Doors Folklore with Folklorkestra: Greenwich Village-based John Kruth of jazz fusion ensemble The Folklorkestra recalls Jim Morrison tossing musical bombs at suburbia.

John Kruth: Nothing would ever be the same again after seeing the Doors at the Asbury Park Convention Hall (Saturday, August 31, 1968). I asked my brother if I could go with him and his friends, but he told me to get lost. I didn’t know how I was going to get a ticket or a ride there. All I knew was I had to go. Fate intervened when a friend called with an extra ticket. So, I lied to my folks and said we were going to the movies and piled into his brother’s VW Microbus to meet “The Lizard King.”

Singing his Oedipus-inspired opus, “The End,” Morrison held the crowd in the palm of his hands like a Molotov cocktail, lit the fuse, and tossed it over the suburban white picket fences, where it exploded in our parent’s well-meaning faces.

After the concert I sat alone in our front yard, bewildered, wondering how I could ever go back inside my parent’s house again and live by their rules. How could I subject myself to the numbing drudgery of junior high school after what I’d just witnessed? I had no idea where I was going. I just knew I couldn’t go back. 

I don’t know how my father found out (my brother probably ratted on me) but at eight o’clock the next morning Dad came stomping up the stairs to my room and dragged me out of bed and down to Vince’s Barbershop for “a Marine Corps special.” I had just turned thirteen.   

The Folklorkestra’s A Strange Day in June album is out now via Smiling Fez. 


Originally written by Brett Callwood for The Village Voice, LA Weekly’s sister publication. 

























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