Review: The Doors Examined by Jim Cherry

The Doors Examined by Jim Cherry / Bennion Kearny Limited / paperback / 978-1909125124 / 240 pages

The Doors ExaminedJournalist and author Jim Cherry has a long history with rock ‘n’ roll journalism, and currently writes the column, “The Doors Examiner.” The Doors Examined includes some of those columns, along with material seen here for the first time.

A huge amount of information is packed into this book.

Cherry takes the reader on a stimulating trip through The Doors history, beginning with some pivotal events before the band’s actual formation. He also shows us The Doors on the road, in the studio, and the people in their circle.

Thankfully, Cherry doesn’t indulge in gossip; what he does do is to present the myriad people, events, places, relating to The Doors in an engaging, easy-to read-fashion. Here are book reviews, music accounts of specific shows, and spotlights shown on people important to the band. A chapter is devoted to The Doors on television, another to photographers who captured them on film. The obscenity case against Jim Morrison is discussed at length.

Also documented are the myriad ways in which the band’s influence spilled out into pop culture and into the members’ solo and post-Doors careers, and still provides inspiration for musicians today.

The Beat Generation is here, too, in discussions of Kerouac’s influence on Jim Morrison, and Michael McClure’s collaborations with Ray Manzarek.

There are, unfortunately, no photos included. It would have been useful to put faces to the names of some of the people discussed. However, the sheer amount of information here makes up for that deficiency.

Those new to The Doors’ would find The Doors Examined would be a great point to start growing their knowledge of the band. However, there is plenty of depth; even longtime fans will likely find some surprises here.

Pick up this book and you’re likely to be drawn in for the duration (I happily lost an entire afternoon & most of the evening), emerging with a greater appreciation for The Doors, their music, and their impact.

The Doors Examined is available now at Amazon.

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