I first photographed The Doors at a small New York club, close to the 59th Street Bridge, called Ondine’s, which was a favorite place for out of town bands to come and play residencies.
It was the winter of 1966 and I was down there with some friends to see a Los Angeles band that Elektra Records had recently signed. I had my camera with me and started taking pictures of them as they played.
No one in New York had heard of The Doors. They had never performed outside of Los Angeles and hadn’t released any records. Because they were unknown and the club was so intimate I had the unique opportunity of being able to get up really close as they played.
It wasn’t Jim Morrison’s looks that struck me first about him. It was the poetry of his songs and the way he would get completely lost in the music. He had this habit of cupping his hand behind his ear so the he could hear his vocals the way the traditional folk singers did. I thought the whole band was great; Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore were all very creative musicans.