Song Of The Day 7/16/2016: The Doors – “The Mosquito”

At long last, The Hidden '70s series, which will suck up 25 or 26 days of this blog's life over the next two months and change, launches tomorrow. (In fact the first mixtape is up now if you know where to look for it. Otherwise it'll be on this page on July 24.) When you go through an entire decade's worth of Billboard Hot 100 charts you obviously come across a lot of things that David Bowie would have called "freaky" and find out some facts about music that you never knew before.

One of the songs that missed the cut for the Vol. 1 mixtape (but might make a later one) is by the Doors. That's a picture of them right there. Notice anything missing? A certain Lizard King? A certain American Poet? A certain Mr. Mojo Risin'? A certain man who probably wasn't allowed in any IHOPs in the greater Miami area for a spell? That would be Jim Morrison, the Doors' lead singer who passed away a few months before that photo was taken. We all know the story. But what I didn't know -- and am kind of embarrassed that I didn't -- until I did Hidden '70s research was that the Doors tried to carry on for a time as a trio, sans their resident Erotic Politician.

Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger and John Densmore recorded two albums themselves after Morrison's last bath in Paris. One was called Other Voices (as in, "Hey, we're the other three guys who were in the Doors and we count too!"), the other was called Full Circle (as in, "Uh, nobody's buyin' this, let's get the hell out of here"). They are not bottom-feeding, terrible records -- well, actually I suspect people who are Doors fans probably aren't big fans of them, but people like myself who have never been big Doors fans might not really hear a big instrumental drop-off. Densmore's drumming is very good, if that means anything to you.

But overall, yeah, there's a big decline in their patented whiskey-'n'-phallus mysticism. While I'm sure they tried in the songwriting department (besides, Krieger wrote "Light My Fire" and "Love Her Madly," among other Doors hits), in most cases there's not much happening in the attempted transcendence department. And while it's unfair to use one single track off two albums to back this up, there's something especially concessive about "The Mosquito." Like the lyrics:
No me moleste mosquito
No me moleste mosquito
No me moleste mosquito
Why don't you go home?

No me moleste mosquito
Let me eat my burrito
No me moleste mosquito
Why don't you go home?
That's it. Then they just noodle for a bit. This isn't just a case of not trying. It's aggressively trying to look like they weren't trying. Sort of what Bob Dylan did with Self-Portrait, scrunched into one song that rests its case on the one-two punch rhyme of "mosquito" and "burrito." This makes Jackson Browne's rhyme of "world" and "unfurled" almost go down easy. Screw the mythology: I wanna see Oliver Stone make a movie about the writing session for this song, 'cause I bet it's even more soul-numbing than Natural Born Killers.

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