Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 20:57:38 GMT
"But the man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less cocksure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable Mystery which it tries, forever vainly to comprehend."
Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception, last paragraph
Post anything you think might be interesting here!
"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human with the soul of a clown, which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments."
“I met Jim Morrison for the first time in the winter 1968. He was more alive and afire than I would ever see him, and I was a moonstruck groupie. It was a recording session for ‘Waiting For The Sun’, their third album. I was with a writer from the New York Times who was interviewing Jim Morrison.
Jim was coming out of the studio “to get a bite to eat” with Pamela, his lady. His hand shaking mine was firm,
enthusiastic, running a current of controlled power. My writer friend and I went inside and sat with the others waiting for Jim to reappear.
Soon we were watching him from inside the tracking room while he sang ‘Not To Touch The Earth’ on the other side of the soundproof glass. Most of the time his rich urgent voice was unheard as engineers and Paul Rothchild frittered and fettered down the instrumental track. Along with Ray Manzarek’s searing organ and the sinister chords of Robby Krieger’s guitar, we watched Morrison dance and sweat, the stallion muscularity contracting inside the glove tight leather jeans, while he wailed and belted out ‘nothin’ left to do but run, run, run, let’s run…..’ That night, his face shaped pleasure, his eyes held
light, interest, intensity. His mouth moved in motions
of pleased surprise. He was all there. He argued,
criticized, consented, refused, laughed, and suggested.
Pamela in a green velvet coat, waist long red hair,
jerking her delicate jaw from side to side, followed his
movements with her heavy lashed urchin eyes, providing cigarettes, chain smoking.
When he came into the tracking room, his body radiated heat. He seemed to glow in the
dark with a red-hot aura. His presence was abristle
with electricity, and he was in total charge of that
“Jim Morrison Ten Years Gone”
Lizze James remembers an erudite Jim Morrison during the ‘Waiting For The Sun’ Session in LA, winter
"But now we must descend, for there is another
side to this vision!!"
"The gap between Morrison and the other Doors is vast in the studio, where the enforced cohesion of live performance is missing. On their own they are methodic musicians. Densmore drums inn precise, sharp strokes. Krieger’s guitar undulates like a belly dancer-sinuous but sober. And at the organ Manzarek is cultivated and crisp with his shaggy head atop a pair of plywood shoulders, he looks like a hip undertaker.
Jim walks into the studio and accosts a vacant mike.
He writhes in languid agony, jubilant at the excuse
to move in his new jacket. But Rothchild keeps the
vocal mike dead, to assure maximum concentration on the problem at hand. From behind the glass partition Jim
looks like a silent movie of himself, speeded up for
laughs. The musicians barely bother to notice. When he is drinking, they work around him. Only Ray is solicitous
enough to smile. The others tolerate him as a pungent
but necessary prop.
“I’m the square of the Western hemisphere,” he says, returning to his wine. “man… whenever somebody’d say something groovy….. it’d blow my mind. Now I’m learnin’ ..You like people? I hate ‘em….screw ‘em…I don’t need ‘em…..Oh! I need ‘em….to grow potatoes”.
He teeters around the tiny room, digging his boots into the carpet. Between belches, he gazes at each of us smirking as if he has found something vaguely amusing behind our eyes.
But the séance is interrupted when Paul Rothchild summons him.
While Jim squats behind the control panel, a roughly
recorded dub on his ‘Celebration Of The Lizard’ comes over the speakers.
Gently, almost apologetically, Ray tells him the thing doesn’t work. Too diffuse, too mangy. Jim’s face sinks beneath his scaly collar. Right then you can sense that ‘Celebration’ will never appear on record- certainly not on the new Doors album.
There will be 11 driving songs and snatches of poetry,
read aloud the way they do at the 92nd St. Y. But no
Lizard King. No monarch crowned with love beads and
holding the phallic sceptre in his hand.
“hey, bring your notebook over to my house tomorrow morning, okay” Rothchild offers in consolation.
“Yeah” Jim answers with the look of a dog who’s just been told he’s missed his walk. “Sure”. Defeated the Lizard king seeks refuge within his scales. He disappears for ten minutes and returns with a bottle of brandy. Thus fortified he closets himself inside an anteroom used to record isolated vocals, fits himself with earphones, and begins his game.
'Five to one…One in five...No one here…. Gets out alive’.....Everyone in the room tries to bury Jim’s presence in conversation but his voice intrudes, bigger and blacker than life, over the speaker.
Each trace of sound is magnified so we can hear him
guzzling and belching away. Suddenly he emerges from his Formica cell, inflicting his back upon a wall as though
he were being impaled. He is sweat-drunk, but still
coherent, and he mutters so everyone can hear.
“if I had an axe …man, I’d kill everybody…’xept …uh…my
friends” Sagittarius the hunter stalks us with his glance. We sit frozen waiting for him to spring. “Ah- I hafta get one o’ them Mexical wedding shirts” he sighs with
brandied bleariness. Robby’s girl Donna, takes him on: “ I don’t know if they come in your size”
“I’m a medium with a large neck” he slurs.
“we’ll have to get you measured then”
“Uh-uh… I don’t like to be measured” his
eyes glow with sleep and swagger.
“Oh Jim” Donna says “we’re not gonna measure all of you…just your shoulders”
Richard Goldstein meets ‘Jimbo’ during the ‘Waiting For
The Sun’ Sessions’68
From the ‘Waiting For The Sun’ music booklet 1969.
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 20:58:26 GMT
Here are some of the entertaining (or not as the
case may be) anecdotes of the antics of Jim and his
friend Jimbo as seen through the eyes of friends and
'When it came time to do 'The End' a very different
mood took Jim over. He became shamanistic and led the
small group on a shamanistic voyage. He put himself
into a trance and, through that, put us all into a
'Someone said to me The Doors are playing at The London Fog, you ought to go by and hear them. And I thought about it. And I decided not to, as much as it would be nice to hear them. And to see Jim again. But, that parting on the desert was truly the end. That was it. I had made my decision. And I didn't go to see them. I left for New York. So you know the lyrics of the song, . . .'I had to set you free, you would never follow me' When The Doors came to New York in the winter of 1967, I asked Jim about that song, 'The End', and when he had written it. He grinned, you know like he used to do, and said, "Oh, right about the time you split for New York."...Well, I couldn't go on his trip. And he couldn't go on mine, because he had work to do. . . So that's what the farewell was all about."
close friend Phil O'Leno
"They had some really wild times, . . . They both
really liked macabre things . . . spiders and black
magic, things like that. They used to scare each other.
They'd play chicken. If somebody got too freaked out
then they would go over to UCLA and get a B12 shot or
whatever it was they were giving people to bring them
down. It was pretty regular that Pam would get too
freaked out. She'd scare him and he'd scare her back too much. He'd do things like turn off all the lights and
creep around outside or pretend he'd been stabbed. They were always seeking that kind of thrill. But they did
very dangerous things too. Like putting the car on the
railraod tracks or driving with their eyes closed down
Mulholland at night while on acid. It was a little tense
being around them sometimes. We were game for a lot of things, but they were a little gamer."
friend and neighbour Mirandi Babitz
"I grabbed his arm and yelled, 'What the fuck are you doing?' . . . 'He ignored me and threw another glass up the stairs, simultaneously letting out with his bloodcurdling scream. I expected hordes of stoned and angry street freaks or a small army of cops to come charging down. After one final glass and scream, Jim turned and was gone. I felt frustrated that he had left for I wanted to tell him that, finally, I had met someone who was truly possessed."
