“The streets are fields that never die…”
It’s late afternoon on the first official Spring Monday. I’m on Lindbergh boulevard and thinking to myself: what’s going to be more talked about on its hundredth anniversary, Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight or the case of the Lindbergh baby. Twenty plus years ago the thought of even debating this would have been absolutely preposterous. Now, not so much in this tabloid culture. If it wasn’t for this road, I’d be just as likely to fail acknowledging his existence as any other historical-fact challenged American.
Nicole Atkins’s cover of the song ‘Crystal Ship’ by the Doors is playing on the radio and succeeds at continuing this hisorical-cultural pondering. These days, is Jim Morrison more known for his untimely death or his effect on the canon of American music? It’s not out of line to leave him below other lyrical ‘poets’ from his day like Bob Dylan or Robert Hunter. He’s not even on the level of a Lou Reed, who was far less popular in the late Sixties. America falls in love with stars. And Morrison was on a long-line which may have been started by Lindbergh himself. It’s impossible to hear this particular Doors song and not think of the younger break-out rock star. Particularly the picture from the Greatest Hits album, ‘the close-up.’ Any album collector knows the picture that I’m talking about. The Helen of Troy one as I call it. Her face launched a thousand ship, Morrison’s “a thousand girls, a thousand thrills.”
This particular cover of the song makes me think of how under-rated the once over-rated legacy of the Doors has become since the singer’s death. It hasn’t been cool liking this band since my childhood. At least in this country. It’s no surprise this version came out almost ten years ago. For some reason, we have no hard time neglecting any sort of legacy left by this once iconic band. If you’re still not sold on re-visiting the music of the Doors but enjoy the version of the cover, Nicole Atkins released a ep of cover songs back in 2008 that goes great during dinner party cocktail hours.