Jim Morrison’s last show with The Doors

Jim Morrison’s last show with The Doors

On December 12, 1970, The Doors, fronted by the enigmatic Jim Morrison, took the stage for what would be Morrison’s final performance with the band. The event, held at A Warehouse at 1820 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, promised to be a memorable night under the promotion of Beaver Productions, featuring also the band Kansas.

The Doors’ setlist that evening was an ambitious journey through their musical landscape, showcasing a mix of their iconic tracks and newer compositions from their upcoming album “L.A. Woman.” The show began with Brian Glynn as the House Announcer, setting the tone for what would unfold as a night of intense rock performances. The lineup included hits like “Roadhouse Blues,” “Back Door Man,” and “When The Music’s Over.” The performance of “Riders On The Storm” was notably aborted, indicative of the disjointed nature of the show.

As Morrison took to the stage, it was evident that he was a shadow of his former charismatic self. His appearance was disheveled, marked by a bushy beard and unkempt hair, signaling the personal battles he was facing. His performance was erratic, punctuated by slurred speech and a lack of coordination. Morrison’s attempt at humor, including the joke “You know what really burns my ass? Flames about this high,” was a clear indication of his troubled state.

The collaboration with members of Kansas during “Light My Fire” was a highlight of the night, but even this could not overshadow the overall chaotic nature of Morrison’s performance. His struggle became more evident as he handed out sparklers and was later assisted back on stage in a moment of confusion.

The concert’s abrupt ending was as historic as it was unexpected. Drummer John Densmore’s departure from the stage following Morrison’s failure to return after an instrumental break signaled the end of the performance. The final song Morrison ever sang on stage with The Doors was fittingly “The End,” closing the chapter on his live performances with the band.

The aftermath of the show left an indelible mark on those who witnessed it. The reviews and firsthand accounts paint a picture of a band in turmoil, a stark contrast to the earlier triumphs of The Doors. The concert, documented in a stage recording and captured by photographers like David M. Patterson, has since become a subject of fascination for Doors fans and music historians, serving as a reminder of the ephemeral nature of fame and the heavy toll it exacts on its brightest stars.

Morrison’s subsequent move to Paris and his untimely death in July 1971 added to the mystique of that night at A Warehouse, etching it forever in the annals of rock history as a poignant reminder of the rise and fall of one of the most enigmatic figures in rock.

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