1970: Jim Morrison's Final Concert With The Doors

By | December 10, 2019

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Jim Morrison circa 1970. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

On December 12, 1970, the Doors and Jim Morrison took the stage at the Warehouse, a drafty waterfront venue in New Orleans; it would be the last time the band were on stage in front of an audience with their poet/rockstar frotnman. After five years of grooving on a steamy mix of sexy blues rock, the band fell apart in the public eye mostly due to Jim Morrison’s alcoholism.

While working on what would be their final album with Morrison, L.A. Woman, the band’s singer had spiraled out of control, and the group’s attempt to play some warm up shows to try out their new songs went horribly. After a night at the Dallas Fairgrounds, the band trudged to New Orleans, where Morrison fell apart on stage.

The former sex machine and lizard king was embracing his paunch, and was no longer the Morrison of years prior who could slink around in tight leather pants and love beads. He’d devolved into a state of self parody. 

The Band’s Live Shows Had Been Deteriorating Apart For Years

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It’s not like the band’s final show in New Orleans was the only bad show that the Doors ever played. The group spent years trying to coax a passable live set out of Morrison. When he was on in the early years of the group he could be hypnotic, lulling the audience into a trance. People would follow Mr. Mojo Risin’ through the fires of hell, but once he lost himself in the bottle Morrison’s live performances were fraught with disaster. He was arrested at a show in New Haven in 1967, and two years later he exposed himself onstage in Miami on March 1, 1969.

Aside from his penchant for taking off his clothes and getting arrested, Morrison liked to rile up his audience while verbally assaulting them. The police drew a particular ire from Morrison; if there was a riot to incite or obscenities to shout in public he would do it.