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Waiting For The Sun Recording Sessions - Photo Shoot

I managed to get into the sessions most everyday, sometimes bringing Jim fom wherever he ended up the night before.

Paul Ferrar

In February of 1968, The Doors went into T.T.G. Recording Studios in Hollywood, newly equipped with state of the art 16-track recording capabilities, and begin recordings for their third album Waiting For The Sun.

Producer Paul Rothchild is becoming ever more the perfectionist demanding take after take and the sessions are going awry right from the beginning. Jim is very uninterested in the process of recording and with his constant drinking and partying he is becoming very unreliable and quite creatively unproductive.

He has somewhat taken an 'I don't care' attitude and after his masterpiece "The Celebration" is rejected he withdraws and rebels. It takes over 130 attempts to get "The Unknown Soldier" recorded to Paul's high standards. John Densmore gets fed up with everything and quits but returns the next day.

Ray and Robby sense that something needs to be done about Jim. They talk to Paul and decide to hire someone to keep an eye on Jim while out drinking to make sure he gets to the studio and to upcoming gigs on time. Paul suggests they hire Bobby Neuwirth, a former roadie with Bob Dylan's band, who can think and drink on a par with Jim, to pose as a film maker.

Elektra pays half of Neuwirth's salary and John, Ray and Robby pitch in on the other half. Jim quickly figures out what is going on but plays along for awhile. Neuwirth soon figures out there is no one that can stop Jim from drinking and joins him in bars all over town drinking and partying while giving Jim a companion to talk film with or to relate and bounce ideas off of while they're out and about. He becomes more of a drinking partner than an overseer and coordinator.

The recording sessions are getting worse and worse. Jim often keeps the others waiting for hours and hours and blows his chance to get his masterpiece "Celebration of The Lizard" on the record. It was supposed to cover one entire side of the LP but is too disjointed musically and with Jim's attitude in the studio it never comes to fruition. The Doors do make a version Jim likes but the others disagree with him. Upset, he leaves for a few hours returns extremely drunk, lowers the lights and goes into the recording booth completely plastered and sings the take of "Five To One". (If you listen closely to the part at the end of the song where he says: "Hey come on honey...(swig)... go along home and wait for me baby and I'll be there in just a little while..." you can hear him take a swig of his bottle of Brandy.)

Jim, feeling the pressures of having to come up with new material, often while in the studio, is drinking more and more. Jim takes off whenever he feels, often frequenting the local taverns, and invites all kinds of party goers and groupies back to the studio. John can't take it anymore and quits again. Robby after a few days talks him into to coming back and on the road with the band.

Photographer, Paul Ferrara was on hand for most of these sessions capturing them in photos and on film. "I managed to get into the sessions most everyday, sometimes bringing Jim fom wherever he ended up the night before," says Paul in his auto-biography, Flash of Eden.

In this Article

Waiting For The Sun
Release Date: 
7/11/68
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I managed to get into the sessions most everyday, sometimes bringing Jim fom wherever he ended up the night before.

Paul Ferrar

In this Article

Waiting For The Sun
Release Date: 
Thursday, July 11, 1968 (All day)

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