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Roadhouse Blues by The Doors

Album: Morrison HotelReleased: 1970Charted:
50
  • When Jim Morrison got drunk, he liked to sing Blues numbers at their jam sessions. They jammed on a lot of Blues numbers, and came up with this at one of the sessions.
  • Jim Morrison came up with the line about keeping your "Eyes on the road, your hands up on the wheel" after riding with his girlfriend, Pamela Courson, to a cottage they owned outside Los Angeles. She was driving erratically.
  • John Sebastian from the Lovin' Spoonful played harmonica. He is identified on the album as "G. Puglese" because he was afraid to be identified with The Doors in light of Morrison's arrest at a concert in Miami when he was accused of exposing himself to the crowd. Morrison was convicted of indecent exposure and sentenced to 6 months in jail, but he died while the case was being appealed. In 2010, Florida governor Charlie Crist granted Morrison a pardon, clearing him of the charges.
  • Guitar great Lonnie Mack played bass. The Doors usually did not use a bass player.
  • Doors guitarist Robby Krieger joined Creed on stage at Woodstock '99, where they performed this. It is on the Woodstock '99 CD.
  • This was the first song on Morrison Hotel. The album was a return The Doors' earlier style. On their previous album, The Soft Parade, they used a lot of strings and horns. Morrison didn't do much on that album because he was drunk for most of it and had nothing to do while all the instrumentation was being worked out. Before The Doors had a record deal, they played many Blues songs in their long club shows.
  • Outtakes from one of Morrison's recording sessions were used to dub his voice into a version of this on the 2000 tribute album Stoned Immaculate, where he duets with John Lee Hooker.
  • In 2000, the surviving members of the Doors taped a VH1 Storytellers episode with guest vocalists filling in for Morrison. Scott Stapp from Creed sang on this.
  • This was released as the B-side of "You Make Me Real."
  • The Doors occasionally recorded old Blues songs, but even though this sounds like it could have been one of them, the wrote it themselves.
  • This has been called "the ultimate bar song," and it continues to be played by bar bands everywhere.
  • Krieger recalled to the NME July 17, 2010 how the album title came about: "Ray (Manzarek, keyboards) had been driving around downtown LA, and he saw this place called Morrison Hotel. So we decided to go down and shoot some photos there, but the guy who owned the hotel wouldn't let us inside it. I guess they thought we were hippies. There were a lot of drunks and bums hanging around that area. Anyway, we snuck in there real quick when he wasn't looking and got the shot that became the cover of Morrison Hotel."
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Comments: 55

What a knock-out of a song! Roadhouse Blues is still a favorite song of mine. I first heard it on their "Morrison Hotel" album in 1970 when I came home from the Army and Vietnam. In 'Nam, The Doors were very popular & their songs were played on AFVN radio there. I think I heard "Roadhouse Blues" for the first time in 1970 on an "underground FM" radio station out of Kansas City. Talking about wild, weird, and spaced-out "underground music"----they had it & then some LP cuts from The Doors, Beatles, Frank Zappa, the Wild Wonderful Wart Hogs, etc. Anyway, I love this song even now. I was saddened recently to hear that we lost Ray. What a great talent! He is missed. And Morrison is still missed, after all these years. It seems that I still do hear rumors of sightings of Jim Morrison somewhere across the USA. Strange days, indeed.Elmer H - Westville, Ok
The first The Doors song I've ever heard and it was love at the first hear.Natu - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
I've woken up many a time and got myself a beer (or beard if I had not shaved for a while. Ha). Great song from a great band.Jr - Bloomington, In
This is one of the greatest rockers ever recorded, and the best part is, there are so many to choose from! First, the original which is of course legendary in its own sense. Next, there are, what, 50 different live cuts of this? My personal favorite comes off the "American Prayer" album that was later featured on "Greatest Hits." It's the one recorded at Felt Forum where Jim addresses the crowd about his Zodiac sign and wanting to have a good time. And finally the "Stoned Immaculate" cut with one of the greatest bluesmen ever, John Lee Hooker. That version is just so filthy it's amazing. I'm sure they're having a beer together in hell right now (in the wise words of Mark Twain, go to heaven for the climate, hell for the company!)David - Woburn, Ma
Jim exclaims "Do it Lonnie, Do it!"-to Lonnie Mack who played the Lead guitar & solo on this track from Morrison Hotel.Marc - New York, Ny
I also like and answer to the question posted by William of Laurel Canyon, CA.

I Morrison singing "Do it, Robbie, do it"?
Or is it as some other lyrics quote it as, "Do it, Lonnie, do it" or even "Do it honey, do it"?

