100 Awesome Things Challenge – Post 9

So far I've posted a variety of dead people's music… and a lil' bit of living people.

There is one Dead Musician who is notable by his absence so far. Today that ends.

I'm going to ask you all to do me a favour: Forget everything you know – or think you know – about The Doors. Forget all the bullshit 'legends' because first, foremost and forever, the Doors were a blues band. Sure, they did some weird things with them, but the Blues were their thing. That's why LA Woman is their greatest achievement…

Anyway, today's track is Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?" as performed by the Doors in Vancouver, 6 June 1970 with blues guitar giant Albert King guesting.

I love that they open with a Bo Diddley lick too, because that's one of my favourite sounds in the world. I love "Who Do You Love?" as a track anyway – the Band's version of it in the Last Waltz, Dion's version recently, and of course the original.

What I love about this particular track though, is that I feel it's proof that behind all the hype and legend and Lizard King bullshit, There's this searing King slide guitar – I am an absolute sucker for slide guitar and it is not a coincidence that the three guitarists I love the most were all slide-eriffic (George Harrison, Rory Gallagher, Robby Krieger) – but the rest too. I once wrote that Ray Manzarek's organ sound was "if the River Styx had a soundtrack" because of how unearthly and deathly I always felt from it, and it works for this. I'm not sure a real bass wouldn't sound better, but that's all part of the Doors' weird charm. I love the way drawing the riffs out becomes a hypnotic loop one can really feel… or I can, anyway. But I love the jams on All Things Must Pass so I'm designed that way. I love Jim's howling and screaming because I can feel that he feels the music and is just going with it. (This is where talking about teh Doors starts to sound dickish so I won't continue)…

I know The Doors aren't for everyone and I've a good idea as to why. I even agree with some of the anti-Doors arguments. But I love them, and I love them playing the blues like the good little white middle class boys they were.

And for me no matter where I go, or what I discover, it always comes back to Jim.

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