Straight away, Jim started off with a confession. "I don't have any musical background other than listening to records. I first started singing when the Doors started. Before that I was just a listener."
Ray, who spent some time at the Chicago Conservatory of Music and is the most important musician in the group, tried to emphasize the positive side of Jim's statement.
"We really have an advantage that Jim doesn't know anything about music. He knows everything there is to know about placing words next to each other. He comes in with a set of words which really tell a fantastic story and he has a little sort of outline and then we mold it after that and made it musically dramatic and the whole thing."
Jim -- "No I didn't write anything before, really, a few poems and stuff, but not too much.... I just went to school. (Where?) All over ... pause ... uh ... pause ... about 20 different schools. (Why?) I moved around a lot ... pause ... I guess."
Jim and Ray knew each other at UCLA's film school.
Jim--"I got out of school and uh went down to the beach to live and uh started writing some songs but I didn't have any idea of doing anything with them. They just kinda happened to me, you know? And then one day after I'd been down there a while I ran into Ray. Hadn't seen him since school and uh so uh I showed him the songs and we uh started thinking about hu uh forming a group and doing something with them."
Ray--"I remember that when you said, 'I've got a couple of songs' and you sang 'Let's swim to the Moon, Let's climb through the tide'--That was it--'Okay,' I said, 'that's the greatest thing I ever heard.' That's all it took, just those two lines.
"Then I met Jon and Robbie cause we were attending a transcendental meditation course and we all happened to be initiated into this form of meditation at the same time. That's how we got together."
Most pop groups are extremely articulate when distinguishing one category of sound from another. But when it comes down to discussing their own music, it never quite seems to fit into one of the established categories."
Jim--"We are close to a Los Angeles sound. The San Francisco sound has a lot of song improvisation on the guitar, like the Airplane or the Grateful Dead. We do more songs, more melodies. San Francisco groups solo a lot. They have this rolling sound, this wave that just engulfs the audience like a wall of sound that you can get into any way you want to. There is a distinct Los Angeles sound. The Byrds, Love, Seeds, Springfield. They're a little more melodic, you know, a little lighter. But I think our down thing is in between. We've played at San Francisco, they've like us; we've played here, New York, many places, you know, and everywhere we've played the dig it."
About drugs and drug-influenced music, another way of looking at where they are right now, the Doors have little to say but a lot to put on.
(Many people say the Doors started "psychedelic music.")
Jim -- "Oh yeah? They say that?"
Jon -- "They really say things like that?"
Ray -- "Who said that?"
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