I've always thought it was, "do it, Robbie" sing Robbie Krieger's solo that follows.
Mike - San Diego, Ca
Morrison Hotel was remixed and remastered in 2007 and includes numerous takes of Roadhouse Blues done on Nov. 4 and 5, 1969. Also, the "official version" of Roadhouse Blues on the remixed and remastered version includes additional vocals, guitar and piano.David - Youngstown, Oh
"Woke up this morning and I got myself a beer!" what a legendNady - Adelaide, Australia
this is one of the reasons that the doors are my favorite band ever... they can hit you with the blues, classic rock sound or just some very nice melodies to relax... got to love jimboJoeywalnuts - Miami, Fl
everytime i hear this it's like the first time all over again!!a good way to start my day!!only bad thing it makes me want to forget everything and just go on down to THE ROADHOUSE !Rose - Philadelphia, Pa
Apparently the improvisation is Jim obscuring some sexual talk "eacha puna" is "eat your p...[fill in the blank]"Susan - Toronto, Canada
This song is on most every Doors CD I got.They must have really loved it and I do too! The scream Morrison usually gave out to start this song off is just bone jarring and I love it every time!

..'the future's uncertain and the end is always near'---that about says it all, doesn't it?
Mark - Byrdstown, Tn
Little know fact about this song, Lonnie Mack didn't just play bass. He also played the lead guitar in the middle. Robby wasn't too good on this at the time but worked on it for the live shows later. To avoid embarrassment, Lonnie was simply credited with the bass.Tim - Austell, Ga
i love when jim improvises in a song....he would sing what he felt like at the time....great song!!jim's spirt is with his music, peaceDani - Hamburg, Ny
Very good song, especially the last line of the text. By the way, we can hear this song in the film "Roadhouse" with Patrick Swayze.Dmytro - Kharkiv, Europe
I agree with Anthony from Tucson. (all the way at the bottom). It's a definite shame music cannot be produced like this today. I mean, I'm sure it's possible but Jim Morrison is a true poet. He had such life and spirit with his music. Hahaha, by the way, my mom said this song describes me perfectly. I have no idea why, but I won't complain.Chenel - Salamanca, Ny
I really enjoy this song especially the incoferent mumbles in the middle. They're a great subversion of the piece bien fait!Parasuraman - Trivandrum, India
This is one of the best songs I know. I particularly like the incoherent mumblings in the middle. A great subversion of the Piece bien fait which is a piece bien fait itself!Parasuraman - Trivandrum, India
The line "I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer" was inspired by Alice Cooper. Him and Morrison were talking at the recording studio just before Jim went to go record this song. He asked Alice about his day and he responded "Ehh.. Woke up this morning.... got myself a beer."
Morrison decided to use the line in the song.
Eric - Milford, Pa
Personally, I love it when Jim just starts making up his own words in the middle of the song. They aren't words at all just some ramblings..only Jim Morrison could pull off such a thing and make it sound good.Dhani - Wausau, Wi
It's not: "Well, I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer.", but "Well, I woke up this morning and I got myself a beard." This according to Ray Manzarek.Mark - Los Angeles, Ca
This is definitely the best bar song ever, and one of my favorites from the Doors. Pretty sure he's giving a shout out to Lonnie Mack before that solo, but it might just sound that way.Jonathon - Clermont, Fl
this song is so raw and powerfull and amazing and hey how could it not be when being sung by the best band in the universeElie - London, England
Amazing song, blows my mind every time I listen to it. Question: In the studio version of this song right before Robbie's guitar solo does he say "Do it Robbie do it," or "Do it Lonnie do it?"William - Laurel Canyon, Ca
For those of you who don't know the Jim Morrison/John Lee Hooker and scott Stap versions of this song are different. I know this becuase, I previewed Stoned Immaculate, the doors tribute album on amazon.com.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Whatever mood i'm in (e.g) angry, happy or sad,
I can listen to the doors, and i'm only 12.
All my friends at scool think i'm wierd because i love the doors,and because i borrow books from librarys on the doors, the think i'm even more wierd. when people at school make fun of me (for a reason unrelated to the doors) i just can't wait to go home and listen to the doors because it makes me feel better
Veronica - Melbourne, Australia
Alice Cooper claims on his late-night radio show (on wmgk 102.9, in the Philadelphia area) at the line "I woke up this morning and grabbed myself a beer" was credited to him. Apparently, he was describing his morning to Morrison, who stopped and wrote down the line in a notebook after Alice said it.Emily - Philadelphia, Pa
The live version is pretty cool and funny. At least the one I've heard. It's on a greatest hits compilation that they released. don't know the title of it though.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
You probably find a similarity in those songs, because they sound similar Johnny. You're not the only one.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
one of the best drinking songs in the whole of the time music has been aroundTj - Tumut, Australia
Listen to to "You make me real" (Morrison Hotel). About half way through, you can hear him singing "you gotta roll, baby roll" in the backround, faintly.


