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10 Things Every Doors Fan Needs To Know About Morrison Hotel

In celebration of Morrison Hotel turning 45 today, here's 10 essential things you need to know about the iconic Doors album:

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1. Morrison Hotel Was Considered The Doors "Comeback" Album

Between Jim's TMZ-worthy, tour-killing obscenity charge (stemming from a Miami concert where he may or may not have exposed himself on stage), declining sales, and the negative reviews given to their previous two albums, many people gave up on The Doors. Morrison Hotel , with its tougher, back-to-basics sound, reestablished them as America's greatest rock & roll band.

2. It Was A Hit Record With No Hit Singles

Morrison Hotel was a Top 5 album, but it's only single, "You Make Me Real," didn't even crack the Top 40. Still, "Roadhouse Blues" (the single's b-side), "Peace Frog," and "Waiting For The Sun" have since become some of The Doors' best-known songs.

3. "Waiting For The Sun" Wasn't Finished In Time For Waiting For The Sun

One of Morrison Hotel's most revered cuts was actually supposed to be the title track to an earlier album. "The artwork was done, but the song wasn't ready," said keyboardist Ray Manzarek. It took a year, but they finally got "Waiting For The Sun" right.

4. The Doors Had To Photobomb Their Own Album Cover

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The desk clerk at LA's Morrison Hotel wouldn't let The Doors shoot their cover in his lobby. When the clerk stepped out for a break, photographer Henry Diltz stayed outside the hotel, snapping away while the band rushed inside and gathered behind the hotel's now famous window.

5. Then The Morrison Hotel Became A Total Dump

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You'd think having your hotel on the cover of a seminal rock album would inspire you to fix up the place and raise the rent, but the owners of the Morrison were among LA's most notorious slum-lords. By the time the hotel was shut down, they'd been convicted on 21 counts of violating fire, safety and health codes, with the city citing vermin infestations, broken heaters, lead poisoning, and raw sewage leaks among the offenses.

6. Even The Dive Bar On The Back Cover Became World Famous (Sorta)

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After they wrapped up their hit-and-run cover shoot, The Doors hit LA's skid row to grab a drink. They settled in to a dive called the Hard Rock Café, where Diltz took the photo for the album's back cover. After the album came out, two guys called to ask if they could use the name of the bar for a new restaurant they were opening in London, paving the way for hundreds of restaurants, hotels and casinos.

7. Half Of Morrison Hotel Is Actually Called Hard Rock Cafe

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When it was originally released on vinyl, side one of Morrison Hotel was labeled Hard Rock Cafe. Side two was Morrison Hotel.

8. The Harmonica Player On "Roadhouse Blues" Also Sang The Theme To Welcome Back Kotter

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Though credited as "G. Puglese" on the album, the guy playing harp on "Roadhouse Blues" is actually John Sebastian, ex-leader of The Lovin' Spoonful. As a solo artist he had just one hit: The theme to the sitcom that gave us John Travolta.

9. . . . And The Guy On Bass Sorta Taught Stevie Ray Vaughan How To Play Guitar

Lonnie Mack, who plays bass on "Roadhouse Blues" was better known as a top-shelf blues guitarist. In fact, Stevie Ray Vaughan said that, as a kid, he practiced guitar to one of Lonnie's albums so many times his dad destroyed it.

10. Morrison Hotel Even Made The Doors A Better Live Band

The stripped-back recording sessions toughened up and focused The Doors on stage as well as in the studio. Before it was even released, "Roadhouse Blues" became a fixture in their set lists and many fans still consider it their best live cut.

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