DFW Music News

For Your Weekend Listening Pleasure: The Doors' Farewell at Fair Park in December 1970

Back in April I interviewed Ray Manzarek for When You're Strange, Tom DiCillo's doc about The Doors. I thought I'd lost the transcript till earlier this week, when I stumbled across it in a virtual file folder buried amongst the clutter kept in this creaky computer's dark, musty recesses. There is one passage in particular I'm eager to share -- the part where The Door-man talks about the band's penultimate show with Jim Morrison, which took place at the Music Hall at Fair Park on December 11, 1970. A Friday. There would be one more concert: a show the next night at The Warehouse in New Orleans. But Jim Morrison didn't last more than a couple of songs. And then, that was that. The end.

Manzarek said he hadn't heard that Dallas show since that night 40 years ago; he said he wondered if a recording of it exists. I told him: Yes, it does. There are six songs broken into separate files: "Love Her Madly," "Back Door Man," "Ship of Fools," "The Changeling," "L.A Woman" and "When The Music's Over." The quality isn't terrific -- it sounds as though the recording device was concealed in someone's back pocket. Still, it's all there -- every note, every howl, every groan. I asked him what he remembered of that show. And he said:
"I can't recall what we did in Dallas. I think we did 'L.A Woman.' 'Riders on the Storm'? No. The next night we went to New Orleans, and it finished in the voodoo juju -- in a warehouse where the ghosts of slaves were still there, guys hauling big things of cotton. It was an old cotton warehouse from the slavery days, wooden and strange and musty. The ghosts, like the dead Indians on the highway.

But Dallas, our last gig, was sensational. I was so excited: We came to Texas and played our asses off. 'L.A. Women' and 'Love Her Madly'! They made it work. We were molding them, and playing them in front of a live audience for the first time. "
And, for the last.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky