DVD Review: The Doors – Live At The Bowl ’68

As Seen On Classic Rock Radio (UK)
Sunday – 06 January 2013

Uncle G’s FUN Classic Rock Concert DVD Reviews
Spotlight: The Doors – Live At The Bowl ’68
(Eagle Vision – Doors Property 2012)
By Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

The Doors - Live At The Bowl 68 DVD - cover

My last major Doors kick was back in ’92. In my personal life, I was in the midst of going through a nasty divorce. Music wise, during that period of time, I mostly listened to; The Doors, and Eric Clapton. Both of which I ended up associating with the divorce, so therefore pretty much stopped listening to them altogether, once my divorce was final. Since then, when I heard a song of theirs start to play on the airwaves, I turn the channel. Over two decades now, I have mostly been acting this way.

My behavior didn’t mean that I hated either of them. Yeah, it’s hard to not listen to a Doors song today, or anything by Clapton and not think of the fucking bitch who, while I was at work, cleaned me out taking with her most of my worldly possessions, including the money in OUR bank accounts. I went home to an empty condo. Was all the sudden, broke. The woman even took with her the opened roll of paper off the toilet paper dispenser. That’s truly fucked up. And while all this proceeded, I ended up burning out on one of the greatest rock bands, and this other dude that some people would sometimes refer to as; God.

I have all the official Doors albums (now CDs) in my music collection. Before that cassette. Every Blue Moon since my first marriage became legally dissolved, I play ‘a little’ Doors’ music. Every now and then I blast ‘LA Women’ (1971) from the home speakers. I liked them…just didn’t listen to them much. Like a fine wine, drank only occasionally. Weird how one associates memories with music. Life’s one BIG soundtrack I reckon’.

The last month or so I have been catching bits and pieces, news, about a new live performance available by The Doors on Blu-ray. A friend of mine, Kevin Landreneau, and I talked on our cells about The Doors, in general, one day here recently. What products were out there, and this (The Doors – Live At The Bowl ’68) came up in the discussion. Must have planted a seed. While at Fry’s (retail store) a few days later, I spotted the Blu-ray and snapped it up.

Another friend of mine, Charlie Morris came over this past Friday morning. We hung out for a few hours drinking coffee and bullshitting. As a rule, I never put on the television when I have visitors. The main reason being people tend to veg out looking at the screen sometimes. Why visit someone and do that, unless otherwise intended? An example being; movie night.

Uncle G’s Helpful Hints: *Try to always start off a movie night with something like a vintage short of The Three Stooges, or an old cartoon like Rocky and Bullwinkle. Sets the tone. Also, life is too short for cheap popcorn. Buy the good stuff. Use only real butter (if possible).*

And that marks the end of another edition of; Uncle G’s Helpful Hints. Now back to our story…

I opened the Doors blu-ray I just purchased and stuck it in the blu-ray player. A few seconds later; WOW !!! On the menu screen was the band playing; Hello I Love You. A crystal clear picture. I was already impressed, and I have not even pressed the play button yet.

Via some behind the scenes wizardry, we now have rock history magically displayed like you were seated in a time machine watching it while it occurred. Not only outstanding visuals, but high quality sound as well. As a consumer of the audio and visual arts, I could NOT be any happier.

Rumor has it that before taking the stage, Morrison dropped some LSD. I don’t know who if anyone reading this has EVER had an acid experience. Not bragging and I don’t endorse these drugs WHATSOEVER (except weed…I think pots generally OK..perhaps lesser evils then booze). All that STOPPED in my life, DECADES ago. My wife who I have known since the year 1993, has NEVER seen me use/abuse anything that would be considered a hard, or illegal drug.

As a teenager/young adult, I tripped 25 to 50 times. It happened, until the early 1980’s. Then I didn’t want my children coming out of a vagina with three arms and four legs (not that LSD causes that). It’s not something like grass where you can take it all the time. I have seen people lose their minds doing acid that was too strong for them to mentally handle. Life altering.

The stuff (LSD) around this time, which was in the year 1968, STRONG; Orange Sunshine. Shit…the blotter I typically did years later, was cut with, amphetamine, and nowhere near as potent. Watching Jim’s performance, I can see how it MIGHT be true if he took the mind-altering drug. Mannerisms dictate some, but he still has an incredible command of his performance. It takes time for acid to really kick in. For your ‘trip’ to begin. Unless you do drops because that enters the bloodstream more quickly. Blotter you would press against the roof of your mouth and let it stay a while so to enter your system.

The point of all this reflection / general LSD knowledge is because of a vital ingredient found within and around the actual concert itself; time. If Morrison took LSD right before the show, then it would have started taking effect; about mid to three-quarter way through the set. Based on my experience. It is believable with some of the visuals presented, but yet again, maybe still just an urban legend. Again, Morrison’s performance for the evening was generally spot on. Even rehearsed (something they rarely did). A pleasure to watch by the way.

Another pleasure of viewing this disc is to witness for yourself, the power trio behind the lead singer. These dudes play at times like they were in a trance: John Densmore (drums) * Robby Krieger (guitar) * Ray Manzarek (organ). Jim’s forte’ was poetry. The rest of the band painted their pictures with sound. Outstanding work all throughout the band’s career.

If the concert itself doesn’t blow you away, the rest of the bonus features will. Contains three very well made featurettes on different aspects of the band history, and recording details of this show. You even get a history of the Hollywood Bowl itself. These short films all filmed in 2012, show the three surviving members, all giving details, and sharing their memories. The guys are getting up in years. Interesting listening to their comments and reflections of years gone by.

Last bonus features are three songs, with two performed live and one video (Gloria).

Rating: Using a rating system of one to five stars, Uncle G after being blown away from after viewing the entire DVD, rates this; 5 stars. All I can say is it’s a must-have if a Doors fan. If wanting to be a Doors fan…watch this.

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