A Reflection Of Jim Morrison And The Doors

The first time we hear a song that catches us by surprise with interest, awe and that need to hear it over and over again is a unique experience. I can say that happened to me during the opening scene of Apocalypse Now. The opening sequence of palm trees blowing back and forth by the slight wind. And then out of the ether of that wind comes the opening chords of The End. I had no idea who wrote the song but I had to hear it over and over again. Lady’s and Gentlemen!!! introducing The Doors!!

Now all of The Doors fans that I have met are obsessed with them. Their front man, Jim Morrison it still an enigma and a mystery. Dozens of books have been written about him and his escapades. His sudden death in Paris at the age of 27, left many searching for answers as to what happened. He was a god to many during his life, though he did not want to think of himself as that. Throughout his short life, confining to the ones that were close to him, he wanted to be known and remembered just as a poet. As his fellow bandmate and keyboardist of The Doors Ray Manzarek stated “Jim wanted to be known as a poet, first and foremost.” His death cemented his aura, image, and god like rock ability in the minds of many. Today, the image of the poet is still there, however his name and image have become one of a sexualized cult figure. In order for us to understand Jim Morrison and The Doors to their fullest we have to go back to the fifties.
James Douglas Morrison who was born in 1943 was the product of a military family. His father was an Admiral in the US Navy. And at the height of the Vietnam War his father was commanding carrier fleets. At the same time Jim was at the height of his artistic creations as a member of The Doors. Jim refused and could never conform to a military upbringing. He was searching for something more original and authentic within himself. As he stated – “The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.” That is why after he graduated from high school and after a stint in a college in Florida, he took the road many young eager Americans took in the 60s. He went west to California.

California, home to Surf Rock, The Beach Boys, and Creedance Clearwater Revival just to name a few, a state where liberating new ideas. New ideas in the form of mind expansion. Jim had experimented with marijuana in his high school days, but being in California was where he took full advantage of LSD. The consumption of this drug lead him to write voraciously. Much of his early song writing material was written while under the influence of LSD. During one day in 1965, fresh out of finishing his bachelor’s degree at the film school at UCLA, Jim ran into an old class mate, Ray Manzarek. When Ray asked Jim what he had been up to, Jim said he had been busy writing songs, Ray curious asked Jim to sing one. When Jim sang Moonlight Drive for the first time that day on Venice Beach in 1965, Ray was hooked. That was when they both agreed to form a band and propel Jim’s lyrics on to the new generation.
When the Doors signed a 6 album record deal with Elektra Records, they went from a little known band from LA who got their feet wet playing gigs in clubs along the Sunset Strip (Whiskey A Go Go and The London Fog) to having international appeal.

The exposure, the photo shoots, the concerts and the travel, can take its toll on a band. Jim, early on handled it with calmness and poise, but inside he felt rattled. A momentous breaking point was building inside of him. In a 1969 interview with the Village Voice, a little over six months after the disastrous Miami Concert which Morrison had been later charged for indecent exposure, he stated “If I had the whole thing to do over again I wouldn’t have done it.” He was pointing towards the countless photoshoots, poses and Hollywood processed machine that was show biz that he had go caught up in.

Skipping ahead to 1971 The Doors were wrapping up their 6th studio album, LA Woman. After countless fights, Jim being drunk, and rumours that the band was on the verge of breaking up, the band was in their element. They record the album in their office work space, and the finished product was what Jim had envisioned The Doors sound to be from the very beginning, a Chicago Blues band infused with psychedelic tendencies.

And just like that Jim was headed to Paris. He needed to clear his head and focus on his poetry. The news was sudden for the other band members. But they all thought it was a good idea. Ray believed that Jim should just focus on being a poet and distance himself from the life of a rock star. But the vision of a so called ex patriot American In Paris was not to be. Jim fell back into his past habits of staying out too late and getting drunk. Then on July 3rd 1971 Jim Morrison was found dead in the bathtub of his Paris flat by his girlfriend. No autopsy was performed, though the death certificate stated the cause of death was a heart attack. Mystery shrouded over all of the information related to his death and to this day fans are still asking and questioning what happened to Jim Morrison.

After the death of Jim the three other band members continued on without him. They produced three more albums, however they soon realized that there could be no Doors without Jim. Even though The Doors were together for just under 6 years, what they produced within that time frame could be considered what other bands go through in their 20 years or more life span. That’s what I think made them live on and continue to sell.