Tom Baker, after one of The Scene gigs in 1967.
"He is bigger than I had thought, taller too, dressed
in last night's concert clothes of unbleached white
linen peasant shirt, black jeans and black leather
boots. His brown hair is a little lighter than it looks
onstage or in photographs, a deep rich brown with no red in it, shoulder-length and shaggy. The eyes are
blue, and there is a depth in them, none of that
shallow empty washed look blue eyes can so often have. The voice is soft, the smile frequent and charming,
the grin devastating."
Patricia Kennealy on her first glimpse of Morrison
"He said Mailer wanted to turn New York into
another country . . . Jim loved that kind of buffoonery.
He asked me to read and I agreed. I remember we all
sat on barstools. It was Jim, Tom Baker, Seymour
Cassel, Mary Waronov, Ultra Violet, Jamie Sanchez, Jack
Hirschmann (who subbed for Michael McClure), and myself. And Robby Krieger was there noodling notes while we read. Jim did a lot of things like that which nobody knows about. He contributed money to American Indian funds. He helped out his friends. I think he really wanted to help people, but he was so beleaguered by pressures it was difficult for him to do much on a large scale. A lot of whether it was something humanitarian or creative. He couldn't move without bumping into a wall of subterfuge and misinterpretation. Jim couldn't deal with obstacles with patience. He either dealt with them heroically or he gave up and it was around the time of the poetry reading that I sensed he was giving up a lot more."
Poet and friend Michael C. Ford
"One night we went to Max's in New York for dinner and Jim didn't say a word all night. He even pointed out his order to the waitress. He was acting like a six year old,
making everyone feel uncomfortable. There was another
night at Max's when we were sitting around the table
and he was too stoned to go to the bathroom so he
took an empty wine bottle and pissed into it. He kept
doing it all night. At the end of the evening Jim was
smiling and in good spirits. The waitress was cleaning
the table and he told her that since he couldn't
finish the wine, she could take it home and enjoy it.
The waitress was so thankful - Jim Morrison gave her
Elektra Publicist Danny Fields.
"Jim arrived without his redheaded girlfriend and we climbed this rickety old ladder up to where they stored the old lighting fixtures and stuff. It was very romantic
to my eyes. We had this big jug of Trimar which is
sort of like liquid PCP. I was a virgin at the time
and we never did go all the way, but we were rolling
up there making out like crazy. The lighting was so
diffused and beautiful and I was so high. It was like we
were there for an eternity and all of a sudden I heard
'Light My Fire' being played. I thought it was probably
in my mind or something. But it was being played for
real and Jim heard it and he went, 'Oh my God, I'm
on.' So he clamored down this ladder behind the stage
and threw the curtain back and went on. And I
followed him. I was so high, I didn't know where he was
going. I just followed him onstage. I can still see the
audience looking up at me. I was onstage with The Doors and I realized I shouldn't have been there. One of
the roadies came and took me offstage. I don't think
I'll ever forget it."
Pamela Des Barres
“Jim regularly visited poets in Venice and he always bought a number of copies of their books and passed them out to his friends. He contributed money to the LA Art Squad, mural painters in Venice and Hollywood. They
always needed funds for paint, scaffolding, just to have
lunch. They would turn up at the Doors office bearded
and longhaired, shabby clothes and Jim would empty
out the petty cash or write them a cheque”.
Frank Lisciandro Doors Photographer and Friend.
"It's like gambling somehow, You go out for a night of drinking and you don't know where your going to end up the next day. It could work out good or it could be disastrous. It's like the throw of the dice."
"As a joke I once asked Jim Morrison to name the group he most liked to listen to besides the Doors. He pondered this question thoughtfully for a few moments, as though it were the toughest question in the world, and then replied, "You know the soundtrack
from Fellini's '8 1/2'? I really like that."
Morrison's world was the world of film. In sharp contrast to the rest of the Doors, Jim had no pick-hit top 10 favorites. He was certainly not a "music fan" in the common manner of the 60's : each new Beatles album was not a revelation for him; the Jefferson Airplane did not carry the message of his day; the stylistic experiments of the Byrds did not move him. He listened a bit to Dylan (but only "John Wesley Harding"), and he occasionally mentioned Elvis. But he much preferred watching Alfred Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps" to hearing anything."
Bruce Harris Billboard Magazine 1991
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 20:59:27 GMT
"Some people surrender their freedom willingly but others are forced to surrender it. Imprisonment begins with birth. Society, parents they refuse to allow you to keep the freedom you were born with. There are subtle ways to punish a person for daring to feel. You see that everyone around you has destroyed his true feeling nature. You imitate what you see."
"Philosophy doesn't interest me as much as it used to. I
think the day I finally was forced to realize that no
one in the world really knows any more about what's
going on than any other person, I kind of lost interest
in philosophy as a study of ideas, but philosophy
appreciated from the standpoint of how men in the past have used words, have used language. That's why for me poetry is the ultimate art form, because what defines us as human beings is language. The way we talk is the way we think, and the way we think is the way we act, and the way we act is what we are. And so I appreciate philosophy these days from the standpoint of poetry, the use of one word next to another word next to another word. So, philosophy is semantics, I guess."Jim Morrison 1970
"Jim and I were never close friends but there was a fundemantal trust between us. I remember sitting in a bar with Jim near the Elektra studios just schmoozing about life and how he wanted to be remembered as a poet. How this rock n roll thing had gotten far beyond his ability to control the publics perception of him. He was acutely uncomfortable hiding behind unkempt hair a thick beard and an excess of avoirdupois. Jim was a different person to everyone he met. I have seen him range from beautific to horrific..smash a studio typewriter with an axe, reduce the Elektra office manager to tears when in fact she had done nothing to provoke his anger. You never knew whether he was putting it on or not but you didn't like to take the chance. But when all the aspects of The Doors are dissected ad nauseum one powerful memory lingers.
On February 15th 1968 the doorbell rang in my LA home. It was the evening of my son Adams 10th birthday. There was Jim clutching an erratically wrapped present for my musically inclined son. He came in sat quietly with Adam and showed him how to play the kalimba, an African thumb piano. They sat there for an
hour, fully absorbed-two children alone in thier own world."
“It was ‘Light My Fire’. Jim was very drunk. He was hanging on the mike trying to sing. Then when Ray and Robby did their solos, Jim sat down in front of the drum platform and when it came for him to come back in he just sat there. They repeated the solos but still no Jim. John kicked him in the back and Jim got up went over to the mike and went “Yeah”…. “Yeah” into the mike. Then he picked up the mike stand and smashed it down onto the stage. The stage was made of two and three quarter inch plywood. He destroyed the stage with the mike stand and then walked off stage. John stood up, threw his drumsticks down said “that’s it!” and walked offstage leaving Ray and Robby standing there”
Vince Treanor on the last song Jim
Morrison sang to an audience, 1981.
"I was deep into my own study of the occult forces and Jim liked to sift through my collection of books on the subject, selecting paragraphs at random to read aloud, setting off another round of talk. On this subject, we usually chose our words carefully and used them sparingly for we were both well aware that words, thoughts made meaningful through sound, conjure and invoke the invisibles."
Robert Gover close friend of Jim
"To be a poet meant more to Jim than writing poems.
