“L.A. Woman” was released April 19, 1971 and its origination may be the most well-known of any album in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. The Doors started rehearsing the album with producer Paul Rothchild, who would say he was bored with the material and declined to produce it, calling it “cocktail lounge music.” The Doors then decided to produce it along with long-time engineer Bruce Botnick, and the album was recorded in The Doors’ offices (at 8512 Santa Monica Boulevard), where Jim Morrison used the bathroom as his vocal booth. Here are some lesser known facts about “L.A. Woman”.
It wasn’t “Riders on the Storm” that Rothchild characterized as ‘cocktail lounge music,’ but for “Love her Madly” he was later quoted as saying, “’Love Her Madly’ was the song that drove me out of the studio.”
Jerry Scheff played bass on “L.A. Woman” (except for “L’America” which was recorded earlier). Scheff had played in Elvis Presley’s TCB band in Las Vegas before and after playing on “L.A. Woman.”
“L’America” wasn’t recorded at the time of the “L.A. Woman” sessions but rather during the time of the “Morrison Hotel” sessions. It was recorded with an eye to be used in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film “Zabriskie Point.” Antonioni passed on the song.
In the early ’80s Ray Manzarek was quoted as saying he wished The Doors had been able to play the songs off “L.A. Woman” with Jim Morrison. Manzarek had either forgotten or gotten so caught up in mythologizing that he forgot that The Doors did preview songs from “L.A. Woman” at their last two live performances with Jim Morrison in Dallas and New Orleans on December 11 and 12, 1970.
The building at 8512 Santa Monica Boulevard in recent years has been a restaurant, first one owned by Madonna, and more recently a Mexican restaurant whose owners have claimed the ghost of Jim Morrison resides there.
“L.A. Woman” rose to number 9 on Billboard Magazine’s 200 list (the ranking charts for albums) and stayed on the charts for thirty-six weeks. “Love Her Madly”, released as a single in March 1971, hit Billboard’s Hot 100 (the ranking chart for singles) making it to number 11 and staying there for 11 weeks. “Riders on the Storm” was released in June of 1971 and reached number 14 on the Billboard charts. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked “L.A. Woman” at 364th of the 500 greatest rock ‘n’ roll albums of all time.
Originally published April 19, 2015.