Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The View From The Stage

As the tour progressed and we got more gigs under our belts, I felt the band and I hit our stride musically. The boys were into it, I could tell by the way they played and their expressions. They were having a lot of fun. I became more confident in my delivery of the shows. I was hitting all my cues to come into the songs and I had some fun with the audience. I became more spontaneous, leaving behind the stiff choreographies I had worked up in rehearsals, I discovered freedom, I could do anything, say anything I wanted up there, there were no limits, no laws, it was my canvas, it was my blank page. I learned how to control the elements of the environment, like colors of a palette, the stage became MY stage. If somebody heckled me, I stuck the microphone under his nose and invited him, and it was almost always a guy, to, "say your thing man." Whatever came out was usually enough to embarrass him. The couple of hours on stage a night made up for all the travel and screwed up hours of going to sleep when it's light, waking up when it's evening, and fast food instead of real food. I was able to relax and take a look at things from my perspective. I became proficient at reading all the different "types" in the clubs. For instance, the clubs themselves all started to blur in my mind, they all started to look alike. Only the shapes became discernible, round, square, cavernous, cramped, oblong, elongated. The names of the clubs broke down into two categories, those named after someone, Otto's, Charlie's, Rick's, etcetera. God knows if these people really existed or the owners just thought it was a good name for a bar. And the cleverly named bars like The Dew Drop Inn, or Who's In There, Stop Rite Inn.

Next were the customers. There was the high school quarterback who couldn't get into college, his high school girlfriend, still at his side, who hadn't lost faith in him, yet. The barroom savant who no matter how long he'd been drinking could answer questions on Jeopardy faster than the contestants, and the bartenders demonstrating examples of barroom physics. I noticed there was usually a visible gap in the ages of the waitresses, they ran from the young and hopeful for whom the job was only temporary until they got through school. They did their jobs bouncing from table to table. And the older waitresses, those that hadn't gone to school or had just plain missed their chance and knew they were there to stay. They conserved their energy, taking a puff or two off a cigarette at the bar before going to check their next table, each day sliding blissfully into memory.

Then there were the growing signs of our success. We had gathered a following. I started seeing some of the same faces at gigs that were close to one another. Another was the gigs themselves started to blur in my memory. One night's Backdoor Man seemed the same as the previous nights Riders On The Storm, or Hello, I Love You. It was also around this time people started giving me things, phone numbers, rings, necklaces, keys, poetry and artwork. I don't know if they thought I could get them published or "discovered," or they just wanted an audience, someone who might understand, some of it was pretty good. As word about us got out, Swifty was able to fill in more and more of the empty dates in the tour.

If we weren't traveling, or at a gig, there was a lot of down time. It was downright boring. The days we played were filled with drama and excitement of the gig, the bustle of loading and unloading equipment was completely counter balanced by ripping boredom. No wonder Morrison found ways to amuse himself by hanging out windows, ledge walking, and later drinking. Because Tom was closer in age to me than the band, on off nights or when I was bored I'd visit his room and we'd smoke a joint, or drink some beer. He'd tell me his road stories, having lived pretty much of his life on the road, never settling anywhere, no family of his own. In between bands he lived as well as he could, depending on how much money he had saved from the road. He'd partied with rock stars and drank with winos, but he never showed me what he'd drawn.

One night when I got on stage, in the front row was a table of four truly beautiful girls. All decked out in their finest wares, dripping with sequins and pearl necklaces. They looked uncomfortable and awkward in the clothes, like kids playing grown up, still tripping on their mother's high heels. I knew the boys had girlfriends, which is how I came to think of their little troupe, as 'the girlfriends'. Thinking back, it was a gradual process. It started with one girl at a table close to the stage, then two, until the night I walked on-stage and was confronted with their glittering entourage. These weren't your average Rock ‘n’ Roll chicks, these were your exotic type. They were amateur groupies trying to move up the food chain. Not the type of girl the boys were used to, nor would have been able to attract had they not been in a band. Which just goes to show you, no matter how unattractive you are, if you're in a band you can always get a beautiful girlfriend. They were the boys’ own group of sirens, each with charms and songs of their own.

Kaja, was tall and dark, and had a mysterious look to her. She was of Eastern European descent of some sort and had lean supermodel angles to her body. I've never been able to figure out how so many Eastern European women are beautiful when young, but when you see pictures of them as old women they're all fat, sprouting mustaches and wearing babushkas.

