For Your Weekend Listening Pleasure: The Doors' Farewell at Fair Park in December 1970

Categories: Music
thedoorsboot.jpg
Back in April I interviewed Ray Manzarek for When You're Strange, Tom DiCillo's doc about The Doors. I thought I'd lost the transcript till earlier this week, when I stumbled across it in a virtual file folder buried amongst the clutter kept in this creaky computer's dark, musty recesses. There is one passage in particular I'm eager to share -- the part where The Door-man talks about the band's penultimate show with Jim Morrison, which took place at the Music Hall at Fair Park on December 11, 1970. A Friday. There would be one more concert: a show the next night at The Warehouse in New Orleans. But Jim Morrison didn't last more than a couple of songs. And then, that was that. The end.

Manzarek said he hadn't heard that Dallas show since that night 40 years ago; he said he wondered if a recording of it exists. I told him: Yes, it does. There are six songs broken into separate files: "Love Her Madly," "Back Door Man," "Ship of Fools," "The Changeling," "L.A Woman" and "When The Music's Over." The quality isn't terrific -- it sounds as though the recording device was concealed in someone's back pocket. Still, it's all there -- every note, every howl, every groan. I asked him what he remembered of that show. And he said:
"I can't recall what we did in Dallas. I think we did 'L.A Woman.' 'Riders on the Storm'? No. The next night we went to New Orleans, and it finished in the voodoo juju -- in a warehouse where the ghosts of slaves were still there, guys hauling big things of cotton. It was an old cotton warehouse from the slavery days, wooden and strange and musty. The ghosts, like the dead Indians on the highway.

But Dallas, our last gig, was sensational. I was so excited: We came to Texas and played our asses off. 'L.A. Women' and 'Love Her Madly'! They made it work. We were molding them, and playing them in front of a live audience for the first time. "
And, for the last.
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40 comments
Miss Tacobeans
Miss Tacobeans

Is there anyone in here who actually attended the show on 12/11/70? I would really like to know, definitively, where the thing was... McFarlin or State Fair Music Hall?

I have the noise-reduced recording in FLAC and also in MP3 format @320kbps, so if you don't have it and want it, post and I'll get a download to you somehow... but it's all over the net, easy to find via torrent.

Suwaa
Suwaa

I was there and it was at the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas.  In fact, the Music Hall is still going strong after the many years of operation here in Dallas.  By the way, much unlike the Doors movie, no one was swinging from upstairs balcony or jumping out of their seats or screaming.  I remember everyone sitting and listening to the lyrics and music..it was a great concert and quite an attentive audience.    

Jegotcher
Jegotcher

I was there for the early show. When the music's over was my favorite at that time...great ending to that show.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I'm 47 years old,think it was around 1982 or so I used to sleep with the radio on tuned in on a rock station of course when deep in the middle of the night the would always play LA Woman.For some reason I'd always wake up to the Mr. Mojo Risin part of it,shamed to say I was probly 20 or so than and didnt know who The Doors were,never even heard of them I was more into AC/DC,Journey,Rush etc.When I heard Mr. Mojo Risin from LA Woman I knew there was something diffrent about this mysterious band I kept hearing in the middle of the night.

The rest is history thanx Ray,Robbie,John and Jim you guys accomplished something that will never be be copied by anyone.....never.

claudio pincheira jara
claudio pincheira jara

gracias por darnos tantas alegrias en nuestra corta vida sin ustedes no deriamos nada , jim fue para mi el mas grande poeta que ha pasado por el mundo , gracias por darnos tanta informaci� en especial a ray manzarek por seguir haciendo historia. un abrazo y gracias

Anonymous
Anonymous

Thanks Ray, Jim,Kreig and John Thanks

orbx
orbx

I was fortunate enough to be at this show. They played an early and late show that night. They came on an hour late, around 11:00, and played for a little over an hour. When Morrison came out, he was finishing off a Bud tallboy. He had grown a full beard and there was a sort of gasp from the crowd when they saw it along with some cat-calling directed at Jim.

Bottom line, it was probably the most kick-ass show I ever saw. Seemed like it was over too soon though. For some strange reason, they wouldn't let anyone keep their ticket stubs. There was a mob at the ticket booth after the show with everyone begging the girls in the booth to let them have a stub but they weren't even nice about it.

A night I'll never forget ...

lyneelou
lyneelou

I saw the Doors live at 15 and I never new what sex was until I saw Jim onstage. I have been ruined the rest of my life. No one can touch the way he looked, moved and sang.

Craig Holcomb
Craig Holcomb

I did not want to be captain of my high school football team (good thing). I wanted to be a "back door man".

Am still not sure he did not fake the Paris O.D. thing.

tom coston
tom coston

luv the doors still one of my all time best bands from the first time I heard them last night I WAS LISTEN TO THE DOORS LIVE IT WAS AWESOME.

