June 8, 1968: The Doors in Bakersfield, CA

Jim Morrison and the Minister, Bakersfield 1968
"I can try to explain anything..."

On June 8th, 1968, The Doors played the Bakersfield Civic Auditorium, and the show was filmed for the documentary that would be titled “Feast of Friends.” The footage has been used in various Doors videos since the ’80s, but it may be footage that was shot before and after the show that is most interesting to fans.

In late March of 1968 The Doors had decided to film their 1968 North American summer tour up until they left in September of 1968 for their first and only European tour. In an effort to capture all aspects of The Doors on tour (Frank Lisciandro was after all a documentarian), The Doors were filmed before, during and after the Bakersfield show, capturing some interesting moments of a rock band being on the road. The pre-concert footage shows Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger playing a game of cards to kill time.

While it is somewhat interesting to watch Manzarek and Krieger trying to hustle Morrison in a game of cards, what is more interesting is that Harrison Ford had been employed to be a grip for the documentary. Ford had a couple of connections with The Doors. He had done some carpentry repair work at Jac Holzman’s house and may have known Frank Lisciandro and Paul Ferrara from the UCLA film school. In the outtakes of the card game you can see Ford in the shot and you can even hear someone say “you’re in the shot Harry.” You can watch the video of the card game on YouTube.

The second interesting happening took place after the concert when Morrison, Manzarek and Krieger are approached by “Minister at Large Fred L. Stegmeyer” (Harrison Ford is again briefly seen in the background). Stegmeyer wants to talk about Morrison about the religious implications of a Doors concert vis-à-vis mass communication. It is a somewhat humorous interview as Morrison tells Stegmeyer, “I can try to explain anything.”

Originally published June 8, 2014.

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