Sofia, wisdom, the irony was she was the one truly troubled soul of the group. She wore lace and her mother's pearls. The band called her the suicide queen. If you tried to break up with her she threatened to kill herself. If that didn't work, she would call the guy leaving her to inform him a much more major departure was imminent.

Michelle, she was always dressed in black. From the concert T-shirts she wore to the stylish combat boots, and in between diaphanous skirts. She was one of those people who tried never to say an uninteresting thing, or do anything remotely mundane in their lives, never. She always had a story to top yours, no matter how bizarre. I tested her by telling her the most fantastic stories I could think of. She was never at a loss for a story to trump mine. She had either done a lot of living, or was a gifted liar.

And finally, Alex, she was the one truly dangerous one, capable of breaking up the band if her influence became too much, she was smart and the problem was her whisperings in Johnny‘s ear. I would guess her name was probably Alexandra or Alexia, no one ever told me, and I never asked. She was my type. Or would have been in the past, but I was beyond them now. She wore leather pants, assemblages of torn T-shirts, handcuffs and chains, and every time I saw her she had different colored hair. And she was smart. One night between sets I talked her up a little.
"Why are you so into Morrison?" She asked.
"I bought the book An Hour of Magic when it came out, and when I opened it, it just had this incredible picture of Morrison, a shiver just shot through me."
"A little latent homoerotic reaction?" She asked.
"I'm not gay."
"Are you sure?" So much for showing my vulnerabilities.

We also started getting invitations from our 'fans' for after show parties, which sometimes added an element of danger and adventure. One night, there was a table almost directly in front of the stage with two couples on a date. One of the girls was truly beautiful. Each show I tried to find someone in the audience to sing to, the seduction was easy, just sing a song and look into their eyes as if you were looking into their soul. Playing Morrison made me feel like I could move the world, picking up whatever girl at a gig was easy, sex became a liquid to me and unlike the boys I didn‘t have a girlfriend, there were plenty of women who wanted to be with “Jim Morrison.” The next song was, Hello, I Love You. In between sets one of the guys from the table came up to me.
"Hey, man, you trying to move in on my girlfriend?"
"No, I'm not trying to steal your girlfriend." I said, smiling broadly, drawing him into my confidence, "I just wanna fuck her and then I'm leaving town." He laughed.
"Man, you're all right!" He said, slapping me on my back, "I'll buy you a beer."
"Cool, man."
"We're havin' a little party after the show, do you and your band want to come over?" You can get away with murder when you're in tune with the universe.

We went to their crash pad of an apartment, probably the first apartment of whomever's it was. There all ready seemed to be a party in progress when we got there. There were a few people sitting around a big round table in the middle of the room with a bong on it, surrounded by an old chair and sofa. Within leaning distance of the chair a top of the line stereo, with an equalizer, a professional turntable, while the rest of the furniture looked second hand. It was clear this was the center of the apartment.

After a couple of bong hits I noticed a girl standing against the wall watching every move I made. She looked more interesting than the others, she was wearing black-rimmed librarian glasses and had long dishwater blond hair that hung over her face like she was trying to hide, at least that's the impression she wanted you to have. At first glance you would think she's plain looking, but the more I watched her, the more I could see the beauty behind the glasses. She was pretty, but it was a forced perspective, the angular features of her face met to form a jigsaw of beauty, she could've been a librarian or a model depending on how she cleaned up. I watched her watching me, I could see stories in her face, like she was trying to explain everything that's happened to her, the histories and mysteries of her life. Then she would drop her head a little and seek temporary refuge, I knew once you befriended her she would show you the wilder fires that burned within.
"I'm gonna' get a beer." I went to the kitchen, she followed me, pinned me up against a wall, and started kissing me, my hand shot up her shirt like a snake after its prey. I stepped back and looked into her deep blue eyes. All I could do was stare into them and think of how I wanted to get lost in her eyes and other poetic clichés.
"What's wrong?" She asked.
"This feels too familiar. I could let myself be drawn into you so easily." I said, "but I can't!" I pushed her away. It would've been like getting back together with Deidre, "but you don't know me, and what I'm really like. I can’t help you, I’m Sorry," I said. No more compromises.

I went back into the living room where everyone was sitting in a circle on the floor very zoned out listening to Led Zeppelin, a whole When The Levee Broke feeling. The bong still sitting in the middle of the table surrounded by some very stoned knights of a round table. The night diffused into a hazy golden color. That's how I remember it, all of us sitting in a circle in that living room. Each of the boys smiling like he was in a golden halo, or maybe a spotlight in the surrounding darkness.

