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Posted October 15, 2011
As soon as you open "The Doors FAQ" you realize it's a unique book, the most obvious is that it's formatted like a FAQ (frequently asked questions) found on most websites in that it doesn't approach The Doors chronologically but is divided up like a FAQ by subject, with short informative answers. You'll easily find the answers to who The Doors members were, Jim Morrison's literary influences, the musical influences of The Doors, how The Doors got their name, Doors singles that reached number 1, Doors songs used in movies, in short,any question a fan could have about The Doors is explored in "The Doors FAQ."
The formatting of "The Doors FAQ" instantly makes it an easily accessible resource for fans, whether they're newer fans or older fans, or should I say fans from previous generations. Each chapter starts with a question and goes on to answer it in a concise manner. But don't let brevity fool you, each chapter and answer is fully informative and even goes deeper than most other books about The Doors, whether they're biographies, memoirs, or resources on some aspect of Doors history. I've been a Doors fan for thirty years and I was surprised at some of the new information I discovered in its pages, such as former members of Rick and the Ravens, Ray Manzarek's band that eventually morphed into The Doors, or the identity of the "unknown female bass player" that recorded on the nascent Doors World Pacific demos. In the summaries of literary or musical influences or biographies or synopsis' you won't find any rote regurgitations from other books. Weidman has done his research and finds facts, quotes and other archival information, availing himself of the most recent and up to date as possible materials available, and his writing doesn't allow this material to be or seem derivative, all of which combines to make "The Doors FAQ" fresh to all except maybe the most jaded of Doors fans or experts.
Most books on The Doors are overwhelmed by Jim Morrison, not so with "The Doors FAQ", right from the beginning the bios of all The Doors are of roughly equal length, and the surviving members, post Morrison life, isn't relegated to the nether regions of a short last chapter or epilogue but are included from the beginning, so if you're a fan of Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger or John Densmore, you will read about their most recent CD's and accomplishments.
Doors history some times seems to diverge at the dividing line of the life and death of Jim Morrison, but history doesn't stop and neither have the surviving members of The Doors, and Weidman tackles this later history more fully than any other book on The Doors to date. Weidman goes through the 2002 "Doors of the 21st Century" and the action and reactions of the surviving members of The Doors which resulted in the lawsuit filed by John Densmore. Wiedman relates it factually and without any of the bias or acrimony that haunted the message boards of the time.
The Doors were first and foremost a literary band, even in their use of musical phrasing, it seems to take on a literary aspect and Weidman doesn't shy away from The Doors literary roots, each chapter starting with a pithy and apropos quote on the aspect of The Doors being explored in that chapter. Invariably I found the quote provided a bit of literary circularity tracking back upon the subject and providing some illumination on the subject at hand.
"The Doors FAQ"
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