Houston Calling

Riders on the Storm

July 29th, 2005 · No Comments

While on a recent vacation, I decided to break away from the pack and rode the subway in Paris to visit Jim Morrison’s grave. Before you stop reading and automatically assume I was on some half-baked quest to regain my youth or was making some hackneyed pilgrimage — okay, the second part is true, I guess. But the music of The Doors is something I’ve liked ever since I heard “Riders On The Storm” when I was a kid. The band’s renewed popularity in the late eighties/early nineties (fueled in no small part by the Oliver Stone film) had the end result of burning me out on their music, but over the last year or so I have been listening to a song here, an album side there, slowly reaquainting myself with The Doors’ music.

I’m one of those music fans that delves into a band’s music hip-deep — I tend to try to get all I can. I know people that listen to the radio, hear a song, buy the band’s CD, and then listen to that one track over and over, never bothering to give the rest of the album a chance. Crazy, I know — but it happens. With The Doors, there’s so much back catalogue out there — live stuff, bootlegs, not to mention the studio albums (not all of which I own) — that you’d never get through it all. I like hearing new stuff, even if it’s only new to me. And there’s plenty of it out there, and most of it now is remastered.

It was late afternoon by the time my wife and I were able to make our way out to the Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise. It’s a famous spot in Paris — a lot of famous people, including Marcel Proust, Chopin, Oscar Wilde, and Moliere, chose this as their final resting spot. I had hoped to be able to sit and listen to a song or two on the iPod while there to just chill out a moment and take it all in, but it was not to be. The cemetery is way outside of the city center, and while it only took maybe 15 or 20 minutes to get there on the Metro, I was not alone in my quest to see the grave — it was pretty crowded, so I settled on squeezing into the ever-increasing stack of fans to take a couple of photos and then promptly left to get back to the hotel.

Regardless of what you may think of The Doors and Morrison’s legacy in general (I know he’s been critiqued to death by now, no pun intended), I think any fan of The Doors’ music understands that there is a certain reverence to the band’s music and to Morrison’s lyrics. Most people roll their eyes when they hear someone say they’re going to see Jim Morrison’s grave (my wife included), and I can understand. But I don’t care. Visiting his grave was the least I could do for the years of pleasure his music has given me.

And I just can’t bring myself to attend one of The Doors 21st Century’s shows…

Now Playing: 22-20s — self-titled

Tags: Music