Roadhouse Blues

Today’s featured songs is one of my favorite songs by my second favorite group of all-time.  It is Roadhouse Blues by the doors.  This song lives up to the blues that is in its title.  This is basic blues like many other great songs, but Jim Morrison just has that ability to take a simple song and send it out of the park with his lyrics and just the way he sings the song.  The song itself is very basic.  The lyrics themselves are as well.  Somehow though, when you put the two together, it becomes magical.

I have always been able to sing this song.  I remember one late night in a bar in Ames (formerly known as Peoples) when I actually ended up on stage with the band and sang this song while the rest of the band played along.  That is an amazing high that is hard to describe.  That was a pretty cool night. 

This song also contains one of my very favorite lyrics of any song ever written:

“Well, I woke up this morning, I got myself a beer
Well, I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer
The future’s uncertain, and the end is always near.”

That lyric really does say it all.

The rest of the remaining Doors have continued to play this song with various bands and singers singing the lead part, but it will never be the same without Jim.  He did it like no one else could.  Fortunately, we still have the music so we can remember how special of a song this was.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Album version of the song.

Live version from 1970.

Cover by Eddie Vedder and the Doors in LA in 1993.

Cover by John Lee Hooker and the Doors.

Cover by Jeff Healey Band in 1989.

Cover by Los Lonely Boys in Austin, TX.

Cover by Blue Oyster Cult with Robby Kreiger.

How to play the song on guitar.

Roadhouse Blues” is a blues rock song written and recorded by the American rock band The Doors.  The song, which appeared on the B-side of “You Make Me Real”, was first released as a single from the album Morrison Hotel in March 1970 and peaked at #50 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.  The song quickly became a concert staple for the group, a live version appearing later on the posthumous album An American Prayer and that same version, which has been called “probably one of the best live performances of any song”, again on In Concert and Greatest Hits.  During this version, Jim Morrison talks for a short while to a female audience member about his Zodiac sign and, with a sudden, ironic twist that causes the audience to erupt in laughter, denounces his beliefs in it. The song was also featured twice in the movie The Doors; the studio version in the film, and the aforementioned live version over the end credits.  The line “Woke up this morning and I got myself a beer” was inspired by Alice Cooper as stated on his Planet Rock morning show.

The song took two days to record (November 4–5, 1969) with the producer Paul A. Rothchild striving for perfection.  Several takes from these sessions were included on the new 2006 remastered album.  Rothchild can be heard instructing the band members on their musicianship, notably when he exclaims to Robby Krieger about his introductory guitar riff that “we’re going to the roadhouse, Robby, not the bathroom!”  Surprisingly, he does not comment on Morrison, who is apparently intoxicated, “going into full blues singer mode” in the words of engineer Bruce Botnick, improvising and simultaneously flubbing several lyrics and repeating the blues phrase “Money beats soul every time”.  The phrase can be found on the When You’re Strange: Music from the Motion Picture soundtrack, with the next track being a live version of “Roadhouse Blues”.

The sessions only took off on the second day, when resident Elektra guitarist Lonnie Mack joined in on bass and harmonicist John Sebastian (appearing under the pseudonym G. Puglese out of loyalty to his recording contract or to avoid affiliation with The Doors after the Miami controversy) joined in on the sessions and Manzarek switched from his Wurlitzer electric piano to a tack piano (the same used on The Beach BoysGood Vibrations“).  Morrison’s shout of “Do it, Lonnie! Do it!” just before the guitar the solo is often misquoted as “Do it, Robby! Do it!” (Robby Krieger).

A studio version of the song with John Lee Hooker sharing vocals with Jim can be found on the Stoned Immaculate: The Music of The Doors album.

Mack had borrowed Krieger’s guitar to develop some blues guitar lines.  Mack also played the lead guitar solo on the track, but was only credited as bassist, so as to not embarrass Krieger.  Krieger copied some of Mack’s lines in later takes.  It is unknown which take of “Roadhouse” made the final cut.

Status Quo discovered The Doors’ version whilst touring Germany in 1970, and it quickly became an integral part of the band’s setlist, fitting their change in musical direction.  Their arrangement added an additional verse and featured slightly different lyrics.  A studio version appeared on the album Piledriver, while a live version appeared on the album Live!.  The band still perform the song regularly today.

Blue Öyster Cult performed the song on their Extraterrestrial Live album, with Robby Krieger joining the band.  Creed played the song at Woodstock ’99 and were joined on stage by Doors guitarist Robby Krieger.  This version of the song was released on a bonus version of the Creed album Human Clay.  The song was also covered by Mahogany Rush on the What’s Next album.  Ministry performed a cover on their final album, The Last Sucker.  The Jeff Healey Band performs the song in the movie Road HouseFrankie Goes To Hollywood cover it on the b-side of their 1986 single “Rage Hard”. Elkie Brooks covered the song on her 2005 album Electric Lady. Robby Krieger joined Stone Temple Pilots at the House of Blues in 2000 for a performance of this song.  He again joined STP onstage on March 18, 2010 to play the song as the encore for STP’s performance at the SXSW music festival at the Austin Music Hall. STP frontman Scott Weiland also performed live covers of it with Velvet Revolver.

