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The Unsung Doors: Paul And Georgia


The music, lyrics and antics of the members of The Doors have been widely discoursed among music enthusiasts, generating a multitude of the rock band’s haters and lovers. With Jim Morrison providing vocals, John Densmore on the drums, Robby Krieger playing the guitar and Ray Manzarek mastering the keyboard; the band gained momentum from the late 1960s onwards. But there stood one couple - Paul and Georgia Ferrara - airlessly close to the group, yet far aloof from the limelight.

In 1965, Jim and Ray studied at the Theatre Arts Department of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Here, they befriended another film student Paul Ferrara, who later went on to become the band’s official photographer and cinematographer. 

Georgia Newton belonged to a Californian aristocratic conventional family. As a teenager, she hitchhiked regularly and joined other youngsters on the Sunset Strip, where she also met John and Robby. Paul met Georgia in 1968 for the first time during the screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Very soon, the two became a couple.

Paul and Georgia
 
Paul and Georgia shared a remarkable love for music. During the course of their relationship, they recorded many songs. But The Paul And Georgia Album is the only album of the duo that exists. It was released just a few years ago when their recordings, unheard for several years, were found at Paul’s New Mexico ranch. They were then digitalised from their analogue forms. 

The pair’s music grants the listener a path to escape and experience, via ears, a ride through the tumultuous nomadic lives of the 60s American generation.  Every song has been intrinsically woven with a great depth in lyrics, and yet clutching its simplicity till the very end.

Paul played the acoustic guitar smoothly and Georgia offered her haunting vocals. Her voice may sound like the blended vocals of an eerie Native American folk singer and other female musicians - Grace Slick and Joan Baez.

The Doors have also rendered music in two songs of this album. In Hopi Robby gives a guitar solo and Jim sings a bit at the starting. The other one is One More Drink, which was initially supposed to be sung by Janis Joplin. 

Paul shot several photographs of The Doors, including the cover and promotional photographs for their album Waiting For The Sun. He created the ‘Lizard King’ image of Jim, and directed the movie HWY: An American Pastoral, with Jim playing the lead character of a road killer in the Joshua Tree desert of California. The film features the song Bald Mountain from The Paul And Georgia Album. It turns out that Jim really liked this musical piece and wanted to use it in the plot.

Photos of Jim taken by Paul; Paul shooting the band for the album Waiting For The Sun
Georgia and Paul married each other, following which their child Rio was born. When Jim shifted to Paris and died in 1971, the two began exploring the USA with their son and continued to create music. The couple separated after a few years. While the internet carries very less information on Georgia Newton, 72-year-old Paul Ferrara can still be found active in the virtual world. He operates his own website, as well as, MySpace and Facebook profiles.

Paul has also released two albums, PLGRM 11 and Paul Ferrara & PLGRM The Child Returns. In 2007, he got his autobiography Flash Of Eden published. The book discloses some unknown facts about Mr. Mojo Risisn’, such as that he would extend help to the poor on the streets and take off his own clothes for them to cover.

Clockwise: Paul capturing Jim's seizure; Paul with a camera; Babe Hill, Georgia and Paul; Jim and Paul shooting each other

 From The Paul And Georgia Album; Black Gold, Need You, Ice Cream and Nuilena are melodies having beautiful lyrics. There is another well written song called James, which (I surmise) had been dedicated to James Douglas (Jim) Morrison

About: Kritika Tandon is a student at Delhi University pursuing Journalism(Hons). She writes also at http://hippiedippie.blogspot.in/

 

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