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The Doors - Live 1968-08-31 (Late Show) Asbury Park, Convention Hall (1st Gen)[ Reviews ] [ Want lists ] [ Trade lists ] [ Add to my trade/want list ]
Audience recording of The Doors' second show at the Convention Hall, Asbury Park, New Jersey, on 31 August 1968. The last song, "The End", is missing. The sound quality is a bit boomy and lacking in treble, but better than one might expect for the era.
Audience recording (remastered)
Lineage: Aud > 1st gen copy > wav > CD
Some brief notes -
Recently discovered uncirculating show previously only available to selected traders. Still not confirmed whether it is the early or the late show but reviews and certain accounts suggest it's likely the latter one. Quality of this 1st generation recording is way above medium, similar to other recordings from the 1968 US summer tour.
"Here it is. The show I suspect many of you have been waiting for - the first completely new Doors audience recording to turn up in years. For collectors, finding a new tape is a lot like getting tickets to a Doors show in 1968. You can't believe your luck and you don't know what to expect. I'm releasing this on what would have been Jim Morrison's 66th birthday this year so please spare him a thought and toast something to his memory.
Technical Notes: The original transfer wasn't very good. One channel suffers from distortion throughout and the other has some clipped audio. For this copy, I simply copied over the cleaner channel, restored the clipped portions, and removed a few clicks/pops. I didn't EQ or make any other major changes." Porsche, December 8, 2009
"The Doors were on tour full-time in 1968, roaring generally to all major cities in the US and due to their already earned notoriety in the media, the word of their coming has preceded the band, causing high anticipation and sold-out venues all across the country. During this summer tour, a tour that US has never seen before for all its near-riot gigs along with the singer's controversial theatrics, the band have reached the pinnacle of their live performances. These were musically and artistically the most blazing times of their career, with Jim being the guiding light, now perfectly in command with his act, if he wants to, with his fascinating stage persona often full of unexpectedness and drama backed by a loyal band very much in tune with him.
After they finished off their hefty East Coast tour on August 4 in Philadelphia, and basicly six months of constant touring, they took a three week long rest to be fit for the coming European tour. Still, in order not to lose focus, they got back on the road on August 30, 1968 with a short but rather effective warm-up tour on the North East coast before taking Europe in their stride in September. These were not sold-out shows but none of them was short in attendance and sold quite well despite the fact they were late additions and there was no time for advertising. The first of the four shows they were scheduled to play in three days was an outdoor concert in Columbia, Maryland at Merriweather Post Pavilion where the band performed to several thousands under the trees of Symphony Woods.
On the following day, Frank Lisciandro photographed Jim and his entourage, including Bill Siddons, Babe Hill and Paul Ferrara, as they were taking their plane to Asbury, New Jersey. There, they pulled off two sets at the Convention Hall, located on the boardwalk and on the beach in Asbury Park, in front of an appreciative crowd which filled two thirds of the 3600 capacity arena. Opening act were Earth Opera which Bruce, a then 15 year old kid remembers "did great until they performed the Great American Eagle Tragedy, when the greasers took exception to Peter Rowan's classic anti-war song and flung garbage at the stage until the band fled and the stage was surrounded by regular and rent-a-cops, on hand to deal with a George Wallace rally taking place outside. This is how the Doors landed on stage."
As usual, they kicked off the late show with 'Back Door Man' but Jim was not yet in the mood, resulting a laid back opener. He began seemingly incurious; there were no moans or shouts nor any of his routines to set the mood, only plain but resolute singing. Right before Robbie started his guitar solo, which gave back the performance its edge, did Jim finally let a scream out. As soon as Robbie finished his part, Jim began to sing 'Five To One' straight off, drawing wild applause and forcing his mates to change the melody in the spur of the moment. Jim is appearently much more into performing this tune and with his vocal chords warmed up, he brings his finest form to the performance, profundly emphasising certain parts of the lyrics, shouting "We're gonna take it over! COME ON!!" in the midst of wild cheers to which Robbie delivers a spectacular guitar solo. Evidently in the mood by now, he decides to play with the audience during the end of the song, singing "get together for just one more..." repeatedly, over and over for minutes until the crowd grew impatient enough for Jim to finally exclaim "I mean EVERYBODY gotta get together just one more TIME!!" The band responds with an ear-shattering sounds of noise closing the 14 minute long spellbinding performance. The act, which is rarely pulled off puts the audience in awe and receives an enormous applause.
