By Al Graham
The audio isn’t the best, it frequently cuts out because of failing batteries, every once in a while someone talks over it, and because it’s recorded on a cassette player with the sound coming through The Doorsamplifiers at times it sounds like a parody of The Doors especially some of Jim Morrison’s singing. But it fills a hole in The Doors history giving us a document of what The Doors performance in Dallas on December 11, 1970, which was the second from last night The Doors would perform live with Jim Morrison.
The show was taped by Jim Bayliss who drove overnight to make the concert, he snuck his tape recorder in in a knapsack, and was able to capture four songs “Palace in the Canyon”, “L.A. Woman”, “Riders on the Storm” both of which would have been new to the audience as The Doors were still in the process of recording the “L.A. Woman” album, and “The End”. You can listen to the entirety of Bayliss’ tape in the video with this article.
Bayliss who has posted a review of the concert on Mild Equator in which he describes the atmosphere of the show, how the auditorium seemed to have been built as an opera house with an orchestra pit, large cushioned seats, and “operatic balconies”. Frisbees where flying around the room, he noticed a buxom young lady making her way up the aisle, a guy at the front row who was talking up a girl and was either John Densmore or someone who could have passed for him. The opening act was a band named The Courtship who played for about a half hour before The Doors came on. The band played “Roadhouse Blues”, “Crawling King Snake” and “Ship of Fools” before starting the Morrison poem/song “Palace in the Canyon” which is the point Bayliss turned on his tape recorder. You can read Bayliss’ full review at the Mild Equator website.
The tape became known because Bayliss first posted the “Palace in the Canyon” fragment on Youtube on February 18, it was linked to on the Freedom Man forum where Chris Simondet noticed it and did some research and was able to find Bayliss and got the tape digitized at his expense and sent a copy to The Doors (Simondet is a researcher who can find tapes and films of bands even with little information and a 40 year cold trail. If you have something that may be of interest or need researched you can find Simondet on Facebook). With the 50th anniversary of the release of The Doors first album coming up in January 2017 might this be something The Doors will be able to re-master and release for that anniversary?