doors doc

nice review of the recently released tom dicillo doc on the doors, when you’re strange

There’s the total absence of talking-head interviews with grizzled scenesters (or any other present-day footage); the cool and measured narration by Johnny Depp (clearly the perfect choice); the direction by DiCillo, a hard-luck indie veteran making his first documentary. “When You’re Strange” is also free of the “fair use” copyright restrictions that plague so many rock docs.


DiCillo does an outstanding job of explaining the Doors’ musical oddness: They were a rock band with no bass player to keep the beat, whose members had little rock experience. Morrison had never sung before (outside the shower) and Manzarek was a classically trained pianist and organist. Densmore was a big-band and jazz drummer, and Krieger a flamenco guitarist. They weren’t aping either Chicago blues or Merseyside pop, they didn’t sound quite like anyone else and there genuinely was something elliptical — something symbolic or even spiritual — behind the sex-and-drugs double entendres of their songwriting.


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