The title track of the last album the Doors made before Jim Morrison died, “L.A. Woman” is as much an ode to the city as to its females. It was recorded in a makeshift studio at 8512 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood between November 1970 and early 1971. Morrison is said to have laid down his vocal track in the bathroom because he liked the room’s natural reverb. The song’s unusual length (it runs nearly eight minutes) and difficult vocal chord progressions make it extremely challenging to sing live, and the Doors are believed to have performed it in its entirety only once before an audience, at their penultimate concert in Dallas in December 1970. In 2010, a single doodle-covered sheet of yellow paper with the song’s lyrics written in Morrison’s hand was sold at auction in England for nearly 15,000 pounds. - Amy Wallace
Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows
Motel money. Murder madness.
Let’s change the mood from glad to sadness
Are you a lucky little lady in the City of Light
Or just another lost angel...
Drivin’ down your freeways
Midnite alleys roam
Cops in cars, the topless bars
Never saw a woman...
So alone, so alone, so alone...
Photographs by Emily Shur