It meant embracing the tragedy, fate had chosen for him and fulfilling that destiny with gusto and nobility"
Paul A. Rothchild 1993
“One night Jim called me up and said ‘I want to
do a blues record’. That’s all he kept talking about. So I got hold of John Haeny and without Jac and Rothchild and the others Doors knowing about it, we went in
a couple of nights after hours and did this tape.
Just Jim, playing piano, on which he was very bad,
sketching some things. The sessions were fun and great
and the hanging out was great. Some of the most
fun times I’ve had in the studio. When we finished, which was not real late, we went back to his house, and he walked in and said to Pam ‘Hi, honey’, and
gave her a big hug and a kiss. He went upstairs
and Pam said ‘I just wish it could always be like
this. He’s doing what he wants musically, and he’s with
people who aren’t putting pressure on him.’
Elektra executive David Anderle remembering one of the
good times he had with Jim.
From 'Follow The Music:The Life & High Times of Elektra Records'
"People ask me about Morrison”. What was he like man? “I always say he really was a poet- he had a poets attitude. The word I use is ‘bemused’. He always had a kind of bemused little smile on his face whenever he would talk to people. Especially the day we went to do the ‘Morrison Hotel’ cover.”<br>Henry was not only a photographer but also a member of ‘The Modern Folk Quartet’ and remembers Morrison well. “I would see him around town. We played the ‘Whisky’ around the same time they did. So I saw him first as a fellow musician before I ever became a photographer. He was always very friendly. I’d see him in stores around town with his girlfriend, and he’d say ‘Hey, man, how you doing?’ It was a 60’s thing, outgoing, small talk. Never standoffish or anything. But I would say he was a quiet guy.
He was introspective. Definitely.”
Morrison’s legal wrangles were very rarely spoken of so Henry can’t recall whether the ‘Morrison Hotel’ shoot took place before or after Miami. ( it was in fact after- MOJO Instead, he recalls an intelligent man who simply enjoyed life. “We went down to Skid Row to have a drink’ Henry recalls of the album shoot
which showcased the band behind the front window of
decrepit ‘Morrison Hotel’ at 1246 South Hope Street in the seedy side of downtown LA.“And we ended up in the old ‘Hard Rock Café’ which had been there since the
30’s, so it didn’t mean rock ‘n’ roll. We were all in a Volkswagen van, saw that, and said in one voice- ‘Oh man, we’ve got to stop in there’. We spent about an hour, having a couple of beers and talking to the old guys. Jim loved to hear them talk about their lives. When we were through, Jim said ‘C’mon lets go
into a couple of other bars.’ We’d sit at a table, buy some guy a drink and let him talk. Jim didn’t say much himself. He’d sit there and just nod and have that little smile on his face, like he was drinking in stuff, observing life and people. And for all the talk of the ‘Lizard King’ image, it is interesting to note that that the one time 'shirtless' Morrison allowed Diltz to shoot to his hearts content without offering direction.
“It never seemed a big deal to him. I just shot a Rap
Group who were very concerned about every stance and how they looked; they really wanted to throw shapes in a very certain way, very controlling. Jim wasn’t
at all like that. Very natural. We spent a day walking around Venice Beach taking pictures, and he was
right there—into it but quiet. Very accessible."
Henry Diltz Remembers Jim Morrison
From “Dead Cat Bounce” MOJO magazine September 2001.
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 20:59:51 GMT
Recalls an Old Friend.
Rolling Stone, August 1971.
Jim Morrison always wanted to be taken seriously as a literary artist. But despite the vision and intelligence behind the lines in 'The Lords and the New Creatures,' published by Simon and Schuster, and in 'An American Prayer', published in a limited edition for friends, it seemed that only fricnds took him seriously.
Michael McClure, the poet, novelist and playwright ('The Beard'), became interested first in Morrison as a thinker, philosopher and poet. Later, his daughter would help him become a Doors fan as well. Last year, McClure and Morrison began work on a screenplay adaptation of McClure's novel 'The Adept,' and they spent many days and nights together, working and drinking. In the parlor of his comfortable home on one of the upper veins of the Haight Ashbury, Michael McClure leafed through Jim Morrison's words and paid tribute, one poet to another.
"Modern circles of hell: Oswald (?) kills the President.
"Oswald enters taxi. Oswald stops at rooming house.
"Oswald leaves taxi. Oswald kills officer Tippitt.
"Oswald sheds jacket. Oswald is captured.
"He escaped into a movie house."
My concern is that Jim isn't forced into a movie house here at the end. Pam was Jim's editor. I saw the book in manuscript. There were a few poems eliminated before publication. I think most of the poems in Creatures are of equal weight. Some I like very much, particularly the ones that are pure image.
I haven't replayed the songs and listened to the lyrics. Jim was always making up songs in the studio, you know. They should have kept the tape machine running all the time. The musicians would be taking a break, and Jim would grab the mike and sing spontaneously, making up the words as he went along. And the tape machines would be off, and I'd think goddammit, what a waste. Oh, sure, they were serious songs.
See, I've known a lot of people in rock, and of them all, Jim was the only person I knew who would sit at the table with you, eating and drinking, and break out into a song, like may be a Frank Sinatra tune or an Elvis song, maybe something of his own. Or maybe he'd walk into a bar and sing.
He was really a singer, Jim - he loved to sing. At concerts, he'd sing for four hours if they'd let him have the stage that long. The same way at your house or at a bar - he'd sing to entertain you or himself. In terms of singing, the man was like more of a singer than anybody else I've ever known. I mean, somebody who sings for his friends has really got it, there's no doubt about it.
The way I got to know Jim was this. I had read a magazine piece about him that interested me. He was discussing the concept of evil in a way that made me feel we shared some insights. So Mitchell Hamilburg, the literary agent, got us together while my play The Beard was playing in New York. Jim was, of course, interested in the theater, and Mitchell knew Jim because he knew Pam, so he introduced us at some bar in the Village and we started talking. Jim was kind of in an angry mood that night about I don't know what - angry, withdrawn - but I liked him right off and sat down and just started rapping with him and did most of the talking myself and felt whatever he was mad about at that moment wasn't any of my karma. It ended up with both of us talking together pretty freely.
Later, we met in L.A. pretty often to talk and drink together. Talking about poetry and drinking were our main connections. I've given up drinking recently. One of the things I felt responsible for was to tell Jim my position on that, so just before he died I'd written him a letter telling him that I'd quit. I think he would have quit, too, in time.
I heard some rumors that he'd quit completely several times, others that he was swinging back and forth, but I think he was going to quit, no doubt about it. I think the kind of alcoholism that Jim had was physical, and the way you get rid of it is, you stop. Jim was an intelligent, a brilliant man, and he was obviously not going to go that physiologically addicted route. You see what happens with the American Indian - like, about 95 percent of them lack an enzyme in their liver that makes them physically addictive to alcohol. And there's a typical pattern of drinking that goes with that, and once you realize you're not hung up with some psychological problem, that you've got a physical debility, then you've got to quit. And Jim would've quit, if he hadn't already.
The pressures that caused him to drink? My God, I couldn't tell you about that, could I? I mean, you must've seen a lot of rock stars. As to whether Jim was aware of the seriousness of his addiction - I don't think he'd had time to think about it yet. I think it would call for precisely the kind of thing he did - taking off some time, going to Paris, taking a look at the situation.
