L.A. Woman

“L. A. Woman,” The Doors (Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, 1971)
There is a rhythm to every city; all significantly lived-in cities have a pulse. The City of Angels perhaps drove Jim Morrison’s own rhythm, as he drove its rhythm. The two had a great relationship: love, danger, drugs, and recklessness. John Densmore’s drums quickly engage with Ray Manzarek’s keyboards and Robby Krieger’s guitar, creating a tempo that drives, walks, and rides. (Note Morrison riding his bike and smoking--thinking about motels, money, murder, and madness.) Everything moves in Los Angeles, which is why its a city that has to be driven. Los Angeles is like a woman:

“I see your hair is burning
Hills are filled with fire
If they say I never loved you
You know they are a liar
Driving down your freeway.
Midnight alleys roam
Cops in cars,
The topless bars
Never saw a woman...
So alone, so alone.”

The masculinity in Morrison's lyrics, and the idea that Los Angeles is a woman to be "driven," is punctuated by lyrics about Mustangs, motels, and "Mr. Mojo Risin’" which escalates, "rising, riding," until we reach Morrison's mad “y-ye-ss” at minute 6:09.   (We include the video directed by Ray Manzarek in 1985 for MTV.)