Dj Jan
Dj Jan

Doors Musik ist und bleibt noch sehr lange h�r, da k�n heutige Bands nicht mithalten. Und endlich mal ein gscheides Foto vom Morrison:), eines das nicht nach Fotoshooting aussieht und zeigt wie er wirklich ausgesehen hat. Dankesch�

Anonymous
Anonymous

I want one of the copy.. :) May I? Please..thanks before..

Maxfield Rushmore
Maxfield Rushmore

Saw the "Doors" in Chicago at the Colosseum in 68 or 69 "Blue Cheer" opened. Jim Morrison was absolutely MAGIC. Many bands were/are great, but they can be compared. The "Doors" were so unique they cannot be compared to anyone else.

Here's a soothing instrumental, I played all the instruments and engineered the recording. Let me know what you think... http://www.reverbnation.com/th...

Lissy
Lissy

I can recall a time when my uncle handed me a cassette(I know so long ago)and remembering him telling me to clear my mind and just let the music flow through my mind.I wish I was not born in 1980.Oh how I would have loved to see The Lizard King in concert.

Xanthi Blani
Xanthi Blani

I believe that legendary songs like i.e " Riders on The Storm " are seriously undermined if they are given to artists with inferior musical background. The Doors legacy needs to be preserved correctly and not wasted with useless collaborations like in example the one with the Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. This is unacceptable, and Jim would never aprove it. Thanks for giving me the chance to speak my mind.

Creighton
Creighton

The Doors are my personal all-time favorite - and yes, their vibe coming onto the scene was quite empowering, liberating, and life-changing.

petunia
petunia

Wow -- so the last song was, WHEN THE MUSICS OVER, and it was, in fact, over.how ironic.don't cha think?

Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia

I agree Dave we must hear those recordings of the last gigs man, where can we find them??? and Mr. manzarek you were da bomb and it wasa pleasure having the chance to see u guys plying live in you mexico tour, thanks for that unforgetable moment....

Beachbum Dave
Beachbum Dave

I don't care if the recordings of their last two gigs aren't very good.... I must hear them!! Where can I get a copy of them???

John Gundaker
John Gundaker

Must have been a great show! I'm a big Doors fan. I was born the same year Jim Morrison died. I finally got to see them perform at the Tower Theater in Philly in 2003 and it was just great. I can only imagine how their concerts with Morrison were. Always enjoy their music!

Frank
Frank

40 years ago???!!! Not possible!

minehead
minehead

there is a remastering job that a Doors fan did of the older version that was floating around, with some decent noise reduction and a good EQ you can get a good listen out of this show...ther are FAR worse recordings of earlier shows...I'm glad that The Doors had enough foresight to tape so many live shows, I think they knew that the live shows had a vibe that the records just couldn't capture, and that they were on a limited schedule with Jim...I love every note of the studio recordings as well as the live ones...The Doors are still the best American band in RnR history.

Susan
Susan

first and last time before a live audience for those amazing songs. The irony blows me away. And the projectile blessing cracks me up-

Christy
Christy

The doors are so amazing....I wish I hadn't been born in 1981. I was lucky enough to visit Jim's grave in Paris and it was life changing. To see them live would have been my dream. Thanks for this article. Ray is awesome!

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

CraigM, I didn't have to jump through a survey -- just click through the ad.

Mr. Mojo
Mr. Mojo

Thank you for your article, it's been a pleasure reading it.

CraigM
CraigM

You have to go through all that survey taking bull in order to download. No thanks.

Yuri
Yuri

Nice story. When music was music. Thanks for sharing

Anonymous
Anonymous

If you meant the other page, only the megaupload link still seems to be working

Anonymous
Anonymous

It's the "Yes, it does" link, sound quality is pretty low though.

GreggoWhereArtThou
GreggoWhereArtThou

So I have a silly question...how do I download these songs? I don't see any link to download them.

Dr. D's Mom
Dr. D's Mom

Actually, your cherished, warm, amniotic memories came from the shrooms I scored before making the drive.

I love you, son (you were always such a pain in the ass).

Syd Nancy
Syd Nancy

DR. D gets my vote for funnyman, Thankx for the tunes Robert.

Dr. D
Dr. D

Yeah, I was there - I was a 7-month-old fetus, but I kicked mom in the liver until she agreed to drive the 250 miles and take me. Jim Morrison blessed me from the stage before he projectile vomited on mom. Thanks, Robert, for bringing back those cherished, warm, amniotic memories...

Keith
Keith

This is really a great performance and not too bad of a recording once you get your ears used to it.

tvz fan
tvz fan

Saw the Doors at Memorial Auditorium in the summer of 68. In an era when bands were trying to be different the Doors were truly different from all the others. Incredible experience, you never knew what Morrison would do.

Reggie Young
Reggie Young

Dallas has a way of ending people's careers.

Mark
Mark

Robert thank you so very much for this article. As a Doors Fan I just want to say thank you.

nip nip

MArk

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