>>actually waking up in the morning and grabbing a beer puts a hurtin on a fella after a while.
- Dennis, Moncton, - -<<

Hence the picture of the butterfly on the LA Woman album. See "When the Music's Over"
D - Many, Ma
This song is good anywhere. You can play it wherever you want, whenever you want. I for some reason compare it to "THE WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat.) Why is that?Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
I beleive this is the doors at their best, an excellent drinking/blues song. Also I like to listen to this song when I am driving long distances. I would also like to suggest, if you like this song you may like Jonathan Edwards - Shanty, which sounds strikingly similar. Thanks.Cowticket - Indiana, In
I have been drunk singing this song on more than a hundred occasions at least. I love blues and actually waking up in the morning and grabbing a beer puts a hurtin on a fella after a while.Dennis - Moncton
oh man oh man I'm older And for the first friggin time I get a real chance to finally listen to the Doors/Morrison I have been working a day (slave job) and doing Indie film productions and ya da ya yada I'm driving my car for another film shoot so I put in this cd the classics doors and wo wo wo wo I was like whoa? !! and made a few phone calls asking around is this singer alive still? and was very sad to hear he passed on,road house blues and LA Woman are in my book totally incredible I really do not think we will ever come across a fella like him (morrison) and well there is this one other guy I'm watching cause I think his mojo has not risen yet but let's look and see what Johnny Lang has got to offer the world I feel he has stories to tell still yet! who knows for now I'm playing the Doors cd to death ! LoLMike - Sacramento, Ca
this is such a cool and moody song. it's such a party song. I wonder if it'd be good for drinking to......Brandon - Saskatoon, Canada
the live version is much better than the, well, non live version.

i like it a lot better anyway. its got more feeling and i think this song sounds better with the amount of feeling the live version has!!
Mike - Harrison, Ny
The Doors played the legendary Isle of Wight Festival in August 1970 as well as Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, The Who, Sly & The Family Stone, Ten Years After, Richie Havens and many others. At the festival, "Roadhouse Blues" was their encore. A bootleg cd called PALACE OF EXILE erroniously placed "Roadhouse Blues" before "Light My Fire."Barry - New York, Nc
I'm talking about the live recording that isD - Many, Ma
What just about makes the song and sends chills up my spine every time I hear them, are the changes in his voice's inflection as he sings "Let it Roll, baby, roll...". [Agreed on the question: "How come the current music can't be as good as this?". Perhaps people forgotten their dreams and have gone back to sleep for a while].D - Many, Ma
"The future's uncertain, and the end is always near" I love this line, it's so true.Don - Philadelphia, Pa
I always thought it was "Passionate lady. Give up your vows."Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
Probably mmy fave doors song too! The live version on The best Of the Doors cd is awesome! I like the guitar riff at the beginning, you know the intro! It's pretty cool, and the song is just one of those you wanna dance to! I love it!Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
You can also hear a rockin' live version of this
song off Blue Oyster Cult's "Extra-Terrestial Live" album, featuring Robbie Krieger on guitar.
Paul - Rothesay, Nb, Canada
iv got the live version on my ipod and basically the guitar riff begins and then jim does one of his characteristic screams and the noise of girls screaming actually deafens the music for a moment anyway its worth gettingDan - London, England
Hey...this song rules but umm he says 'ashen lady....give up ur vows' what doest that mean? i always thought it was Passion lady???Jayme - San Clemente, Ca
the flecktones covered this, but it didn't sound anything like this original masterpiece-- almost a totally new song!!Loretta - Liverpool, England
"Well, I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer" You're damn right Rhett, that line just captures the whole essence of being free.Renzis - Holland, United States
this is the BEST song ever by the Doors Jim Morrison is awlays alive in musical spiritRyan - Salt Lake City, Ut
Well, I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer. - what a line! what a song! this song captures the brillance of Morrison. He was truely a god.Rhett - Melbourne, Australia
It's a shame music today isn't near this level. Today it is more about the image and not the music. Morisson was a passionate, incredible frontman, his image came naturally. But it shows you, we are still talking about this song now, i wonder if the same will be true in 40 years about today's music.Anthony - Tucson, Az
I agree with the 3 of you,this is an excellent song.(How come the current music can't be as good as this?)Luke - Somonauk, Il
My favorite Doors song too, good bar song.Brian - Paoli, In
may not be one of the more famous doors songs but definatly one of my personal favourites. it has a great beat and is a perfect song to sing along to.Terri Lynn - Heart's Desire, Canada
One of my all time favourites, always makes you want to get up and dance.Jojo - Hawkes Bay, New Zealand