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:00:13 GMT
Recalls an Old Friend. Part 2
Anyway, Jim and I talked poetry and drank in L.A. while the Beard was running there. He was interested in writing a play himself, and he liked mine. Then, a while later, I got a call from Elliott Kastner, a film producer based in London. His idea, which turned out to be unworkable, was to film The Beard with Jim playing the part of Billy the Kid. Jim was already in London, so I flew over. On the plane, I imagined that I saw Blake and Shelley floating through the air above the airport, and never having been to London before, it seemed only natural that they float in the air above the airport, so I landed and told Jim about that and we went out and started going to the Soho clubs, and it was quite a night. The bobbies busted us a couple of times for being drunk and disorderly.
Well, we went screaming through the streets. Finally, we decided to take a taxi up to the Lake Country, and that was when the bobbies busted us a second time, because I guess taking a taxi to the Lake Country is not done ordinarily. That's where Wordsworth and Keats had walked, and Jim and I decided to go and take a walk there ourselves. But we were too loud in the attempt...
Well, I woke up first the next morning, pretty hung over, and started poking around the apartment looking for some thing to read, and I found Jim's poetry manuscript. I sat down and read it and thought, holy smoke, this is fantastic, and I was just sort of like ragingly delighted to find such a beautiful first book of poetry. When Jim came down later, I told him what I thought, and we talked about it a bit, and he was interested in what to do with it. He wanted to be known as a poet, he didn't want to be ... in other words ... Jim was very serious about being a poet, and he didn't want to come in on top of being Jim-Morrison-the-big rock-singer....
Later, when the book had been published and the first copies arrived by mail in L.A., I found Jim in his room, crying. He was sitting there, holding the book, crying, and he said, "This is the first time I haven't been fucked." He said that a couple of times, and I guess he felt that that was the first time he'd come through as himself....
I think that any two people who know each other closely probably influence each other. If I influenced him, he influenced me as well. It's hard to have a friend whose work you like where there's not some kind of mutual feedback. It's perfectly obvious in reading this book that Jim already had his own style and that he was already his own person. As to his potential for growth - well, he started out so good that I don't know how much better he could've gotten. He started off like a heavyweight.
I liked the man, you see. My wife liked him, and we both liked Pam. We all grew very close. I liked Jim's complexity, his brilliance. I think he was one of the finest, clearest spirits of our times. His complexity - I mean, he could be a drunken sot, a kind of Keats, a rock and roll star who was so fucking famous it was unbelievable, and his private idol could be Fritz the Cat. Of course, if you're going to be a really fine free spirit, as Jim was, you're going to get busted. It's inverse ratio, there's some kind of law governing that. The crisis that Jim went through was the changeover from being a showman to being a real man, and he made it, I think.
There's that common image of Jim as an androgyne - you know, Jim-Morrison the hermaphrodite, the male/female, slender, lovely creature. Well, goddammit, he had the constitution of a horse. As far as I know, he'd never had a cavity in any of his teeth, he was strong as hell, he had unlimited energy. By the same token, he didn't have any sense of stopping anything he'd started, or tapering off.... I'll be very interested in finding out what the contributing factors of his death were. Pam is probably the only person who knows.
I learned of Jim's death from her. We kept crossing wires and trying to get calls through, but I'd more or less figured out what it was beforehand. I had a very strong hunch, and I told the guy I had lunch with that day I thought a friend of mine had probably just died. I'm not ascribing it to ESP or anything like that. It just sounded like it - a sudden call from France.
Pam would have to say whether she and Jim were married or not. As far as I'm concerned, terms like marriage are really bullshit. And whether ... now Pam said they were, and I believe Pam Because Jim never said they weren't. The fact is, she and Jim were living together before Jim started working at the Whiskey. I remember Pam recalling the first time the Doors got a job. Jim came home with a check - I think it was for $17 - and they thought they'd hit the big time Went out, bought dinner, that kind of thing....
Well, I feel a sense of loss. Jim was a person who lived very intensely, so he was very happy and very unhappy from minute to minute. Just as they say love and hate go together, I would say life and death go together. I mean, accompanying a great awareness of death always goes a great sense of life. I know from talking to him that he never expected to live very long. He never said so directly, but I know those were his feelings. Still, he left something of himself with us in his poems and songs. Look at the first poem in Creatures It's spectacular I think of it as being a contemporary Shelley poem.
He moves in disturbed
Rolling Stone, August 1971.
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:00:51 GMT
Doors frontman was a pioneer of `excess and death'-style rock 'n' roll
On July 3, three decades will have passed since Jim Morrison, the lyrical and spiritual leader of the Doors, was found dead in the bathtub of a Paris hotel, the apparent victim of a heart attack. Had Morrison somehow survived his youthful excesses, he'd be pushing 60, and it's easy to imagine him assuming the stature of William S. Burroughs or, until his recent death, Paul Bowles -- a reclusive cult figure living off the beaten path to whom earnest neophytes on mind-expanding quests pay periodic homage.
Instead, Morrison died near the height of his rock 'n' roll glory, making him less a sage from whom fans could learn life's hard lessons than an idol to emulate. Since Morrison's brief but explosive career, rockers from Jane's Addiction to Stone Temple Pilots have borrowed his drug-induced, shamanist persona, seeking, as one famous Doors song puts it, to "break on through to the other side."
The allure is powerful. Morrison wasn't the first rocker to obsess over excess and death, but he was the first superstar who seemed to truly live life the way he sang it. His penchant for the dark side was all the more striking because of its collision with the concurrent folk-rock, flower-power movement that originated, like the Doors, in late '60s California.
In many ways, subsequent rockers have surpassed the Lizard King, as Morrison called himself, in shock value.
Morrison's 1969 arrest in Miami for allegedly exposing himself and simulating copulation onstage (charges that were dropped after a grueling and prolonged trial) would seem a bizarre overreaction in this bare-it-all era of Limp Bizkit, Marilyn Manson and even R. Kelly.
Kurt Cobain's suicide by gunshot at 27 (the same age that Morrison checked out) eclipsed Morrison's untimely death by its gruesomeness and its element of martyrdom.
And the drug-abuse histories of Cobain and Scott Weiland, among others, diminish the magnitude of Morrison's substance-taking marathons. However, initially at least, Morrison took drugs not only for escape or recreation but to open the gateway to his subconscious and the mystical elements that might be locked within.
"Morrison ate acid like other people smoked joints," recounts Danny Sugarman, a Doors biographer and former manager, in "No One Here Gets Out Alive," one of three new Doors releases that the three surviving band members are selling on the Internet.
In one of the livelier sequences in the "Alive" box set, Sugarman recalls Morrison, hours late for a gig, standing in his hotel room holding a handful of LSD tabs as if they were jelly beans.
That was the same night that Morrison, when he did finally make it to the stage at Los Angeles' Whiskey-A-Go-Go, committed the ultimate taboo, singing in one of the Doors' deepest, darkest masterpieces, "The End," that he wanted to kill his father and have sex with his mother. Morrison screamed that message 30 times until the manager shut off the PA system with the anticlimactic admonition, "You're fired."
Even that Oedipal rant has been outdone by Eminem's rhyme about raping his mother.
Morrison was wise to quit performing in 1971 and move to Paris to devote himself to his writing. While nearly all of Morrison's lyrics are way above rock's average, and many are brilliant ("I want to hear the scream of the butterfly," "I kissed her thigh/And death smiled"), others would have earned a C-plus in college poetry class ("There's a killer on the road/His brain is squirmin' like a toad").
Few subsequent rockers have generated the same mythology and none has projected the same combination of sex appeal, Bacchanalian abandon and mysticism.