Finding New Meaning In Our Favorite Christmas Movies

We have turned our calendars to the final month of the year. That means for us students and other post secondary goers out there, we are hopefully all-seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of a long and productive term. Even though the final week of the term can be very overwhelming with final assignments, exams and getting all of our ducks in order to end the term with a bang, all of us are yearning for a moment of relaxation. And I mean a long one. Christmas and the holiday season can mean varying things to each person but one thing we all do look forward to and this is coming from me as well, are Christmas movies.
The holidays can be a stressful time. We all have certain expectations of how we carry out ourselves during the holidays, ranging from who we see, what we do and what we love most about this time of year. I believe it is the same for the characters in the Christmas movies that we love so much. And when we sit down to watch these movies with our closest friends or family or even by ourselves, they remain timeless.
The great thing about these films is that you can watch them annually and no matter how many times you have seen them, you relate to them in a different manner from year to year. For instance, the Home Alone movies (we are not going to even talk about the third installment because it does not relate to the Christmas season at all) when I was a young lad the part of the movie which I found the most entertaining were the scenes, in both films, where Harry and Marv have to face the wrath of Kevin’s booby traps, not related to Christmas at all. Though Kevin did find a way to use Christmas tree decorations wreak havoc on bear feet. However, in recent years when I put both of these films on, I see two films that ooze early 90s nostalgia, where the characters where not privy to the technologies we have in this day and age. Kevin’s mum, when she realizes on the plane to Paris that Kevin is not with the family, she has to race to the airport pay phone to get a hold of the Chicago Police to tell them they she has a son home alone. Oh, Kevin’s mum, if it was the year 2019 you could have easily txt messaged Kevin, I would not be surprised if an eight year old in this day and age had a cell phone.

Speaking of cell phones and communication, things would have gone a lot differently if John McClane had a friendly little apple device in his pocket. It’s Christmas Eve in Los Angeles and New York City cop John McClane, arrives in LA to surprise his estranged wife Holley for the holidays. His reluctance to be there is thwarted when terrorist crash the party John’s wife’s company is holding. John is forced to dawn his heroic cop side with no shoes on, all because some guy on the plane sitting next to him in the opening sequence said in order to avoid having a fear of flying make fists with your toes. I think we would ask google today what can quell ones fear of flying. Now, many still argue over whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not, however, if Christmas time is the only time you watch it, then it falls under the category of a Christmas film. It’s a simple defense but it has silenced the ones who oppose that notion. Many poles have recently come out to ask the question on whether the first two installments of the franchise are indeed Christmas flicks. The majority say yes, but star Bruce Willis has recently refused to call it one.

As I mentioned above, we try to make this time of the year magical and special for our family and our friends alike. Clark Griswold was taking it to a whole other level in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. From having the biggest Christmas tree in all of Chicago, to having the most twinkle lights strung about across the house and adding to all of this, having both sides of the family over, it’s only natural for one to crack. Oh and Clark did when all of his hard work never got him his Christmas bonus. It is only natural for us to want to make all of our family and friends happy, at least the ones we encounter and spend time with over the holidays. But this can add a lot of stress. Clark learned that all of the baggage that the holidays try’s to throw at us to try to show how to have a perfect Christmas can for most part be wrong. Clark learned it is best to keep things simple. That message has become clearer and clearer as I sit down annually to watch Clark’s escapades in Christmas Vacation. In my earlier viewings of the movie, I just laughed at Clark’s ridiculous mindset and the embarrassment he projected on to his kids and dear wife.

So as each year progresses, I find we relate and treat Christmas in a different manner. The same goes for the holiday movies we look forward to watching. The characters are all just like us, they have their faults but they all have their moments of glory where they try to do the best for the ones they love. There are many more Christmas flicks out there that I have not mentioned. Ones that need mentioning are Home Alone 2 Lost In New York, Love Actually, Office Christmas Party and The Polar Express and probably one of the most creative ones, A Muppets Christmas Carol with Michael Caine as Scrooge. I am always on the look out for new ones so leave me a comment on our website at evolution1079.com. So power through until the holidays and then we can all deserve to binge watch holiday movies with a drink in hand. Tis the season!

The Art Of The Marathon

On this episode of Beyond The Sidelines we focus on marathon running. How hard and diligent you prepare and train for the marathon will decide how well you will run on race day. I sat down with Mike Wilkenson who will be running the California Invitational Marathon in Sacramento in just under 2 weeks. This marathon is significant because Mike hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon with the completion of this particular marathon.

Rowing In The Olympic Games

On this episode of Beyond The Sidelines I had the privilege to sit down with Mike Wilkenson, a former Olympic rower who rowed for the Canadian Men’s team at the 2012 Olympics in London. He broke down the experience of being on the world stage, what it’s like competing with the same group of athletes, and the training process of being an Olympic athlete.

Local Vancouver Band, A Local And International Success!

I myself love music. I know that is a very cliché thing to say, but I am willing to experience all kinds. When I get on to a particular band, it can become obsessive. This happened last year when I went to see She Wants Revenge at the Rickshaw. The California band is known for their post punk melodies, interwoven with repetitive guitar riffs and synthesizers. I had no idea who would be opening for the She Wants Revenge. I expected it would be a band who had a similar sound to the headliner. When I entered the Rickshaw that night I was hooked by the opener.

