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The Doors Are Reopening

Surviving members rolling out box set, live CDs and more for anniversary

August 12, 2005 12:00 AM ET

Despite battling each other in the courts, the surviving members of the Doors have been working together on plans for the band's fortieth anniversary in 2007. The festivities will begin early, with the limited-edition box set Love/Death/Travel this October, followed a month later by the two-volume, double-CD set tentatively titled The Doors -- Live in Boston, capturing singer Jim Morrison and Co. in 1970.

"The surviving Doors have been friends, co-workers and partners for thirty-eight years, and they've always had a deep and abiding love and respect for each other," says co-manager Jeff Jampol. "There was a disagreement among them over an isolated issue, but they are working together on the many plans we have to bring the music and the magic of the Doors to a whole new generation of fans." Drummer John Densmore recently won an injunction against keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger, who had been touring with former Cult frontman Ian Astbury as the Doors of the 21st Century, preventing his former bandmates from performing or recording under any name that includes "the Doors."

Love/Death/Travel features three CDs, a DVD of live footage, hand-signed lithographs by designer Shepard Fairy of Obey Giant and previously unreleased photos of the band from photographer Joel Brodsky's famed 1967 shoot. The set, which kicks off with "Break on Through (To the Other Side)," spans the band's entire catalogue -- from such obvious hits as "When the Music's Over" and "Soul Kitchen" to the less-predictable inclusions "Land of the Highway" and "Blue Sunday," penned by Morrison and Krieger. Additionally, the DVD will preview three tracks in 5.1 surround sound -- "Hello, I Love You," "The Unknown Soldier" and "Riders on the Storm" -- from the remastered catalogue, due next year, and feature remixes by British electronica DJs Paul Oakenfold ("L.A. Woman") and BT ("Break on Through"), and L.A.'s the Crystal Method ("Roadhouse Blues").

"It's time to introduce the Doors to the hip-hop generation," Manzarek says of the remixes, "and that's what we're setting out to do."

The box set's title comes from a 1967 Morrison quote, in which he said, "All our songs are about love, travel and death." Only 5,000 copies will be produced, with half going to industry members and half available through Rhino Handmade's Web site.

Also in the works, for release in 2007, is a Doors documentary, produced by Law & Order creator Dick Wolf and directed by two-time Oscar winner Bill Guttentag. The film will feature never-before-seen footage of the band.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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