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December 11, 1990 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-12-11

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, December 11, 1990

The 1Vadntosh

Riders on the Storm:
My Life with Jim
Morrison and the Doors
by John Densmore
hardcover/Delacorte Press
"I'm in a band with a psychotic.
I'M IN A BAND WITH A PSY-
CHOTIC! I'm in a room with a psy-
chotic."
John Densmore, former Doors'
drummer, tells many personal anec-
dotes about Jim Morrison, vocal-
ist/poet/madman for the Doors,
which lead him often to conclude
that Morrison was not normal. In
this specific incident, Densmore
found him holding a knife to a
woman's stomach.
Densmore's recollections like
these of the history of the Doors, in-
tertwined with his personal life and
Morrison's influence on it, are hon-
est and balance objectivity with his
subjective love/hate relationship
with Morrison. The manner in
which he tells it - diary-like prose,
letters to Morrison dated years after
the incidents they ultimately tell
about and lyric quotes - could have
been tedious rehashes of No One
Here Gets Out Alive. Instead,
Densmore tells it like he saw it -
he never attempts to comment on
everything, and only speculates on
events that he didn't see personally.
For example, he only speaks
vaguely about Morrison's notorious
sexual prowess. He relates anecdotes
like the knife incident but only
briefly talks about Morrison's all-
important, most stable relationship
with Pam Courson. This omission
seems like it could be a drawback -
her emotional support was important
to Morrison especially at the end of
his life - but it's not. Riders on

the Storm is just Densmore address-
ing what he saw and he didn't see
Pam hanging with the band often.
One of the fascinating aspects of
Riders on the Storm is the parallels
Densmore draws between certain
aspects of his life and Morrison's

Densmore

more never says such and such is the
way it was without some fairly
thorough explanations.
For example, Densmore also
makes it clear that Morrison had a
lot of pain in his life and that he
wasn't some deity. When discussing
the making of The Soft Parade in
1969, a time when Morrison
became more personal in his lyrics,
Densmore is sensitive and regretful.
"If, at the time, I had really taken a
closer look at these lyrics and seen
how much Jim was hurting, maybe L
would have quit; maybe we were
cashing in on his pain. But I didn't
take a closer look at those words, I
just felt them. It didn't occur to me
how serious of a price Jim was
paying."
Densmore purged himself in this
book, and at the same time made it
effective for a reader to learn some-
thing. At the end of the book,
Densmore discusses his life after the
Doors but also wonders why Morri-
son did what he did. He acknowl-
edges the lasting effects Morrison
had on Densmore and, to a lesser de-
gree, the rest of the Doors - how
Morrison and the legend pervade so
much of Densmore's consciousness.
Densmore's intimacy with Mor-
rison enables him to relate stories}
like when Morrison saw the pictures
from the photo session for the first
album cover and commented, "The
horrible thing about a photograph is
once it's done, you can't destroy it.
Can you imagine when I'm eighty
years old and I have to look at my-
self posing for these pictures?" Quo-
tations like this prove Riders on the'
Storm thorough, honest and insight
ful.
- Annette Petruso *

The monitor.

contribution to them. While Dens-
more acknowledges that Morrison
had a haughty, sex-god air about
him, he also believes Morrison was
basically shy. Densmore relates this
to his discussion of his own sexual
insecurities and inability to have
what he considers normal relation-
ships with women. He sees Morri-
son as cracked, something to look
up to yet despise. Contradictions
like this typify his relationship with
Morrison and how he looks at him-
self.
Though it is uneven in its thor-
oughness, Riders on the Storm
seems like - and is. - the real
story of the Doors and Morrison for
Densmore. He says that Morrison
was hellish to deal with, but con-
cedes it was worth it most of the
time, and then shows why. Dens-

TAR TUFFE
Continued from page 5
the production's finale it is neces-
sary to note the reasonable Cleante's
(Jeff Crisope) words, "How often do
we over-act our part and spoil what
is best in us by over-doing it." The
sword-fight scene between the kings
men and the now "found-out"
Tartuffe was charming in it's Three-
Musketeerishness until all the charm

and class of the production was over-
shadowed by the appearance of a
dummy in place of actor Jon Ham-
mond to be thrown about the stage.
The dummy seemed out of place and
overdone in a production that had set
out to be an intellectually hilarious
evening of theatrical farce.
The set, consisting of floating
walls and windows, added to the
chaos already established in the plot
of the play. Hung at all angles, the
walls seemed to be flying up in a

tornado-like frenzy, as if mimicking
the actions of the actors on stage.
The costumes were stunning works
of art, the women exquisitely draped
in satin, lace and pearls. The cloth-
ing dressed the stage as well as the
actors.
Although inconsistent at times in
it's comedic purpose and commit-
ment, overall Tartuffe was a daring
and entertaining production com-
plete with many moments of pre-
cious hilarity.

Te money.

U . I

ATTENTION ADVERTISERS!
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Publication date
Wednesday, Jan. 9
Thursday, Jan. 10
Friday, Jan. 11

Deadine
Wednesday, Dec. 12
Wednesday, Dec. 12
Wednesday, Dec. 12

ATTENTION
The phone number in
the U-M Student
Directory for Pi Kappa
Phi is INCORRECT. The
correct number is
996-919

R
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The first Weekend Magazine will be published January 18.
iia b

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