After the boistorous performance Jim addressed the crowd: "Yeah! We definetly wanna have fun tonight, okay? Anything goes!" He's putting on a bold front in the following 'Break On Through' and he's in complete contrast to his opening: he's engaged and performs the song at an overwhelming pace, setting the tone for Robby as well. 'Love Me Two Times' countinues with the same commitment and Jim finishes off the tune singing from full throat. 'When The Music's Over' starts with Jim remarking "beautiful" while Ray plays the intro. The performance is dominated by Robbie's very own, extraterrestrial guitar solo with ear-tearing licks. During the long silent part a heckler unexpectedly lets out an "asshole!" to which Jim responds after a few seconds: "Come up here and I'll show you something." This earns a big laughter from the crowd which is appearently fond of witnessing such uncontrolled interaction between singer and attendant. As Jim countinues to tease the crowd along to Ray's monotone play in the back, they became more and more reckless, stirring up other members of the audience as well, who suddenly scream as one, shouting "What are you waiting for?!" "Fuck You!" In return Jim answers patiently: "I wonder if you wanna.. you wanna hear it?" But his remark arose another wave of hecklers screaming, shouting requests which Jim laughs off scornfully. Suddenly he bursts out in anger: "OH COME ON LITTLE FUCKER, SHUT UP AND LISTEN!! ... We Want the world and we want it NOW!" He finshes the song being just as restless as his audience while the band gives the song the grand finale with all its glory and thundering sounds featuring Ray's extraordinary improvisation after
the climaxing part - similarly compelling as Robbie's licks before. Spanish Caravan follows, an ever-present tune in these summer setlists, and tonight an engaging rendition with Jim's and Robbie's great duet which receives an adoring applause.
A remarkably extended 'Soul Kitchen' follows with Robby's excellent guitar solo, featuring Jim inserting improvised lyrics "Something wrong, something not quite right" lifted from 'When The Music's Over' where it's usually sang live. Clearly inspired, later Jim also adlibs the closing lines of 'Summers Almost Gone' to the tune: "We gotta go now, we gotta go now, We had a good time, but they're gone." After the performance people started shouting requests again, including 'Light My Fire' and 'The End' and surprisingly enough, they did receive both. Jim bursts into 'Wake Up!' and led the audience casually through the performance. Then everyone went wild and cheered enthusiastically when the band kicked off 'Light My Fire,' - probably the most cheered song all night - and get what they came for in an excessive performance. Greg Shaw in "The Doors On The Road" reports: "After The Doors’ finale of “Light My Fire”, the audience is well on their way to the exits when Morrison unexpectedly reappears onstage. Somewhat shyly he announces, “Hey! The show was supposed to end with that number, but [pause] I don’t see why we can’t go on!” All at once, the entire crowd reverses in a huge surge, cheering, shouting, scaling chairs, and prompting the hall’s security forces to encircle the stage. The mesmerizing opening chords of “The End” serve to induce a calm trance throughout the scores of people crushed against the stage, and The Doors conclude the show with a terrific version of the song."
Vince Treanor, the Doors' road manager recollections of the night: "The show, fuelled by excitement and Jim's moderate drinking, was another success. There were no riots, no excitement. Just another good show. When it was all over, the crowds still loud with excitement and the experience went out peacefully. Again, it might not have been one of the best but compared to the performances after Amsterdam, it was magnificent."
Reviewed by Buda, 2010
"The Story Behind the Autograph" by photographer Cal Deal, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, January 15, 1999;
"HOURS BEFORE The Doors were to appear at the Asbury Park in 1968, a film crew was packing up on the boardwalk outside Convention Hall. "Are you guys with The Doors?" I said. "Yes." I reached into a pile of photographs I was carrying. They were pictures I had taken of Morrison at the Fillmore East, screaming into a microphone. I brought about 30 prints along to sell for $1.50 each. I pulled out a print and asked them to give it to Morrison. They said they would. After the concert, Convention Hall was emptying. I had been sitting near the front and was nearing the rear exits. I heard a voice on the loudspeaker. It was Morrison. "Hey, where ya goin'? C'mon back!" he said. Surprised, I turned and looked across the half-empty hall to see The Doors back on stage! The shocked crowd ran toward them; it was every man for himself. I wound up at stage centre, just feet from Morrison. I was carrying the last remaining unsold photograph. I yelled "Jim!" to get his attention. He turned toward me, and I reached up to hand him the envelope. He came over, took it, opened it and looked at the photo right there on stage. Morrison held up his index finger and said "wait a minute." He started walking toward the back of the stage. Suddenly I realised he was going to autograph it. "No, I want you to have it!" I yelled. Morrison went behind the amplifiers and came back with a pen. He stood on the edge of the stage, towering over me. "What's your name?" he said. "Cal." "With a C?" "Yeah." He wrote something and turned the picture over to take another look. "Where'd you take it?" he asked. "At the Fillmore East!" I shouted. He leaned toward me and gave it back.
