When The Doors played their memorable Hollywood Bowl concert on July 5, 1968

On the audience, a very special and famous guest attended the show that also featured Steppenwolf and The Chamber Brothers, wanting to learn how to play and control bigger venues and audiences

When The Doors played their memorable Hollywood Bowl concert on July 5, 1968

On July 5th, 1968, at the height of their popularity, The Doors played the prestigious Hollywood Bowl in a memorable concert that became since one of Rock’s most famous performances. Promoting their third album “Waiting For The Sun”, and after a year touring and scoring hit singles since their No.1 “Light My Fire” in 1967, The Doors were by then one of the most famous and popular bands in North America and progressively worldwide too, just two months after the Bowl, they started their first European tour, a strong sign of their success. As a part of The Doors film documentary project “Feast Of Friends”, that captured the band during their 1968 tour, concert was recorded in it’s entirety with four different cameras (including a fifth slo-mo camera) and the sound was also captured from the soundboard on 8 track audio by Doors engineer Bruce Botnick. But a bit of bad luck stroke the band during this important concert. Audio difficulties in Jim’s microphone could have ruined the entire recorded performance, but luckily the issues lasted only the first few songs, however, it prevented the perfect recording of “Hello, I Love You”, “The WASP” and the first part of “Spanish Caravan”. When the concert was first released on video in 1987, all these were omitted. Back in 1987, with the home video and record release of the Bowl concert, due to those issues, the editing replaced some vocals and music with snippets from their 1969 concerts at the Aquarius (recorded for the 1970 live album “Absolutely Live”). It wasn’t until 2012’s “Live At The Bowl” that the entire performance was made available to fans, this time in High Definition and with all of the original audio. Where the audio could not be fixed, Bruce Botnick added vocals from unreleased studio outtakes. That allowed for the inclusion of the songs “Hello I Love You”, “The WASP” and the the intro to “Spanish Caravan” for the first time. Overall, the final results were fantastic, and a totally different editing was made on the video, to allow for the first time the viewers to catch never before seen scenes and angles of the concert. The opening acts for that night were Steppenwolf and The Chambers Brothers, and the concert was highly advertised on the L.A area. Reportedly, the wall of amps used by The Doors was so loud that their concert could be heard on the Hollywood Hills. Some interesting facts about that night includes the fact that Jim Morrison met up with one of his idols and influences, Mick Jagger hours before the concert. Jagger was interested in seeing and learning how to control big audiences, as the Rolling Stones wanted to move into that direction during their next tour, playing larger arenas and venues. The pair met up at the Motel room where Morrison was staying, and later, met again on the backstage of the Hollywood Bowl, where Jim took LSD just before the concert. On the first row, Jagger observed the whole concert sitting next to Morrison’s girlfriend Pamela Courson. The final song The Doors played was “The End”, an incredible performance that was also the first released clip of the concert, as it was included on their 1968 film documentary “Feast Of Friends”.

Listen to the promotional radio adverts for The Doors Hollywood Bowl show taken from The Real Don Steele Show, KHJ Boss Radio L.A in 1968

Watch The Doors performing “Light My Fire” live at the Hollywood Bowl, 1968

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