In discussion with Todd Burns on “Celebration Of The Lizard” by The Doors (1968).
This song has quite a special status in the Doors back catalogue, could you elaborate on why you choose this over other of their songs?
“Celebration Of The Lizard” does have a special status in the Doors back catalogue, largely because it was never released. The group ended their first two albums with very long, epic songs—“The End” and “When The Music’s Over”—and, as I understand it, this was supposed to be the song that concluded their third full-length. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, the group couldn’t get a take that they were happy with and had to substitute a few other tunes instead to fill out the record. As someone who is rather fascinated by the history of music, I’ve always been fascinated by failures and coulda-beens. “Death Of A Ladies Man” is my favorite Cohen album, I collected bootlegs of The Beach Boys’ “Smile” sessions but never listened to the one that Brian Wilson eventually released a few years ago. This song from The Doors is in that same vein.
There is plenty to choose from as far as rock history’s classic groups are concerned. What makes The Doors appealing to you?
I have a dark poetic past. And Jim Morrison’s poetry always appealed to a teenager that was prone to such flights of fancy. People often laugh at Morrison’s writing today, but I’d argue that he’s a much more interesting figure than what we have nowadays in popular rock music. Then again, I have my doubts that a group like The Doors would be on a label much bigger than something like Sub Pop in 2009. Also appealing to me was the music. It’s hard to overstate how strange and wonderful some of The Doors music sounded when placed alongside their contemporaries. Organ player, flamenco guitarist and jazz drummer and American Poet over top of all of it? And they even wrote some pop songs along the way? Yes, please. Read the rest of this entry »