"Pretty neat," he said. I grabbed it and looked to see what he had written. It said: Cal JMorrison
MONTHS LATER I got a call from an editor at Teen Scoop magazine in New York City. Someone in The Doors' management had told them about the picture. The magazine wanted to use it. We made a deal and it appeared across pages 20 and 21 of the September 1968 issue. I think I got $35. The headline: "JIM MORRISON, rebel with a cause." Looking back, I think he signed the photo because the film crew had gotten the other copy to him. Occasionally I'll tell people about the autograph incident. Once a couple of Doors fans from Europe asked if they could see the picture. They wanted to touch the photo that had been touched by Morrison. I let them. (This 1968 photo of Jim Morrison at the Fillmore East in New York City is from the only known surviving print. The negative has been lost.)"
Review taken from the book "The Doors On The Road", by Greg Shaw, 1997, p. 125-126;
"The Doors perform two shows this evening, and the second is reportedly the more powerful. As the late show opens, Morrison slowly saunters up to his microphone, closes his eyes, throws his head back, and stands motionless for a long time with the exception of one hand that almost imperceptibly caresses the mike during the silence. The tension continues to build throughout the hushed auditorium until, as if on some transcendental cue, Densmore kicks off the introductory beat to “Break On Through”, and the band is off to a phenomenal show. After The Doors’ finale of “Light My Fire”, the audience is well on their way to the exits when Morrison unexpectedly reappears onstage. Somewhat shyly he announces, “Hey! The show was supposed to end with that number, but [pause] I don’t see why we can’t go on!” All at once, the entire crowd reverses in a huge surge, cheering, shouting, scaling chairs, and prompting the hall’s security forces to encircle the stage. The mesmerising opening chords of “The End” serve to induce a calm trance throughout the scores of people crushed against the stage, and The Doors conclude the show with a terrific version of the song.
Excerpt taken from Stephen Davis' book "Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend," 2004, p.278-281;
"Late in August they flew east to play the final dates with their film crew. They performed a carefully organised "Celebration of the Lizard" in Columbia, Maryland, on Friday, August 30. The next night in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Jim walked out and stood silently at the microphone for several minutes as the tension grew spellbinding. At an invisible signal, Densmore kicked into 'Break On Through," and the Doors put on a stupendous rock show that no one there that night ever forgot."
Review by Bruce, Asbury Park, New Jersey taken from songfacts.com;
"I had just turned 15 and landed my first concert tickets for Earth Opera and the Doors. It was at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ. The hall held maybe 2500 but was only 2/3 full of "greasers" and freaks. I was a little punk with a Nehru on-oh goodness. Earth Opera did great until they performed the Great American Eagle Tragedy, when the greasers took exception to Peter Rowan's classic anti-war song and flung garbage at the stage until the band fled and the stage was surrounded by regular and rent-a-cops, on hand to deal with a George Wallace rally taking place outside. It was August 31, 1968 and this is how the Doors landed on stage. The first song was Back Door Man. I sold my young soul to Rock & Roll that night. After a set of black leather crawlin and primordial screams, dark crooning to a band few have ever matched, it was time for the encore. The Greasers shouted for of course, c'mon baby, Light My Fire but to my extreme pleasure, the last song I was to see Jim Morrison and the Doors play live was 'When The Music's Over. They turned out
the lights, but my first concert has shown bright to me for 40 years!
Bill's recollections (unknown source);
"Yep, the Doors were my first concert experience! I saw them at the Convention Center in Asbury Park, NJ. I only remember bits and pieces of the concert. (I wish I had a set list) Anyway, the Doors set was similar to the Hollywood Bowl concert. Exceptions, they didn't play "The End" but the performance was way better than the one preserved on the Hollywood Bowl video. I had great seats for a first concert as I was seated in the balcony, overlooking the stage. Ray Manzarek was about 25 feet away. There were rumours in '68 that Morrison was dead of a drug overdose, so I was glad to see him off stage, alive and well. He was wearing pretty much the leather outfit seen in the Hollywood Bowl concert. His voice sounded different in concert; it was higher. (Or maybe he was.) I remember Morrison did the burping bit in When The Music's Over. It cracked up the audience. (That must have been a regular routine with that tune in 1968.) It was also funny the way Morrison was doing his "Lizard King" act for the teen-age girls in the front row. It was so obvious. Manzarek rolled his eyes a few times at Morrison's antics."
