Venice Beach/ Santa Monica
Santa Monica and Venice Beach. From Ray and Jim's first interactions at UCLA to their fateful meeting on the beach. This is where it all happened. Be sure to spend a full day exploring Santa Monica and Venice, walking the exact same streets and sand that Jim and the guys walked in 1965.
Venice is definitely one of the "must see" stops for any Doors fan visiting Los Angeles. Spend an hour or so walking down Ocean Front Walk, and you'll realize why Jim and Ray made this their home after graduating from UCLA. Although quite a bit has changed since 1965, you are walking the same paths and looking at the same buildings that Jim and the band did back in the '60s.
Venice Beach.. where one beautiful summer day in 1965, fate intervened and brought together Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek as they strolled on the beach. That very moment.. The Doors were born.
"What about you Jim, you working on anything?" "Yeah, I've been writing some songs..."
Let's start at one of the more famous Doors spots in Venice.. the Jim Morrison mural.
Jim Morrison Mural1811 Speedway
This great mural of Jim was painted by artist Rip Cronk in 1991 at the intersection of Speedway and 18th. In 2012, Cronk undertook a major make-over of the mural, drastically changing background colors, plus adding additional detail to Jim. You can also see more of Rip's murals up and down Speedway and Ocean Front Walk. Click here to read more.
Dennis Jacob's Apartment14 Westminster Ave
This is the building where Jim lived in the summer of 1965. He ate meals at his friend Dennis Jacob's apartment and slept on the rooftop at night. At night Jim would look out over the ocean and over the Venice rooftops while tripping on LSD. Jim was constantly writing in his journals, documenting the rock and roll concert that was happening in his head. The building is obviously owned and operated by a Doors fan, since it is called the "Morrison Apartments". The building is located on the corner of Speedway and Westminster.
Henry Diltz photo shootwww.MorrisonHotelGallery.com
In 1969, Elektra Records was in need of additional publicity photos for the upcoming Morrison Hotel/Hard Rock Cafe album. Henry Diltz and the band decided to walk the boardwalk/beach of Venice and get some shots there. Below are three of the exact locations from that shoot. If you know of more locations, please let us know!
30 Brooks Ave
This is the infamous, "I think I know the reason, but I can't spell it" shot. Although the doors of this garage are no longer green, it is obviously the exact same door minus the graffiti. Let's see how many reenactments of these photos we can get uploaded to the Ray/Robby Facebook page!
50 Brooks Avenue
The band had their photo taken in front of this very cool "Drink Coca Cola" mural which had the perspective of walking down and old Venice street. The mural itself was in bad shape up until 2012 when it was restored to it's former glory. The "mirror image" building that the mural was created to mimic is still there as well (two buildings to the right), with the original mural still faintly visible. Wouldn't it be nice if that one could be restored as well?
701 Ocean Front Walk
This is the photo used to promote the 2010 Doors documentary, "When You're Strange". This is another one that would be fun to recreate. With the magic of Photoshop, you can see the guys walking the boardwalk in 1969 and then again in today's Venice.
Bobby Klein Photo ShootCarroll Canal Walk
There is still some debate as to the exact location of all the Bobby Klein photos, but that shouldn't stop you from taking a long walk through the canals to try and to find them yourself. The exact bridges that the Doors were photographed on are long gone, replaced by newer, safer structures. Take a walk on Carroll Canal Walk and Grand Canal and you will surly be walking in the footsteps of Jim, Ray, Robby and John. If you think you have some new photos of the exact locations of the original Bobby Klein shots, send them along to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or upload them to our Facebook page and we will feature them here!
Let's start at the place where Jim Morrison sang on stage for the very first time, joining Ray onstage with Rick and the Ravens for an impromptu version of "Louie Louie" .
Turkey Joint West116 Santa Monica Blvd
Currently "Ye Olde Kings Head" English pub, this is where Ray and his brothers played as "Rick and the Ravens" for extra spending money. Jim and others from UCLA would come here often to eat, drink and shout out requests for songs they wanted to hear.
One night Ray announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, We have a special treat tonight. A guest in the audience who happens to be a fine poet and a man I'd like to bring onstage to have him help me out in a special version of 'Louie Louie'. Jim Morrison!" Jim joined Ray and the band onstage for an over-the-top version of "Louie Louie".
Supposedly the original stage was somewhere to the left of the current bar.
Olivia's2615 Main Street
Olivia's was a popular soul food restaurant whose patrons were mostly UCLA students. Jim loved Olivia's, which was the inspiration for the song, "Soul Kitchen". It is currently the location of a surf and skate shop called "ZJ Boarding House".
Ray and Dorothy Apartment147 Fraser Avenue
Ray and Dorothy's first apartment in 1965. Soon after Ray and Jim's meeting on the beach, Jim moved in with them in this apartment. Jim slept in the main bedroom with Ray and Dorothy moving their mattress into the living room to be closer to the heater. Jim had an electric blanket after-all! Click here to see Ray Manzarek give a quick tour of the exterior of the apartment.
Here is the view walking from the apartment to the spot where Jim and Ray met on the beach.
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium1855 Main Street
July 3, 1967: The Doors, returning from New York after a successful stint at Steve Paul's 'The Scene', play a series of west coast shows starting with this one at the Santa Monica Civic Center.
Royce Hall (UCLA)340 Royce Drive
Royce Hall. This was where the best dozen films from the film dept would be shown on the big screen at the "Royce Hall Screenings". Ray's films Evergreen and Induction were both screened at Royce. Jim, Ray and their film school friends always attended these screenings. This is also where The Doors supplied a live soundtrack for one of Ray's other films, "Who I am and Where I live".
That's it for now. More Venice and Santa Monica sites will be added to the site soon!!
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