“Gods and heroes, of past and future, were all present last night,” enthused the Cult’s Ian Astbury after a tribute to the Doors for VH1’s Storytellers on Tuesday. “It was haunted, completely, the spirits were in the house.” Astbury, Perry Farrell, Creed’s Scott Stapp, Stone Temple Pilots’ Scott Weiland and Days of the New’s Travis Meek gathered at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Center Studio not only to praise Jim Morrison, but to sing his lyrics backed by the three surviving members of the Doors. Keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robbie Krieger hadn’t played together since they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, though Manzarek and Krieger performed at the Whiskey A Go-Go this past April.
Of the proceedings, Astbury said, “It was transcendental last night, I’m a bit at a loss to tell you how great it was.” Doors fans will be able to see it for themselves when the program airs Thanksgiving night to coincide with the release of the Doors tribute album Stoned Immaculate. Astbury (with Cult mate Billy Duffy on guitar) sang “Wild Child,” as well as “Alabama Song” and “Back Door Man.” Meeks offered an eerie, haunting version of “The End,” which belied his twenty years, and Farrell turned in a surprisingly macho version of “L.A. Woman” while doing his trademark trance-dancing. Weiland, whose personal trajectory seemed to be following Morrison’s tragic footsteps before his recent incarceration, sang “Break On Through” and the lesser known “Five to One.”
“All the cowhide stores from here to the Rio Grande were cleared out of stock after last night’s show,” Astbury laughed. “The only one not wearing black leather pants was Perry Farrell.” (Farrell instead wore skintight, gold trousers.)
While Morrison’s ghost is being conjured up in the form of Doors tributes, the fate of the singer’s earthly remains may be resolved. Morrison’s thirty-year lease at the PFre Lachaise cemetery in Paris was set to expire on July 6, 2001. Relatives of Parisians buried near Morrison’s grave have been up in arms for years over the destruction caused by tourists and have petitioned the cemetery not to renew Morisson’s lease when it expires.
But on Wednesday, French officials confirmed that Morrison had landed a perpetual lease at the cemetery and would not be moving. “It’s there and it will stay there,” a cemetery official told Reuters.