The Doors' road manager, Vince Treanor's recollections taken from www.thefreedomman.com forums, 2006:
"AUGUST OF 1968 - THE TOUR BEFORE ENGLAND
Everyone has read fairy tales about peasants and just ordinary people who have wishes that they cannot achieve. Suddenly, from a bottle or closet or from thin air this magical person appears and tells this poor, sad, unhappy person that their wish will be granted. People think this only happens in children's books telling these happy stories for the entertainment and moral education of the kids who hear the stories and the Grandmothers who read to them. Well, Fairy Godfathers are real and two boys found out that it wasn't only in magic stories, but real life.
It was in the last week of August, 1968. The eastern part of the USA was hot and dry. In many places there were posters telling about the arrival of a Rock Band Concert to be held in the Pavilion in Columbia City, Maryland. This was a new city, all planned by people more interested in money than understanding of roads, traffic patterns and damage to large areas of virgin woodland in the peaceful Maryland countryside. This city was all laid out with gracefully curving roads lined with houses. Periodically there were service stations. But the heart of the matter was a large park area the centerpiece of which was a pavilion. The Eastern seaboard of the United States, is subject to some really violent storms during August. The designers of the scar on the face of the land did have the common sense to make a cover over the pavilion but they left it open at the sides. That was so the music could get out an annoy the not too distant neighbors. It was typical of many outdoor music shells, having an enclosed stage with all the lighting facilities and other equipment that would be suitable for a Broadway production. The seats were simple bench style in four groups set on a slope rising from the stage to the rear of the Pavilion. There was even a convenient loading dock where a truck could back up to unload sets or scenery or, in this case, musical amps and the equipment associated therewith.
I had flown in from Los Angeles with all the equipment early the morning of 1968.08.30. Toni Parisi, organist for a local Rock group, the HERE WE ARE from Lawrence, Massachusetts, had driven a truck down to meet me at the airport in Baltimore and move the equipment to the truck. Then we drove to Columbia. So on a lovely hot afternoon, a truck rolled down the winding roads to the Pavilion and a couple of guys got out and began to unload equipment for the Doors concert to be held that night. It was about three in the afternoon. After two hours of hard, sweaty work, the task was done. It was a standing rule that once the equipment was on stage there would be one person present at all times to protect it and also to keep other bands from changing anything to make room for their equipment. So Tony drove the now empty truck to the local Burger stand and brought back some food. While they munched on the junk food, a sort of staple diet for those on the road with bands, the second billed group moved their equipment in and unloaded it. Of course, having neither the notoriety or budget of the Doors, it was all done by members of the group.
Since they were a sort of celebrity band in Columbia, they were used to having any band that played before them take their equipment off stage and make room for them. When they arrived and saw all the Doors equipment in place the leader of the band came over to Tony and I, rightly assuming we were with the Doors. He casually waved at the Doors equipment and told us to move it so they could set up and rehearse. I looked up at this kid and smiled. "No".
The kid stared at me not knowing what to say. He said "We have to play first so you have to take your stuff off so we can set up. We have to rehearse."
"If you have to rehearse at this time, you are not really ready to play so you shouldn't be here at all"
The Kid stood there. No one had ever said anything like that to him before. What could he say in the face of that kind of statement. He turned and looked at the imposing wall of amplifiers, the drum platform, on which John's Ludwig drums stood on their red shag carpet, and the organ tucked neatly at the stage right end of the amp line. He turned back and waved his arms in sort of helpless frustration, "Please, we have to set up."
At this point, I had about finished eating. I stood up and walked across the stage and with a swing of my arm, described a line along the stage in front of the Doors equipment, "Set up here, in front. When you are finished you take your stuff off that side", pointing to stage left, "and you can take it out while we are playing."
Well that seemed reasonable enough. There was plenty of space, they did not have a lot of equipment. What they did have was fair quality but barely big enough to fill that large outdoor pavilion. I walked back and sat down beside Tony. We watched as the boys unloaded their van and a station wagon and set the equipment up on the stage. They had a pathetic little PA system for the Singer and right away, I knew there would be trouble. They worked while Tony and I waited for the inevitable.
They began their rehearsal. After ten minutes or so, I knew they were in trouble. Their equipment simple was not enough for an open air pavilion. Finally I got up and walked over to the "Manager" of the group, some young fellow who was about 20 or so. Maybe a brother of one of the Band members. I walked slowly but with deliberation - almost like the guys at High Noon going for the shoot-out. I pointed to their PA equipment and said to the Manager, "Get that crap off the stage".
The manager looked at me first with disbelief and then shock then maybe anger. "But we have to use it. That's our equipment."
"Get it off or I will throw it off, NOW! If you think I won't, try me."
