There are plenty of streets in Los Angeles. But, there are only two named for The Doors legendary John Densmore and Jim Morrison. Los Angeles was the place where The Doors came to be in 1965. The influential rock band is truly one of the best to emerge from the huge megalopolis. It’s also typical of Los Angeles that streets are ubiquitous. Los Angelenos appreciate their functionality, and normally elevate them to places of honor when they develop the regular reputation for easier or faster access to or from someplace. With literally thousands of streets in use daily, it always seems a bit quirky when one is singled out to commemorate something truly special.
The Day of The Doors was first held in Los Angeles in 2017.
For drummer John Densmore, a native of Los Angeles, and lead singer Jim Morrison, something even quirkier happened. Los Angeles city officials declared January 4, 2017 as Day of The Doors, and they held a celebration in Venice, where The Doors first formed. Lead singer Jim Morrison, drummer John Densmore, keyboard great Ray Manzarek, and guitarist Robby Krieger came together in the beachfront locale and became one of the most charismatic, controversial, and popular rock bands ever. The quirky part of this story is that two streets discovered randomly by Densmore should become monumental.
The second celebration was moved to San Fernando Valley.
At this year’s second Day of The Doors celebration, Densmore described what happened to the crowd gathered for the January 4th, 2018 event. He said that he’s driven all the roads in town. But he was surprised a few years ago while driving through a quiet area of Los Angeles known as San Fernando Valley. He drove past Densmore Avenue. That was interesting enough. But just two years ago, he decided he’d drive down the avenue. Just a few blocks along the way he discovered that Morrison Street crosses Densmore Avenue. What an unlikely coincidence! He wanted to take a photo of himself but realized that the intersection had the street signs posted on two different corners. It was impossible to catch both signs in a decent photo. The city took care of his problem, though. A brand new single pole now has both street signs together, marking the intersection. Densmore and Morrison are joined together, and the pole announces the intersection boldly atop a bright red STOP sign.
John Densmore was 73 when he accepted the honor.
This past January 4, Densmore enjoyed the unveiling of the new pole marking the paired street signs. Dozens of family, friends, and fans came to the corner of Densmore Avenue and Morrison Street to enjoy the new location for the signs. It is certain to become a tourist spot, as fans from all over the world come to remember the phenomenal band and honor two of its amazing members. Of the four, only Robby Krieger and John Densmore are still alive. Morrison passed in 1971 and Ray Manzarek died in 2013.
An American Prayer is the ninth and last studio album The Doors produced.
Jim Morrison recorded his own poetry in 1960 and 1970. The album is an audio collage combining sections of jam sessions, dialogue from Morrison’s HWY: An American Pastoral film, Morrison’s poetry and backing tracks created when Densmore, Krieger and Manzarek reunited seven years after Morrison died. The album was intended to honor the poetry, stories and lyrics of Morrison with music created by the three closest to him, though critics pointed to Morrison’s extensive preparations for his poetry. The Doors remaining had not used his creative concepts or connections, though these are clearly documented. However, all artists involved were described as having “had the best of intentions” when creating the album.
Densmore unveiled the signs and said a few words.
Densmore wore a jacket and black jeans for the event. His hair is now long and white. He included his former band mate, reciting part of “An American Prayer” written by Morrison. He then pulled a string and the blue signs with bright white letters appeared. His concluded the unveiling with the request that the “great creator of being” grant another hour so that artists might “perfect their lives and perform their art”. On a perfect, Southern California day filled with sunshine, John Densmore represented The Doors as only he could do.