The Doors – Live At The Matrix (RSD 2017)

Posted: May 15, 2017 in Vinyl
Tags: , ,

Once again I decided to camp out for Record Store Day (RSD), getting to my store 8 ½ hours ahead of opening. I know I said on Twitter that I likely wouldn’t bother with RSD this year, but things changed obviously. That thing was adding more and more things to my list, which ending the debate of do I want to go out for the one thing I know I won’t be able to find online for retail price. I’d rather not spend $30 on something if it means the only thing being sacrificed is a good night’s sleep. If you think I’m crazy for waiting that line and getting to a store that early, keep reading. But I do sleep for at least 2-3 hours of that wait time. If you want to skip this column-esque story, skip ahead five paragraphs for the start of the write up on this particular RSD release.

To lay the ground work for RSD this year, I actually had fun the past two years (2016 & 2017) waiting in line, which makes the time go by faster. That was not the case every other year, and I’ve been attending RSD since its inception in 2008. I had some cool people to talk to these past two years, which rarely, if ever happened every other year for RSD. I’m talkative person, it’s the other people who either can’t or refuse to hold a conversation for whatever reason. The past two years I was next to the same group of people actually. You see, at my local store, the same groups of people show up around the same time every year, especially the diehards. I’m talking about the real early birds, the people who get there 7+ hours ahead of opening. And at my store you have to show up by 4 am (for an 8 am opening) in order to have a serious chance of getting what you want. Otherwise you’re like 150+ in line and will spend around 2 hours (after opening) just waiting to get in and get checked out. It’s a popular store in a highly populated area.

For those curious about what store I go to, I never mention it because I want to maintain some privacy for myself. I don’t want people knowing where I live. It’s not a matter of turning people onto the store and having more people show up. Trust me, this store is well know and one of the most popular stores in the region. It draws people from four different states for RSD, and there are no shortages of record stores in the area either.

The only thing that changed in the 10 years RSD has been happening is how early I have to line up in order to get everything I want, or at the very least the few things I would have a hard time tracking down for a decent price online. I used to get to my store around 5 am, and got everything I wanted with no problem. But ever since 2015 the line has gotten out of control. I used to be no more than 20th in line with a 5 am arrival from 2009-2014, but I learned my lesson in 2015 after getting there at 2 am (thinking that additional 3 hours would be enough to compensate for the Deja Entendu release) and being like 50th in line, resulting in missing out on stuff I wanted for the first time ever. And I mean for the first time ever. Prior to that year I never missed out on a single thing on my list.

Ever since then my goal was to get there by midnight, and it’s worked. And I’ve had more fun in line than ever. People bring beer, people are more talkative, offer to get food and coffee for people and are just more helpful and nicer in general. I think a lot people are immediately grumpy when they get there later in the morning and come to the dreaded realization of how long the line actually is. The line can be a bit deceiving because it wraps around the building/strip mall. Lots of people see what they think is the end of the line at the end of the building/strip mall, only to walk over and discover it keeps going. I’ve heard plenty of obscenities being yelled at 5 and 6 am, some from like a hundred feet away.

That one thing mentioned above was the Thrice 7”. That is what drew me out for RSD, but I also picked up a bunch of other things rather than deal with paying for shipping and the potential for damage during shipping. The Doors live LP was one of those other things I wanted, but felt wouldn’t be hard to find online for retail price. The Doors release was also something I could live without and could have been scrapped from my list purely to save money.

Live At The Matrix features The Doors set from the San Francisco venue on March 7, 1967. This marks the first time the set has been released on vinyl, but not the first time they were legitimately commercially available. This live set, although not with the same track listing, were released on the 50th Anniversary Edition of The Doors debut self-titled album, which was released in 2017. This 50th Anniversary Edition of The Doors has yet to be released on vinyl, only CD and digitally. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see it release on vinyl at some point, the label likely held off on releasing it on vinyl knowing this RSD release of the live set was coming out late in the year, and didn’t want to lose sales of the RSD release.

The pressing info for this Doors RSD release is a bit misleading, as it’s broken down regionally. The official U.S. RSD list simply puts the pressing quantity as limited to 4,500 copies. But upon further digging, Live At The Matrix is actually limited to 10,000 copies. There were just 4,500 allocated to the U.S. market. The rest went overseas and Canada. Odd that the majority of copies of a U.S. band was not made available in the U.S.; not even an nice even 50/50 split. I will add this though; after RSD the official RSD website was updated to divulge the fact this release is limited to 10,000 copies worldwide. They likely did this in an attempt to cover up the fact that they lied and to keep disgruntled customers from voicing their displeasure. It’s impossible to hide something that is blatantly stamped on the release itself (see hand numbering pic in the gallery below). The internet also works against cover ups like this too, as I found out the /10,000 info from a store’s (not my store) post on Instagram about a week before RSD.

All copies are individually numbered, another fact the official RSD list didn’t mention, but was updated on the official website after RSD. The numbering is down in gold foil stamping on the back of the jacket, in the top left corner. All copies also come in a full color, printed dust sleeve. The dust sleeve doubles as the insert, as it has the liner notes on it. It’s not just random artwork or promo photos. Every copy also comes sealed in one of those perforated poly bags that you need to tear open.

Here is the track listing:

Side A:

1 Back Door Man

2 Soul Kitchen

3 Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)  (Live at the Matrix 3/7/67)

4 Light My Fire
Side B:

01 The Crystal Ship

2 Twentieth Century Fox

3 The End


This vinyl version of the 67 Matrix show omits two important and popular songs, likely due to time constraints. You get roughly 22 minutes per side for a traditional 33 1/3 LP, and the entire live set (at least what appears on The Doors 50th Anniversary Edition) clocks in at over 46 minutes. Why they had to cut two songs when they could have easily cut one song; “The End,” which clocks in at over 14 minutes. And a good chunk of that 14 minutes is “jamming” that is just Robbie Krieger playing the same notes several times as Ray Manzarek holds the same note for what seems like minutes. I like “The End,” but I’d much rather have “Light My Fire” and “Break On Through” instead. Those are the two songs cut from this vinyl release. “Break On Through is the opening track on the third disc of the The Doors 50th Anniversary Edition and “Light My Fire” is track 6.



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