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  • johnnydepp-doors-frontEagle Vision’s new DVD When You’re Strange; A Film About The Doors has finally arrived and it’s been well worth the wait. The DVD, narrated by Johnny Depp, no less, is a no-holds barred documentary about how the group came together and eventually burned out.

    When The Doors first hit it big, I liked them, but never became a full blown devotee — untill now. The Doors were certainly a revelation, but I guess I had to grow up a bit more to fully appreciate them.

    I took a big second look at them when their music was so brilliantly utilized in the movie “Apocalypse Now.” From there I began a rather casual, yet definitive look into their music.

    When we visited Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame several years back, one of the things that surprised and delighted us was an entire floor chock full of Doors information and memorabilia.

    The Cleveland exhibit whetted my appetite even more.

    The DVD retails for $19.98, but you can buy it through TheImproper’s special price at Amazon.com for $13.49, a 32 percent savings.

    I must say that the DVD went way beyond my expectations.

    It begins with someone who I thought look remarkably like the late lead singer Jim Morrison driving through the desert signaling some sort of personal journey.

    Turns out, it is Morrison himself; the footage, recently unearthed, was part of a project he was working on to be titled HWY.

    “I had an idea for a film about a hitchhiker who becomes a mass murderer; but, the film just took over and just went in its own direction and became something a little different,” Morrison says about the project in a long-ago interview.

    “There’s no plot, no story in the traditional sense. A person, played by me, comes down out of the mountain and hitchhikes his way into L.A. It’s a very beautiful film.”

    Morrison completed HWY in November 1970, just after initial sessions for the final Doors album LA Woman, but it was never released.

    The footage from it is a key part of the DVD, and it highlights how the idea of a “killer on the loose” migrated from the movie to The Doors’ greatest musical masterpieces.

    Framed by Depp’s words, it is positively scary, yet enigmatically compelling.

    Morrison was indeed one of a kind. It’s all here, the controversy within the group and the controversy the group caused.

    Turns out, Ray Manzarek was the serious one and guitarist Robby Krieger, a singularly brilliant musician, yet, when they all came together … it worked like black magic.

    Says Manzarek: “It’s a poetic film. It covers the entire Doors career. I think it’s important that the film exists because, this time, you will see the actual Jim Morrison – not Val Kilmer playing him as happened in the Oliver Stone movie about the band. You’ll see The Doors as real human beings.”

    Morrison was the true catalyst that made it all work. And, it did for awhile.

    The DVD has a number of performances by the group and they’re positively gripping. I for one never realized the true importance of Krieger, but it’s all documented here.

    In the beginning, all the songs were credited to the group, but that soon shifted as Morrison’s own personal journey of enlightenment began.

    As with all artists reaching such a high pinnacle of success and notoriety, there’s only one way to go from there.

    Independent filmmaker Tom DiCillo (1995’s “Living In Oblivion”), who wrote as well as directed, has done simply an exemplary job. Jarring, compelling, it’s all here.

    One interesting side note: The film was executive produced by TV’s Dick Wolf; noted for all his “Law And Order” projects.

    Interesting, right? If you’re a fan, casual or not, immediately put this on your top ten list to get. It is that good.

    Rosa Fasolo: Small Girl With Big Bluesy Pipes

    Rosa Fasolo

    Rosa Fasolo

    I was passed a tape of a new song called “Red Light,” by Rosa Fasolo that is simply one of the best productions and songs I’ve heard this year.

    A little more digging brought forth an EP from her that is currently being shopped around by her label New Industry Sounds & Creations, headed by Jose Dilone and Brandon Squire.

    The EP also includes the tracks “The Last Time,” and “The Promise,” which has become a personal favorite.

    Turns out, Rosa has been singing since she was 10! In fact, the 24-year old, hailing from New Jersey, earned the moniker of the “small girl with Big Bluesy pipes.” And, believe me, it fits perfectly.

    With her inspirations ranging from Whitney Houston to Diana Ross, Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James, she can more than ably hold her own.

    As Rosa herself says, “I want my fans to have fun when they listen to my music and also be inspired by it; it’s like reading a book … it’s a story.”

    The music business is in strange straits right now; the majors labels have taken a nosedive like never before, but also, it’s a terrific time for new artists and labels to get out there and show and prove what they have.

    Put Rosa Fasolo at the top of the list of artists who deserve to be heard. I’m tempted to posit that the hottest new artist out there isn’t even on a proper label yet?

    Hear that Barry Weiss, Bruce Carbone, Jason Flom, and Cory Robbins? Get on this one ASAP … this one’s for you!

    Names in the News

    John Glover, Angelo Babbaro, George Hess, Lon and Derek Van Eaton, Tom Cuddy, George Hess, Glenn Friscia, Michael Starr, Donna Quinter, Steve Walter, Race Taylor, Bruce Grakal, Chris Gilman, Alissa Pollack, Jonathan Clyde, Jeff Lynne, David Adelson, Roy Trakin, Lucy Black