The Doors were a few months away from stardom in March 1967 when they played five sparsely attended shows at a small club in San Francisco called The Matrix. These uninhibited performances would have been fleeting if not for Peter Abram, who co-owned the pizza parlor-turned-nightclub with Jefferson Airplane founder Marty Balin. An avid recordist, Abram taped concerts at The Matrix regularly and his recordings of The Doors, made between March 7-11, 1967, spawned one of the band’s most storied bootlegs. At long last, all known Matrix recordings, sourced entirely from Abram’s original master recordings, will be released on September 8.
Bootlegs of The Matrix shows have circulated among fans for years and were popular despite the poor audio quality of most copies. The sound began improving in 1997 when the first two songs from The Matrix shows were officially released on The Doors: Box Set. Even more performances followed in 2008 on Live at the Matrix 1967; regrettably, it was discovered soon after that all the recordings were sourced from third-generation tapes, not the originals.
Today, Abram’s original recordings have been remastered by Bruce Botnick, The Doors’ longtime engineer/mixer, for official release. The CD version of LIVE AT THE MATRIX 1967: THE ORIGINAL MASTERS includes all 37 songs from the shows sourced from the master tapes. Except for 15 songs released in 2017 and 2018 as Record Store Day exclusives, most of the newly upgraded live recordings are making their debut in the collection, including eight that have never been featured on any of the previous Matrix releases.