May 8, 1971 The Doors album L.A. Woman hits number 9 on the Billboard charts and stays there for 34 weeks.
L.A. Woman is the last album The Doors recorded with Jim Morrison (Nov ‘71, The Doors released Other Voices, and Full Circle was released in August of ‘72). L.A. Woman was started recording in November 1970 but saw the departure of Paul Rothchild as The Doors’ producer. During rehearsals for L.A. Woman, Rothchild was so bored with the band’s playing and Morrison’s lethargic delivery he found himself laying his head on the mixing board (the song in question was reportedly Love Her Madly). The Doors decided to produce the album themselves along with long time engineer, Bruce Botnick, who had previously co-produced Love’s, Forever Changes. L.A Woman was virtually recorded live in The Doors workshop which was refitted for the recording, the studio downstairs and the mixing and recording equipment upstairs in The Doors office.
L.A Woman is the impressionistic autobiography of a rock band in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. The song L.A. Woman is Morrison‘s elegy to Los Angeles, L’America is an autobiography of a rock band with “friendly strangers coming to town and all the women loved their ways”, the song was originally written when The Doors were in consideration for providing music for Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Zabriskie Point. L.A. Woman also has some very personal lyrics from Morrison and Doors guitarist, Robby Krieger. The album starts with The Changeling with Morrison practically telling everyone he was splitting. Love Her Madly is reportedly based on Krieger’s fiery relationship with soon to be wife, Lynn, “don’t you love her as she’s walking out the door,” “Touch Me also written by Krieger was originally titled “Hit Me”. Hyacinth House was from an earlier demo recorded at Robby Krieger’s parents house. Riders on the Storm is a restatement of The End, a serial killer murdering a family, this time with maybe a little hope in the line “girl you gotta love your man/take him by the hand/make him understand.”
L.A. Woman was recorded quickly, The Doors brought in Marc Benno and Jerry Scheff to fill out the sound, and by mid-December of 1970 were previewing the L.A. Woman songs in Dallas and New Orleans (see related articles below).
Note: This article is expanded and updated and appears in the book The Doors Examined, now available on Amazon
Subscribe to get The Doors Examiner article’s as they’re published just click the subscribe button at the top of the article. Thank you for reading The Doors Examiner!