Live In Detroit, 1970

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Release Info

Released in 2000 on Bright Midnight Records
Produced and Mastered by Bruce Botnick
Recorded on May 8, 1970 at Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Management: Danny Sugerman
Project Coordination: Kira Matlow
Photo Archivist: Todd Gray
Original 2 CD jewel case also included a two-sided poster with a Cobo Hall concert flyer on one side and a photo of the band on the other.


Currently not available as a standalone release. Included as a part of the digital box set, Strange Nights of Stone. Click here for more info.

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Track Listing
Disc One
Disc Two
Roadhouse Vamp
Hello To The Cities
Dead Cats, Dead Rats
Break On Through
Alabama Song
Back Door Man
Five To One
Roadhouse Blues
You Make Me Real
Ship Of Fools
When The Music’s Over
People Get Ready
Mystery Train
Away In India
Light My Fire
Been Down So Long
Love Hides
Mean Mustard Blues
Carol (Reprise)
Close To You
I’m A King Bee
Rock Me/Heartbreak Hotel
The End
Liner Notes
“A Reflection From Danny Sugerman”

Every once in a while, rather than performing the usual encore, if the audience was really lucky, Jim Morrison would throw away the time-limits and perform until he couldn’t stand up anymore. Jim had this thing about limits – he liked them best broken. This performance at Detroit’s Cobo Arena was such a night. It easily contains the longest Doors set ever performed and extends about an hour over the standard concert running time during this period.
It was performed when The Doors were working on ‘L.A. Woman’ in Los Angeles. On the weekends – Friday, Saturday and Sunday – the band would go out and play. ‘Morrison Hotel’, the album they released before ’L.A. Woman’ was on the charts and the critics were hailing it as a comeback. So the band was into playing songs from ‘Morrison Hotel’ such as “Roadhouse Blues”, “You Make Me Real”, and “Ship of Fools”. They were also returning to their musical roots. And in Detroit this was quite evident. Starting with “Crossroads” through “Carol” and into “Been Down So Long”. And then onto “Close To You”, “I’m A King Bee”, “Rock Me Baby” and “Heartbreak Hotel” where, on the latter tracks, they are joined by ‘Morrison Hotel’ “Roadhouse Blues” harp player and ex-Lovin’ Spoonful member John Sebastian on both harmonica and guitar. The band, as you can hear, is clearly having a great time indulging in their love of The Blues. Also notable is their performance of “The End” which is a real rarity among recorded live shows. I think three, maybe four versions exist. On this one, Morrison, who always loved to poetically improvise, diverges from the song’s published lyrics as heard on the first Doors’ album: “Come with me, across the sea”, unexpectedly jumping into the climactic “Come on, baby, take a chance with us” in a menacing voice. Fragments of what would later become ‘An American Prayer’ appear throughout this version. “A vast, radiant beach…”. “Everything is broken up and dances…”, and his feverish call for the audience to “Wake Up!” which begins “Celebration of the Lizard”. Jim called the audience to “Wake Up!” hundreds of times, taking his lead from playwright/performance artist/revolutionary Antonin Artaud who wrote “They are asleep, they do not know they are asleep and I want to awaken them from their self-imposed lethargy”. Jim’s admonition was a cry to take action towards a more conscious state of being. During the concert, following the “Wake Up!” plea, Morrison exploded into a fury of motion, climaxing with his collapse on the stage as dozens of audience arms reached out in the attempt to make contact with the man already becoming a myth. Union regulations demanded that the show end at Midnight but Morrison pushed the envelope again. “Don’t let them push us out!” he declares and the show goes an hour overtime.
And Cobo Arena permanently bars “The Doors” from entering their doors again.

“Post Production Notes From Bruce Botnick”

Dear Doors Fans,
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the ears are the portals of rekindled experiences. These are remembrances of time, frozen in a sound recording. The colors (psychedelically induced), the smells (pot and incense) all come flooding back, and you are there, with The Doors, May 8, 1070 in Detroit, Michigan at Cobo Arena.

It was stated in the book called “The Doors on the Road” that the song “Little Red Rooster” was performed in Detroit. This is not correct as “Little Red Rooster” came from the New York Saturday January 17, 1970 Felt Forum 1st show. During the transfer of the blues section that John Sebastian played on, we watched the 8-Track tapes as they played through the tape machine and looked for splices. There weren’t any. No splices, no “Little Red Rooster”. This should put this unfounded myth to rest.

Included in this CD album are new 48khz/24 bit digital mixes from the original 8 track analog masters. Where parts of the show were removed from the 8 track tapes and subsequently lost, we were able to fill in the holes using the live 2 channel analog tapes. They don’t sound exactly the same, but bringing you the complete experience was more important in the end that the quality of the sound. An example is the opening of the show from the incomplete “Roadhouse Blues” through Jim’s intentionally disorientating “Hello To The Cities”. In the complete version of “Roadhouse Blues” (cut #9 CD #1) 30 seconds into the song and lasting 10 seconds, Ray’s organ goes in and out. This is where the microphone was intermittent and there wasn’t any other coverage. This problem is evident as well in “When The Music’s Over” (cut #12 CD#1). The overall quality of Ray’s organ track is funky throughout the show and goes from clean to distorted and back. It should be of interest in this time of expensive concert tickets that The Doors were charging around $6 per ticket while at the same time Tom Jones was charging $25 for his concert in the same hall two days later.

Recorded on May 8, 1970 at Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan. The remote truck came from Fedco Audio Labs and the concert was recorded onto Stevens Solid State 1” 8 track and Ampex model 351 tube 2 track analog recorders. The console was of design custom. The 1” tape used was BASF LR56 with the speed of 15 IPS nab and recording levels at +3db elevated level above Ampex Standard Operating level of 185 nwb The ¼” tape was 3M 126 with the speed at 15 IPS nab and recording levels at Ampex Standard Operating level. No noise reduction was used anywhere during the recording or mixing process. Microphones used were AKG C12As on Ray’s and Robby’s amps and a Neumann U87 was on Ray’s piano bass. Sennheiser 405 tubemicrophones were used for John’s overheads and a Sure SM57 on the snare with an Altec Salt Shaker microphone on the kick. Jim’s microphone was a Shure SM57. The audience pickup was a Neumann SM69 Stereo microphone in XY. The 1” 8 track masters were carefully transferred from a Studer 827 through DB Technology AD122 analog to digital converters at 48 khz/24 bit and stored on Genex 8500 digital optical disc recorders. The mix was done digitally through a Sony DMX R100 console with reverb from a TC Electronic 6000. Loudspeakers used were B&W 801Ns and the amplifiers are Ayre Acoustics V-1s with Nordost Super Flatline cable loudspeaker wire. The mix was sample rate converted using a DB Technology 3000s from 48khz t0 44.1khz/16 bit, which is the standard CD sampling bit rate. The final mix was recorded onto a HD Sonic Solutions System where it was edited and mastered.

Now you know all of the news that’s fit to print.
See you next in Bakersfield, Boston, Fresno, Hollywood, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and whatever The Doors played and we have recordings to share with you.

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