When Jim Morrison died at age 27 in 1971, no one could have predicted that the Doors would provide the soundtrack to several generations of rock and roll fans. In four short years, the Doors produced a catalog of enduring albums and indelible hit singles. They rose from obscurity to achieve an unparalleled level of reverence. In honor of the Doors 40th anniversary, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will present Break on Through: The Lasting Legacy of the Doors. The exhibit opens May 25, 2007.
Formed in Los Angeles in 1966, the Doors made their recorded debut in the midst of the psychedelic groundswell that was rising on the West Coast. Unlike their contemporaries, the Doors often explored the darker realms of blues, jazz, Eastern music and literature. Their breakthrough hit, “Light My Fire,” may have appeared to be a simple hippie-esque catchphrase, but a hypnotic rhythm and a sinister vocal propelled it. Through their steadfast vision and the undeniable charisma of Jim Morrison, the Doors practically became a counterpoint to the prevailing counterculture. No other American group of that era simultaneously established and maintained musical credibility and achieved so much popular success.
The exhibit provides a career overview and an examination of the unmatched durability of the Doors. Produced with the full blessing and cooperation of the Doors, artifacts from this exhibit have been provided by Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, the estate of Jim Morrison, the Doors Music Co. and several collectors. The exhibit features instruments, rare manuscripts, production notes, audio, video and photography.
“We’ve been visiting the Rock Hall for three years, about two times per year. Your displays are fabulous and we learn something new each time we’re here...It’s even allowing us to teach our 9-year-old son about all music...So do we think it’s worth a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Dayton, Ohio in the pouring rain? You bet! Rock on.” “Wow - This is the music of our lives. This place is awesome - extremely impressive. We grew up on Alan Freed, Bandstand and Cousin Brucie. Keep up the good work - we’ll be back.”