For better or worse, a series of new and upcoming releases from the surviving Doors members -- drummer John Densmore, guitarist Robby Krieger and keyboardist Ray Manzarek -- may go a long way toward satisfying the as-yet insatiable curiosity about Morrison. The bandmates are releasing, in periodic installments over the next six years, more than 30 hours of Doors music, most of it live, previously unreleased concert recordings from 1969-70, when the band was at its peak on stage. The first three are being sold only on the Internet through the band's Web site, www.thedoors.com/
Some other tributes may be easier to get but harder to take. One is "Stoned Immaculate: The Music of The Doors" on Elektra. It's a misguided album featuring contemporary and veteran rock stars dueting on Doors songs with Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore.
By LETTA TAYLER - Kansas City Star March 2001
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:01:46 GMT
The Life and Times Of Jim Morrison".
Only a few hundred tickets had been sold for the show. As Jane recalls Morrison had his priorties set before the interview could be conducted. The first thing that had to be accomplished was to locate a beer. Morrison had been drinking during the sound check, and he approached the interview with
some skepticism. Morrison quickly opened up to her.
She recalls him joking about the lack of press
attention he was getting in the city. "Where is everybody, man? Oh, yeah..this is Cleveland" he joked. Soon he
was sharing some private thoughts with the sole
Jane recalls, "He told me how tiring the tour had become, and the progress the Doors had made in a relatively short time. Of course he kept interrupting our talk to get more beer, but we also talked about the dark mood of the music and how
it developed from his written word. Jim wondered how
his music would be taken by those outside of his core
audience on the West Coast, "Light My Fire" had been a
number one record, but the stage act encompassed far
more than that with a much darker tone. He also
stressed the group had no leader...it wasn't Jim Morrison and the Doors, but the Doors...a cohesive group acting as a single voice with their music. Jim also said it was more democratic that way - with every band
member an equal voice in their music and the direction
they would take."
Curiously, Jim's list of vital statistics showed his parents as 'Deceased,' though Jane had been told that wasn't actually the case.
She questioned Morrison about this apparent
contradiction, and his somewhat chilly response was: "I've lost touch with them." Jane then asked the underlying message of 'The End.' "I asked him about the apparent link with the Odeipus complex and the disturbing finale to that song. The violent ending unnerved me somewhat, and he told me the song didn't start out with that in mind. Jim said it was an improvisational "goodbye" song used to end their sets at the London Fog, a
club that embraced their music early on. "It was on
the Sunset Strip, and it became more serious as we
performed it from night to night. There were new lyrics
every time we played it. Something really wicked
clicked every night we played the Whisky-A-Go-Go. The
Doors were second on the bill - something powerful
moved me the first night, it just happened. They fired
us the next day." Morrison also told me about a new
song called "When The Music's Over," (Strange Days
released in Nov 67), was an erotic sermon..a tweleve and a half minute sermon on our lives. He called the first
album a blueprint. He said the next release would be
more elaborately produced and packaged a bit
differently. "Morrison also described the knowns and the
unknowns...a glimpse into reality. I don't know if I'm
religious but I might want to start my own someday."
Our conversation took a strange turn at that point,
and Jim asked me if I was religious. We began a
fairly deep discussion on whether God exists, and what
kind of Supreme Being he was. Jim looked at me, and
asked, "Do you think He's a benign God or a God of
vengeance like that in the Old Testament?" He said he was searching for God -a God of love, but did know if he would ever find him. Morrison said it was something that
preyed on his mind and admitted it wasn't something he
could talk to just anyone about. He said most of the
people he spoke to in the music industry just wouldn't
Jane Scott saw Morrison again on the next tour and she found him to distant and difficult to communicate
However, their relationship took an odd turn in early
1971. Jane received a call from Morrison when the tour
ended. (Note the last tour of the Doors ended December
12, 1970 New Orleans). He called her from his Los
Angeles home saying he felt he had to speak to someone.
Jim talked about how the previous tour had drained
him. He spoke of the flustration he was feeling in the
studio. "I spoke with him for about an hour, and the time passed quickly. Perhaps it was because I was older than him, but he told me about his need to communicate. Jim was very much a philosopher. He told me about his relationship with his parents, saying he was a military brat who couldn't relate to his father. He also said the family was fairly well off, though he couldn't understand their values. Jim went on to describe the break
with his father, and I sensed he wasn't truly happy in
part because of that split. There seemed to be a
tremendous sense of guilt he couldn't shake. "He also said he didn't know he was writing 'The End' until it
appeared in the manner it did on the Doors first album. It was then that he noticed the Oedipus link. Jim didn't
realize what he was getting into. I'm not a psychologist,
but it appears that guilt was a part of the whole
Morrison mystique. I would say it played much more of a
role that it would for the average performer. I think
Jim's parents were dead in a way to him...there was no
communication with them at that time. We said goodbye, and I thought about that conversation for a long time after.
"I was surprised to hear of his death. The facts
seemed so unclear about the way he died. Jim told me in the last conversation that he feared he was washed
up, that he had made himself too available in his
shows. He was also worried about his image after
fighting obscenity charges brought against him in Florida.
He said was there was love in his life, but his
career was a different kind of love. He was a poet, and
you got the impression that he anticipated a dramatic
"My last conversation with him was a surprise call
from Los Angeles and it showed a different side of Jim
Morrison than most people saw. He gave me the impression
he was searching, and I think he must have still
been searching in the end. I don't think he knew what
he was searching for. Maybe it was reality. Maybe it
was just peace."
"Masters Of Rock Vol #3 - Jane Scott talking to Michael Olszewski
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:02:08 GMT
JIMBO; A LIZARD? A SNAKE?
Well, it's been a year since I last saw Morrison (at Grafmyre's Seattle Pop Festival - everything fits, you see), time enough to digest and assimilate that irritatiing encounter. So here it is, set down in print for the first time.
Sunday was the third big day of the festival and The
Doors were the headlining act. For the next several
hours, surrounded by reporters and sycophants John
Densmore and Ray Manzarek wandered around backstage. As for himself, Jim Morrison was nowhere to bem seen.....But one of Grafmyre's press agents knew where Jim was holed up, and I badgered that p.r. dude so much that he finally led me over to a flashy black limo, a Caddy, parked off to one side backstage. Sure enough, hidden inside behind curtains, sunglasses, and a beard was the Lizard King. My chances of getting inside to talk, however, were obviously minuscule-except that, as it turned out, the car had actually been rented by Gram Parsons of the Flying Buritto Brothers. He was there too, and he invited me in.
A great coup! My big moment...Oh, I had brillant questions all worked out-non-interview-type questions aimed at Morrison's supposed literate
mind, rather than at his sex life and eating habits.
The only problem was, as I soon discovered, Morrison
was playing Rock's Bad Boy again-that day: mumbling,
introspective, he seemed stoned or drunk. Instead of grabbing a quick snazzy interview, all I could do at first was mumble back, nervously waiting for Jim's Muse, or a
lesser miracle, to strike. Meanwhile we set off
driving all over the Woodinville area, searching for a
grocery store that was open and selling liquor. A
powerful thirst had gripped the inhabitants of that
air-conditioned dream (including your fearless reporter);
besides, both Morrison and Mike Clark of the Burriots -
his broken leg rammed out straight in a thigh-high
cast were anxious to find some big ugly cigars.
We did find a suitable store after a time, then
continued our leisurely tour of the East Side, weaving
through a red-brown haze of wine fumes and stogie smoke.
