Tips on How to Start Your
Doors "Live Show" Audio/Video Collection
By Kerry Humpherys

It was 1988 when I first clued in to the endless sea of Doors live audio/video tapes. Not satisfied to own every domestic, regular issued LP and CD I set sail on a journey of acquisition unaware of the complex variety and quality of tapes in existence. Today, my vast library of once-elusive tapes tells the ultimate rock & roll story of a short-lived but now legendary band due, in great measure, to controversial and historically significant tapes:

  • The Doors' demo tapes-six songs peddled by a young Jim Morrison to unreceptive record companies.
  • Uncensored versions of The End that created havoc for The Doors in the early days.
  • Expressions of impromptu poetry performed by Morrison in provocative concerts.
  • Complete Celebration Of The Lizard-seldom performed live-and never released in its entirety.
  • On stage and out cold-Morrison collapses in Amsterdam leaving Manzarek to entertain the thousands.
  • Miami-the concert of March 1, 1969 that led to rock 'n' roll on trial.
What a rush to hear rock & roll history as it was being made!

But there were lessons to be learned. After finding a few of the above highlights I tried to buy every bootleg record and tape I could get my hands on and spent thousands of dollars to satisfy this Doors urge. Did I learn anything from this addictive grab for boots? Yeah...lots:

  • Never believe a bootleg CD or LP label. Some bootlegs aren't as advertised and blatantly lie about their contents in order to sell you a show that you think you don't have.
  • Quality varies from bootleg to bootleg. Before making a greedy bootlegger rich with your cash, check it out and read a review!  This isn't just a shameless plug for the bootleg review section in The Doors Collectors Magazine but the money it takes to buy one bad bootleg could subscribe you to The DCM for a year or more!
  • Many bootlegs don't contain the complete show. Some lack one or two songs, or worse...contain a mish-mash of several shows hodge-podged into one LP or CD. Call me an anal retentive completist, but is it not more sensible to collect Doors live shows by the show rather than by the song?
  • Repetition, repetition, and more repetition! Recently I stacked my collection of bootleg CDs and LPs into piles of Matrix, Stockholm and Felt Forum shows. What was left over? Not a lot. Is it any suprise that our cassette tape collection contained same or better quality shows as on any of the CDs or LPs?! ...and there's a lot more different shows to choose from!
I love my bootleg collection and if you're into collecting bootlegs for the sake of owning bootlegs, then do it if you feel you must! But if you are a serious Doors/Morrison collector who demands the best quality available and you don't have thousands of dollars to spend on an extensive bootleg library, then there is an alternative...tape trading.

BEWARE: Tape trading isn't always what it's cracked up to be! It took me eight years to build my collection of the best quality audio and video tapes available. Then again, I have hundreds of cassette and video tapes with poor quality shows and even more that weren't what they were supposed to be! Each one of those tapes cost me a tape...and what's worse...a lot of wasted time.

Choose your trading partners carefully: Most traders aren't Doors audio experts. They believe what was on the label of the tape they got and then pass the same bad information (and tape) on to the next unsuspecting trader. If you're interested in learning to identify The Doors "live" shows on your own, a necessary tool to aquire is The DCM's Doors "Live" Show Guide available through TDM Inc for $5 + $2 postage... we can accept money or stamps for this!

Deception can lie around any corner: Just as some bootleg labels lie; some tape traders in a bid to make their own dull audio collections look more appealing to a great many more collectors, have also intentionally lied declaring a "rarity" of a tape which is actually a common show. One dishonest collector who practiced this deception built an entire collection off of one bogus tape! Know who you are tape trading with!

Summary: The Doors Collectors Magazine has worked specifically with Doors fans in Memorabilia sales and Doors "Live" tape trades since 1991. It has always been our driving desire to accumulate an archive of only the best recordings and this is what we've done. It took years of networking, substantial costs to buy one of every Doors bootleg we could get our hands on, and thousands of trades with other collectors to get where we are. The Doors themselves obtain recordings from us when they need to and now you can too! And you can do it all for a fraction of the cost of obtaining these recordings other ways. You can even unload those old inferior bootleg CDs and obsolete bootleg LPs in trade for the tapes you need. We take an entire range of other Doors items in exchange for our tapes! For a list of common Doors items we're looking for. If trading in some of your own Doors collection doesn't appeal to you, we can even accept new US postage stamps! If you have any questions about the trade values for certain memorabilia items please email! We're always happy to help keep the fire alive!


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