Manager Jeff Jampol admits he spends much of his time disappointing Doors fans by telling them their bootleg recordings weren’t worth as much as they’d hoped.
The group has spent years extending their archive to include material that was never officially sanctioned, with the aim of presenting a fuller account of their career and legacy. Material that’s judged to be worthy of release by surviving band members Robbie Krieger and John Densmore is given a professional makeover, while lesser quality examples will be bought and retained in case they can be used in the future.
Jampol is often visited by fans who think they own a “Holy Grail” that would “put their kid through college,” he says in a recent interview with Uncut. “I’m the guy who has to tell him it’s worth $300. They think I’m trying to rip them off, but I’ll just put it on the shelf with 300 other reels of silent Super 8 footage shot from 500 feet away on a handheld camera.”
He says some fans will never be happy with the release of bootleg material, even with a production polish, but it’s still an important branch of the Doors’ work. “Artists have a magic, and there is something that connects Jim Morrison to a 13-year-old in 1967 and also one in 2020,” Jampol said. “You have to figure out what the magic is. What we’re trying to do is stay authentic while opening up the idea of the Doors to people who haven’t heard it yet. Then you let the music and the magic do its work.”