NEWS OF MUSIC
BY DONALD MINTZ
Star Staff Writer
The East Opera, The Doors. At the Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Md.
The lights go out. In the darkness, twelve neon pilot lights glow on twelve amplifiers. The disc jockey from WEAM says, “Ladies and gentlemen, The Doors.” The spots come up and with them cascades of light pulses from flash bulbs.
“We are from the west,” says the Doors. “The world we suggest should be of a new wild west. A sensuous evil world. Strange and haunting. The path of the sun, you know.”
But mostly they sing of the conventional preoccupations. Rock me, baby, all night long” is nothing but moon, june, croon in the year of our Lord 1968.
Their music too, is fairly conventional in many ways. For some of it’s the rhythmic principles, particularly the use of triplet patterns, it reaches back to early rock. And the influence of shouting blues is clear.
The Doors are hard. They glory in their endless—and mindless—repetition of very simple patterns. On occasion, a relatively complex polychord slips in. And then their singer, Jim Morrison, has trouble finding the tonic over the vast, uncharted territory from the minor third above. But what about the ingenious, parallel, distantly related triads of the introduction to “Light My Fire?”
They are there *** precisely as *** does the diagnosis of the ills of our society that proceeds the climax.
It is easy to say—and perhaps to hope—that the pop groups are where the action is. They are certainly where the noise is. But genuine inventiveness is as rare in the pop music sphere as it is every place else.
Note: ***Missing parts in paragraph 6
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From AUG 31 1968