Rhino Records and Bright Midnight Archives are opening new doors onto the early days of The Doors with a CD/LP box set due on December 9. London Fog 1966 captures Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore at The London Fog, a Sunset Strip bar located steps away from the Whisky a Go Go. This live gig, only recently discovered, marks the earliest known live recordings of the band, and kicks off The Doors’ 50th anniversary celebration of 2017 – the year of their breakthrough.
The London Fog show took place the same year that The Doors recorded their Elektra debut which would be released in January 1967. These never-before-released recordings comprise covers of blues classics such as Muddy Waters’ “Rock Me” and “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man,” as well as the band’s takes on Wilson Pickett’s “Don’t Fight It,” Little Richard’s “Lucille,” and Big Joe Williams’ “Baby, Please Don’t Go.” In addition, the band worked two original songs into its setlist. “Strange Days” wouldn’t be heard on record until it became the title track of the group’s sophomore LP, while “You Make Me Real” wasn’t officially released until 1970’s Morrison Hotel. All audio on London Fog 1966 has been newly mastered by the band’s veteran engineer, Bruce Botnick.
London Fog 1966 is an individually numbered limited edition of 18,000 copies. The seven-song set will be presented both on CD and a 10-inch vinyl record designed in the style of a test pressing. Both discs are housed in a lift-top package designed to look like a vintage storage box, and the box also includes a poster, the set list handwritten by John Densmore, a program for a Royce Hall UCLA student film screening, and a replica London Fog coaster. Liner notes are provided by Ronnie Haran-Mellen, the talent booker at the Whisky a Go Go, and by Nettie Peña. An attendee of the show and early fan of the band, Peña is responsible for this release, as she was the one who captured the audio on a ¼” reel to reel recorder, which was the property of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Her father was a teacher for LAUSD and let her borrow the recorder for the occasion. Peña photographed The Doors that night, as well, and London Fog 1966 boasts five black and white 8×10 reprints of these unpublished photos.
The Doors’ London Fog 1966 is available from Rhino and Bright Midnight Archives on December 9. You can peruse the track listing and pre-order links below! Watch this space for more Doors news as it’s revealed during the band’s 50th anniversary festivities!
The Doors, London Fog 1966 (Rhino/Bright Midnight Archives, 2016) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada Links TBD)
- Rock Me
- Baby, Please Don’t Go
- You Make Me Real
- Don’t Fight It
- I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man
- Strange Days