I read this as a young man during a short-lived, coming-of-age, drug experimenting, collegiate-Doors phase in my life, and found this rock and roll biography of lust and loss to be quite the scintillating page turner -- even juicier, I'd say, than freshly squeezed navel oranges. Next to No One Here Gets Out Alive, also co-authored by Danny Sugerman, I can't think of a better insider's glimpse into the sordidness orbiting Jim Morrision and his psychedelic entourage in the late sixties and early seventies. Danny Sugerman was there, allowed inside the inner Door's circle, and recorded some of the funniest, sublimest moments in rock history -- and also some of its saddest.
Following Morrison's death, the Door's decided to make a go of it as a band sans their Lizard King, and, as aforementioned, hired Sugerman to point them in the right directions, which he more or less did quite well, but, let's face it, the Doors without Jim Morrison? ... just not the Doors without him. Regardless, they released two albums -- Other Voices and Full Circle -- the former barely breaking Billboard's top-40 album charts, and the latter an even larger commercial flop, before officially disbanding in 1973. Which was like a second death of the band for Sugerman, a second loss, and sent him into a despairing self-destructive binge-spiral that rivaled his idol's, Jim Morrison's, swift plunge to an early death.
But Sugerman found sobriety (and Buddhism) and turned his life around. Read how he did it in Wonderland Avenue: Tales of Glamour and Excess.
Sadly, Danny Sugerman died of lung cancer at the age of fifty, on January 5th, 2005.
There's a fine line between comic asides and exaggerations undercutting a review or enhancing it. And then there's playing it (almost) straight, which you did in this one, counter to what I see as your usual style. For my money, this is the better style: straight ahead, without excess, making your points and getting out. Good one, Brent.ReplyDelete
I did want to point you in the direction of Didion's White Album--I'm pretty sure that's the book--where she has a devastating portrait of Morrison and the Doors.
Thank you, Peter! I haven't read that one by Didion. But now I want to with the Doors connection.ReplyDelete