The music’s never over

• Justin Burford as Jim Morrison.

WHILE orchestras elsewhere funk themselves up by playing with rock bands, Perth Symphony Orchestra is the rock band in its production Love Him Madly: The Doors Reimagined.

Rock bands inevitably swamp an orchestra, says PSO head Bourby Webster.

“Rock bands just drown them out, you are never going to hear the second cello.”

In Love Him Madly strings, woodwind, horns and percussion will set the room on fire: “To take the audience back to a juncture where hallucinogens, Woodstock, free love, the Cuban Missile Crisis and more were created.”

The Fremantle resident says an orchestra can convey more nuanced music than a rock band because of its array of instruments.

“Sadness, pathos, anxiety; we can play all those subtleties.”


Webster reckons she was “bloody lucky” the PSO musos were happy to tackle 60s protest singer Jim Morrison’s songs, “dressed like they’re at a funeral or a rock concert in the 1960s”.

“They said ‘hell yes’.”

End of Fashion frontman Justin Burford helps rock PSO as Morrison, and Love Him Madly is a musical ride through a time of counterculture.

“A time the word ‘movement’ was invented, there was the women’s movement the gay movement, black rights movement, it was such a turbulent time in history,” Webster says.

And Morrison and The Doors were in the midst of it.

Morrison’s father was a high ranking US military officer and his son’s music is a “push back” against his father, and what he stood for, she says.

“At a time young people thought they could change the world.”

Webster took out this year’s West Australian of the Year for arts and music, recognition of the drawing power of an orchestra that constantly breaks the boundaries of what an orchestra should do.

Love Him Madly, The Doors Reimagined is on at His Majesty’s Theatre, Friday August 2.

Tickets from $79 at


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