"Guys, he wants us to take the PA off stage." The group looked at each other and at me and at each other. No one moved. they didn't know what to do except they were standing in the way of a force bigger than they could cope with. The questions started.
"What will be do?"
"How can we sing?"
They didn't know what to do. After a bit more hesitation, they took off the guitars and with the drummer, moved all the PA off the stage. When they were done, I told them to set up two more mike stands. I had Tony get two extra mikes from the Doors box and get the proper cables, each of which was colour coded, and hook them up. Then I plugged the cords into the our mixer, which was set on the bass amp just to John's left. Then I told them to rehearse. They knew their equipment was certainly not the best. Suddenly this guy they wanted to kill was allowing them to use a PA belonging to the Doors. They didn't know why they got this favour, But they surely didn't argue. Basically it was not that I was really doing this just as a favour. A lot of kids had paid good money to hear the show. I really wanted them to have a good show. It these kids benefitted, so much the better.
When they began to sing, I made a couple of quick adjustments, balanced them out against the amps and they were set. Of course when they began to sing they had to get used to the sudden clarity and power they had. It took a little time but they got it right.
They show went on and these kids did well for themselves. The crowd was happy that their local heroes had been on stage with the Doors. Of course their future as a very popular dance band was assured - at least for the rest of that year. Their set ended. They took their equipment off stage and got it stacked by the loading dock. Quickly, Tony and I took the extra mikes off the stands and packed them and the cords away. Ray’s organ was moved into position and checked and in less than 15 minutes, the stage was set for the Doors.
It was a relatively good show. The group was very excited about the upcoming tour in Europe. though Jim, as usual, did have some drinking before the show, it was not excessive. It was not one of the most brilliant shows, but it was a good one. Most important, the audience liked it. Maybe they liked it too much.
The Doors performance ended and they went off stage. People at the back of the Pavilion began to move out. Those along the sides could also exit directly out. In the front, it was another story. There were a few who wanted trophies. And they rushed the stage. It was fortunate that the lead group was still there. They did not miss the opportunity to hear the Doors play from positions on the stage. That was a position desired by many and granted to Very Few. As the kids in the audience began to scramble on stage a couple of them came forward to push the invaders off. Tony, Vince and the two other boys managed to prevent any serious trouble though one kid made a touchdown and grabbed the drumsticks John had left on the snare drum. He made it to the edge of the stage and jumped off before anyone could get to him. And about that time things began to settle down.
The heat, fatigue and sudden high tension activity got to me. I had a splitting headache. So painful that it was agony to bend over to pick up a cord. But the equipment had to be packed and certainly Tony could not do it all alone. The work went on. In order not to tilt my head down I would squat down without bending over to pick anything up. There were still people in the pavilion the front half was fairly clear. I was disconnecting a mike cord when a kid came to the edge of the stage . As I put the end of the cord, each of which had a connector on it, together in preparation for folding it up, this kid grabbed the end of the loop. It was a 30 foot cord so there was a 15 foot loop with me on one end and this foolish kid on the other. I did not tell him to let go. Instead I stepped forward, pulling the two ends of the cord through my hand. When I had about 4 feet of cord hanging out I swept my arm back and lashed this kid across his back. It must have made a point because for some reason, the kid let go of the loop. I immediately snapped the cord away from the edge of the stage. Add an extremely painful headache to a riot and now this cord incident and I was in a Very Bad mood. I was really not interested in any more distractions.
But distractions did come. It was in the form of three boys who had sort of hung back from the crowd. They walked down the centre aisle and came to the front of the stage. One of them brazenly asked if they could have drumsticks. Actually it was a very brave thing to do. They had just seen the Cord Grabber get whipped with a mike cord. They must have known they were risking the same treatment. Of course by that time the cord was in a neat bundle.
At first I just ignored them without even looking up. Again, another of the boys made an appeal, "Please, Just one?"
"I suggest you get out of here before you get what the last one got." Of course they knew very well what that was.
"We found a wallet on the floor", one of them said as he held the wallet up. There is nothing like a distraction to fend off trouble.
"Let me see." I took it and looked at it. It had one or two dollars in it and a student ID card, driver's license and some papers. Not a lot of value but inconvenience with the lost license. "OK, we'll give it to the office. They can get it later". No announcement could be made since the PA was now nearly all dismantled.
Again, an appeal was made for drumsticks. I had to bend over to pick up another cord and that is probably what turned the situation for these boys. "OK, One stick each. You see this equipment?", they all nodded. "You see that truck?" They nodded again as they scanned the amps and equipment boxes, "You get that packed and into the truck and you get the sticks."
