Losing incendiary frontman Jim Morrison in 1971 did not stop The Doors from touring. Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger took over on vocals and the band even released two new albums after Morrison’s death. They toured in support of 1972′s Full Circle during the summer of the album’s release, when the band stopped for an outdoor concert at the Boston Common on August 16, 1972, 40 years ago today.
Although it would be easy to attribute Morrison’s 1971 death in a Paris hotel bathtub to a drug or alcohol overdose, French law dictated that an autopsy could not be performed because the medical examiner found no evidence of foul play. As a result, Morrison’s death remains a mystery to this day.
Since Doors fans will never know how Morrison died, the band may have never felt like it was dead either. Robbie Krieger and Ray Manzarek became the new vocalists for the band as they released two studio albums after Morrison’s death, 1971′s aptly named Other Voices and the aforementioned Full Circle. The post-Morrison run was short-lived, but it did make it to Boston for a special show at the Common.
According to fan edits at Setlist.fm, the setlist contained just 7 songs, and only two written by Morrison – “Love Me Two Times” and “Light My Fire.” It probably took that actual tour for Manzarek and Krieger to realize they could not simply replace Morrison on vocals and be the same band. Morrison’s unparalleled stage energy and unpredictable behavior alone were worth the price of admission to Doors concerts.
Did you happen to be on the Boston Common that night to see the surviving members of The Doors in concert? Share your memories of the show in the comments.
Read more about the day in rock & roll history in today’s Rock N’ Roll Diary with Carter Alan.