In “Waiting for the Sun,” the Doors serve up a hot musical banquet that invigorates, rather than soothes, the soul with songs that remind me of the blazing summer days of the L.A. Basin in August, where temperatures can reach past 100 degrees. Morrison’s timeless lyrics vividly reflect the best, and often, the most tragic, aspects of California life in the 1960’s. For example, in “Not to Touch the Earth,” as Morrison sharply belts out his verse about a “House upon the hill, moon is lying still, shadows of the trees/Witnessing the wild breeze, come on Baby, run with me!” Even though the mansion is warm, it is dangerous! We can almost see the stately building in moonlight during a fierce Santa Ana wind, and feel compelled to, run wildly away from it as fast as we can. This is emphasized by the stacatto of Ray Manzarelk’s and Robby Kreikger’s electric guitars and the fierce pulsing of Douglas Lubahn’s drums. The song ends with Morrison’s triumphant proclaiming “I am the Lizard King. I can do anything!”
In “Summer’s Almost Gone,” Morrison sings praises to nights full of swimming and laughing and singing, but wonders where we will be when summer is over, just as a student might upon leaving his or her carefree vacation days outdoors in exchange for classrooms – and uncertainty. This is followed by his ode to “Wintertime Love” with a Classical-sounding melody evocative of Renaissance dances, showing both the elegance and the warmth of romance during the colder months.
“Spanish Caravan” has perhaps the best accoustic guitar music I have ever heard in a rock ‘n’ roll song, which evokes in me the tales I have heard and read of old California in the 1850’s – the land of Victorian era superhero Zorro in his mask and black cape!
Listening to Morrison’s cool powerful voice in “Yes, the River Knows” is like a day at the river – pleasant yet ever so slightly unsettling at the same time, like a pebble at the bottom of a bubblng brook, which makes the whole piece par excellence.
If music is food for the soul, then “Waiting for the Sun” is clearly a grand feast that belongs on the audio systems of discerning rock ‘n’ roll connoisseurs!