I’ve been told that I’m too honest for my own good. This post should prove it.
I wanted to open (reopen?) a friendly debate with you, and come backed up by heavy artillery. I tried to gather an army from a blues forum that I’m a member of, but I failed. The thread appears dead, now, so here it is: (I’ve edited the thread title and all names ‘cept mine.):
Ignorant Man Needs Education
￼ Gene: First of all, there is absolutely no derogatory intent behind the word "ignorant." It simply means "not knowing."
This is just a little thing that bugs me. On a Doors fan forum, there is a person who states over and over (like a mantra) that the Doors are a blues band. I'm a HUGE Doors fan, and I like the blues. However, stating that the Doors are a blues band bugs me simply because it's incorrect. (I even get bugged when somebody calls a chimp a monkey.)
I've tried to explain (12 bar, I-IV-V),but to no avail. I would like for you blues guys with credentials to state who you are and how you know your stuff (Your credentials) to explain why the Doors are not a blues band...or to state why they are, if you believe so. Granted, the Doors have covered a number of blues songs and have written a couple, themselves, but IMP, that does not make them a blues band.
I will copy/paste this post and responses to the fan forum. I'm kinda afraid to post a link to here...but I might, if pressed....Unless you guys say nope.
(Please be polite and informative.)
Last Edited on 11-Jun-2012 3:32 AM
Will: Not all blues is 12 bar but the structure does not make a genre. There is 12 bar pop, punk, rock as well as blues. Just because it came from blues doesn't mean it can't be applicable to anything.
I would wager the doors to be at the very least extremely influenced by blues. Clearly not a straight ahead blues band but very blues ish
Miles It is common knowledge that they are a rock band. If he doesn't know this yet, not much you can do will change his stance, as there is an exorbitant amount of times they were referred to as rock.
It will be like changing a moon-landing denier's stance. It will never happen.
Tuck: I'm with Miles. You're just wasting your time trying to convince him.
Ted: The Doors, especially Jim Morrison and guitarist Robby Krieger, were greatly influenced by Blues Masters; there are plenty of songs that have Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker and Howlin' Wolf stamped all over them. What made the Doors interesting , though , was that they experimented and combined their blues influences with other musical styles-- hard rock, Kurt Weil, samba, jazz and classical--and other art mediums, specifically drawing influence from the theatrical ideas of Antonin Artaud , and the poetry of Rimbaud and other French Symoblist bards. The result, predictably, was a mixed bag and they did record more than a few pretentious songs that haven't aged especially well. They were, though, often enough right in their instincts as in what and how to fuse their blues and non-blues inclinations: they created a music that was uniquely their own. No one sounded like them before, and no one has matched them since. This is the kind of thing 60s rock bands did as a matter of course--beginning from a blues base and then expanding the form until something new and original is created. The Doors, I would say, are definitely and profoundly influenced by the Blues, but their music, as a whole, is something else, best called "rock".
Bob: The Doors are first, last, and always a rock band. They may be playing sokme blues tunes, but the things that seperates real blues grooves from rock grooves, even if they both are playing 12 bar blues (and there are many blues tunes that are NOT 12 bar blues) is how the groove and feel is being played and groove is often times a lot harder to truly learn than a solo, and the solos have to properly fit within context of groove and feel.
Rock bands tend to blend things somewhat more ecclectically and there is more of an "everything fits no matter what" attitude in the music, but once you're playing outside of the rock context, all bets are off and that's why many of them often sound out of place when they get into other genres because, again, learn groove and feel is a lot tougher to do.
How many rock bands are able to play behind the beat, which is the real blues groove?? Very, very few of them can and 95% of the time, they're gonna be playing on top or ahead of the beat, plus you hear a lot of things being phrased off the 1 & the 3, whereas blues (and manyh black musics as a general rule) is often gonna be phrased off the 2 & the 4.
What I'm telling you ain't gonna be explained in rock instructional materials and often is not well taught or taught at all in many music schools, including classical music conservatories or Berklee College of Music, which specializes as a jazz school, tho it has tons of heavy metal guys studying there.
The way rock bands uses space is so very different than what real blues is alone is a difference that matters and many rock musicians just don't get it.
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Reed: "All you people, you know the blues got a soul
Well this is a story, a story never been told
Well you know the blues got pregnant
And they named the baby Rock & Roll
Muddy Waters said it, you know the blues got a soul
James Brown said it, you know the blues got a soul
Well the blues had a baby and they named the baby rock & roll
Ray Charles said it, you know the blues got a soul
John Lee Hooker said it, you know the blues got a soul
Well the blues had a baby and they named the baby rock and roll
Otis Redding said it, you know the blues got a soul
Queen Victoria said it, you know the blues got a soul
Well the blues had a baby and they named the baby Rock n' Roll. "
Go ahead and play the blues if it'll make you happy.
￼Gene: How many people wanting to hear blues would plug in a Doors CD without going to a specific blues track? Ya know...Doors music in general? Any?
So, the general consensus is that blues cannot be defined by specific parameters, as I thought it could. There’s a lot of subjectivity involved. So the answer to the question, “Is (‘so & so’) blues?” is “Do YOU think it is?”
So with the knowledge garnered from that thread, I know that I’m kinda wrong when I say the Doors ain’t blues, and you’re kinds right when you say they are. In my mind they absolutely are not a blues band. In your mind, they absolutely are.
So please do me a small favor: Stop calling them a blues band as though it were absolute fact. (No big deal, really…Just a small pet peeve--Like that “chimp/monkey” thing I alluded to in the thread.
Edited by gene, 13 June 2012 - 09:49 AM.