Who you might ask were the openers. They were Vancouver’s very own, Actors. Actors is the brainchild of the band’s front man, guitarist and vocalist Jason Corbett. After seeing them that fall night a year ago I had to find out more about them. Interestingly enough, the morning before that concert at the Rickshaw, Actors performed on Seattle’s KEXP 90.3 FM’s morning show hosted by John Richards. During a break between a song Corbett mentioned that the bass and keyboard player of She Wants Revenge, Adam Bravin wanted them to open for them last minute. The Rickshaw is also the venue Actors performed the release gig for their debut album, It Will Come To You. The album was released March 2018. It is a ten track tour de force which holds with it the feeling of a sweat infused late night deep within a big city. Corbett’s vocals display’s a heavy influence from Joy Division’s front man Ian Curtis.

After hearing them that night at the Rickshaw, I was looking forward to hearing them live again. I learned that they tour non stop. They opened the third show of their 2019 North American Tour at the Biltmore on Kingsway which I saw. They then headed off on a cross country tour of the States.

It’s amazing how much of a draw this band has considering they have only come out with one album so far. It Will Come To You is just a shy under 35 minutes, but when it is played live, audiences are captivated by the sound the band puts out. That’s exactly how I have felt each time I have seen them. I saw them for the third time this past Saturday at the Fox Cabaret on Main Street. In my mind, this past weekend’s show was their best. They are built for the ambiance and high ceiling design the Fox venue has to offer. They are a band that seems in complete control of their music and the chemistry between each member is flawless. I look forward to what they come out with next and I will for sure catch their next gig back here in Vancouver. From the three shows I have seen them play, they have not once disappointed me. Keep the great music coming Actors!!

The Snowboarding Season Is Near

Well we have gotten to that point in the year where one can say that Fall is officially coming to an end. The leaves have fallen and have settled into the ground. Many feel that it’s an awkward point in the year because the weather can be unpredictable and the temperature is not quite cold enough to snow. Aside from the unpredictable weather there are many things to look forward to. Where am I going with this you might ask? Well, it means for snowboard enthusiasts it means we are patiently waiting for the mountains to open.

That’s right! This is the time of the year boarders throughout the Lower Mainland and all of BC are getting set for, we are counting down the days until the upcoming season begins! Somebody new to Vancouver may ask where they can grab their favourite board gear. Well, you have a variety of spots to choose from and here’s the best part. They are all located on the same block! I like to call it Boarders Row. On 4th Avenue between Burrard and Fir Street in the heart of Kitsilano step into the mecca for snowboarding products. You can jump from Comor, Pacific Boarder and the Boardroom within seconds.

Each year new people are taking up snowboarding. It can be intimidating going out on your own and traversing the many brands, styles of boards, boots, bindings and apparel. When you want to invest you want to be happy with your purchases because each person fits on a snowboard differently. But you do not have to worry about this when you head down to one of the shops on Boarders Row. When you drop into one of these board shops on 4th you will get the service and attention from snowboarding enthusiast just like yourself.

After you are geared up and ready to go, you can ask about recommendations regarding where the best place to snowboard is. In my opinion, it really comes down to cost. If you are a local and live in the city you are only a short drive away from three awesome local mountains. Cypress, Grouse and Seymour. All three are unique in their own manner. Cypress has the most variety in terms of its size. Grouse is special because you take a gondola up to the top while taking in the spectacular views of the Vancouver downtown core and entire city. The main green run on Grouse, which is called The Cut is famous from a rider’s perspective. On a clear day you can take in the entire view of the city. It’s even more spectacular during the evening when the city lights are glowing. As for Seymour Mountain, it is the only family owned and run mountain in Vancouver. For a beginner, I would recommend start snowboarding at Seymour because its moderate runs are perfect for beginners. As well, you can expect lots of snow due to it being the highest in elevation out of the three mountains.

Experienced snowboarders, love exploring new terrain and different resorts. Whistler, which is just under two hours from Vancouver has the most variety out off all of the resorts in BC. However, it is very pricey for a one day pass. Thus, if you go it is a real treat. Wanting to save some money but still have an awesome experience, gather some friends, pack up the car, get some tunes on the speakers and take an adventure to Big White. Known as Canada’s favorite family resort, the snow is super light, the Big White family call the snow “champagne powder,” and the chairlift lines are always light.

So if you are wanting to go explore some of the mountains in the interior of BC, check out their websites for rates, weather conditions and accommodations. They always post their deals. And, if you book online instead of in person at the mountain, you usually get a better deal. So get out and enjoy the winter season! Boarding for life!!!

The Watercooler – Voter Turnout For Millennial’s In The Federal Election

In this episode of the Watercooler Podcast we investigate millennial’s relationship to politics.

In the past two federal elections, millennial voter turnout has been low. As this years federal election draws near, I wanted to understand why millennial voter turnout has been so low in the past and if the numbers will be up this year seeing as so many key issues including, housing, climate change and the economy have been effecting young people.