As part of the Doors’ 40th anniversary celebration, the band will soon make more than a dozen concerts from 1967-1970 available for download from its Web site. Fans will have the option to pick and choose from the selections, many of which are previously unreleased, rather than having to buy a complete show.
The delivery mechanism will be powered by Basecamp Productions, which built Pearl Jam’s successful concert download store last year. “Basecamp’s entire business model is that these huge bands have all these fans that spend hours online,” company principal Joshua James tells Billboard.com. “Why send them off to iTunes to buy music when they want to hang out right there on the band’s Web site?”
Among the shows being tapped for the initiative is a run at New York’s Felt Forum and a 1967 performance at the tiny San Francisco club the Matrix, just a few months after the release of the Doors’ first album. This gig will also be released on CD as well as made available for download.
“There were 30 or 40 people in the club but they blazed through five sets,” says Doors manager Jeffrey Jampol. “We have all the recordings with [producer] Paul Rothchild’s handwritten notes. That show has been bootlegged in terrible copies for years, but no one ever knew we had the recordings in the vault.”
A bulk of the material stems from shows in 1970 that were recorded for the album “Absolutely Live” by Rothchild and engineer Bruce Botnick, but never released. “Everything we’re putting up has been remixed and remastered by Bruce Botnick, who is still part of our team,” Jampol says.
As previously reported, the band’s 40th birthday will also be marked with a 12-disc box set due this fall via Rhino. It will pair the Doors’ first six studio albums — all remastered with bonus tracks — with six DVDs featuring 5.1 remixes of the albums and bonus material. In addition, there will be a vinyl boxed set of the first six albums and two-CD versions of the albums released individually.