The Doors 50th Anniversary Ceremony almost never happened. It was an outdoor event in the middle of the intersection between Pacific Avenue and Windward Avenue, the heart of Venice Beach. The weather was gloomy all day, hinting that it was going to rain heavily. I had arrived 1 1/2 hours before the event was to begin and it was already misty with a slight drizzle. All the equipment was wrapped in tarp and all the fans draped in hoodies and umbrellas. What’s a Doors event without some strange weather, am I right?
As time went on, more and more fans began to gather closely to have the best available view of the stage. Luckily, as more and more people arrived, they played through the speakers all of The Doors music. As I gazed into the crowd I noticed that it was relatively young. I was surprised yet happy that no matter how old you are, The Doors are relevant to all. Something that should come to no surprise for Venice; the crowd began to get stranger and stranger. Here are only a couple of examples of some strange folks: someone in an outfit that resembled that of a Mad Hatter, another person who exactly resembled a Val Kilmer playing Jim Morrison in The Doors movie, and a young pre-teen who was holding a dead crab in his palm and occasionally kissing it. Mind you, that kid was standing next to me but it really didn’t shock me as it may have other people.
5:15 pm hits and it is still drizzling. Then I hear “Riders on the Storm” come on and I knew instantly this was a sign (how fitting). Make no mistake my hunch was right as we see the family of Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek walk on stage, along with John Densmore and Robby Krieger. The councilman of Venice gives a small speech to introduce the two remaining members and the crowd roared with anticipation. As we listened to Robby and John give their speeches of what it meant to them to declare January 4th as National Day of The Doors here in Venice was absolutely amazing. They also spoke about their days living and recording in 1967 just around the corner from where we were and how they only had to pay 75 dollars a month for rent!
They even surprised the crowd by playing a quick version of “LA Woman” and just like that, the ceremony was over. To the fans of The Doors or fans of music in general, this day will forever be remembered in history and no one will ever forget that we have a lot of the music today because of the influence of The Doors. Without The Doors there wouldn’t be WeSoundStrange, and although this is the end, The Doors music will live on forever.
Be sure to check out our Instagram or Facebook page @wesoundstrange to check out a quick video of the ceremony.