Archives for posts with tag: rock bands

Born To Be Wild
by Nina Bennett

We piled into my mother’s ice blue
Bonneville convertible, lowered
the top, cruised. Gas was fifty cents
a gallon. Radio blared Steppenwolf.
Our kazoos honked, squawked
in harmony to the high E chord
stretched like a tightrope
over the organ solo. I was a newly licensed
cowgirl, determined to last eight seconds,
to conquer Main Street with my posse,
bare legs stuck to creamy leather seats.
Our hair whipped across our cheeks,
stung our eyes, caught in the corners
of our Slickered lips. Vapor trails
of squeals and giggles streamed behind us.
We rounded the corner by the Deer Park,
passed the library, breezed down
Delaware Avenue, cool as mint
chocolate chip ice cream.

SOURCE: Originally published in The Broadkill Review (2011), Volume 5 Issue 5.

PHOTO: The author at 17.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Every time I hear this song (“Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf, 1968), I am instantly transported to the summer after I got my driver’s license. My girlfriends and I would drive around the same loop of our small town for hours, blasting the car radio, and scrounging up change to buy gas.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Delaware native Nina Bennett is the author of Sound Effects (2013, Broadkill Press Key Poetry Series). Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Napalm and Novocain, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Houseboat, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Philadelphia Stories, and The Broadkill Review. Awards include 2014 Northern Liberties Review Poetry Prize, second-place in poetry book category from the Delaware Press Association (2014), and a 2012 Best of the Net nomination.

On April 17, 2013, John Densmore — best known as drummer for The Doors — released The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison’s Legacy Goes on Trial, a memoir about his extended legal battle with bandmates Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger over the right to use the name “The Doors.”

OFFICIAL OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK: The subject of The Doors Unhinged is the “greed gene”, and how that part of the human psyche propels us toward the accumulation of more and more wealth, even at the expense of our principles and friendships and the well being of society. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, The Doors fractured because of this. In his book, drummer John Densmore looks at the conflict between him and his band mates as they fought over the right to use The Doors’ name. At the same time, Densmore examines how this conflict mirrors and reflects a much larger societal issue — that no amount of money seems to be enough for even the wealthiest people.

OUR THOUGHTS: When The Doors started out in 1965, the bandmates decided to share everything equally — and give everyone equal credit. That meant that no matter who had written a song, the credit line would read: The Doors. This has always struck me as smart — and a way of making sure that everybody stayed involved and felt appreciated, because everybody was making the same amount of money.

But after frontman/rock god Jim Morrison died in 1971, the three remaining bandmates couldn’t agree about how and when to use The Doors’ music and name, with Densmore as the holdout when it came to selling out (especially when it came to using their songs for advertising). All hail, John Densmore! 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: An original and founding member of the musical group The Doors, John Densmore co-wrote and produced numerous gold and platinum albums and toured the United States, Europe, and Japan. His autobiography, Riders on the Storm, was on the New York Times bestseller list, and in 1993 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He has written numerous articles for Rolling Stone, London Guardian, The Nation, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, and Utne Reader. He co-produced Road To Return, narrated by Tim Robbins — a film that won several prestigious national awards and was screened for Congress, resulting in the writing of a bill. He also executive produced Juvies, a film narrated by Mark Wahlberg that aired on HBO and won numerous awards, including 2004 IDA for excellence and U.S. International Film Fest for creative excellence.


Joan Jobe Smith (pictured in June 2013 with John Densmore) — author of the Silver Birch Press Release CHARLES BUKOWSKI EPIC GLOTTIS: His Art, His Women (& me) — was a go-go dancer for seven years and in 1966 danced live with The Doors at Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.


Smith and her husband, poet Fred Voss (pictured at left with John Densmore) — a longtime avid fan of The Doors — attended a book signing on June 1, 2013 at Fingerprints, a record store in Long Beach, California, where they waited in line with hundred of other fans for a chance to meet Densmore and hear about his book. The reading was originally planned for late May, but Densmore rescheduled out of respect for his bandmate Ray Manzarek, who passed away on May 20, 2013 at age 74.

Like Fred Voss, I am a longtime, avid fan of The Doors — and I can’t wait to read The Doors Unhinged (great title!), available at

Photos by Fred Voss and Joan Jobe Smith


by Jim Morrison

The Desert
    –roseate metallic blue
    & insect green

    blank mirrors &
    pools of silver

    a universe in
    one body


“The Desert” appears in THE AMERICAN NIGHT: The Writings of Jim Morrison, Volume 2 (Vintage, 1991)

Photo: Jim Morrison in the desert, late 1960s.


The Rolling Stones kick off their “50 & Counting…” tour tonight (May 3, 2013) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. After gigs in Anaheim and Northern California, they’ll be back on May 20. There’s been a lot of buzz and excitement in L.A. over the Stones’ tour — especially after they played a last-minute gig on April 27 at a small venue in Echo Park.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards both turn 70 this year, Charlie Watts turns 72 in June, and youngster Ronnie Wood is 65. These rockers continue to inspire with their creativity, passion, and stamina.

As writers, Jagger and Richards are geniuses — how else to explain their endless stream of remarkable compositions?

Richards talks about songwriting in his autobiography LIFE (Little, Brown, 2010). Here’s a quote:

What is it that makes you want to write songs? In a way you want to stretch yourself into other people’s hearts. You want to plant yourself there, or at least get a resonance, where other people become a bigger instrument than the one you’re playing. It becomes almost an obsession to touch other people. To write a song that is remembered and taken to heart is a connection, a touching of bases. A thread that runs through all of us. A stab to the heart. Sometimes I think songwriting is about tightening the heartstrings as much as possible without bringing on a heart attack.” 

I was lucky enough to attend Stones’ concerts in Chicago a couple of times, but for the “50 & Counting…” appearances at the Staples Center the “cheapest” seat price, with limited availability, is $85. No matter. I won’t complain about the prices — because the Stones are worth every penny. If you can afford it (and even if you can’t) — go!  This is a once in a lifetime chance to see the greatest band in the world on what may be its final tour.

For ticket information and tour dates, visit