Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 141
Wed. June 19, 2013
“Gloria [live and uncut]”
When Jim Morrison said, “I was testing the bounds of reality. I was curious to see what would happen. That’s all it was: curiosity,” I believe he was talking about his uncut live at the Aquarius Theater in Hollywood rehearsal version of “Gloria.” Morrison unleashed this full director’s cut version of Van Morrison’s “Gloria” undressed in all her filthy glory, finally released on The Doors: Backstage and Dangerous: The Private Rehearsal CD in 2002.
You can tell from this lascivious rehearsal performance captured live in Hollywood that Morrison was still seething from his Miami show when he allegedly exposed himself to the audience at the Dinner Key Auditorium in 1969. Stephen Davis in his book, Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend, described this infamous performance as “The Doors tore into “Gloria,” with Jim’s gutter-mouthed improvisations about getting a school girl to go down on him.”
In James Riordan’s book Break on Through: The Life of and Death of Jim Morrison, Robbie described the legendary uncut “Gloria” like this— “In fact, there was another thing we were going to use, but we had some trouble among ourselves as to whether we should use it. That was “Gloria.” Jim always liked to do “Gloria” onstage and we always figured we like to get a version out on some kind of record someday.” Originally released in edited form on 1983’s Alive She Cried and then in 1991’s In Concert compilations as Robbie teased in an interview called this once holy grail of an outtake as, “The uncut take is more dirty, definitely, and it’s much longer. Somebody still has the original.”
Before Ray’s passing, Manzarek talked to Goldmine Magazine about why rare outtakes like “Gloria (live and uncut)” were finally released when he said, “Well, we’d always talked about it and a lot of people had asked us, “When are you going to have some new material for us? … Don’t you have anything in the can? Please can’t you give us something?” So we knew we had our live recordings of “Gloria” and they finally turned up. I suppose they turned up at the beginning of the year and then it became a process of going over all the tapes and seeing what was there. So, that took a while to do and it took some time in the recording studio to mix and get the sounds on everything correct and to really make the mix proper. I guess it was just a joint communal idea, let’s hear Jim live one more time. Here’s Morrison alive and let’s take advantage of the fact that these tapes exist and, again— let the people hear it, you know. Give them some good rock and roll and some good performances of “Gloria,” “Little Red Rooster” and “Light My Fire” We felt that they deserved to be heard.”
I believe Greil Marcus described this directors cut version of “Gloria” best when he wrote in his book The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Years, “Plainly, the band loved [“Gloria”] too much to ever let it go, no matter how traduced at their hand it might become: always, there was that clattering beginning, with Krieger battering his strings as if his fingers were sticks and that colossal finish, Manzarek running flourishes he was so fond of right into a wall. Just as plainly, the song got under Jim Morrison’s skin; it wouldn’t let him go. But “Gloria” gave The Doors something back.”
“Gloria” uncut gave back The Doors that were uncensored, uncompromising and unapologetic. For me to hear my favorite rock and roll poet, The Lizard King raging with such horniness reflecting the need to pleasure his lusty vixen as the definition of confidently poetic bravado. As a teenager and beyond, I wished I could be this secure while attempting to satisfy this experienced woman like Jim does in “Gloria.” Morrison isn’t looking for love but for the night of his life and in this performance captured live from the Aquarius Theater, Morrison unapologetically sings his self-confessed, improvised cerebral erections to life in this rehearsal setting.
From a letter penned by The Lizard King before he died, The Doors singer wrote, “I am not mad/ I am interested in freedom. Good luck, J Morrison.” Everyone’s favorite erotic politician, Jim Morrison, expressing his first amendment rights while covering Van Morrison’s classic song in such carnal fashion is a must for every dedicatedly die-hard Doors fan. Every needs some for unlawful carnal knowledge sometimes, so let Jim Morrison and the Doors give you a private lesson. [Editors Note: This directors cut of Van Morrison’s “Gloria” is not for the squeamish at heart, in fact if you believe The Doors recorded only elegant sounds like “Light My Fire” I suggest you skip this mischievous performance. There’s always the Alive She Cried version sans Jim’s lyrical naughtiness, edited for your pre-teens and daughters listening pleasure.] For the rest of you heathens, I invite you to open wide and let the Lizard King in, don’t blush, just experience “Gloria” in all her uncut glory. Light ’em up if you got some…Doors fans, you will be thanking me for this one.