And, speaking of windows, let me introduce the next passenger on my semi-beaded bus. He is Van Morrison. In 1964, Van Morrison formed a band called Them, which had several hits including a song called ‘Gloria’. A couple of years later, the band was playing at a club called Whiskey-a-Go-Go, and coincidentally, The Doors opened up for Them. The Doors keyboardist, Ray Manzarek, later wrote about that experience in his book “Light My Fire – My Life with The Doors”:
“Yes, my friends, Van Morrison and Them! Our favorite singer and perhaps our favorite band. “Gloria” and “Mystic Eyes” and John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom”. What great songs. What a great band. And what a wild-man lead singer. Van was a possessed Celt. He was all over the stage. Manic. Arms continually raised in a hallelujah salute to the energy. A ball of black Irish plasma reconstituted as the lead singer of a wandering band of minstrels that had set down beside us on the Sunset Strip of Los Angeles, California. Jim was transfixed by Van. He studied his every move. He put the eye on him and he absorbed. Van Morrison was – and is – the best of the white blues men. No one has that soul, that torment, that anguish. And he displayed it all at the Whiskey … and we watched, mesmerized. All of us. I especially loved the way Van would grab the mic stand, thrust it into the air, turn it on its head with the base pointing up to heaven, and continue wailing into the Shure 47. “She got one, two, brown eyes … Hypnotize!” Goddamn he was good….
And could he drink. I wish Jim hadn’t seen that part of it. What with Felix imparting the drunken secrets of the race and Van the Celtic Christian blues man idol of Jim’s downing copious drafts … well, Jim didn’t stand a chance. He became enamored of alcohol…. But we all became friends, and the last night of our too-brief week’s engagement with the Irish crazies saw us all in a monster jam session. The Doors and Them onstage together. Jim Morrison and Van Morrison onstage at the same time! And singing “Gloria”! What a fucking night….”