Gary James' Interview With David Brock Of
The Doors Tribute Band

Wild Child

Ray Manzarek had this to say about Doors tribute band Wild Child: "This is as close as you'll get to the real thing," and he should know! He even introduced Wild Child to a Standing Room Only crowd at the Whisky A Go Go (in Los Angeles) on July 3rd, 1986. That's fifteen years to the day that Jim Morrison reportedly died. Robbie Krieger told the Cleveland Free Press in 2003, "The best one I've heard is Wild Child."

We posed some questions to Wild Child's lead singer, Mr. David Brock.

Q - I'm interested in your association with Anne Morrison. I interviewed her Ex (Alan Graham). I was given the impression that the Morrison family was very private concerning all matters related to Jim. What did Anne get out of producing The Jim Morrison Rock Opera? Did you get to ask her anything about her famous brother? Did she ever see The Doors at The Whisky?

A - Questions about Anne are best answered by her. I know that she does not like to commercialize her brother. Less is better. She is not a "show business person." To my knowledge, The Jim Morrison Rock Opera was an attempted rebuttal to the over sensationalized book No One Gets Out Of Here Alive. Great reading, but it cast Jim as a lunatic between the facts.

Q - You were up for the part in Oliver Stone's movie about The Doors. Oliver Stone knew you had the part in the Morrison Rock Opera and the approval of Jim's sister for that role. So, why didn't you get the film role?

A - The Rock Opera had nothing to do with it. He based his movie on the Hopkins / Sugarman book, No One Gets Out Of Here Alive and also some other scenes Oliver had created from interviews, I guess. Val got the part because he was a better and more established actor than myself. There was also 40 million (dollars) reasons to have an established actor in the role. They wanted their money back. To myself, I always lean in that direction. I really don't know how I would have done. I was more or less a stage actor. This is how it kind of went in a nut shell: One day Danny Sugarman called me and said Oliver Stone had just picked up the right to his book for a movie about The Doors and had picked me as the lead, so I better be ready! About two months later, one day at 5 PM I get a call from Stone's office. They wanted to fax me about fifty pages of script and wanted me in the next morning at 8 AM for a cold reading. Welcome to Hollywood. I was the first to audition before the cattle call. My audition was OK as far as I could tell. We did go through all the pages. In the mean while, Stone had attended several Wild shows along with Danny Sugarman. Val had even showed up a few times and sat in the back to observe. I never met Val. I did get a couple of call backs in the agonizing month or so of the long auditioning process. It seemed I had a leg up on the competition, but it was not to be. I heard it was close from a couple of people in Stone's office that I had gotten to know. And that's just the way it goes.

Q - Do you get out and check out other Doors acts when you're not working? Do you keep up with the competition or doesn't that matter to you?

A - No, I don't for several obvious reasons. For us, how would it look for me to be seen studying anyone else's act to improve my own? Besides, I have never received any feedback from anyone that it would be worth my while.

Q - You perform overseas, which is something other Doors tribute acts do not do. Just how popular are The Doors in Europe?

A - They're very popular all over the world. The music seems to hit a chord in nearly every culture. Western Europeans have a particular fondness for The Doors. I'm not sure about the East. I have never been there.

Q - You told Jan Morris of The Doors Collectors magazine that, "It was a very common event in the '60s for a group to walk off the stage at The Whisky and get a recording contract." I never heard that before. What groups are you talking about?

A - Back in the mid to late '60s, bands were getting snatched off the Whisky stage quite often and given a chance. Most of the bands that came out of L.A. at this time, that was the case.

Q - You write your own material. How does being in a Doors tribute act help further a future original songs career for you?

A - I never really pushed that and have mixed feelings about it. I never found a good collaborator to make really good stuff. I need someone on the musical end for that. I had the words. I did have a project for a short time period quite awhile back. One of the producers who did records for the band Kingdom Come had approached me to do a project that sounded like The Doors. For some reason I didn't like it and snubbed him. Oh, what we do in our foolish youth. It probably would have been very good, but I knew too much I guess.

© Gary James. All rights reserved.