The three boys jumped up and stage and, under the watchful eye of Tony and me, packed the amps into the travel cases, put the drums away and in general, got things done in fine shape. The equipment was packed into the truck, ready to go to the next performance in New Jersey. The door of the truck was closed and locked. Then I stood up and look at the three boys standing in an expectant row looking back.
"Where are our sticks?"
That question burst like a bombshell. With all the pain and activity, I had forgotten to take the sticks, which were kept for just this purpose, from the drum case. I had to think fast - anything to avoid unpacking the equipment to get to the trap case, buried under some other boxes. "I'll tell you what. How about Pot Luck?"
"What is Pot Luck?"
"It is what I want to give you."
There was a moment of silence as they looked at each other. One of the boys was firm, "I want the Drum stick."
The other two were more trusting, to their good fortune. We'll take pot luck one of them said.
"OK." The lock was opened, the door raised and several boxes came out to get to the trap case. I took out one stick and handed it to the boy who wanted it. Everything was put back and once again, the door was secured.
"What do we get?"
"You get to go on the Doors Tour."
Those words fell like lightening. The two boys, both very close friends, looked at each other and did something of a little dance, smiling and laughing. It was not a really great display of surprise or emotion. One might say, under the circumstances, it was somewhat restrained. Of course the third boy knew he had made a mistake.
"I don't want the stick." he loudly exclaimed. The other two knew their friend was in trouble. The sounds of excitement stopped. They all turned to look at me, awaiting the decision. But the decision was already made by the boy.
"You made your choice. You had the chance to take what I would offer and trust it would be good. You took the stick and that is your reward just as we agreed."
That was a lesson for them all. When you make a deal you make a deal, there is no going back. The two friends were a little sorry for their friend. But he had made his choice. They won and he lost.
They asked what was to happen. I told them that if their parent said it was OK, they could go with Tony and I on the trip for the next two shows. We would bring them back to New York and give them money for Bus tickets back home. They could hardly believe what had happened to them. The began to believe in Fairies that day. Maybe even Santa Claus.
Their friend left very sad indeed. The stage was checked to make sure there was nothing left out. Tony took the wallet to the guard. They piled into the truck and took off.
The first stop was to the boy's house. It was necessary for them to get permission to go. Of course there was a chance the parents would not allow them to go running of with strangers from a group notorious for drug use. They directed us to one of the houses. These boys had been friends for years, often having sleep-overs and even sharing vacations with each other's families. It was assumed that permission from one would be permission from all. Once of the Boys names was Randy. It is a shame and with sadness that I cannot remember the other.
We came to Randy's house. He jumped from the truck and ran up the walk and dashed through the open front door. It was only a matter of three or four minutes that he came running out and hopped back into the truck.
"It is OK with your Parents for you to go?"
"Yes - they said OK."
Now if we had though about it, it would seem unlikely that a young fellow, only about 16 at that time, would come running in the house, tell his parents he was off with two strangers to go on a tour with a rock band and have thing settled so quickly without the parents even seeing the people who just might lead their precious children down the path of drugs, sex and violence. But, it was 1968 and at time it was still safe for kids to hitch-hike and the general attitude was Peace-Love-Dope. I am not sure of the priorities, but that was the slogan of that time. In any case, without further thought, we left on the great adventure. We did not know what lay immediately ahead.
We were supposed to be booked into a hotel in Baltimore. But, as usual, Bill had provided little more than a name and phone number without address, reservation numbers or other information. On the way into the city we passed a Greyhound bus terminal. Randy went inside to ask where the Hotel was. He shortly came running out and said the security guard had thrown him out without having a chance to find out where the hotel was. I decided to go in myself, being older, it was unlikely that I would have trouble. Little did I know.
I walked up to the ticket counter and asked a lady there were the hotel might be. She said that she did not know. I thanked her and backed away from the counter right into the face of two black security guards. They told me to get out. I told them I just wanted to get directions to the Hotel. Again, I was told to get out. Instead of doing the logical thing, I turned and stepped into a phone booth and called the hotel to get the location. This I did get. I also told them to inform Bill Siddons who I was and that I was going to be arrested. He better get me some help. I told them it was urgent and if they could not reach Siddons to tell either Robbie Kreiger or Ray Manzareck but to it fast. I told them where I was.
Outside the younger of these to blacks had barricaded the door so I could not get out until he wanted me to. Of course he could hear me telling the Hotel I was to be arrested. Sure enough, when I hung up and stepped out, he grabbed me and held me until the Baltimore police arrived. As I went out the door, I called to the guys in the truck and told them I was arrested and going to a station. One of the cops told them were it was. Tony came apart. He got so nervous he could not drive. Randy took over and this kid, only 16 and without a license, drove the truck to the police station where they waited for me in the lobby. It took an hour or so but I bailed myself out for "Disturbing the Peace" and we finally got to the hotel.