(The Last Stage is available on Kindle, Nook Books, or if you would like a signed copy of The Last Stage they're available from my website (only $20!) at Jymsbooks via Paypal (jymwrite@aol.com, please don't forget your mailing address!)

Chapter 30: The Saga of Jimmy Stark Pt 1

Monday, June 21, 2010

On We Go

After we left Chicago we started the tour proper. This is when we settled down into the long haul, over the road touring. Gone were the slap-happy antics of the day trip to Chicago, mooning people, or flashing Penthouse centerfolds at other drivers. After a couple of days of laying down some hard mileage, there was no more good natured joking, tossing things around, and listening to music at party levels. We started noticing the habits and idiosyncrasies of one another. At least when we were at the house we could leave, get some perspective on things, or just get away, but in the van, on the road, it was a shared isolation tank on wheels. A band is a really compressed thing, the most severe living conditions imaginable outside a family. The fault lines show early and erupt under the pressure of constant exposure with the possibility that any one thing could be interpreted five different ways, or magnified beyond its true proportions. There was always someone's itch to scratch, or someone to soothe. The only escape were the thrice daily stops for food and washroom breaks, at most an hour. I noticed that whenever Tom had some spare time when he was done loading or unloading the van, when we stopped for lunch, or he just had some time to kill, he would take out a sketch pad and start to draw, the boys had noticed it too, but he never let anyone see what he was doing. Brian took up the challenge and was continually trying to sneak up from behind to see what he was drawing. Tom was vigilant, almost like a Shaolin monk in his ability to perceive someone coming up from behind. Otherwise, Johnny and Brian kept to themselves most of the time. From what I could gather they'd been friends since grammar school. It was hard to crack the familiarity and solidarity they had, but they were the musical heart of the band and that was what I needed the most. Living day to day in such close quarters, it's a wonder any band lasts more than a few months. The only sound in the van would be low playing music as a soundtrack, Ian tippy-tapping out some rhythm on whatever surface was available, it seems drummers have to keep their hands moving no matter what. Mitchell would intermittently read from whatever guidebook or free pamphlet of local sites he had picked up on a break.
"What kind of word is en new I?"
"Let me see that." I said, reaching back for the book, "which word?" I asked, Mitchell reached over and pointed to the word. "It's pronounced 'on we'."

(The Last Stage is available on Kindle, Nook Books, or if you would like a signed copy of The Last Stage they're available from my website (only $20!) at Jymsbooks via Paypal (jymwrite@aol.com, please don't forget your mailing address!)

