Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages

Cars Hiss By My Window: The Doors' L.A. Woman landmarks

Barney Hoskyns, unpublished, February 2012

Sunset Sound Recorders, 6650 Sunset Blvd.
The Doors had made their first two albums in this celebrated Hollywood studio, but it was also here that L.A. Woman got off to its inauspicious start. "There was a strong sense of déjà vu," says Ray Manzarek of the setting, "and yet everybody felt a great lethargy." A few days into the sessions, producer Paul Rothchild abruptly announced he could no longer work with the band. "Sunset Sound had become our second home," says John Densmore, "but here comes Paul and he doesn't get our new direction." Adds Robby Krieger, "Paul was kind of in a bad mood because Janis Joplin had just died." Notoriously, Rothchild informed the band that 'Riders On The Storm' sounded like "cocktail jazz," then asked engineer Bruce Botnick if he'd ever seen anyone "walk away from a quarter-of-a-million dollars." Some time later, he admitted to Manzarek that his exit had partly been a ploy to give them "a kick in the ass."

Total word count of piece: 1604