Five Mean Years: Greil Marcus and Penelope Houston on The Doors

Greil Marcus and Penelope Houston on The Doors, with Tom Heyman

Pictured: Penelope Houston, Tom Heyman, Greil Marcus

They were the band Joan Didion called “the Norman Mailers of the Top 40”. They were the band that took the liberations won by Elvis to a self-immolating extreme. They were the band, 40 years after their demise, that Greil Marcus couldn’t get out of his head, or off his radio. During the “five mean years” before Jim Morrison’s mysterious death, the summoners of apocalypse called The Doors created a soundtrack against which the Manson killings, 1968 political assassinations, and prolonged nightmare of Vietnam all played out. They were the love generation’s death wish, and their music remains uncomfortably relevant.

To celebrate his new book, The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years, First Person Singular brings author Greil Marcus together with Penelope Houston – lead singer for the legendary San Francisco punk group The Avengers. If The Doors were arguably the first punk band, The Avengers were arguably the last (they opened for The Sex Pistols' final show at Winterland in ’78), and to complement Marcus’ meditations, Houston will bring her own fire to Doors classics, backed by S.F. favorite Tom Heyman. Join us as we rekindle the still-smoldering spirit of an all-too-mortal (Ray Manzarek, 1939-2013) but somehow deathless band.

What: First Person Singular presents

Five Mean Years: Greil Marcus on The Doors

with Penelope Houston and Tom Heyman


When: Monday, July 8, 7:30 pm


Where: Pegasus Books on Solano

1855 Solano Ave., Berkeley 94707


 Admission: FREE!


Wheelchair accessible; refreshments served



Event date: 
Monday, July 8, 2013 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
Pegasus Books on Solano
1855 Solano Ave
94707-2306 Berkeley