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Remembering Morrison

Local bands and artists pay homage to the rock legend.

Rock ensemble group MOVE performs songs from The Doors at Fingerprints last Thursday.

Meagan Meylor | Daily 49er

Rock ensemble group MOVE performs songs from The Doors at Fingerprints last Thursday.

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Fans of all ages huddled around the stage, singing along to covers of one of the most enduring American rock bands in history: The Doors.

In celebration of the 70th anniversary of Morrison’s birthday, Fingerprints Music hosted an event  Thursday which featured live music, poetry readings and Jim Coke’s photography exhibition: “The Doors in ’67”.

Slushbox, a local psychedelic rock band, kicked off the night at 7 p.m. The three-piece group warmed up the growing crowd with their original songs and quirky attitude. Acclaimed writer and friend of The Doors, Michael C. Ford, also joined the band onstage, and performed his spoken-word poetry.

Local Indie-rock band Natural Hi-Fi performed next, and was followed by collaborative rock ensemble, MOVE. Both groups played music from the well-remembered band while the crowd chanted along.

Following the live music, guests were invited to Coke’s original photography exhibit of The Doors. The photographs featured Morrison singing at a 1967 performance at LA’s first rock festival, The Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival.

The outdoor Magic Mountain Music Festival was a concert that took place on a 40-acre equestrian lot in Northridge, Calif. The festival featured big-name acts like Jefferson Airplane, The Grassroots, and more psychedelic blues bands, and was one of the first festivals to launch the well-known “Summer of Love.”

Coke’s “Scream Sequence” piece is a composition of 11 full-body images of Morrison performing at the festival two weeks before The Doors’ single “Light My Fire” skyrocketed them to fame. Coke said he discovered the unprinted film negatives in storage 25 years after the festival and has since printed the images and displayed them at art shows and on his website.

“I found all of the film negatives I shot in the 60’s in perfect, never-printed condition in my old darkroom when I moved back to Long Beach from Northern California,” Coke said in a description next to his installation. “Of my pictures of The Doors, 20 of them have been exhibited as full frame 11-by-14 inch museum-quality, limited edition prints in several gallery exhibitions.”

Coke’s newest mural, “Flying Morrison,” is a twenty-foot image that has been recently installed on the second-story wall across the street from the record store. When Fingerprints owner Rand Foster heard that Coke was going to display the “Flying Morrison,” he decided to make a party out of it.

“I thought, why don’t we have an art show? We can hang the pictures and have live music,” Foster said. “It kind of took on a life of its own.”

This Wake Up! event — named after The Doors’ popular single — brought a large crowd to the store. Guests of all different ages came together to share a common love: the music of The Doors, a band still relevant even 45 years after its formation.

“My goal is to mount, by inviting The Doors’ fans worldwide to be involved, the full realization of this homage to revolutionary Rock icon, “ Coke wrote.

Coke’s photography, including his Morrison portfolio, can be viewed on his website at jimcoke.com.

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