The wizard and I both enjoy the wordplay
of Tom Robbins. In fact, the Random Quotes Database at MondayMorningMemo.com contains the same number of Tom Robbins quotes as John Steinbeck quotes.
And you know how much the wizard likes Steinbeck.
In 1997, Tom said a 1967 performance of
The Doors helped him to find his voice as an author.
The Doors And What They Did To Me (A Thirty Year Perspective)
A few writers seem to be born with a singular, personal voice. The majority never develop a distinctive, original style and don’t care: they’re too busy riding to the hounds of commerce or favor. Then, there are those like myself who wait – with varying degrees of frustration and patience – for that day when the cerebral curtains might part and they find themselves at last able to say exactly what they want exactly how they want, find a voice, in short, of their own. For me, that day came in 1967, only instead of curtains parting, it was doors opening; doors, in fact, being blown off their hinges, doors, as in The Doors.
At the time, Seattle’s “house” bands were The Youngbloods and Country Joe & The Fish, groups whose electrical bananas may have shocked straight society, but who, to their fans, were as folksy and affectionate as psychedelic puppies. Accustomed to having its face licked, Seattle was unprepared for a band that, while it might sniff a crotch or two, definitely did not wag its tail. The Doors embodied the Zeitgeist, with all of its political optimism, spiritual awareness and liberating transcendence of obsolete cultural values, but embodied it with a potency, concentration and theatrical vehemence that was totally unexpected. They flaunted rather than soft-pedaled the threat that the new culture presented to the old culture, and both cultures were left rather reeling by the experience.
I was one of many young Seattlites who staggered, dazed but fomented, from Eagles Auditorium at the end of The Doors’ first appearance here. Back in my attic room, still partially stoned, I’m sure, from sources other than the music, I sat down around 2 a.m. to review the concert for the Helix, a local underground newspaper, and riding the wave of uncompromising, primal, poetic energy that The Doors had dashed against the reef of my brain, I broke on through to the other side. Which is to say, I finally found my voice. True, the resulting piece of impressionistic prose was a less than nature foreshadowing of my eventual literary style, and I cannot say with certainty that some of its phrases were not blatantly stolen from whatever I was reading that summer, but I wrote with a vigor, a freedom, a precision-within-aban-don that I’d heretofore never attained. My fire had been lit. Several weeks later, I began my first novel. Another Roadside Attraction, and never looked back.
As for The Doors, I feel about them today much as I did when I composed the following review that wild July night thirty years ago: riff for riff, image for image, little red rooster for little red rooster, they were the most exciting rock and roll band America ever produced.
Tom Robbins, Seattle, July 1997
Tom is 89 years old and still crazy after all these years. – Indy Beagle