The Doors By The Doors
by Ben Fong-Torres

Strange days by the men who lived them

Former Rolling Stone editor Ben Fong-Torres leads us through this coffee table book, recounting The Doors from open to shut, and everything in between. It could easily have become hagiography for the converted. And sometimes it is. For the most part, however, it’s thoughtfully and well-compiled from modern day interviews with the surviving Doors. Admirably, latter-day inter-band clashes and Morrison’s self-destruction are covered (albeit briefly in the case of the former), while Morrison quotes are worked in so well, you sometimes forget they’re not all firsthand. The biggest coup is having Morrison’s father, Admiral George S, going on record for the first time. Father and son hadn’t seen each other since 1965.
There’s a slight smell of revisionism going on, but such are the murky waters of Doors history, where even the major players’ memories can’t always be trusted. Patricia Kennealy must have pissed someone off, as she’s almost entirely written out of Morrison’s life. Maybe that’s down to the involvement of ‘cosmic soul mate’ Pamela Courson’s parents, as Courson’s oft-spoken-of heroin addiction (and alleged prostitution) is all but ignored.
Photos are ultimately king here, with many unseen shots going into print for the first time. Beautiful to look at, they make it all worthwhile.

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

(Import) Hyperion | ISBN 140130303X

Reviewed by Jason Draper
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