If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it’s to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.” That is the mantra Jim Morrison lived and it’s what must have inspired Beau Hulse.
On Saturday, December 22, Hulse and L.A. Woman, a Doors cover band, will perform an eclectic combination of raw blues, hard rock and roll and psychedelic sounds that were the trademark of the legendary Jim Morrison.
Come party like it’s 1967 at 230 Elm in Southampton for a great cause. The music begins 7 p.m. and the proceeds (tickets are $20 advance and $25 at the door) benefit the American Red Cross, to aid those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
“This one [the hurricane] really touched us because it was so close to home,” says a somber Hulse. “The devastation we saw, especially in Nassau, at such a close proximity, we had to do this. We have to do our small part.”
The night will include an array of songs that spill over several genres, with such songs as “Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar),” “Back Door Man,” “Maggie M’Gill,” “Roadhouse Blues,” and of course “L.A. Woman.”
When you hear the vivid language Hulse uses to describe musical performance, it is clear why he became enamored of Morrison and The Doors. For Hulse, it is the complex and twisting thrill of being taken out of himself.
When he performs music, Hulse is always trying to deliver the emotional impressions and the transcendence that enlighten the soul.
The stream of poète-maudit that carried Poe, Black or Nietzsche—all sources of inspiration for Morrison—and the weight Hulse feels that Morrison placed on his poetry, is what separates his band, L.A Woman, from all other tribute bands.
“The music itself is uncanny—the music stimulates. That’s what makes it amazing,” says Hulse, the singer of L.A. Woman who personifies Morrison. “The respect I have for this man’s music, his poetry, the mystical side, the mysterious. There is nothing else like what we put on.”
The tribute band began back in 1978, and Hulse will tell you, it didn’t take long to attain success and create a stir. Almost instantly they began selling out clubs, bars and all sorts of venues. When rumors arose of similar cover bands’ success in New Jersey, L.A. Woman decided to take their shows on the road, playing all over.
“We got together with management; things happened in the business—there were reactions to Apocalypse Now,” recalls Hulse. “It just happened and people went crazy.”
The band continued to perform religiously and rehearse frequently, never losing their keen edge or inspiration. Hulse admits it was exhausting rehearsing all the time, but never regrets the sacrifice it took.
“We are very spiritual, we keep the music fresh—that’s why we rehearse so much,” reflects Hulse. “We were one of the first tribute bands, the catalyst, to putting tribute bands in the limelight.”
They continued to play throughout the 1980s up and through their retirement in the mid-1990s. By that time the band knew it was time to pursue other ventures in their life. Many band members moved south, to North Carolina and Florida.
Hulse never claims to be Morrison or an incarnation of the man, but he is certainly the closest thing we still have to the legend.
Hulse’s voice often mimics Morrison’s, the trademark pinch, like a door swinging open in the wind, which the singer possessed in his earlier songs, like “Light My Fire,” or the candid rawness of a sad man with the blues.
For Hulse, Jim Morrison and The Doors bridged rock music with the avant-garde, harmonizing the intensity and soulfulness of the blues and the electrifying fury of hard rock.
Whether you are an avid Doors fan or an old-fashioned rock radio fan who misses this music on the airwaves, Hulse and L.A. Woman will fulfill your appetite.
“This is going to be a great, great show,” says Hulse. “We have something for all ages.”
L.A. Woman is playing at 230 Elm, 230 Elm Street in Southampton on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20; $25 at the door. Proceeds benefit hurricane relief efforts. 631-287-7707