I finally got Morrison going on the interview
too, but it proved to be as much of a rout as I'd
feared. He didn't trust me to write down his words,
instead insisted we utilize the tape recorder I was
carrying. JIM: (singing) Well, I used to be a big
old cigar-smokin', wine drinkin' swinger a-runnin'
around town. Then all of a sudden I met my
fall-down...(talking again) Erase that...JIM: Eject this
citizen, eject him from the moon module. That's a
declamation. Someone eject this man, eject this man from the limousine. I am not grooving, like my nerve ends are not sensitized to his wave-length. So he must be unfortunately ejected. Eject the man. No one's gonna eject the man, huh?.....somewhere in between, and those are the hardest ones to fit
in. And I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about,
don't you? I mean there've been times in your life when
you couldn't quite fit in...You got to go through
chaos to get to the Christian life...(with Gram Parsons
now adding a white gospel background) You must
remember this - your time is comin', your time IS COMIN',
the time when you will be a full-flegded individual,
and that goes for every livin' last one of you. And
don't forget the people who made it possible; don't
forget, don't forget all the farmers out there, growin'
them potatoes so you can have french fries when you go to the A & W Root Beer stand. Don't forget any of
it, because it's all part of the whole
thing...ED: Tell us please why a well-known poet once said that poets themselves are "the unacknowledged
legislators of the universe." JIM" Well, the penis of
a poet out does the prick of a policitican.
ED: How does that compare with the well know
appendages of rock musicians?
JIM: I once knew a Mexican rock drummer with six toes, and if that wasn't an extra appendage, you tell me what it looked like.ED: Did this encounter with the Mexican with six toes take place in Juarez or Tijuana?JIM: You know, there's a place about 20 or 30 miles south of Juarez called "Boys Town." I've never been there, but I heard all about it. The beer only costs a dime, the girls are upstairs - it's like the Old West all over again.
As soon as this fantasic festival is over, I'm gonna
initiate a proposition to rent a biplane and get a bunch
of boys down there to old Boys' Town. Can you dig
that? Get every thing you want, everything you
need...everything you ever dreamed about, man...ED:
(signing off) Ladies and gentleman, I've spent the last
hour and half riding around in the back of a limousine
with Gram Parsons and Mike Clark of The Flying Birrito
Brothers and as you might have guessed, from the brief
words we've had Jim Morrison of the Doors. We've taped about 75 times as much as you've heard, all of which was either unprintable or erasable, eminently
erasable. These gentleman have had it and so have I. Good Night.
Portland New Times Journal September 1970
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:02:52 GMT
"As the house band at the Cheetah we opened for the Doors a half a dozen times. "Light My Fire" had turned them into a supergroup that year, and as we got to be buddies I got the impression that Jim Morrison didn't exactly know how to handle what was happening to him. Morrsion was always drunk. There was a great, otherworldly mysteriousness about him. We talked for hours on the pier behind the Cheetah in between gigs, sipping scotch from a bottle, occasionally both throwing up into the ocean. I passed out in Morrison's house a hundred times. I woke up in the morning smelling of stale beer. Morrison would be asleep on the couch a few feet away from me in his black leather pants and black T-shirt. I would stumble to my feet, walk the twenty-eight miles home to Topanga Canyon."
(The band had a seance at their house, and Jim Morrison and his producer were invited. Of course, it was all just playing around, but when Jim found out, he got mad, threw his boots away out of anger, and left.)
"I saw Morrison the next day on Sunset Boulevard talking to the hippies. He was still barefoot, and when he saw me I rushed over to him and explained about the night before. When he heard we went through all that craziness just to get to meet him and Rothschild he loved it. He called me "Lucy" (from "I Love...") the rest of the day. He put his arm around me and we walked into a shoe store where he bought another pair of boots. After that we became much closer. When he was in LA, and I didn't have a job, I'd go over to his house where there was plenty of food. We'd drink until we passed out, and I'd crawl under a sofa and sleep until morning. I remember waking up there one day and hearing somebody say, "Who's the skinny guy in the beaded top under the couch?" Morrison said, "Oh, that's just Alice Cooper"."
Alice Cooper talking to Steven Gaines
REMEMBERING THE LIZARD KING.........
Jerry Ainsfield was with the Peace Corps in Liberia when he first heard about Jim Morrison's rock star fame. A friend had written Ainsfield about his former high school buddy, who was featured in the May 1967 issue of Life Magazine.
"I went all over the place trying to find that issue
of Life in Liberia," Ainsfield said. Before that he
had lost track of Morrison with whom he had graduated
from George Washington High School in 1961.
NOT EXACTLY TYPICAL
For Ainsfield and others who knew
him at GW, Morrison was not exactly the typical
"local boy who made good." For one thing, Morrison - who became the leader of the Doors rock group in the '60's - was not all that local. The son of a Naval Officer, Morrison had lived all over the country before coming to Alexandria in 1958, three years before finishing high school. Also, many who knew him were later mystified that Morrison had become a singer, as he had not seemed interested in music during his days at GW. Some, like Ainsfield were totally unaware of their former classmate's success until it came crashing to their attention.
Now, 20 years after his death, interest in the young
man who became known as the "Lizard King" has been
rekindled with the recent release of "The Doors," an Oliver Stone film centered on Morrison's life.
Speaking in his easy, Virginia-flavored voice, Ainsfield
described Morrison as a friend he used to "hang out
with...a handsome guy, but quiet and on the shy side.
Morrison didn't even sing in high school," he said. "He
liked to write poetry and he was a talented artist."
Ainsfield said he and others focused instead on the singing abilities of classmate Ellen Cohen who later became Mama Cass Elliot of the Mamas and the Papas group. ("She had a beautiful voice," he remarked
Stan Durkee is among those who remember Morrison for his intellegence, his literary brillance and his enigmatic personality. "Intellectually, Jim was head and shoulders above all of us - he read every book you could imagine," said Durkee. "He inspired me." Durkee said he and Morrison used to go to book stores in Washington to look for works of beat generation authors who intrigued him.
Durkee remembers being in an English class with
Morrison while studying James Joyce's "Ulysses." "Even the teacher was learning from Morrison's interpretation of the work," Durkee said. "We all were...He was sort of
an intellectual leader."
However, Durkee said, "Nobody really understood Morrison (as a person).
He was detached, creative...Few if any, people in
our class were really close to him." Durkee, who gave
Morrison a ride to school every morning, said Morrison was alienated from his family as well. "He went for weeks without seeing his parents," he said. Although Durkee saw Morrison as someone "who would have become a dramatic person," he said it was "a shock to everybody" that he evolved into "a teen idol." On the other hand, Durkee was
not surprised by accounts of Morrison's tempermental
and sometimes bizarre behavior during his performing
years. Once during a class, he said, "Jim got really
angry and exploded" because a teacher questioned his
judgement. In a sense, Durkee said, Morrison was rebelling against the "smugness" and "mindlessness" of the late 50s. "Jim took everything to the max," said
WE ALL EAT SMALL DOGS
Patricia Madison, who
was also in classes with Morrison, described him as
"hyper, high IQ and weird." She recalls a time in Spanish
class when he wrote, "We all eat small dogs" on the
blackboard as a sentence to be translated. Madison also
remembers an incident when Morrison brough rotting fish with him on a bus without air conditioning during a
hot summer day to elicit a reaction from the other
passengers (which of course, he did). "Morrison would do things we didn't dare do," Madison remarked. She said once Morrison urinated in his locker, because he
didn't feel like using the restroom. Ainsfield
said he believes some of Morrison's acting out in high
school was alcohol-related, recalling that Morrison
"liked drinking bourbon." However, Ainsfield said he
does not believe Morrison was involved with drugs at
Dick Sparks viewed Morrison as the
leader of a "tight little intellectual group who
followed him like puppies" and "made fun of other people." Sparks said he did not make the connection between the Morrison of the Doors and the teenager he had known in high school until he read Morrison's obituary in 1971.
