Explore Jim Morrison and The Doors place in a unique timing, and the cultural, social and historical events which led up to that time


1848 - James Marshall discovers gold near Sutter's Mill in California. In spite of Marshall's and his boss Sutter's attempts to keep the discovery a secret, the news leaks and leads to the gold rush in 1849.

1913 - Franz Kafka stops work on Amerika, which will never be completed.

1934 - Soul singer Ann Cole is born in Newark, N.J. Muddy Waters first stumbles on the song Got My Mojo Working when he sees Cole perform it on stage.

1936 - Cajun fiddle player Doug Kershaw is born in Louisiana.

1941 - Aaron Neville, R&B singer, and one of New Orleans’ own Neville Brothers, is born.

1943 - Actress Sharon Tate (Valley of the Dolls), is born in Dallas. She is killed 26 years later on this day by the Manson “family.”

1969 - The Doors appear at Madison Square Garden, NYC, for one sold out performance at 8:30 PM. Bass player Harvey Brooks and a small orchestra appear with the Doors.

1980 In Los Angeles, a billboard is put up advertising Pink Floyd's The Wall. Every day a brick is added to the billboard until the entire space is covered.

Doors History Spotlight: Madison Square Garden

The colossal Madison Square Garden, with a seating capacity of 20,000, was an exceptionally difficult venue to perform in at this time. It featured a revolving stage, which aggravated the Garden's already horrendous acoustics.* Regardless, the show is a resounding success. The Doors' performance is fabulous, and Jim Morrison's presence is electric. Constant flashes from instamatic cameras give the atmosphere a bizarre strobe-like effect, and at the end of the show, the Doors depart to a deafening roar of appreciation from their hard-core New York fans.

Cash Box describes the show: 'As matters turned out, none were disappointed at the show. It may well have been the rapport which uplifted the quality of this show, or the electricity that is created between a worshipping, yet contained audience and its object of affection. In any case - the crowd was Morrison's - to an extreme that called for extra police protection - and in return, he was theirs' ('Talent On Stage', Cash Box, Feb 8, 1969)

New York Times critic Mike Jahn comments: 'It was hard to hear the lyrics, and a large measure of the Doors' value is based on those lyrics. To many in the audience, the performers were a speck in the distance, and this was unfortunate, as much of the group's popularity is based on the onstage theatrics of Jim Morrison. Few groups match their ability to make rock music sound eerie and magical. Few lyricists can match Morrison's ability to create effective, often terrifying images. As it turned out, the Doors were good despite the shortcomings of the arena. (Mike Jahn, New York Times, Jan 25, 1969)

According to Variety: 'The Doors made a triumphant return to New York Friday night after many months in absentia. The Doors, performing with an orchestra and led by Jim Morrison, one of the major personalities in rockdom, remain one of the more bizarre and theatrical turns in the idiom. Some of the material was familiar, but crisply executed.' (Bent, 'The Doors', Variety, Jan 29, 1969.)

*When the legendary Blind Faith performed at the Garden six months later, the acoustics were so abominable that large portions of the audience could not discern what was being played. Frustrated and disappointed, the fans stormed the stage at the end of the show.

A few months after this show, The Felt Forum, which is a smaller venue in the complex, with a seating capacity of 4,000, was completely restored by multimedia designer Pablo.

For more day-by-day history go to HistoryUnlimited.net