THE DOORS PRIVATE REHEARSAL SHOW
House of Blues, Hollywood September 3, 2002
FINALLY, the long-awaited and highly anticipated private rehearsal show was held today at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, with a show-time of 1:00 p.m.
Admittance to this elite event was by being on a guest list, or by winning tickets from radio station KLOS 95.5
I arrived in line by 11:30 a.m.; there was only one other person in line already. We learned that we would be waiting for the guest lists to be brought out, and then wristbands would be issued.
About noon they began to let us inside ... thank goodness, because it was brutally hot outside. It didn't seem to be much cooler inside, though. Maybe we were just over-excited with anticipation.
I met up with the delightful Bal, who has been collaborating with Ray on a joint project calledRayBal which will be released in a few months.
My friends and I took our position at the barrier right in front of the stage, positioned between Robby and Ian.
At 1:10 Jim Ladd strolled onstage and began his introduction to the show. Jim has always been such a huge Doors fan and supporter, this was the perfect deejay and radio show tie-in for this monumental event. At the conclusion of his intro, he went into the "Is Everybody In" ... and out came Ray, Ian Astbury, Stewart Copeland, Angelo Barbera, and Robby ... to thunderous applause.
Ray was wearing a light knit shirt with a flag on the front and dark pants, and took his place at the keyboards at stage left. Stewart was wearing a black t-shirt. Ian was also in a black t-shirt and blue jeans. Angelo was all in black, and Robby was wearing camouflage pants and black t-shirt with a two-sided design I didn't recognize.
They kicked off with a rousing rendition of Roadhouse Blues. There was a music stand by Ian's mike stand, which partially obscured him to me when he was standing at the mike. Fortunately, he moved around enough that I got some good photo opportunities.
The second song was Strange Days; Ray explained that this was a new arrangement of the song to make it "updated". He said they wanted it to have wider appeal, even to people in the Middle East. This new arrangement was really cool; the intro is very different.
Jim Ladd returned to the stage again and spoke with Ray, then went over and spoke with Robby. Jim asked Robby to talk a little about the next song, since Robby had written it. Robby explained that what he had in mind was servicemen leaving for duty, and "Love Me Two Times" before they left. And with that, they launched into that song.
Jim Ladd was onstage again, moving from musician to musician interviewing each of them. Ian spoke of his younger days in England as a Doors fan, and the opportunity he had to be part of the Stoned Immaculate tribute CD.
Stewart and Jim Ladd must be good friends, as there was some especially friendly banter going on between them. Stewart spoke of John Densmore being an idol of his, and of wanting to be able to play like John!
John's absence was explained, in that he has tinnitus which prevents him from being able to play rock and roll. (Tinnitus is a constant ringing sensation in the ears).
Robby said that he spoke to John just yesterday, that John is totally cool with the rest of the band playing without him, and that he gives them his blessing.
Stewart spoke of his own band history and compared being in a 3-piece band to being in a 4-piece or 5-piece band. (In a 3-piece band, decisions can come down to 2 against 1, and you move on. In a 4-piece band, it can be split 2 & 2 and not be so good. In a 5-piece band, it can be hard to get decisions made).
Jim spoke to Angelo about how he feels playing the part of Ray's left hand! Angelo was asked how he came to be involved; he replied that he has been playing with Robby for about two years, and was also a part of the band for the VH-1 Storytellers ... so they must like him!
The fourth and final song was a terrific When The Music's Over ... and then the show was over at 2:00, after 50 minutes of musical bliss.
One of the points posed by Jim Ladd during the various interviews onstage was about the spontaneity that The Doors used to have onstage ... Ray said it'll come, it's getting there. There was mention made of the new music that Ray and Robby have been creating, and that they are working with Ian on songs. Ray also mentioned poetry by Jim Carroll.
While we cheered for an encore, Tom Vitorino came onstage to announce that if we wanted to hear more, we'd have to go to the Harley-Davidson show on Friday evening in Fontana. (p.s.: Happy Birthday, Tom).
Marco: thank you!!
There was a brief but nasty battle over Stewart's drumsticks, as they were being handed to someone in the audience near me.
Besides trumpeter Bal, other Doors associates spotted in the audience were Danny Sugerman, Kira Matlow, Rick Schmidlin, and Robby's outstanding keyboard player Steve Bach and his wife, Marlena. I think Robby's parents were there, we spotted them after the show (but did NOT bother them!)
The club was decorated with posters for this Friday's Harley-Davidson event . I managed to snag several after the show was over.
Robby's Webmaster has already uploaded several dozen photos from today's event, both backstage photos and performance shots. Be sure to check those out athttp://robbykrieger.com/news.html
If I get any good shots, and figure out how to use my scanner, I'll add some of my own from stage-front by the weekend.
Today's show will be broadcast in its entirely on LA's KLOS 95.5 FM on Wednesday evening, September 4th beginning at 10:00 p.m. on Jim Ladd's 'Living Room' show athttp://www.955klos.com I don't believe this can be heard on-line, according to a statement on their site.
A copy of the show's actual setlist is included below. It was a thrill and an honor to be at the House of Blues and be a part of their audience!The West Is The Best.
return to Ida'sLA Woman Confidential home page
for more Doors news and reviews