1616 Butler Avenue
December 8, 1970 - On his birthday, Jim Morrison rented several hours of studio time at Village Recorders to record his poetry. He invited his friends Frank&Kathy Lisciandro as well as Alan Ronay to attend and participate in the session. Portions of this session were used in the 1979 release, "An American Prayer".
The building itself was built in the 1920s as a Masonic Temple. In the 1960s it was used by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as his Los Angeles center for Transcendental Meditation. Soon after that, it was converted into a recording studio. It was one of the first 24-track studios in Los Angeles. Although there have been major renovations since then, it is still the same state-of-the-art recording studio that Jim recorded in 40+ years ago.
6263 Santa Monica Blvd
Want to buy your jeans at the same store Jim Morrison did? All you need to do is stop into California Surplus Mart on the corner of Santa Monica and Vine. This store has been in it's current location since 1945. According to Paul Ferarra, this is where Jim and friends would buy their jeans and other clothing back in the late '60s.
If you're lucky and Mystery Pier is open, you can go in and see some very old, first edition and signed rare books. Something Jim would have loved! Now let's get back on Sunset and to the next venue.
As you walk down Sunset, you will pass Terner's Liquor. Back in the '60s, this was "Turner's Liquor" and was most likely a store that every band member of every band entered at one time or another.
Keep walking down Sunset Boulevard and across the street you will see the holy grail of Doors venues.. The Whisky A-Go-Go! Need I say more? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItTGFd_HGmE&feature=youtu.be
The London Fog
8919 Sunset Boulevard
This is where The Doors worked out their material for the first few albums before becoming the house band for the Whisky. According to Ray Manzarek, "Nobody ever came in the place...an occasional sailor or two on leave, a few drunks. All in all it was a very depressing experience, but it gave us time to really get the music together."
There is a rare piece of footage in the '60s film "Mondo Bizzaro", where you can see a shot of the London Fog while the Doors were the house band there. You can see a screenshot below plus a shot of what it looks like today
The 9000 Building
9000 Sunset Boulevard
Back in the '60s and '70s, this was the location of many music, TV and PR firms. Back in the '90s and early 2000s it housed The Doors' offices The 9000 building also has a place in Doors history. Back in late '69, Jim went up on the roof and did his famous "tightrope walk" on the edge of the roof. This was filmed and included in his unreleased film, HWY. It is also on the roof of the 9000 building where they filmed Jim lip-synching "Light My Fire" for inclusion in the 1967 TV show "Malibu U. Here are shots inside the old Doors offices of Danny Sugerman and Robby along with the incredible view out the window. Robby Krieger has played the Roxy multiple times
Back in 1967, this was call the Continental Hyatt House, nicknamed "Riot House". Jim stayed at the Hyatt on and off when he wasn't at the Alta Cienega, and is rumored to have been kicked out for hanging off his balcony by his fingertips.
Before leaving the area, you will want to drop into the House of Blues. When Ray and Robby started touring again in 2002, their first gig was a private show at the House of Blues broadcast live on the KLOS radio program "Jim Ladd's Living Room".
House of blues At this point we will take a detour to hit a spot off the Strip. Continue walking down Sunset until you come to Sweetzer Avenue. Take a right on Sweetzer and walk a few blocks (past Fountain Ave) until you get to Norton Avenue. Take a left on Norton and walk to 8214. This was an apartment shared by Jim and Pam. Jim and Pam actually lived in apartment 8216 1/2 which
Jim and Pam's Norton Apartment
8214 W. Norton Ave
Up until 2003, Doors fans were able to take a quick walk around the building and take a few snapshots. At that time the building was sold, the main driveway was gated off, and the building was marketed as "Jim Morrison's Last US Residence" to renters and fans. At that time the owners started charging $10 a person to tour the building and selling bags of dirt from the back yard. A few of the below photos were taken before the property was gated.
