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I Was There: The Doors' Miami Concert was a Mythic Ripoff

So the State of Florida has pardoned Doors front man Jim Morrison. That may be a good thing for artistic freedom and all, but I still want my money back.

I was a kid living in Westchester when my friend's parents took the neighborhood gang to see our favorite band at Dinner Key auditorium on that March 1, 1969. We had memorized, scrutinized, and analyzed the lyrics to "The End" and "When the Music's Over," conjecturing where the "blue bus" went and what might have happened in that "Roman wilderness of pain." We could even strum "Light My Fire" on our guitars. 

So it was hard to believe we were standing right there near the side of

the stage waiting for our artistic heroes to rock out. There are varying

accounts of the evening and whether Morrison pulled little Jimmy out to

wave to the crowd. All I remember is the band playing an interminable

intro--was it "Break on Through" or "When the Music's Over"?--as the

crowd grew restless waiting for the singer.

Morrison stepped, or rather staggered, onto the stage like a good shepherd

with a white lamb in his arms and a half-finished whiskey bottle in his

hand. He put the bottle on the amp, held onto the lamb, and grabbed the

microphone. Finally, a song! But instead, all he did was rant against

the system and how the man was oppressing us. Then there was something

about screwing our teachers, and rebelling against our parents, two of

whom had driven us in their station wagon and were watching from the

back of the auditorium.

Hey, what happened to the song? We wondered. Then the band broke into

another endless riff, Morrison did something we couldn't see, and

suddenly "the man" appeared in blue uniforms and whisked him off. I

remember the amps swaying as the crowd rushed the stage, and then the band

split. Last thing we saw was Morrison standing on the balcony shirtless

in his black leather pants with his white lamb and a couple of chicks.

It was the worst concert we ever saw. The Echo doing Doors covers at the

Columbus High School dances was better. So if Charlie Crist--or Rick

Scott--is listening, it's all good to pardon a dead man, and Morrison's

Hotel ended up being one hell of an album, but something has to be done

to refund the money we cobbled together mowing lawns and squirreling

away our allowances. Crist, we want our money back!


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