News in Review: Jim Morrison, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Paul Simon, My Morning Jacket, The Strokes

First Appeared in The Music Box, January 2011, Volume 18, #1

Written by John Metzger

Fri January 21, 2011, 06:30 AM CST

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The Doors - L.A. Woman

Jim Morrison Pardoned

On March 1, 1969, The Doors began its 20-city tour with a show at Miamiís Dinner Key Auditorium. The venue was filled beyond its legal capacity, and front man Jim Morrison was seriously drunk. In other words, the atmosphere was ripe for chaos to ensue, though itís doubtful that anyone expected the event to be as controversial as it became.

Sure enough, the show in Miami was an epic disaster. Morrison provoked a police officer by grabbing his hat and tossing into the crowd. Morrison also spewed countless profanities and taunted the audience with an array of sexual comments. By the end of the evening, the stage had collapsed, and a riot had ensued. Although keyboard player Ray Manzarek repeatedly denied that Morrison had done anything wrong, many witnesses believed that The Doorsí lead singer had exposed himself. The remaining dates on the groupís tour were canceled, and a few months later, Morrison surrendered to the FBI. In 1970, he was acquitted of lascivious behavior and public drunkenness, though he was convicted of open profanity and indecent exposure. Morrison was appealing the decision when he died in Paris in 1971.

For decades, fans of The Doors have been petitioning Floridaís governors for help in overturning ó or, at least, mitigating ó Morrisonís conviction on the basis that no concrete evidence had ever been produced to support the charges against the singer. At long last, on his way out of office, Governor Charlie Crist sought and won a pardon for Morrison.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Logo

Rock Hall Inductees for 2011

The ballots have been counted, and the nominees for entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been whittled down to five new entrants. The Alice Cooper Band, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Darlene Love, and Tom Waits will be added to the roster of the prestigious institution at a ceremony to be held in New York City on March 14. In addition, Jac Holzman and Art Rupe will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as co-recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award, which is given to influential industry executives. Holtzman founded Elektra Records, while Rupe was responsible for starting the Specialty label, which launched the career of Little Richard. Finally, the Musical Excellence Award, previously known as the Sideman Award, will be bestowed upon Leon Russell. Elton John, who resurrected Russellís profile with their collaborative effort The Union, has spent the past 12 months lobbying for him to receive greater recognition for his contributions to rock history.

Paul Simon - Getting Ready for Christmas Day

New Albums from Paul Simon, My Morning Jacket, and The Strokes

As the holidays neared, Paul Simon issued Getting Ready for Christmas Day, the first single from his forthcoming effort So Beautiful or So What. The track featured a sample taken from an old recording by Reverend. J.M. Gates. While making So Beautiful or So What, Simon enlisted the help of Doyle Lawsonís bluegrass outfit Quicksilver. He also reportedly sought to have Bob Dylan participate in the project. So Beautiful or So What is tentatively slated for release on April 12. In conjunction with the endeavor, Sony Legacy is planning to reissue the entirety of Simonís solo catalogue ó from his self-titled 1972 set to his 2006 endeavor Surprise. Each collection will include an assortment of bonus material.

My Morning Jacket has been hard at work on a new album that is expected to be issued in Spring. Forsaking the tight construction of its 2008 endeavor Evil Urges, the band is recording the set live in the studio in an attempt to conjure the gritty and loose approach of its concerts. The seeds for the project were planted during My Morning Jacketís five-night engagement at Terminal 5 in New York City last October. Over the course of the shows, the band performed all five of its endeavors in their entirety.

Rumors of The Strokesí fourth album have been percolating for years. However, every time that the band has seemed poised to announce the follow-up to its disappointing 2006 set First Impressions of Earth, its plans have been scuttled by disagreements among the groupís members. Over the course of the latter half of 2010, The Strokes repeatedly had stated that a new outing was imminent. Increasingly, it appears as if the 10-track collection finally will be unearthed this Spring. Providing hope to fans that there will be no more delays, The Strokes has begun to schedule major concert appearances in 2011, including a headlining engagement at Spainís Benicassim Festival.

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Of Further Interest...

News in Review: Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young, 53rd Annual Grammy Award Nominations

News in Review: The Who, Beach Boys, U2, The Cars, Red Hot Chili Peppers

News in Review: Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard, Rock Hall of Fame, Irwin Silber, Solomon Burke

News in Review: George Jones, Sly Stone, Don Henley, Richie Hayward, John Lennon

News in Review: Jerry Garcia, Ben Keith, Beach Boys, Bryan Ferry, Andy Hummel

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