Now we will be going back to Sunset for the last two locations on the tour. Either from the Norton Ave Apts, or from Irvs, head east (away from Sweetzer) until you get to Havenhurst Drive and take a left (towards Sunset). Walk (and walk and walk) until you get back to Sunset Blvd. Right at the top of the hill are the final two destinations. The location of the Doors billboard and Chateau Marmont!
Once you get to the top of the hill, cross the street to the "Liquor Locker". The billboard between the Liquor Locker and "Bar Marmont" is the location of the original Doors billboard advertizing The Doors first Album
If you look closely at the above 1967 photo, you can see Lytton Savings Bank in the background (today Chase Bank), and a piece of artwork called "The Family". The great news is, you can still see that today! No doubt the band members checked it out back in '67.
6230 W. Sunset Blvd
This building has definitely seen it's share of Hollywood excitement. It started out in 1938 as the Earl Carol Theater, then in 1953 became the night club, Moulin Rouge. In 1966, it became the Hullabaloo, a rock and roll venue. Click here for a news feature on the grand opening of the Hullabaloo. According to Greg Shaw's book "On The Road", The Doors played multiple after-hours shows at the Hullabaloo in 1966/67. In 1968 the Doors played this venue again when it was known as Kaleidoscope. After Kaleidoscope closed in late 1968, it became the Aquarius Theater. This is where the Doors' incredible 1969 performances occurred and later released through Bright Midnight Records. The building is currently owned and operated by Nickelodeon Studios. For the complete detailed history of this venue
According to local lore, the Village is haunted by a ghost. The ghost supposedly roams the hallways at night, drinking leftover booze. Hmmmmm. https://sites.google.com/site/hollywoodtheatres/earl-carroll
Sunset Sound Recorders
6650 Sunset Blvd
This is where The Doors recorded their first two albums, "The Doors" and "Strange Days". This is the location where, after a day of recording their first album, Jim returned later that night and hosed down all the band's equipment with a fire extinguisher. Click here to hear Bruce and Ray tell the story. Across the street from the recording studio is the church that Jim reportedly visited a few times between recording sessions
6801 Hollywood Boulevard (Hollywood and Highland complex)
The Kodak Theatre was the location of Ray and Robby's show on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2003. This show was recorded real-time by DiscLive with double CDs of the show available to fans as they left the theater
Due to the fact that Jim and Pam lived right next door to Canyon Country Store, they no doubt visited the store all the time, as did most of the rock and roll royalty that lived in the Canyon at that time. This is the store immortalized in The Doors song "Love Street" - the "store where the creatures meet". On any given day back in the '60s, you might have run into Jim Morrison, David Crosby, Mama Cass or Frank Zappa.. just to name a few.
If you go outside the store and onto Rothdell Trail, one of the first houses you will see is Jim and Pam's house. This was the house on "Love Street". It supposedly still has the original shower stall from when Jim lived there, preserved and hidden behind a remodeled bathroom wall. The residence was set ablaze by an arsonist in 2011, but as you can see, the main structure was saved.
Lookout Mountain residence
8826 Lookout Mountain Avenue
This house, built in 1939, is where Jim lived with Robby and John in 1966. It was here that one day Jim went for a walk in a depressed mood, only to come back having written the lyrics for "People Are Strange
Hippi in canyon http://informationfarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/inside-lc-strange-but-mostly-true-story.html
2301 North Highland Avenue
On July 5, 1968, The Doors played one of the most famous venues in the world..the Hollywood Bowl. The entire concert was filmed with multiple cameras and multi-track audio for inclusion in "Feast of Friends". Although this performance wasn't one of Jim's most energetic, it contained some of his best poetic improvisation, plus his vocal power and range were in full display. Musically and lyrically the performance was flawless. The entire concert was restored and released in 1987 as "The Doors, Live at the Hollywood Bowl".