Chapter 29: The View from the Stage

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The 'Rents

Chicago was the slow start of the tour. We didn't have another gig until the next weekend, so we had a couple of days to kill. The next day, Sunday, I slept in until one or two in the afternoon. Since my parents lived nearby, I decided it was time to tell them what I was doing for a living, it was a chance Morrison also took and it was the last confirmed communication he had with his parents. He sent them a letter telling them he was in a band and, "what did they think of that?" They, especially his father, had disapproved citing failed childhood piano lessons. I wasn't going to be as confrontational as he had been, I hoped. My parents were quite a bit older than me. I was a late life baby for them. As a matter of fact, my older brother and sister were often mistaken for my parents. My father answered the door. He was a tall, lean man even in his seventies. An Annapolis graduate, after he left the military he had become a corporate lawyer who took stock in lieu of his full salary. Around the time I was in high school he owned so much of the stock he was given the chance to buy the company, which he did. Then he turned around and sold the company again within the year. The new owner breached their contract and my father took them to court and won. Winning several more millions of dollars. He had a cocktail in his hand when he answered the door.
"Hello Mikey," he said, as I breathed out a sigh of exasperation. Surprisingly, he didn't seem surprised to see me, "come on in, your Mother and I were just having a cocktail." My mother was in the den. She was still a handsome woman, who had helped my father's career by being the charming, witty hostess, wife and mother, for both the military and corporate worlds. Her only real failing in life was wearing perfume that was much too rosy smelling.
"Mikeee!" She said, as she got up from the couch to give me a hug, "its so nice of you to come down for a visit."
"I didn't come down, for a visit. I'm actually in town on business."
"That's good to hear," my father said. "What business would that be?"
"Here, take a look." I said, handing him a scrapbook that I had put together with the few reviews there were. He handed it to my mother. After a couple of minutes of leafing through the pages and skimming the headlines my mother asked,
"I don't understand this, Mikey, what do you have to do with this band?"
"I'm the lead singer."
"Oh, Mikey!" My mother said, disappointment clearly in her voice. "You have so much potential, you could be doing so much with your life."
"I am doing something with my life."
"Mikey," my father said as mildly as he could, "your mother and I gave you so much more than even your brother and sister. You were practically raised as an only child we had such great hopes for you. True, a great many things were expected of you," he paused, "but then again as of late, not that much has been forthcoming from you." My eyes started welling up from the usual litany of disappointment. I tried to think of anything else to staunch the tears.
"That's really not true," I said, "you gave money to Jonathan for medical school and money to Ilene to buy into that software company."
"All loans that were paid back with the appropriate interest. Look Mikey, your older brother and sister were always more self-directed than you. You got a liberal arts degree and then you wanted to go to graduate school. I'm still not sure what you were planning on getting a post graduate degree in."
"And since then what have you been doing, Mikey?" My mother asked. "Doing drugs, and living by that college and dating those little girls."
"Michael," my father said, "your mother and I have been talking." My parents looked at each other. My mother, tears streaming down her cheeks, nodded her head to my father almost imperceptibly. "I'll loan you the money for graduate school. You’ll have to give up this band thing of course, get a job in the area of the graduate degree, and pay the loan off within five years. The same deal we gave your brother and sister." I started gathering up my scrapbook.
"Mikey," my Mother said, "you don't have to give us an answer now, take a couple of days."
"That's all right," I said, "you've never believed in me or let me do what I wanted to do anyway. You made me take all those science courses when all I was interested in was music."
"Mikey, we've always encouraged you in your endeavors. Like when you got that job as a disc jockey."
"And what happened with that?" My father said, sternly.
"I didn't take the job."
"And why not?"
"It was a small market station, I didn't want to move to the middle of nowhere New Mexico. It was beneath my talents."
"Mikey, you have to start at the bottom. How many times have I told you no one is going to come to you with a job no matter how talented you are. You have to go seek them out."
"Thanks for the moment of failure, I was trying. I am trying," I took a second to compose myself, "never mind. This is what I want to do," I said clutching the mostly empty scrapbook. I left.

(The Last Stage is available on Kindle, Nook Books, or if you would like a signed copy of The Last Stage they're available from my website (only $20!) at Jymsbooks via Paypal (jymwrite@aol.com, please don't forget your mailing address!)

Chapter 27: On We Go

Monday, June 7, 2010

First Gig

The van pulled into the parking lot of Fitzgerald's. At first I thought we were in the wrong place. It looked just like a house. Although, how many houses have parking lots in front of them? We all got out and stretched. Tom and the band started unloading their gear while I headed into the club when I heard a voice behind me.
"Hey! Aren't you going to help us move the equipment inside?"
"No. You guys are the band." I went into the bar and got myself a beer. Fitzgerald's was a small room. It seemed to be built on the box principle. A large box with several smaller boxes placed inside. One of those boxes was the stage at the head of the room it was built up three or four feet off the floor and looked like a stage for grammar school plays. It faced seating for what looked like would be an audience of a hundred, tops.

I wasn't completely convinced of Swifty's trust in his nephew, so I watched everything Tom did under the pretense of hanging out. I watched as he brought the equipment in, setup the amps, mic's, and sound board. Since the room was so small, Tom commandeered a table in the middle of the room and set the sound board on that, running all the cables from the amps, mics and guitars into the mixer and set the levels during the sound check. It wasn't that hard of a setup.
We didn't have any special effects like dry ice for fog, no smudge pots, not even any colored lights except for whatever existed at the club.

While this was going on I was trying to figure out which song we should open with. We hadn't rehearsed 'sets' of songs because The Doors never did. They usually planned the first few songs ahead of time, but after that they frequently stopped between songs to discuss which song they were going to do next. If you listen to the bootlegs there are huge gaps in the shows where they're doing exactly this. That's why the band and I learned all The Doors' songs, so we could recreate this feeling and play any song that came up or that the audience called for.

The dressing room at Fitzgerald's was literally two steps behind the stage, as would become the usual, if there was a dressing room at all. It was small. There was an out of tune piano pushed up against one wall, a bunch of music stands were pushed into another corner. Against a wall stood an old-fashioned gilded stage mirrors with light bulbs that run around the outside edge. Of course all the sockets were empty and there was a layer of grime on it. I wondered how many lives it had? Did it start out life in vaudeville reflecting the likes of Bob Hope or Jack Benny? Maybe it had come from a theatre of Barrymore or O'Neill? Maybe the owners of this place had just bought a replica, a facsimile of the real piece and no longer had a use for it.

