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The Lizard King

The Lizard King

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

At least the early part of this concert sounds like the Oliver Stone version of The Doors from 1991 with Val Kilmer playing Jim Morrison. With The Lizard King drunk and wasted and barely being able to stand up and move around without losing his balance. And giving an awful performance in Miami, Florida and finally getting frustrated and starts cursing at the audience. Which is a true story and one of the few things that the Oliver Stone movie portrayed accurately. The New Haven concert would be another one.

The actual Live in London concert was very good and you get to Jim Morrison and The Doors (as I call them) at their best. With The Lizard King at his best in his classic rock and roll uniform the black leather suit, concho belt and cowboy boots that he put on the rock and roll map himself. Which is about an hour-long that I have on DVD. They play everything and Morrison is brilliant on the vocals and very entertaining as well.
The Lizard King: The Doors Full Concert Live in London 1968

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The Lizard King

Source: Catarina Traiano – The Lizard King Jim Morrison 

Source: The Doors: Live at The Roadhouse 1968

I’m thinking the cameraman, or perhaps the camerawomen, really liked Jim Morrison and was really attracted to him. Because in the first two minutes of this show alone, you see several closeups on Jim Morrison’s leather legs and leather suit, sitting on the stool with his legs sticking out in his skin-tight black leather jeans and black leather jacket, with his concho belt. It has been said that Morrison, wore the skin-tight leather pants, leather jeans really, with the concho belt, because he wanted to highlight his crotch. Which makes a hell of a lot of sense, because if you watch this show, or Live at The Hollywood Bowl, or The Doors in Copenhagen, or The Doors in London, The Doors on Ed Sullivan, just to use as examples, there are several closeups upfront of Morrison in his leather suit and right on his legs, butt and crotch. I mean if you’re actually attracted to the man, watching all of this footage is a great way to see him.

As far as this show, I think it’s The Lizard King as it his best. Just wish this show was in color and since it was done in 1968, that would’ve been a fairly easy thing to do. But with Morrison, you get great vocals and his role-playing and acting and moving around and the dancing. And Ray Manzarek, if anything who had a better singing voice than Morrison, at least singing blues, doing a great job on the keyboards. When The Music is Over, and Love Me Two Times, I think are their best songs in this show. Love Me Two Times, comes with a great music video as well. And you have Morrison going off the cuff and doing a little story telling as well. And they finish with, well The End, what else. Which is their great war song, even though it wasn’t written directly for the Vietnam War. But considering this was 1968, the timing of this song was simply perfect.

As what can be said about a lot of The Doors performances, I just wish they were shot in color. Which is one reason why Oliver Stone’s version of The Doors, whatever you think of the movie, is actually very important. Because it gives you a very good idea of what The Lizard King was like in color. Even with Val Kilmer, being a much larger and taller man than Jim Morrison. But it would be nice to see a colorized version of a lot of these performances. But the sound of these performances and how Morrison sounded and how the band played, is very good, even in black and white. Which doesn’t affect the sound of these shows. But the shows would’ve been better had they been done in color. Like with The Hollywood Bowl, Ed Sullivan, Smothers Brothers, Jonathan Winters. And maybe a colorized version of this show, will be available at some point.

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