discovered them and by this point Morrison had been dead 12 years, I bought their debut thanks to MTV playing their videos.

    The Doors introduced me to jazz, poetry, beat writings and to not be afraid to think outside the book, while I am still a metalhead they helped widen my musical tastes, great post.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      I understand fully! The Doors very well can be credited with “helping” make Rock ‘N’ Roll edgier and darker. These are two characteristics of many Metal bands today. Do I think that The Doors were a part of Heavy Metal’s building blocks? I sure do. The Doors were too heavy to be a 100% Psychedelic Band. I always wonder what Jim Morrison would think of Heavy Metal as it is today.

      The stage antics he possessed were due in part to drug and alcohol use, as it is told in so many books, articles and by eyewitness accounts. Still, these stage antics of Jim Morrison, along with the entire image/persona has been copied for decades now by countless front men in all the Rock genres.

      At the end of the day, The Doors revolutionized the American Rock Music scene. The Beatles, The Who and The Rolling Stones were British and made an amazing impact on American Rock Music. However, The Doors took ahold of the American Rock psyche and turned it upside down… thank goodness for that… and the rest is history.

      This is just my Metal opinion, from reading countless books, articles and interviews on The Doors over the years. Plus, the film documentaries that are floating around out there, showing live footage of Jim Morrison and The Doors only accentuates my thoughts and opinions on this historical band.

      Stone

  2. Hey Stone BTW on Sept 18 marks the 40th anniversy of Jimi Hendrix’s death, I hope on that date you post your thoughts on this great man and pay tribute to the man who helped revolutionize rock music and helped inspire heavy metal.

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