George Harrison died on November 29, 2001 at age 58 of lung cancer. There is a Doors-George Harrison connection, in that Harrison apparently visited The Doors in the studio in November 1968 during the recording of “The Soft Parade.”
Harrison’s visit to The Doors may have been reciprocating Jim Morrison’s visit to Abbey Road Studios in September of 1968, and there is anecdotal evidence that these visits happened although no pictures or other documentary evidence has surfaced/survived.
The Beatles/Doors connection starts with Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman, who met with Paul McCartney and John Lennon in 1965 to get their blessing for Elektra to release “The Baroque Beatles Book.”
The Doors were familiar with Elektra’s catalog prior to being signed by Elektra — they were fans and peers of Love and The Butterfield Blues Band — and could well have been aware of Holzman’s connection to The Beatles. It’s pretty easy to hypothesize that Jim Morrison asked Holzman to arrange a meeting in London at the end of The Doors’ 1968 European tour in September and Harrison’s visit to The Doors in November.
The Doors in November of 1968 had just started recording “The Soft Parade,” and Harrison’s visit is dated by some sources as November 29th with others leaving the exact date unknown. “The Soft Parade” is the first Doors album to include jazz and orchestral musicians, and would take them nine months to finish the record and release it in July 1969. Harrison is said to have talked to The Doors about the recording of “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” and The Beatles’ use of classical instrumentation. Harrison is quoted as saying that “The Soft Parade” had “the complexity of the Sergeant Pepper recordings.”
Sources: Greg Shaw via “The Doors FAQ“.
Originally published November 30, 2013 and appears in “The Doors Examined.”