Live At The Matrix 1967: The Original Masters

Doors

CD1 March 7, 1967

  1. Back Door Man
  2. My Eyes Have Seen You
  3. Soul Kitchen
  4. Jam
  5. Jam (Note: James Healey stated this "Jam" is two instrumentals totaling approximately 16 minutes, never before released. They don't even circulate on the bootlegs. It has not yet been revealed what these two songs are. Healey did not recognize them.)
  6. Get Out of My Life Woman
  7. When The Music's Over
  8. Close To You
  9. Crawling King Snake
  10. I Can't See Your Face in My Mind
  11. People Are Strange
  12. Alabama Song
  13. The Crystal Ship
  14. Twentieth Century Fox
  15. Moonlight Drive
  16. Summer's Almost Gone
  17. Unhappy Girl

CD2 March 7, 1967

  1. Woman is The Devil / Rock Me
  2. Woman is The Devil / Rock Me
  3. Break On Through
  4. Light My Fire
  5. The End


CD3 March 10, 1967

  1. My Eyes Have Seen You
  2. Soul Kitchen
  3. I Can't See Your Face In My Mind
  4. People Are Strange
  5. When The Music's Over
  6. Money
  7. Who Do You Love?
  8. Moonlight Drive
  9. Summer's Almost Gone
  10. I'm A King Bee
  11. Gloria
  12. Break On Through
  13. Summertime (instrumental)
  14. Back Door Man
  15. Alabama Song
  16. The End (survives as a fragment, as Peter Abram recorded the March 10 show over the March 9 show. Only a few minutes of The End survives from March 9, but includes some wild poetic imagery.)

The Doors were a few months away from stardom in March 1967 when they played five sparsely attended shows at a small club in San Francisco called The Matrix. These uninhibited performances would have been fleeting if not for Peter Abram, who co-owned  the pizza parlor-turned-nightclub with Jefferson Airplane founder Marty Balin. An avid recordist, Abram taped concerts at The Matrix regularly and his recordings of The Doors, made between March 7-11, 1967, spawned one of the band’s most storied bootlegs.  At long last, all known Matrix recordings, sourced entirely from Abram’s original master recordings, will be released on September 8.

Production of the vinyl version is limited to 14,000 numbered (CD 21,000) copies worldwide. The band’s March 7 performance of the jazz instrumental “Bag’s Groove” is exclusive to the vinyl set and comes on a 7” single. “Bag’s Groove” is one of two never-before-heard recordings.

Bootlegs of The Matrix shows have circulated among fans for years and were popular despite the poor audio quality of most copies. The sound began improving in 1997 when the first two songs from The Matrix shows were officially released on The Doors: Box Set. Even more performances followed in 2008 on Live at the Matrix 1967; regrettably, it was discovered soon after that all the recordings were sourced from third-generation tapes, not the originals.

Today, Abram’s original recordings have been remastered by Bruce Botnick, The Doors’ longtime engineer/mixer, for official release. The vinyl version of Live At The Matrix 1967: The Original Masters includes all 37 songs from the shows sourced from the master tapes. Except for 15 songs released in 2017 and 2018 as Record Store Day exclusives, most of the newly upgraded live recordings are making their debut in the collection, including eight that have never been featured on any of the previous Matrix releases.

It’s easy to understand the enduring appeal of these vintage performances by Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore. Recorded only a few months before “Light My Fire” propelled the band to worldwide success, the tapes capture The Doors playing a wide range of songs, including several from their self-titled debut, like “Break On Through,” “Soul Kitchen,” and “The End.” They also performed half the songs destined for the group’s soon-to-be-recorded second album, Strange Days, including early performances of “Moonlight Drive” and “People Are Strange.” 15 Sets of music over five nights at The Matrix gave the band time to indulge its love of the blues with extended covers of “I’m A King Bee” and “Crawling King Snake.” The Doors even delivered an instrumental version of “Summertime.”

Joel Selvin writes in the collection’s liner notes: “They were young, fresh, and uninhibited, spreading their wings to fly. The tapes are raw, savage, rough around the edges. This is pure Doors: unselfconscious and unspoiled.”

Live At The Matrix 1967: The Original Masters • Live At The Matrix 1967: The Original Masters • Live At The Matrix 1967: The Original Masters • Live At The Matrix 1967: The Original Masters •