Old Grey Whistle Test

While on the English leg of their 1972 European tour, The Doors make a stop at BBC 2 TV Centre to record three songs for an upcoming episode of “The Old Grey Whistle Test”. For this appearance, they use a pre-recorded musical track with live vocal mics. Recorded in an empty recording studio, Ray, Robby, John, Bobby Ray and Jack Conrad work their way through multiple takes of “I’m Horny, I’m Stoned”, “Ships with Sails” and “In The Eye of the Sun”. Robby takes lead vocals on “I’m Horny, I’m Stoned” and Ray takes lead on the last two songs. The band is loose and having fun the entire session, especially when Robby comes in late on a few vocal verses, and when Ray sees that the slate for “Ships with Sails” actually says “Shitz With Sails”. He then jokingly interjects in his mocking German accent, “Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen, we’d now like to do that great German folk song ‘Shitz Mit Snails’.” When the show is broadcast “I’m Horny, I’m Stoned” and “In The Eye of the Sun” are featured, and “Shitz Mit Snails” ends up on the cutting room floor.

Recording Date May 9, 1972
Television Station BBC 2, London
Songs I’m Horny I’m Stoned, Ships With Sails, In The Eye Of The Sun
Available on Currently Unavailable
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Ray | Commentary

“I thought the music and songs were good, and I would say that if Jim had still been the lead singer, people would have said they were excellent songs. It was just a matter of ‘I don’t like Ray’s voice or I don’t like Robby’s voice’. If Jim had sung Tightrope Ride, I think it would have have been a hit.”

Robby Krieger on Shebang
Robby | Commentary

“I wish I still had that shirt! Those English TV shows were so campy and quirky. Too bad “Ships with Sails” didn’t make the final broadcast because it was our favorite song from that album to play live. It would have been nice to have it on English TV. Fun performance, but I could tell that Ray was in one of his cynical moods that day. Shitz Mit Snails!”

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John | Commentary

“We felt we had a lot of good music left in us. Besides we were friends and knew each other’s moves musically. You don’t give up on something like that. We decided against bringing in a new vocalist. No matter how good he was, people would say he wasn’t as good as Jim. Then fortunately Ray stepped forward and started singing.”

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