The Doors’ show at Danbury High School in Danbury, Connecticut on October 11, 1967 could have been bad, real bad. All the signs of trouble were there.
Jim Morrison and Tom Baker had been drinking all day.
The Doors themselves were gaining a reputation as (depending on who you asked) leaders of a new youth culture or the sort of creeps who would snub Ed Sullivan and promote drugs on national TV.
The show was being put on by Western Connecticut State College for their “Wesconn Weekend,” and some of the students arrived expecting to see The Four Seasons (who had cancelled).
A beauty pageant had preceded the show, and before The Doors went on, an announcer unveiled the new “Fall Weekend Princess” candidates.
The emcee then informed the crowd that anyone who stood up during The Doors’ performance would be thrown out of the auditorium.
Finally, the audience was unruly and heckled The Doors because they wanted to hear “Working My Way Back to You,” not “People Are Strange.” (In some versions of the audio, when Morrison introduces “Money” by asking “Do you know what I neeeeed?” somebody in the crowd hollers back, “A bath.”)
Despite all the bad omens, The Doors delivered a great show. The performance was also recorded through the college’s microphones, giving us a rare, complete concert by The Doors in 1967.
After a day of drinking with Morrison, Tom Baker introduced the band very simply as “The Doors, OK?” The Doors’ performance was inspired from the start, and it features an extended “Break on Through” and interesting solos during “Crystal Ship” and “Light My Fire.” The Doors also incorporated parts of “Celebration of the Lizard” and lyrics that would later become “Who Scared You” into “The End.”
I was able to find a whole ‘video’ on YouTube, actually the entire audio of the show with a couple of static pictures. The sound drops off occasionally for maybe a second or two. Otherwise it’s an engrossing performance that kept me glued to the computer for the duration (1:02:52). It’s a great document of The Doors at their peak.
- Moonlight Drive/Horse Latitudes
- Break On Through/There You Sit
- Backdoor Man
- People Are Strange
- The Crystal Ship
- Celebration Of The Lizard/Light My Fire
- The End/Names Of The Kingdom/See You Risin’/Stop The Car, I’m Getting Out!/The End (reprise)
This show has been extensively bootlegged, and there are many different versions floating around, mostly of very rough quality. If you find a copy for sale, be sure to listen before you buy.
Originally published October 11, 2012.