I thought I had worked out my nervousness at 'The Place'. Maybe it was because of the hometown advantage, or because I thought it would all go up in flames anyway, so I hadn't been nervous, but now I was and didn't know why. After all, I did have Morrison's blessing from the dream, but the dream made me more nervous. It really was just a dream, a little wish fulfillment courtesy of my subconscious. I didn't have Morrison's blessing or anyone else's for that matter. Maybe my nervousness was me trying to tell myself something? Or maybe it was because now it was more real. Everything was on the line. Everything I had dreamed of, all my hopes.

This was the make or break point, there was no going back for me. I'd sold my trailer for the money to rent the house. When I gave up the house, I sold all my possessions and collections, just as Morrison had when he started The Doors. He severed his ties with his family, going so far as telling people they were dead. Morrison knew there was no going back. The boys had homes and families to go back to. Everything I had known was gone. Everything I had worked for was to get me here, everything I wanted was in front of me one way or another I wasn't going back. Nothing would be the same for me after this. It was either fame and fortune, or failure. What if I did fail? At least that was something I could understand. I've felt the cold hand of rejection before I could understand dejection. But what really scared me was what if I succeeded? That I couldn't imagine, I couldn't even imagine the feeling? Joy? Exuberance lifting me to the heights? I couldn't even imagine what it would be like, outside of anything more than an abstract, or a cliché that didn't really seem to be a definition or even satisfy. Is that why Morrison acted so confidently, he knew that joy? Would I ever feel that? I thought I could feel it welling up inside of me, spreading like a warm smile. I'd felt it the first night at 'The Place', but suppressed it. I couldn't allow myself to feel it then because it was a beginning. The question was, could I allow myself to feel that now?

When it was time to go on there was a knock on the door and Tom stuck his head in the room with the rhetorical question "ready?" We crowded into the hallway. I was behind the band. I would go on last for heightened effect. The club was darkened, except for the spotlights on the stage. I could see figures, unknown, moving in the darkness. I could hear the chatter of a hundred different conversations. Then I heard Tom say from the mic at his improvised sound booth, "ladies and gentleman! The Unknown Soldiers!" And I felt a shot of excitement and adrenaline surge through me. The band took the stage each took his place at his instrument. Then it all seemed to slip into slow motion, the walk out to the microphone, my hand reaching out towards it and in my head I saw a movie of Morrison's hand reaching out to grab the microphone. I knew somehow I had to play somewhere The Doors had played. I had to see if that hand could reach out across time and touch me.

We opened with Peace Frog. The club went wild when I sang "blood in the streets of Chicago," just as I knew they would. My voice was a shriek compared to the screams Morrison used to jolt his audience from their complacency. But that wasn't enough I wanted them on their feet.
"Celebration of the Lizard." I said to the band. I rattled a tambourine to give the snake slither to the piece, the feeling of a story being told around a campfire, a preface that Morrison usually invoked when priming his audience. The band hit the first discordant notes of the 'song' it was a poem, really more theater, a loose narrative of a post-apocalyptic world where the survivors gather to tell their stories. Morrison variously acted, screamed, or moaned through the piece. It was supposed to be the long theater piece at the end of the third album, like The End and When The Music's Over were on the first and second albums, but they couldn't get it together enough for it to be on the album. Not to Touch the Earth was the only remnant to survive to the album. They usually used Celebration as a punishment when an audience was unruly demanding to hear "the hits", or to shock their audience into submission if nothing else worked. I recited the first few lines, and let the sounds vibrate around me and into the audience. I looked passed the lights into the audience and I could tell by the shocked look on their faces that they weren't familiar with this facet of The Doors, or the surprise that awaited them. We were going to give them the abbreviated version. As Mitchell hit the last note he held it, sustaining it, letting it linger in the air. I raised my arms, every eye in the club was on me and I knew I had them. I dropped my arms and the band went into the opening notes of Light My Fire. There was a gasp of recognition. The tension that was holding the crowd suspended was released and erupted. People were dancing others rushed the stage. As we got better in our show we’d do this over and over again, we’d play something like 5-1 letting the pressure build until the audience was ready to ‘POP’ then we’d let them off the hook with something like Love Me Two Times, it almost always provoked the same reaction, near riot.