Both Jim Morrison and Paul Ferrara were huge fans of James Dean. Since "Rebel Without a Cause" had many scenes shot at the Observatory, it was an homage to that film that they choose to shoot there. For a great "Behind the Scenes" look at some of the "Rebel" scenes shot at the Observatory, click here. For another great video put together showing the current locations where many "Rebel" scenes were shot, click here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RN5XERTQLI&feature=youtu.be
This great mural of Jim was painted by artist Rip Cronk in 1991 at the intersection of Speedway and 18th. In 2012, Cronk undertook a major make-over of the mural, drastically changing background colors, plus adding additional detail to Jim. You can also see more of Rip's murals up and down Speedway and Ocean Front Walk. Click here to read more
Dennis Jacob's Apartment
14 Westminster Ave
This is the building where Jim lived in the summer of 1965. He ate meals at his friend Dennis Jacob's apartment and slept on the rooftop at night. At night Jim would look out over the ocean and over the Venice rooftops while tripping on LSD. Jim was constantly writing in his journals, documenting the rock and roll concert that was happening in his head. The building is obviously owned and operated by a Doors fan, since it is called the "Morrison Apartments". The building is located on the corner of Speedway and Westminster.
Henry Diltz photo shoot
In 1969, Elektra Records was in need of additional publicity photos for the upcoming Morrison Hotel/Hard Rock Cafe album. Henry Diltz and the band decided to walk the boardwalk/beach of Venice and get some shots there. Below are three of the exact locations from that shoot. If you know of more locations, please let us know!
30 Brooks Ave
This is the infamous, "I think I know the reason, but I can't spell it" shot. Although the doors of this garage are no longer green, it is obviously the exact same door minus the graffiti. Let's see how many reenactments of these photos we can get uploaded to the Ray/Robby Facebook page!
50 Brooks Avenue
The band had their photo taken in front of this very cool "Drink Coca Cola" mural which had the perspective of walking down and old Venice street. The mural itself was in bad shape up until 2012 when it was restored to it's former glory. The "mirror image" building that the mural was created to mimic is still there as well (two buildings to the right), with the original mural still faintly visible. Wouldn't it be nice if that one could be restored as well?
Turkey Joint West
116 Santa Monica Blvd
Currently "Ye Olde Kings Head" English pub, this is where Ray and his brothers played as "Rick and the Ravens" for extra spending money. Jim and others from UCLA would come here often to eat, drink and shout out requests for songs they wanted to hear.
One night Ray announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, We have a special treat tonight. A guest in the audience who happens to be a fine poet and a man I'd like to bring onstage to have him help me out in a special version of 'Louie Louie'. Jim Morrison!" Jim joined Ray and the band onstage for an over-the-top version of "Louie Louie".
Supposedly the original stage was somewhere to the left of the current bar
2615 Main Street
Olivia's was a popular soul food restaurant whose patrons were mostly UCLA students. Jim loved Olivia's, which was the inspiration for the song, "Soul Kitchen". It is currently the location of a surf and skate shop called "ZJ Boarding House
Ray and Dorothy Apartment
147 Fraser Avenue
Ray and Dorothy's first apartment in 1965. Soon after Ray and Jim's meeting on the beach, Jim moved in with them in this apartment. Jim slept in the main bedroom with Ray and Dorothy moving their mattress into the living room to be closer to the heater. Jim had an electric blanket after-all! Click here to see Ray Manzarek give a quick tour of the exterior of the apartment.
Here is the view walking from the apartment to the spot where Jim and Ray met on the beach.
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
1855 Main Street
July 3, 1967: The Doors, returning from New York after a successful stint at Steve Paul's 'The Scene', play a series of west coast shows starting with this one at the Santa Monica Civic Center
Royce Hall (UCLA)
340 Royce Drive
Royce Hall. This was where the best dozen films from the film dept would be shown on the big screen at the "Royce Hall Screenings". Ray's films Evergreen and Induction were both screened at Royce. Jim, Ray and their film school friends always attended these screenings. This is also where The Doors supplied a live soundtrack for one of Ray's other films, "Who I am and Where I live".
9000 Click here for a great walkthrough of the interior of the studio by Jeff Greenberg, CEO of the Village Recorder