We got only a few hours of sleep but that was a help. In the morning I had to appear in court. The black who started this process told the judge that I had asked the lady at the counter where the hotel was. When she said she did not know I yelled "Fuck You" at her. He observed the whole thing and then arrested me. The judge fell for it and asked me my side of the story. I told him that I had asked the lady where the hotel was. When she said she did not know I went to the phone booth to call. The hotel should have a record of the call to prove it. I did not yell at anyone, and this guard had arrested me for not leaving before I made the call in a public phone in a public bus terminal. I was guilty and fined $50.00. I paid it, Appealed the decision, and we went on to bigger things.
It is of note that later, back in Los Angeles, when the incident came out, there was a meeting in the Office. The boys wanted to know what and how this event had occurred. When I came to the hotel call, Bill laughed and said ' I got the message but I knew you could take care of it so I didn't bother." John was a little shocked - "What if he was in jail and we couldn't get the equipment?" Bill was not so smart with an answer to that one. He was roundly scolded by Both Robbie and Ray for being so careless and possibly allowing a situation to occur which would have caused them to miss a performance. I never did know whether they were more worried about me in jail or not having the equipment. I didn't press the issue.
Well, we drove to the next show which was in a big theatre in Asbury Park on August 31. As we were moving in, someone was playing a big Wurlitzer Theatre Organ. Naturally, I stopped everything for that. When the music was over, we got things moved in and set up. Randy and his friend pitched in and helped move things around and even, with some coaching, connected the amps to power and set up mike stands. With four of us, things went fast. As usual, one of the guys ran out for food and brought back bags bulging with burgers, cokes and fries. We had our pre-performance feast. Immediately after we all slept right on the stage. There had been too much excitement and too little sleep the night before.
I was rudely awakened by someone shouting, "Is there someone here from the Doors?" it was a state trooper. I got up from the stage wondering what could go wrong now. I went to the phone and answered. "Are you form the Doors band?", a voice said.
"Yes, I am the Road Manager."
"This is Mr....... Do you have my son with you?"
"Yes", I was a bit surprised by this question. "Didn't he tell you he was coming with us on the tour?"
"My wife and I were out of the house last night. He came in and told his younger brother some fantastic story about going on a trip with the Doors. We called his friends house when he didn't come home this morning. We didn't believe it. Are they both with you?"
"Yes they are. They told me that they had asked you if they could go and you had said yes. Otherwise they never could have come. We are playing a performance here tonight and then we go to Saratoga Springs then back to New York. We are leaving for England.".
"What will happen to them?"
"We'll get them to New York and put them on a bus back home."
"Who will pay for that, I don't think they have money?"
"We'll take care of it."
"How about their food, where will they sleep?"
"We'll take care of them, no problem about that."
Then came the inevitable, "What about drugs? Are those kids going to be around drugs?"
"I assure you that no one on my staff uses drugs. If I so much as think they have used drugs or they look at a can of beer, I will kick their ass back to Columbia."
There was a long pause. What could he really do. I suppose we were in danger of being arrested for kidnapping, but then, it was 1968 and these boys, as it turned out, were a very adventurous pair. This was not the first time they had taken an unauthorized vacation. "OK, As long as they behave themselves and they aren't any bother they can stay. Thank you."
And that was that. It is a sad commentary to say that 40 years later this could never had happened in such a casual manner. The parents would have every agency in existence out looking for those kids, convinced that they had been kidnapped for ransom by drug soaked terrorists. We would have all been arrested and who knows how big the story would be. But it was 1968 and people trusted each other, Kids spent summers hitch-hiking across the country, following the spirit of adventure or rock groups or whatever else moved them to adventure. Grass was commonplace, Acid was the great adventure and sex was free, easy and indiscriminate.
The second group came in and, as always, set up in front. One look at their equipment and we decided once again to let them use our PA.
The show, fuelled by excitement and Jim's moderate drinking, was another success. There were no riots, no excitement. Just another good show. Again, it might not have been one of the best but compared to the performances after Amsterdam, it was magnificent.
It is interesting to note that these two kids, now allowed to be on stage with the group, never once tried to talk to any of the guys, never asked for an autograph or any souvenir. They had a place in those performances that no money could buy, no one, without my permission, could be on that stage. If they tried, and did not heed my soft spoken suggestion that they leave, they very soon wished that they had taken the hint the first time. When it was all over, the crowds still loud with excitement and the experience went out peacefully. As the hall emptied and the main lights went out, we worked on stage to pack the amps and equipment, each thing in place, and make our way home. And where was that? Another motel and a welcome night of sleep.
