Monday, June 08, 2009

The Cult "Love" Live Tour

The Cult will embark on a tour of the U.S. and Europe later this summer to perform one of their seminal albums in its entirety. Fear not, music purists, I don’t mean Sonic Temple. It’s Love, of course, the 1985 goth/alternative/rock masterpiece.

This is great news on many fronts. It gets the boys away from cover song side projects and back to the Cult’s own legacy. Ian is no longer channeling Jim Morrison in Riders on the Storm (see reprint below), and although Billy may occasionally play a gig with yet another incarnation of Camp Freddy, the boys are recording new songs in L.A. Finally!!

Tickets onsale here

Here’s a clip of the Cult performing “She Sells Sanctuary” from a 1987 BBC telecast.

21st Century Doors-The Story Begins
First Published February 2003 on Rock
Under the Byline Marianne Moro

Last Thursday in Los Angeles, the Rolling Stones played a free
concert at Staples Center. The following night, the Doors played the
Universal Amphitheater. Can you imagine if a rock fan had been
cryogenically frozen in, say, 1970, had been thawed last week, and
looked at the concert listings. "Hey, I told you guys to freeze me
for 33 years, not 6 months!," he might protest. Funny how geezers are
outselling and/or outpublicizing many of their younger counterparts
these days. Latest item - the Doors - er, the 21st century Doors
consisting of original band members Ray Manzerak (keyboards) Robbie
Kreiger (guitar), Cult vocalist Ian Astbury, bass player Angelo
Barbari, drummer Stewart Copeland (or someone else as the drummer,
I'm not sure as of this writing.) A tour featuring all the old
Doors songs... It's not that the remaining band members created stacks of
hit material the last 30 years, so this is it. The tour will be sort
of a tribute to Jim and the Doors music. New material is allegedly in
the works to be written by Jim Carrol, John Doe, et al, and is due
later in the year.* The pesky fact that original drummer John Densmore
filed a lawsuit against the 21st Century Doors hasn't stopped the

A few months ago, VH-1 debuted a show "Graveside Groupies" which
highlighted the escapades of fans who weren't even born when
their idols died. One day last year, I encountered my own version of this
phenomenon. I hung out at Barney's Beanery in L.A. with a bunch
of kids who were either in kindergarten or not even a glimmer in
daddy's eye when Jim Morrison died, relating where exactly Jim
held court in the infamous restaurant and pointing to his old "home",
the Alta Cienega Motel. Yes, I visited Room 32 once, sneaking in when the
motel manager wasn't around. Later, my friend and I surmised that
Jim's ghost was there. (I think they've eliminated Room 32
since then.) Face it, Jim captured all the signposts of rock stardom
perfectly. Drugs, alcohol, poetry, buffoonery, sleazy groupies, a
soulmate (Pam), a celebrated court case for indecent exposure, and
all the other attributes that comprise a legend. And he died in a
bathtub in Paris. Couldya get more romantic than that?

Although tickets for the February 7 Universal Amphitheater gig sold slowly at first, it sold out a few days before the concert. A handful of warm
up mini-shows (the Harley Davidson Fest during the summer and radio
station sponsored shows at the House of Blues) received praise from
the few who attended. Once good word of mouth and the radio station
panzer PR machine hiked into gear, the naysayers didn't have a
chance. It appears that all's well that ends - or begins - well.
The wacky cross-section of fans at the Universal show consisted of old
boomers reliving their halcyon days and kids hyped up on years of
myth. A good time was had by all, replete with stage rushing at the
end. Perhaps people are thirsting for something more than style over
substance MOR pop and recreating. Even three local Doors tribute
bands are advertising more heavily in the L.A. Weekly and similar
papers. So who is still kvetching? Well, as of Feb 9 the Densmore
lawsuit is still a go. Last summer he wrote a piece for The Nation
citing his desire to keep the Doors catalog out of TV commercials and
other non-pure venues. So as always, there's one dissenting
voice. Of course, a band without an occasional quarrel
is not a very good one; a history of fisticuffs is even better.

Now, if one were going to keep a rock legacy intact, i.e. no reunion
tours, no fiddling with the memory, this would be one of 'em. Well,
it's too late now. As long as the project doesn't go on indefinitely
and wear out its welcome**, it shouldn't be construed as a "black
mark" on the Doors legacy. Jim's not here anymore, but the songs are.
And at the end of the day, that's what it's all about.

*Never released
** 2007, Ian replaced by the singer from Fuel. As of June 2009, he's still there.

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