"Doors relight their fire."

07 Apr "Doors relight their fire."

Daily Variety
April 7, 2006
By Phil Gallo

Dick Wolf is producing a full-length documentary on the Doors for theatrical release, and “Dogtown” chronicler Stacy Peralta is assembling a social history doc to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the iconic L.A. rock band.

Project from Wolf will include unreleased footage and interviews with the parents and sister of the band’s late lead singer, Jim Morrison. Bill Guttentag, who won an Oscar for helming Wolf Films’short doc “Twin Towers,” will direct.

The three living members of the Doors are co-producing.

Peralta, who directed and wrote the doc “Dogtown and Z Boys” and penned the feature “Lords of Dogtown,” is developing “Six Nights, Six Records, Six Years,” a social history overview as seen through the Doors’ lives and music.

Projects are part of a concerted effort on the part of the surviving band members and their manager to expose the Doors’ music to a new generation of fans.

The band’s catalog is one of the most tightly watched over in all of rock music. The Doors made six studio albums with Morrison between 1967 and 1971 and have maintained their enormous popularity over the last 35 years thanks to classic rock radio and Morrison’s enduring image.

Beyond the films, the following releases are planned in celebration of the Doors’ 40th anniversary in 2007:

* A new box set encompassing every studio album and the concert album “Absolutely Live,” to be released by Rhino in October. Box will contain two-disc sets of each studio album–a CD with new stereo mixes by original producer Bruce Botnick as well as freshly remastered classic mixes, and a DVD with 5.1 and 96k stereo mixes along with outtakes, alternate takes and video clips. Apple’s iTunes is expected to offer digital albums, virtual box sets and downloads of live and rare tracks.

* “The Doors Live at the Matrix ’67,” to be released by Bright Midnight Archives, the Doors’ joint venture label with Rhino/Warner Bros. Album will be similar to last year’s two-CD “The Doors Live in Philadelphia ’70”; Bright Midnight Archives will release other live recordings from 1967-70.

* A coffee-table anthology, “The Doors by the Doors,” co-penned by Ben Fong-Torres and published by Hyperion; “Jim Morrison Treasures,” a coffee-table photo/scrapbook; and two volumes of poetry, “Things Known,” a compilation of Morrison’s previously released poetry books, and “Things Unknown,” his unpublished poems and song lyrics.

* A four- to eight-hour radio special.

The band’s merchandising has also been completely revamped, featuring more than 100 new designs and pieces with a return to the original dyes, stencils and vintage Doors look.

In February, Rhino Handmade released “Love/Death/Travel,” a limited edition (5,000 copies) four-disc box set featuring three discs of studio cuts and one of live performances, some in 5.1 surround sound. Included were four reproductions of Joel Brodsky photographs and a lithograph of Morrison hand-signed by Shepard Fairey.

Last year, the Doors started to approve uses of their music that had previously been blocked. Tunes from their catalog were remixed or sampled by Snoop Dogg, Paul Oakenfold, BT and others; the band’s songs appeared this season on “Alias,” “Entourage” and “Sons & Daughters.”

“What they spoke about, their vibe, their ethos, is relevant today,” Doors manager Jeff Jampol told Daily Variety. “And every alternative (rock band) singer wants to be Morrison.”

Jampol, who took over management of the band prior to the death of longtime Doors manager Danny Sugerman, related a Sugerman observation from the mid-’90s.

“Since I was 14,” Sugerman told Jampol, “every time you put Jim and the Doors in front of kids, they get it. You don’t have to reimage it. you just have to expose them.”

Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore settled last year a two-year-old squabble over the use of the Doors name. Manzarek and Krieger had joined forces with singer Ian Astbury to tour as the Doors of the 21st Century. Densmore, the original drummer, sat out the semi-reunion gigs and, with the Morrison estate, sued to block use of the Doors name and historical images, winning the case last summer. Manzarek, Krieger and Astbury now tour as Riders on the Storm.

The Doors catalog sells more than 1 million albums annually around the world.