Oldies But Goldies: Jim Morrison/An American Prayer (Elektra/Asylum, 1978) – Eugenio Mirti


Jim Morrison

An American Prayer (Elektra/Asylum, 1978)

di Eugenio Mirti

Tra il 1969 e  il 1970 Jim Morrison, cantante solista del gruppo americano più importante degli anni ’60, i Doors, si recò in studio di incisione per recitare alcune delle sue poesie. Morrison, uno dei più geniali parolieri del rock, sarebbe morto poco dopo, calando il sipario su un’epoca favolosa per inventiva e fantasia.

Shake dreams from your hair
My pretty child, my sweet one.
Choose the day and choose the sign of your day
The day’s divinity
First thing you see. A vast radiant beach in a cool jeweled moon
Couples naked race down by its quiet side
And we laugh like soft, mad children
Smug in the wooly cotton brains of infancy
The music and voices are all around us.
Choose they croon the Ancient Ones
The time has come again
Choose now, they croon
Beneath the moon
Beside an ancient lake
Enter again the sweet forest
Enter the hot dream
Come with us
Everything is broken up and dances.
Nel 1978 i tre elementi superstiti della band decisero di realizzare un album che musicasse alcuni dei poemi declamati da Morrison, insieme a qualche brano live (la celebre versione di Roadhouse Blues con lo speaker in adrenalina che dice Ladies and Gentlemenfrom Los Angeles…California…The Doooooooooooors!), estratti di jam del gruppo, ecc., con un superbo booklet ricco di disegni, foto, e tantissime poesie.
La critica è sempre stata divisa sul valore del progetto (ricordo che quando uscì Free As A Bird dei Beatles il quotidiano della mia città la definì “la classica operazione di canta col morto inaugurata dai Doors del 1978” – un esempio di recensione tecnica e ben motivata, direi…), e siccome mi legano a questo album notevoli ricordi di vita vissuta mi sento decisamente poco obiettivo. Certo è che i versi di Morrison sono meravigliosi, e Manzarek e soci dimostrano appieno il loro valore, riuscendo a realizzare un malinconico omaggio all’amico scomparso.
Intenso, avvincente, un lavoro che non lascia indifferenti. Se questo è cantare col morto, viva George Romero e tutti gli zombie!

Do you know the warm progress under the stars?
Do you know we exist?
Have you forgotten the keys to the Kingdom?
Have you been borne yet and are you alive?

Let’s reinvent the gods, all the myths of the ages.
Celebrate symbols from deep elder forests.
[Have you forgotten the lessons of the ancient war?]

We need great golden copulations.

The fathers are cackling in trees of the forest
And our mother is dead in the sea.

Do you know we are being led to
Slaughters by placid admirals,
And that fat slow generals are getting
Obscene on young blood?
Do you know we are ruled by TV?

The moon is a dry blood beast.
Guerrilla bands are rolling numbers
In the next block of green vine,
Amassing for warfare on innocent
Herdsman who are just dying.

O great creator of being,
Grant us one more hour to perform our art
And perfect our lives.

The moths and atheists
Are doubly divine and dying.

We live, we die
And death not ends it.

Journey we more into the Nightmare.
Cling to life, our passion’d flower,
Cling to cunts and cocks of despair.
We got our final vision by clap.
Columbus’ groin got
Filled with green death.

(I touched her thigh and death smiled.)

We have assembled inside this
Ancient and insane theatre
To propagate our lust for life
And flee the swarming wisdom of the streets.

The barns are stormed,
The windows kept,
And only one of all the rest
To dance and save us
With the divine mockery of words.
Music inflames temperament.

(When the true King’s murderers
Are allowed to roam free,
A thousand Magicians arise in the land.)

Where are the feasts we were promised?
Where is the wine,
The New Wine.
(Dying on the vine.)