Published in THE GUARDIAN
By Robin Denselow
THE DOORS, the most important American group of the moment, were unleashed on London this weekend, with two concerts at the Roundhouse, in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday morning. Back home they are hailed as the sociological phenomenon of the age, the ultimate expression of McLuhanism in practice, the tribal voice of the global village, and so forth.
Their stage act consists of a series of disjointed theatrical sketches; there is a jolting improvisation on guitar, organ, and drums, against which Morrison speaks, sings and acts out his songs. There is a strong Kurt Weill influence (his “Whisky Bar” is part of their act) and the main aim is to promote an aura of alienation, sexuality, and confusion. At times a very contemporary style of protest breaks through: one of their best songs, “The Unknown Soldier,” cross-cuts between images of children fed by television, and the acting our of the death of a soldier by firing squad. Another, “When the Music’s Over,” breaks into a chant “what have they don’t to the Earth? What have they done to our fair sister?” to which comes the screaming reply, “we want the world, and we want it NOW.” American audiences rise to their feet and join in, but the audience who had paid 35s to be squashed in the heat of the Roundhouse floor, watched impassively.