Spin doc­tor

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Iain Shed­den spin­doc@theaus­tralian.com.au

SD al­ways wel­comes the op­por­tu­nity to pub­lish one of his favourite cringe­wor­thy quotes, namely ‘‘Jim lived on the edge for all of us’’, which the Doors’ key­boardist Ray Man­zarek once vol­un­teered on the mer­its or oth­er­wise of his band’s front­man, Jim Mor­ri­son, who did in­deed push the leather trouser en­ve­lope back in the day. One won­ders, then, what the singer, who died in 1971, would make of the Doors app, which has just be­come avail­able at your lo­cal app store (for iPad only). This mir­a­cle of mod­ern tech­nol­ogy has been put to­gether by Jac Holz­man, founder of Elektra Records, who signed the Doors to his label in 1966. The app does live on the edge once or twice. It’s an al­len­com­pass­ing his­tory of the Amer­i­can band, from its early days in LA to its un­timely demise fol­low­ing Mor­ri­son’s death. For some rea­son, per­haps sport, I was pre­pared to be crit­i­cal of this prod­uct, es­pe­cially af­ter the PR blurb de­scribed it as an ‘‘un­prece­dented im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence’’, but in­stead I was swal­lowed up into the body of the beast, which in­cludes easy-to-ma­nip­u­late sec­tions on the band’s gigs and record­ings, along with pho­to­graphs and pre­vi­ously un­seen para­pher­na­lia, such as record­ing de­tails of songs and de­tailed dig­i­tal maps of where the band played in LA. Also, there are es­says by Patti Smith and Hunter S. Thomp­son, among oth­ers, and tid­bits about some of the back­ground play­ers in the band’s evo­lu­tion. For in­stance, as­sis­tant cam­era­man on the Doors’ 1970 doc­u­men­tary Feast of

Friends was Har­ri­son Ford. What’s most en­ter­tain­ing, al­though rarely in the way it was in­tended, is the retelling of the Mi­ami In­ci­dent in 1969, when Mor­ri­son was ar­rested af­ter a show, ac­cused of ex­pos­ing him­self on stage. Mor­ri­son re­ceived a post­hu­mous par­don over the in­ci­dent in 2010 and the app in­cludes ex­ten­sive back­ground doc­u­ments on it, in­clud­ing those com­piled by the FBI. The story is told in graphic novel fash­ion, drawn by comic book artist Dean Haspiel and writ­ten by Holz­man’s son Adam, and con­tains — it says here — ac­tual dia­logue used by the mem­bers of the band and its en­tourage and fans at the time of the gig. ‘‘Come on. Light my fire!’’ screams an en­thu­si­as­tic punter at the show. ‘‘We want the Doors,’’ says an­other. It’s as if you were in the room. The Doors app costs $5.49. NICE to see one of our up-and-com­ing acts get­ting a leg up from an­other band that launched it­self on the world in the 1960s. I re­fer of course to the Big Kahuna from Caboolture, Keith Ur­ban, who did his cred­i­bil­ity no harm at all by get­ting on stage with the Rolling Stones last week in Los An­ge­les, help­ing them through their hit from 1978, Re­spectable. It couldn’t have hap­pened to a nicer bloke, but one couldn’t help but be cu­ri­ous con­cern­ing Ur­ban’s pro­nounce­ment on the mat­ter of shar­ing chops with Keith Richards and his col­leagues. ‘‘If I had have been of­fered ei­ther a trip to the moon or sit­ting in with the Stones,’’ said our (by way of NZ) Keith, ‘‘I would still have been strap­ping on my Tele say­ing ‘screw the moon’.’’ As we all know, go­ing to the moon is re­ally ex­pen­sive and has vir­tu­ally no po­ten­tial as a coun­try mu­sic out­let. It’s a no-brainer. SPEAK­ING of rich coun­try mu­sic folk, Tay­lor Swift bought her new abode in Rhode Is­land for $17 mil­lion in cash, ac­cord­ing to over­seas re­ports this week. One won­ders if she will have her eye on a beach­side res­i­dence when she starts her next Aus­tralian tour, which be­gins in Syd­ney on De­cem­ber 4.

The Lizard King: Jim Mor­ri­son

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