Celebration of the Lizard

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"Celebration of the Lizard"
Musical and poetry piece by The Doors
from the album Absolutely Live
Published 1970
Released 1970, (live version)
Recorded Aquarius Theater, Los Angeles - July 21, 1969
Genre Psychedelic rock, acid rock, space rock, progressive rock, poetry
Length 14:25 (live version)
17:09 (studio version)
Label Elektra
Composer(s) John Densmore, Robbie Kreiger, Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison
Lyricist(s) Jim Morrison
Producer(s) Paul A. Rothchild

"Celebration of the Lizard" is a performance piece with lyrics written by Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors with music by The Doors. Composed as a series of poems, they include musical sections, spoken verse and passages of allegorical storytelling.[1]


  • Lions in the Street
  • Wake Up!
  • A Little Game
  • The Hill Dwellers
  • Not to Touch the Earth
  • Names of the Kingdom
  • The Palace of Exile


The entire piece was intended to be recorded and released as one full side of one of the band's albums, but record producer Paul A. Rothchild and the other members of the band thought that the extended poetic sections and overall length of the piece made a complete recording impossible.[2] The band did attempt to record the full piece several times but abandoned the idea when they were dissatisfied with the results. One musical passage, "Not to Touch the Earth," was released on their third studio album Waiting for the Sun in 1968. The lyrics for the rest of the piece were published inside the gatefold jacket of the original vinyl LP, with the note "Lyrics to a theatre composition by The Doors."[3]

"Celebration" was performed in its entirety at a handful of Doors shows. A complete performance of "Celebration" can be heard on the band's 1970 live album Absolutely Live. The first recorded studio version of "Celebration" in its entirety was not released until the 2003 compilation album Legacy: The Absolute Best.


  1. ^ Goldstein, Richard (5 August 1968). "The Shaman as Superstar". New York Magazine. New York. 
  2. ^ When You're Strange film (2009)
  3. ^ Waiting for the Sun (3 July 1968), liner notes

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