Although Tommy Edwards has a distant memory of Morrison, "walking down a street in Warwick Village barefoot with a guitar around his neck," he too was surprised to learn of his later fame. Edwards sang in the high school chorus with the future Mama Cass Elliot, and thought that she - if anyone - would be the one to become sucessful in music, just as Ainsfield thought. Apparently,neither Edwards nor the others who knew Morrison in high school had any premonition of the musical success he would achieve. Still, Morrison is remembered by his classmates, if perhaps for different reasons.When asked if he had seen the current movie about Morrison, Edwards replied, "No. That's not the Jim Morrison we remember."
Alexandria Virginia Gazette March 21, 1991
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:03:47 GMT
Jim Morrison, GWHS Class of '61, was a member of the music group called the "Doors" during the late 60s. This is his story.
GWHS Alumni Association Alexandria, Virginia
November 5, 2002.
James (Jim) Douglas Morrision,
Born on December 12, 1943 and died on July 3, 1971 at age 27
Jim Morrison, a member of the "Doors", was handsome with a gentle, innocent look. His genuinely shy manner and soft, quiet voice was in direct contrast to the always drunk and/or stoned satyr who sang with such strident urgency, as he appeared onstage. Jim's grade school ambition was to become a writer. His idols were poets and joumalists including Rimbaud, Keats and Jack Kerouac.
As a student Jim excelled in text work and reference work, devouring knowledge in areas of history, science, psychology, english and the arts, but was troublesome in class. He learned to make friends fast and not get too close as his father being an Admiral in the navy and a career man, moved around the country frequently.
Jim went on to get a degree in Cinematography and actually made a movie. The film was greeted by a minority as a masterpiece and by several professors as the worst film they had ever seen. "Wierd" would have been a more appropriate description. Not long after that he bumped into an old class mate, Ray Manzerak, and decided to join Ray's band 'Screamin ' Ray Daniels ' _ and try out some of his Iyrics. After a reshuffle in the band Ray and Jim with Robbie Krieger and John Densmore formed The Doors.
They called themselves The Doors after Aldous Huxley's 'The Doors Of Perception' and worked for six months ending up at the most important rock club in Los Angeles, Wiskey a Go Go. By this time Jim was singing his own heady material and The Doors were fast gaining a loyal core of fans.
One night Electra Record Company's president Jac Holzman, and producer Paul Rothschild, dropped in at the club and signed the band, on the spot, for ten thousand dollars. That summer of 1967 their first album 'The Doors' was released and immediately hailed as a masterpiece. 'Light My Fire' the single off the album was a smash hit. Their next album 'Strange Days ' solidified The Doors ' success. _With two albums in the top ten, headline concerts causing riots and hit singles, Jim achieved his aim of becoming hero and controversial spokesman, blending poetry and insanity.
The Doors became myth makers, the group who sang about sex, doom, the revolution and death, and Jim a performer of enormous capabilities. With his picture on the cover of practically all teen magazines in America, and heralded 'The King of Acid Rock', 'The King of Orgasmic Rock ', 'The Ultimate Barbie Doll ' and 'The Lizard King' Jim was every girl's dream and every boy's self image.
Jim was becoming notorious for his drug taking, taking and fast living and by the time The Doors third album 'Waiting For The Sun' came out, his popularity had begun to wane as his fans watched him become drunker and fatter.
Arrests after The Doors' Miami concert of March 2nd 1969 for "lewd and lascivious behaviour" sparked a nation wide ban on the group, resulting in exclusion from 16 states, and Jim began to rebel against the image he had created, shedding his leathers in fear of another bust. Twelve previous arrests had not left their mark, but this was the first time his arrest had serious repercussions.
Their next album 'The Soft Parade'released in the summer of 1969 did not make the impact of the earlier albums and although 'Morrison Hotel' released in early 1970 redeemed them somewhat, the future of The Doors was at best, uncertain.
Jim was not unaware of his own absurdity and the Iyrics of 'Absolutely Live' (1970) belie his disillusionment .... "Dead cat in a top hat, Thinks he's an aristocrat That's crap". With the finish of the bluesy and intermittently successful album 'L.A. Woman', Morrison headed for Paris. He was probably looking for renewed inspiration in the birth place of French symbolist poetry and_surrealism.
So Jim met his partner Pamela in Paris and his restless soul finally found peace when he died in his bath tub on July 3rd, 1971. Speculations as to the cause of his death abound and their are some who even proclaim that he is still alive.
Before he went to France he had recorded a legacy to Doors fans and the world at large with some of his poetry.
In 1978 the remaining Doors' members, Ray Manzerak, Robbie Krieger and John Densmore got together and put his poetry to music for the latest album 'An American Prayer' In it Jim seems to be prophesing his own death and welcoming it, through lines such as:
"Death makes angels of us all & gives us wings
Where we had shoulders smooth as raven's claws
No more money, no more fancy dress
This other Kingdom seems by far the best
until its other jaw reveals incest
& loose obedience to a vegetable law
I will not go
Prefer a Feast of Friends
To the Giant Family. "
Just released in paperback is, 'Please Don't Let Me Be
Misunderstood', Eric Burdon's memoirs about the long and hard days with his bands The Animals and War. According to readers though, the most interesting part of the book is when Burdon recounts the time he
almost shot Jim Morrison:
"Jim (Morrison) had an awful habit of sleeping outside my front door, or outside my window, or crashing on my porch, and all that. And I took it all lightly at first. I mean, when I first met him I thought he was an engaging character. We'd always be pulling stunts on each other. But, um, this stunt went on a bit too long. And someone had given me a gift of a handgun, and I warned him that I was going to shoot the chandelier down. I, uh, almost did. The lesson I learned therein I um, I've never touched a gun since,"
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:04:10 GMT
JIM MORRISON, 1981: RENEW MY SUBSCRIPTION TO THE RESURRECTION
"Kelly's mother picked up the phone for the fifth time
that night. It was for sixteen-year-old-Kelly, "Who's
speaking?" the mother asked. "Eddie," the boy answered.
