Mojo Risin’ Again

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When You’re Strange—the new Johnny Depp-narrated documentary about the Doors—comes to theaters today. Here’s a refresher course on the L.A. band.

July 1965
» Former UCLA film school students Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek run into each other on Venice Beach. Morrison’s lyrics impress keyboardist Manzarek, and they decide to form a band. 

May 1966
» The Doors are anointed the house band at Whisky a Go Go. Their over-the-top performances help them land a deal with Elektra Records. 

November 1966
» Jim and girlfriend Pamela Courson move to Rothdell Trail in Laurel Canyon. Morrison later writes “Love Street”—referring to Laurel Canyon Boulevard—as an homage to the vibrant hippie scene at the Country Store near their home

July 1968
» The Doors headline at the Hollywood Bowl in the rock event of the season, selling out the nearly 18,000-seat venue. Mick Jagger sits in the front row. 

April 1971
» The band releases L.A. Woman, which becomes a monster hit. “Love Her Madly,” “Riders on the Storm,” and the album’s title track continue to be mainstays of classic-rock radio.

July 1971
» Morrison dies in Paris and is buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery near Chopin, Molière, and Oscar Wilde.

By Julia St. Pierre