The next day came bright, warm and sunny. Full of anticipation, we headed north. across the George Washington Bridge, which is an awesome sight, and up the New York throughway to Saratoga Springs. This is Horse Racing country with many farms where horses were bred, raised and trained.
Seeing the farms, with the green paddocks enclosed by the three-rail wood fences, the barns and the horses, recalled the history and memories of my own home, Hobby Horse Farm. Here, in 1939, My parents had come to the rural area of Andover, Massachusetts and purchased 69 acres of land in the middle of which stood a farmhouse built in 1809 by the Flint family, Son-in-law of one of the Osgood Family, for whom Osgood Street was named, and who had been a signer of the Declaration of Independence. They purpose of this grand place was to raise horses, thus the name Hobby Horse Farm. It was famous, even being written up in the various news papers that dealt with the racing community. But these sights were not the only things of memory. I was to take a step back in Family History that day.
We arrived at the Holiday near the Venue. When I checked in the elderly man at the counter looked at the name and looked at me. "Are you any relation of Vincent Treanor, the reporter for the New York Sun?", he asked
I was really surprised at this question from a total stranger, "Yes, I am his Grandson."
"I knew your Grandfather."
We put our things in the rooms. We then went to the venue and got set up. We had our usual junk food dinners. The two kids made things more lively. For them this was a great adventure. Not that they were irresponsible or running around. They stayed on stage with us and worked hard to get everything ready. It was just their youth and the incredible situation they found themselves in. We learned that they often went on adventures, sometimes without telling their parents who had gotten somewhat used to their wild spirits. They were quite a pair.
We went through another good show. It was uneventful as far as any real excitement goes. But it was, as usual in that time, excitement in and of itself. We finished up and with the boys, now more sure of what they were doing, put everything away, ready to go, in record time. We had to be careful with this packing because the next day we were to leave for England. Every box for each amplifier and all the equipment we carried had to be labelled, numbered and have the weight stenciled on it. All of this had been done in Los Angeles before we left. But there was also a requirement that every item in each box be listed on a document called a Carnet. we had to be sure that everything was in the right place.
We finished, packed the truck and drove back to the Motel. When everyone was settled into the rooms I went back to the desk and talked to that man. Even after he got through his work we went to the restaurant and, over a sandwich or two, had a long talk about my Grandfather, race tracks, boxing and all the life and times of the early part of the 20th century. It was like opening a door on the past. My father was not an open person. and even today, I know very little about my family history.
The next day was Monday, Labor day. We headed out early for New York City and LaGuardia Airport from which we were to depart. All went well until suddenly we hit a lot of traffic piling up. It was a traffic jam that lasted for more that 50 miles. It took us nearly six hours to get into the city. We dropped the boys off at the Greyhound terminal, gave them some money for tickets to return home and headed for the airport.
Even at that time I was crazy with worry. Because of the traffic jam we were late. By the time I got to the airport it was nearly 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time. I was sure that the plane had left and I was stranded in New York with all the equipment. I had no idea of what to do. I had all the equipment, my passport (New for this trip) and my ticket. Tony and I pulled up to the terminal and unloaded. I paid the cappies a bonus to get things on the plane without all the excess baggage charges and went in. We were flying Air India so I went to the desk to find out what could be done. As I approached, I saw the sign DELAYED.
Boy, I can tell you never was I so happy at a delayed flight. Sure enough, when I went into the lounge, Bill, Ray, Robbie, Jim were all there waiting. They had also been in the traffic jam. In fact, they had left later than we did and were behind us on the highway. However, they had the luxury of turning back and hiring a helicopter to get them into the city right to the airport. We waited for 3 more hours before the plane finally took off. All I could do was thank Air India for being so inefficient.
Randy and his friend got home safely. Their parents were justifiably upset. They were grounded for a week or so but with indomnable spirits like that, it could not last long. You can image the stories they could tell their friends when they went back to school the following week. They must have been celebrities. It was my first meeting with those two boys. For many tours after that, they were on the stage with me whenever we went East.
And there it is. This is a good place to end this story. I have a book with all the names in it - it is, of course, in LA. I would really like to hear from them rather than these Wanna-Be guys coming out of the wood work. How I hated groupies. Soulless, empty, blood-sucking people who had no self-respect, no ambition, nothing but drugs and sex and how many times they had slept with whom."
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Originally filled by: Aidanymous
Date of creation: 26 Jan 2011 12:24:57
Last filled by: Aidanymous
Last Revision Date : 27 Jan 2011 02:40:56
Online on : 27 Jan 2011
Type of media: Bootleg CD