After we played the last set, the audience was energized and still wanted to hear songs, and we still wanted to play. We had gone through the songs we had rehearsed the most, so I fell back on a device Morrison had used.
"What do you guys want to hear?" I asked the audience. Somebody shouted back,
"Land Ho!"
"You're kidding, right?" I asked. A hint of a laugh in my voice, "let me ask the band." I turned back to the boys, "you guys wanna play Land Ho!" They shook their heads no. "The band doesn't want to hear it either!" Everybody laughed. "Let's slow it down a little, here's a song I identified with too much in my tragic youth, End of the Night." The boys started the slow waltz of the song. I had always thought Pink Floyd had heard the song and adopted the feeling and used it for The Darkside of the Moon.
"All right! All right! All right!" I said, as we walked into the dressing room after the set.
"That was so cool!" Johnny said, "I've never seen an audience do that!"
"Let's do that again!" Brian yelled.
"Jim! Jim!" I heard someone yelling. I turned to see the manager of the club grabbing me around the shoulders, trying to be my friend.
"Uh, it's Michael actually." I said.
"Jim, Michael, whatever. Look, I understand what you're trying to do here," he said, above the din, "I like The Doors too. That's why I booked your group, but you need to tone down the histrionics. We can't have everyone in the club running around. There are fire laws and I'm trying to sell drinks here."
"All right, man." I said. And I knew I would be successful.

(The Last Stage is available on Kindle, Nook Books, or if you would like a signed copy of The Last Stage they're available from my website (only $20!) at Jymsbooks via Paypal (jymwrite@aol.com, please don't forget your mailing address!)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Illinois Entertainer Article

Doors Music Revived
by Terence Moore
With Francis Ford Coppola's use of the Oedipal epic, The End, in Apocalypse Now, and the almost simultaneous release of the Morrison biography No One Here Gets Out Alive at the beginning of the decade there's been a resurgence of interest in all things Doors. One consequence of this is there's a new kind of rock band touring the country today. Not exactly new, cover bands have been quietly playing clubs across the country for a couple of years now. In case you're not familiar with the concept, the cover band is a band in which one or more of the band members play members of an already famous band. In this case the covered band is The Doors, and the band covering them is "The Unknown Soldiers", taken from The Doors' controversial anti-Vietnam anthem of the same name.
The cover band is a concept, the band says has its roots in Beatlemania and Elvis impersonators. "The Unknown Soldiers is an attempt to revive the music of The Doors for those who are curious as to what The Doors were like live, for those people who were too young to see them the first time around, or for those who want to relive the experience." Says lead singer Michael Desmond, who seems to live in Jim Morrison's skin as he came to the interview for this article in his Morrison drag.
"How did you and the band get the idea to cover The Doors?"
"It's the last stage of being a fan, you know? You either emulate your idol or you get all wrapped up in them and you start to believe you are them and have to assassinate them."
"That's a very Morrisonsonian thing to say."
"Well, it's more interesting than the truth."
"Which is?"
"I just had the idea. I was a Doors fan and was one of those people who were too young to see them. Part of The Doors appeal was their theatricality, so I thought it would be a natural that The Doors would translate easily to this format."
"What are you trying to accomplish with this cover band?"
"I'm trying to create a truth through fiction. I want to give people the experience of what it was like to see The Doors live because The Doors will never be able to tour again."
"I was able to see one of your rehearsals and you really seem to have Morrison's moves down."
"We've all seen videotapes of The Doors of course, but I seem to have an affinity for Morrison. I've read about him and I can just see him doing these things. Although I don't consciously recall seeing them, I just do what I'm seeing in my head. I don't know, maybe I just have a vivid imagination."
"How long have you guys been performing together?"
"Not long. This is really our first performance away from a hometown audience, and the public at large. We don't really know what to expect, but we've been getting a really good response."
"You and the band seem to have a great rapport."
"We all love The Doors, the band and me. That's what drew us together in the first place. We even split everything equally like The Doors. We're a unit, no one any more important than the other." With that kind of ethic this band could tour for a very long time.

The Unknown Soldiers are playing at Fitzgerald's this weekend and are currently touring the Midwest, signed for small clubs, and a couple of the outdoor fests. If you saw The Doors in concert and want a bit of a nostalgic return, or if you want to see what a Doors concert was like, see The Unknown Soldiers this weekend at Fitzgerald's.

(The Last Stage is available on Kindle, Nook Books, or if you would like a signed copy of The Last Stage they're available from my website (only $20!) at Jymsbooks via Paypal (jymwrite@aol.com, please don't forget your mailing address!)

Chapter 25: The First Gig