The Doors never had a bass player. Ray Manzerek used to play all of the bass parts on his keyboard. But when it came time to record the iconic ‘L.A. Woman’ album, producer Bruce Botnick recruited Elvis Presley’s bass player Jerry Scheff for the sessions.
“We all loved Elvis,” The Doors guitarist Robby Kreiger tells Noise11.com. “Even though at that time he was pretty much a Vegas thing but we had nothing but respect for Elvis. His players were the best. Jerry Scheff came with some amazing stuff for our record. I was just thinking of ‘Love Her Madly’, the bass on that and the bass part on ‘L.A. Woman’, the song itself is very cool”.
The dynamic in The Doors albums came from two different songwriters with two different styles. Robby Krieger wrote the love songs at the more pop end of the genre scale. Jim Morrison wrote the down and dirty rock. “Jim wrote ‘L.A. Woman’,” Robby says. “The words to that are not really about a woman. It is about the City of Los Angeles which he viewed as a woman. There was a lot of different stuff on that record”.
The Doors even dabbled in blues on ‘L.A. Woman’. “Jim really loved the blues and he was getting more into blues right at that particular time. So we said ‘okay, Jim, Tuesday is going to be blues day. All day we’ll just do blues”. He was so excited. He loved that idea. So when Tuesday rolled around, guess who didn’t show up? Jim Morrison. He totally spaced out, I don’t know what happened”.
In the lyrics to ‘L.A. Woman, Jim Morrison sings “Mr Mojo Risin”. It was an anagram of his name. “He pointed that out to us at the time which was really unusual because he hardly ever told us what his words meant. He was private about that stuff. For some reason he wanted us to know that that was an anagram of his name. In the movie it showed that witch lady, this girl he met back East. She was kind of a witch. The scene where they are burning the innocence and Ouija boards. She claims she gave him the idea for the anagram but he didn’t mention that at the time. He made it sound like he made it up”.
The Doors ‘L.A. Woman’ turned 50 in April.
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