Imperiet covered the song on their 1985 live album 2:a augusti 1985.

The song was played by the surviving Doors and Eddie Vedder at The Doors’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1993.  In addition, a bootleg recording of this song performed by Vedder and others surfaced in 2001.

The jam-bluegrass group Railroad Earth covered the song twice during the summer of 2008, once at High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, California, and again at Yarmony Grass in Copper Mountain, Colorado.  The latter performance featured over 20 musicians on stage, including most of the members of the jam band The String Cheese Incident.  They also covered the song in December 2009 at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon, and in May 2010 at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island.

The Swedish band Imperiet have also done a cover of “Roadhouse Blues” at a concert at Orionteatern in Stockholm in 1985.

It was in the stage repertoire of Eric Burdon from 1989 to 1998.  He performed it also with Robby Krieger in 1990 and 1991.  A live version he recorded with the Brian Auger band was released on “Access All Areas” in 1993.  Live versions he recorded with his “I band” were released on [Official Live Bootleg#1]] and with his “New Animals” on the DVD Live at the Coachhouse.

Los Lonely Boys perform this song on their 2009 tribute EP entitled 1969.  Guitarist Henry Garza’s use of the wah-wah pedal marks the most distinguishing feature of the band’s cover version.

American band Bon Jovi have also covered the song in medley with “Bad Medicine“, most notably during their 2010 The Circle Tour.

The Crystal Method did a remix of “Roadhouse Blues”.  It can be found on their albums Community Service II and Drive: Nike + Original Run.  It was featured also in the short lived TV show Drive. In 2010, it was used as the promotional song for the third season of FX‘s Sons of Anarchy.

Roadhouse Blues

by Jim Morrison

Yeah, keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel
Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel
Yeah, we’re goin’ to the Roadhouse
We’re gonna have a real
Good time

Yeah, back at the Roadhouse they got some bungalows
Yeah, back at the Roadhouse they got some bungalows
And that’s for the people
Who like to go down slow

Let it roll, baby, roll
Let it roll, baby, roll
Let it roll, baby, roll
Let it roll, all night long

Do it, Lonnie, do it 

You gotta roll, roll, roll
You gotta thrill my soul, all right
Roll, roll, roll, roll
Thrill my soul
You gotta beep a gunk a chucha
Honk konk konk
You gotta each you puna
Each ya bop a luba
Each yall bump a kechonk
Ease sum konk
Ya, ride

Ashen lady, Ashen lady
Give up your vows, give up your vows
Save our city, save our city
Right now

Well, I woke up this morning, I got myself a beer
Well, I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer
The future’s uncertain, and the end is always near

Let it roll, baby, roll
Let it roll, baby, roll
Let it roll, baby, roll
Let it roll, all night long

About wmarsau

Most of the people who visit this blog already know me so it is kind of pointless to try to describe my life in this short little blurb. What is the purpose of this blog is the question. Over the course of this last year I have been exposed to some amazing people and have made personal development an important focus of my life. Being successful, not by the world's standards, but by God's has become my main focus. Mainly, I want to work to develop myself as a person who is kinder, reaches out to help those in need, and truly makes a difference in this world. To this end I am constantly reading and am exposed to so many differnet things along the way. These have been amazing and it is helping me grow so much. Then I started to think, "Why am I being so selfish?" You need to share with others these amazing things you are learning and being exposed to. That is where this blog comes into play. As I am reading and experiencing things that are truly amazing and life changing, I will be posting them on this blog. Obviously, I will not be able to post everything in it's entirity, but I will be summarizing them and letting you know the source of the article or book they come from so you can check them out later if you wish. I want this blog to be a place where you can go to often and be inspired and leave here with a smile on your face. I will be covering all kinds of different topics dealing with success and personal development. Topics like taking action, relationships, living to your potential, reinventing yourself, finances, leadership, presenting, goal setting, time management, etc. I will also be occasionally including topics on cooking, music, and gardening because they are special interests of mine. As a little disclaimer, I have given my life to the Lord and he is #1 in my life. I am his servant and everything I do in life is for his glory. With that being said, religion influences all areas of my life. There will be references to God in this blog because I can't seperate God from this or any other area of my life. I want you to know that if you do not believe in God, that is fine. That is your choice. This blog is open to anyone who wants to better their life. I will not be trying to influence or pressure anyone into having a relationship with the Lord from this site. Please don't feel uncomfortable. You can just read the portions of the blog that you wish to. I am inviting you to go on a journey with me. We will learn together to be the kind of people we were designed to be. Anyone can make a difference in this world, but it starts%
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