Saturday, June 2, 2012

L-l-l-Light My Fire

A remarkable concert version:

Morrison, apparently tripping, and not in good voice (though I always found him quite resistable  even when he was), wandering around and off and under stage, while his comparatively professional bandmates (who after all need to strike the right notes, whatever their afflatus) soldier on.   The long instrumental interlude -- the only thing I’ve ever liked about this song -- is not as tight and brilliant as in the album version:  but the latter, overfamiliar, is well-supplemented by this performance,  improvising bridges between the pre-set riffs, and which eventually meanders (rather hypnotically) into minimalism, while Morrison pursues his trip.

But what really redeems this video is that, owing to the lead singer/superstar’s meanderings and wanderings, the camera must pull back to capture it:   and what we see is what is normally cropped from the screen.   Namely,  union guys, manning the cameras and handling security.   These are the grown-ups, doing what needs to be done  while the (supposedly post-)adolescent narcissists gambol -- at one point expertly darting-forth to retrieve a blonde who was disappearing under the substage apron for a tryst with her beckoning faun, who had preceded her there.   The manchild then emerges like a badger from his burrow, with a trippy grin, and he is not molested or restrained by the guardians, who well understand  both their role and his.   Morrison then hops like a bunny, fondles the microphone, jeans-moons the audience, and does whatever else comes into his buttocks and head.


Contrast this:

This presentation is more sedate:  Morrison much more restrained, the guitarist just phoning it in, the whole performance not nearly as interesting.  And the thought arises:   Such brilliance as the instrumentalists at times attained, may have drawn some of its necessary energy from the introextraverted antics of their singer when not singing, when communing with that ithyphallic god of ritual ecstasy, at whose altar he drew forth the flame to light his fire.

Jim Morrison, in full plumage

One of his groupies:

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