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The Doors’ Robbie Krieger Speaks About ‘L.A. Woman’ Sessions

Robbie Krieger
Chad Buchanan, Getty Images

The long-lasting appeal of the Doors is evident in the 40th anniversary edition of their album ‘L.A. Woman’ that was released earlier this year. In a new interview, guitarist Robbie Krieger spoke about how having longtime engineer Bruce Botnick produce the record instead of Paul A. Rothchild, who had helmed the band’s first five albums, positively affected the sessions, in particular the mindset of singer Jim Morrison.

“I think it was Bruce who had the idea of doing it at our rehearsal space rather than having to be under the gun of a big-money recording studio,” he told Goldmine. “Bruce wanted to make it as natural and comfortable as possible for us, and that really worked. We knew the sound of that place from rehearsing in it all the time, and Jim Morrison loved the sound he got in the bathroom, singing-wise.”

Krieger adds that in part because of the change, during the sessions, Morrison “was really having a good time, which was very unusual in the recording process. Paul Rothchild [would] spend all day getting the snare drum sound or something, and by that time, Jim was either drunk or he had left. The vocal was always the last thing to be done…But this time, vocals were…done at the same time, mostly, and he was having the time of his life. We did maybe eight to 10 takes of a song, whereas normally we’d do 50 to 100.”

The guitarist also discusses how his and Morrison’s shared love of the blues influenced the album, especially the title track, which came in at No. 18 on our list of the Top 100 Classic Rock Songs. Unfortunately, despite Morrison’s state of mind, the good times would not last. Morrison left the band shortly before the album’s release in April 1971, and passed away in Paris less than three months later.

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