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“Gearing up for the Morrison Hotel Comic but Also Touting the Supreme Potential of an L.A. Woman Offering”


On November 10, according to amazon.com, a graphic novel dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Morrison Hotel by The Doors will see release by Z2 Comics. Morrison Hotel is the penultimate studio album by the LA psych-rock band and the final one to furnish Paul A. Rothchild as producer. Morrison Hotel: Graphic Novel will mark the second rock comic materializing in 2020, the first with the title Grateful Dead – Origins, also out via Z2.

Z2’s website states that Morrison Hotel: Graphic Novel was written by Leah Moore in collaboration with the surviving members of the band and handles various sociological phenomena such as the band’s artistic DNA and their relationship with the mythological entity of “counterculture.” 

Personally, I looked at our local library and could not find the Grateful Dead offering, and have not heard any feedback on these releases as to whether they’re worthy of a purchase. Still, it seems to offer a pretty fresh platform for analyses of these guys’ personae and disposition before what they did, as well as, perhaps, clues into realms of vernacular and other means of communication that might have been prevalent among creatives around this point. 

The reason why I mention their final album, L.A. Woman [which is referred to in the biopic as their “best album since (Strange) Days”] [1], has to do with that LP’s almost undeniably superior musical consistency but also their ridding of “the warden.” In “Been down So Long,” a rustic, relentless blues romp that appears third on the album, Morrison lyrically pleas “Warden warden warden / Won’t you break your lock and key”. This is indeed a reference to the producer who worked on their prior albums, Paul A. Rothchild. Wikipedia provides a quote from Robby Krieger on their former partner in regards to his absence on the L.A. Woman recording: “‘Rothchild was gone, which was one reason we had so much fun… The warden was gone.’” This being said, Morrison Hotel, erroneously dubbed “bluesy” in the biopic, does provide some classic, summery psychedelia in the way of “Waiting for the Sun”; “Peace Frog”; “Ship of Fools” and “Land Ho!”, to name a few and so theoretically jimmies its way into literary relevance in its own right. 

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[1] For the record, I find L.A. Woman to be their best album at large, going away. 

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