Keeping the beat.
It is June, 6, 1970. At the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, the audience eagerly awaits the appearance on stage of The Doors. The band is on a Roadhouse Blues Tour to support the album Morrison Hotel.
The tour manager places two microphones on the stage floor, recording the show on a Sony reel-to-reel tape recorder. The Doors are joined for four songs by blues legend Albert King, whose presence drives lead singer Jim Morrison to some unearthly vocals.
"You guys sure have a beautiful city here. You really do," Mr. Morrison tells the crowd. "You can't imagine how refreshing it is to come out of a sewer like Los Angeles and breathe some fresh air for a change."
The band plays for two hours, a recording released last month by Rhino Records as The Doors: Live in Vancouver, 1970. It's a scintillating souvenir of a single remarkable night in a tumultuous era.
A year later, the Lizard King is dead.
Listen to The Doors - Who Do You Love from the album The Doors: Live in Vancouver, 1970.
It ain't the '60s without a soundtrack.
Regenerator Records of Vancouver has re-issued the hard-to-find Cool-Aid Benefit Album, featuring some of the city's top psychedelic bands, as well as a jug band. Groove to the tunes of Mock Duck, Papa Bear's Medicine Show, Hydro Electric Streetcar, and the Blacksnake Blues Band.
A year ago, Greenpeace released Amchitka, a two-CD live recording of the fundraising concert that launched the environmental group. It features live recordings of Phil Ochs, Joni Mitchell, and James Taylor.
Making a record.
Rick McGrath, who was a rock critic and entertainment editor at The Georgia Straight, maintains a fascinating website about the characters who worked in Vancouver's underground press. The underground newspaper, which debuted in 1967, fought in court to maintain freedom of the press. The passions ignited 40 years ago over its control remain undiminished.
The cartoonist and illustrator Rand Holmes, who died at Lasqueti Island eight years ago, created hippie hero Harold Hedd, one of the more memorable fictional characters of the 1960s. Among the cognoscenti, Mr. Holmes is a peer of Robert (Mr. Natural) Crumb and Gilbert (Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers) Shelton. A 328-page retrospective was released this summer by Fantagraphics Books.