The Lasting Legacy of the Doors opens May 25

L.A.'s most incendiary contribution to our national art form, rock and roll, may well have been the Doors. Recording a handful of albums in their brief existence from 1967 - 1971, the Doors and especially their enigmatic frontman, Jim Morrison, continue to capture the imagination of today's record buying public.

"The Doors recorded six studio albums and haven't released a new record since 1971," said Jim Henke, chief curator at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. "Yet they sell more than two million albums worldwide each year - and the vast majority of those albums are purchased not by their original fans from the Sixties, but by teenagers and twenty-somethings who are just now discovering the band. Their legacy is embraced, studied, emulated and cherished around the world."

From Oliver Stone's hit movie "The Doors" to Perry Farrell's recent "collaboration" with a never before heard Morrison track, the Doors remain a cultural touchstone of enduring significance. Break on Through - The Lasting Legacy of the Doors will open to the public at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum on Friday, May 25, 2007. The exhibit will examine the career and impact of the Doors through a display of one-of-a-kind artifacts, original manuscripts, rare concert posters, photographs and video. The Museum has collected materials from John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and other private collectors, in addition to its already extensive collection of artifacts related to the life of Jim Morrison. This is the first time the surviving members of the Doors, along with the Jim Morrison estate, have given their full blessing and cooperation to an exhibit of this kind.

Keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger, two of the three surviving members of the Doors, will unveil the latest exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. "The Doors represent a musical concept, a breaking of conventions, both in terms of music and in terms of social conventions. Even at the time, the Doors – Jim, Robby, John and I – wanted to create something profoundly unique and artistic," said Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for the Doors. "The impact of the Doors has been recognized in countless ways, but to have the creative entity of the group be examined in a museum is, oddly enough, appropriate. It's wonderful to share never before seen artifacts with a new generation of fans. It helps to keep the influence of the Doors alive all these years later."

"Bob Dylan said the museum is where 'infinity goes up on trial.' That's why I'd been reluctant to participate in this; it's a little strange having an institution 'go through your drawers,'" said John Densmore, drummer for the Doors. "But Eric Clapton accepted his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after Robbie Robertson exclaimed, 'Sometimes magic happens here.' The Doors received our induction the same night as Cream did, and Robbie's comment has stayed with me. I hope you receive some magic after going through our personal artifacts – a magic similar to that which came into a garage in Venice, California, in 1965, and created something bigger than its parts. It was a gift that came through us; we don't own it. I hope some of it is shared by this exhibit."


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