I Love LA Self-Guided Tour Series: The Doors
The I Love LA Self-Guided Tour Series is a series of short, self-guided tours you can take at your leisure of some of the great American cultural icons of the last 40 years! More
When I was a kid, my family and I went to Los Angeles on vacation. Being from the Midwest and seeing the ocean for the first time was a huge thrill, not to mention our visits to Universal Studios and Disneyland, the original. I never forgot that magical place and well into adulthood, in the early 2000s, my interest in this part of the country was re-ignited due to a few short vacations I took to the west coast. I couldn't believe the variety of things to do and what a mark this city has made on American culture. So many important movies and television shows have been created here.
Then, there's the mark Los Angeles has left on popular and rock music. It is astounding how important this place has been for so many influential artists, artists like The Doors, for example. What is it about this place that inspires so much and offers so much creativity? Is it the sunny weather?
I'll admit I didn't start out as a big fan of The Doors. In fact, I wasn't a fan of 60s or 70s music much at all, having been a part of the 1980s "hair band" era. But that all changed. I started traveling to Los Angeles more frequently and started listening to LA Woman before every trip. I don't even know how it happened, but I would listen to the song over and over again, until one day, I moved west to Los Angeles, and became and LA woman myself.
It was then that something magical happened. It was a metamorphosis of sorts. Trying to learn more about my new home, I started listening to music made here that was so influential on American popular culture. I started listening to The Doors like never before. In my new home I felt this strange, kinetic connection to the music and also to the poet, Jim Morrison. The legacy the band left here is undeniable and can never be forgotten and something about their music made me feel very welcome in Los Angeles, like I belonged here.
More than any other band, The Doors were and are Los Angeles. Their music is timeless, and sometimes haunting. I am still mesmerized every time I listen to Riders on the Storm.
The more I started researching the band, the more fascinated with them I became and the more I wanted to learn about them.
For a period of time I was a professional tour guide, and I had my own tour company. A tour of The Doors sites was on the menu. I spent one hot, sunny summer, scouting and planning out my tour. I took a friend with me, and it was a blast, walking in the footsteps of this great band. One glorious LA day I also gave the tour to two of my friends, rabid Doors fans, and I will never forget how magical that day was, from Venice Beach to dining at the site where LA Woman was recorded.
Doors fans are everywhere, and their legacy is respected in Los Angeles. During our tour, I found tremendous kindness and helpfulness wherever we went.
In many of the places we visited, there were people who were aware of the history and went out of their way to be accommodating and show us around. The deeper I looked, the more surprised and pleased I was that The Doors history in LA still means something to people. In fact, the band was honored a few years ago at the Sunset Strip Music Festival, an annual street music festival that takes place on the Sunset Strip.
Jim is gone, and now Ray is too, but this band will live on forever. A few years' ago, during the Sunset Strip Music Festival, I had the chance to see Robby Krieger play. It was absolutely mesmerizing magic and an amazing evening.
Thank you to this great group of guys for what joy and happiness they have brought to so many people!
Now it's your turn to take your own self-guided tour and walk in the footsteps of The Doors!