Before The Doors took the music scene by a storm in 1967, they were the house band at the London Fog, a Sunset Strip dive bar located just footsteps away from the world famous Whisky a Go Go, the future home of many of the band’s most legendary performances. The Doors will open a virtual time capsule in December with London Fog 1966, a Collector’s Edition boxed set that features unearthed audio recorded at the club in May 1966. Previously unreleased and not even known to exist until recently, this marks the earliest recordings of the band and finds the quartet mixing blues covers with early versions of Doors originals. London Fog 1966 is the first of many special activities and releases coming to celebrate The Doors’ 50th Anniversary in 2017.
London Fog 1966 will be available as an individually numbered limited edition of 18,000 copies from Rhino/Bright Midnight Archives on December 9. Presented in a lift-top package designed to look like a vintage storage box, the set features seven songs on both CD and a 10-inch record that’s made to resemble a test pressing. Noted Doors engineer Bruce Botnick recently mastered the audio for this collection.
Along with the unreleased music, the set is packed with memorabilia and historic liner notes to provide a true time capsule of that fabled night at the London Fog, including a poster, the set list handwritten by John Densmore, a program for the Royce Hall UCLA student film screening, plus a London Fog coaster. There are also liner notes included from Sunset Strip legend Ronnie Haran-Mellen, who was the talent booker at the Whisky a Go Go. Haran-Mellen saw The Doors live for the first time at the London Fog and then booked them as the permanent house band at the Whisky, leading to the band’s signing to Elektra and meteoric rise to superstardom.
Also contributing liner notes is Nettie Peña, one of the lucky few to be in attendance at the London Fog for this fabled show. Peña was a pivotal force in this release coming together as she 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 to take to the show. Peña also photographed the band that evening and five black and white 8×10 reprints of these unpublished photos are included in the Collector’s Edition, featuring a fresh-faced Morrison on a cramped stage with John Densmore, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek.
Going back to the band’s earliest days is a natural starting point for The Doors 50th anniversary celebration. And next year promises to be a busy one for The Doors with more releases and events lined up for 2017.
LONDON FOG 1966 Track Listing
1. Rock Me
2. Baby, Please Don’t Go
3. You Make Me Real
4. Don’t Fight It
5. I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man
6. Strange Days
via: Warner Music Australia