TUESDAY TUNES | INDIAN SUMMER | THE DOORS
Posted on December 23, 2014
I N D I A N S U M M E R
Byron Bay’s current state: that unseasonably warm and dry Autumn weather that sees us spending afternoons at the beach, listening to tunes like this and holding off on snuggling into those winter layers, just yet.
T h e D o o r s
Indian Summer was one of the first songs the band recorded. They played it on a demo they’d recorded in 1965. It was finally released in 1970 on the album Morrison Hotel.
Initially they didn’t feel the recording quality was up to standard. An increasingly bluesy flavor began to colour the songwriting and arrangements on this album, and serves up an airy mysticism on the song Indian Summer.
This hypnotic piece was inspired by a car accident in the desert when Jim Morrison was four years old, and his family were on their way to New Mexico. A family of Native Americans were injured and possibly killed. Morrison was quoted as saying:
“The souls of the ghosts of those dead Indians… were just running around freaking out, and just leaped into my soul. And they’re still in there.”
Even though this was one of the first songs they wrote, it was never played it live because they thought it would sound insignificant compared to ‘The End’ an Oedipal opus that was a staple of their early live shows.
Pamela Courson, lover of Jim Morrison, inspired many of the lyrics of The Doors songs, including parts of Indian Summer. The two had a tumultuous relationship until Morrison’s death in 1971.
She was known for trying to make Jim Morrison focus less on music and more on his poetry. She had a great influence on Morrison, often being the only person who could make him do things he refused to do, like see a therapist or getting sober.
The cover photo was taken at the actual Morrison Hotel located at 1246 South Hope Street in Los Angeles.
The band asked the owners if they could photograph the hotel and they declined, so the band went inside when nobody was looking and took the photograph. The rear cover features a photograph of the Hard Rock Café on 300 East 5th Street, Los Angeles.
The founders of the later and otherwise unrelated Hard Rock Cafe chain used the name, having seen it on the Doors’ album. The original cafe is no longer open for business.
What happened to Pamela Courson?
After Morrison’s death, Pam became a recluse and addicted to heroin. Neighbors recall her talking about how excited she was to see Jim again.
On April 25 1974, Pam died of a heroin overdose in her Los Angeles apartment, also aged 27.
She was intended to be buried next to Jim at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, but because of complications she is buried in Santa Ana, California under the name Pamela Susan Morrison.
Read more about the Pam + Jim love story h e r e
More of The Doors on Handsome Citizens
h e r e
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