"I've got it." Kelly shouted. When Kelly hung up the
phone, her mother inquired, "Who's Eddie?" "A friend,"
Kelly replied. "Where is he from?" She didn't like the
sound of the accent. "Oh, I think he's from Spain,"
Kelly said and slid out of the den.The next
day, she was cleaning Kelly's room. In a small wooden
fame on the bureau was a picture of a young man. His
hair was long and curly. He wore no shirt. His arms
were spread out as if he were being
crucified.When Kelly arrived at her Long Island home that afternoon, her mother confronted her with the picture. "Is this the animal you're going out with?" she asked. Kelly glanced at the picture and laughed. "Mom, that's Jim Morrison. From the Doors. A band," she said,
tripping upstairs to her room. "And he's dead anyway,"
Kelly continued as her mother stood in the doorway,
still waving the picture. Kelly was relieved that she
hadn't noticed the other pictures of Morrison on her
fireplace mantel. Kelly will tell anyone who asks
that her favorite group is the Doors. She even bought
Eddie-from-Spain a black T Shirt with her favorite picture of Morrison on the front. Kelly can't always name any of the Doors songs, but if you sing one, she'll know
it. Just why Kelly's into Jim Morrison is difficult to
explain, but there's no doubt that she and most of her
friends can recite, in great detail, the story of his
life. Their talk centers on the drinking, the drugs,
the performances that ended in near riots. An arrest
in Las Vegas for a fight with a cop. Trouble on an
airplane bound for Phoenix, resulting with Morrison in
hand-cuffs. An onstage bust in New Haven for rapping about a backstage confrontation with police. And the most famous bust of all, his arrest after a show in Miami on several counts of indecent exposure and lewd and
lascivious behavior. Most of these teenagers couldn't care less whether Morrison actually exposed himself or not; they simply adore the fact he would even think of
doing it. The new generation of Doors fans, many of whom were in kindergarden when the
band peaked in the late Sixties, is attracted to
Morrison's unabashed sexiness, the lure of his voice and the hot, ornery lyrics. A song like "The End" in which
Morrison, in an Odeipal rage, screams, "Father I want to
kill you/Mother, I want to fuck you," is heady stuff
for a seventeen-year-old. To these kids, Morrison's
mystique is simply whatever he did, it was something
they've been told is wrong. And for that they love
him. The extraordinary distance between his life, his
stardom and their own youth likely fuels the worship;
maybe if these kids saw Morrison today, they wouldn't
be so certain all his activities were godlike. But
in death, he remains their ageless hero, the biggest
of them all."It's amazing," said Bryn Bridenthal, vice-president of public relations for Elektra/Asylum Records, the Doors' label. "The group is bigger
now than when Morrison was alive. We've sold more
Doors records this year than in any year since they
were first released." The statistics are impressive.
Every album in the Doors catalog, for instance, doubled
or tripled its sales in 1980 over the previous year.
Aided by Elektra's decision to drop the list price of
The Doors, Waiting For The Sun and The Soft Parade
from $8.98 to $5.98, kids all over America began
scooping up the old records. In fact, of twelve Doors
albums, ten have now been certified gold or platinum.
"The Doors catalog is an amazing success," affirms Joe
Smith, chairman of Elektra Records. "No group that isn't
around anymore has sold that well for us." The
Morrison revival began about three years ago and has grown from a modest renaissance into a landslide. Though the roots of this posthumous popularity are not perfectly clear, music-industry executives tend to trace its orgins to the 1979 release of Francis Ford Coppola's
Apocalyse Now which prominently featured "The End." This unexpected bit of reexposure was soon followed by the appearance of An American Prayer, an album of Morrison reading his own poetry (recorded in 1971) with
instrumental backing added years later by the remaining Doors. Though sales were poor, it stirred further interest in this disembodied voice, this drone from the past. But the big push came with the publication of No One Here Gets Out Alive, by Daniel Sugarman and Jerry Hopkins. To date 740,000 trade and mass-market-paperback copies have been printed, and the book made the best-seller lists. Its last chapter, which raises numerous questions about the circumstances of Morrison's death and
the disposition of his remains, is just the sort of
dark, eerie, mysterious tale that tends to set
impressionable minds dreaming. "It's a whole new
audience," says Bob Gelms, music director of WXRT in
Chicago. His station, along with many other FM rock
outlets, is playing Doors songs with the frequency of many current popular bands. As Ted Edwards, music director at WCOZ in Boston, points out, many younger kids are hearing the Doors for the first time. "The Doors sound perfect next to Van Halen," says Hugh Surratt, music director of KMET in Los Angeles. "We treat them as a very viable part of our programming. It's amazing to find a band like that has gone on for so long. It's as if
they're still recording. It says something for their
durability and for the cynical nature of things. Everything
comes back around."
by Rosemary Breslin Rolling Stone
Magazine. September 17, 1981
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:04:34 GMT
JIM MORRISON, 1981: RENEW MY SUBSCRIPTION TO THE RESURRECTION PART 2
Yet all this chronology, all these facts and figures pall beside the most important aspect of Morrison Resurrectus: the need today for kids - perhaps for us all - to have an idol who isn't squeaky clean. Someone rebellious, someone with a smirk that's more cynical than mean, someone whose sexiness is based on steamy eroticism, not all-American good looks. James Dean, not Shaun Cassidy; handsome
with problems gets them always. When Gloria
Stavers worked at 16 Magazine during the sixties, she
championed the Doors and once or twice even managed to slip Jim Morrison into a publication that counted as its top attraction the likes of Bobby Sherman, the Mod Squad's Michael Cole and the Monkees. "Morrison was never
one of our big draws," says Stavers. But things have
changed. "Now, I get calls from my fourteen-year-old
godson to send him pictures of Morrison," Stavers says.
"A friend's sixteen-year-old daughter in the suburbs
has pictures of Morrison on her wall. She's gone on
Morrison and the Doors." John Densmore, the Doors
drummer is amazed by the fact that he's asked for
autographs wherever he goes these days - mainly
fifteen-year-olds far too young to have ever heard the band perform. "About three years ago, my nieces in Boston - who were thirteen - told me that their classmates were into the Doors," says Densmore. "It isn't like it stopped for ten years, but in the last few years, it's been big business again." In fact, some of Densmore's friends have begun asking him to sign their old Doors records. As one told him: "Shit, you guys are famous again."
There has been some spillover from the younger
listeners to a slightly more adult crowd, but it seems
largely caused by proxoimity rather than taste. A
trickle-up theory, you might say. "A few at school listen to the Doors," says one Brown University student, "but
nothing like the little kids. Everywhere I go this
summer, I hear the Doors. You can't help it. And my
girlfriend just bought an old album; she'd never listened to them before at all." "I think it's fifty-fifty
with kids," suggests Gloria Stavers. "Half of it is
their fascination with the music, half is with Jim.
Talk about the living dead." Or, you might say, his
identifiable, aspirational aura. The common lore about
Morrison's life is full of the sorts of things that kids
imagine could only have happened in the sixties. And they wish they'd been there. Within a few years,
the Doors got all the sucess Morrison had predicted.
But he soon discovered he wanted more. He became
disenchanted with his Lizard King image, that of the beautiful delinquent in black-leather pants whose audience screamed for "Light My Fire" everytime he bounded on stage. Morrison hadn't even written the lyrics for that trademark song; they'd come from Robby Krieger, the group's guitarist. It was the scene, the milieu of outrage that the fans would come to witness. And Morrison ultimately rejected it, undertaking a self-destructive path, as if to mock his strange glory. He really wanted to be recognized as a poet. Maybe he would have been, had he not quietly died in a bathtub in Paris that July night ten years ago. Of the two experimental films Morrison made,
Feast Of Friends was generally panned and HWY a movie about hitchhiking, was considered an incomplete work. Morrison's one published book of poetry, The Lords and the New Creatures, was issued in 1970 by Simon and Schuster. More than 5000 copies remain in stock. Though Morrison's life is prehistory to Kelly and her cohorts, they discuss it with great interest. They'll talk about the Doors' songs, too, though with varying
degrees of familiarity. "I really do listen to the
music," Kelly said. "An old boyfriend got me into it last
year. We'd listen to it at his house. The music knocks
you out when you're high. Oh yeah, I know "Light My
Fire" and "The End" the best." Kelly is also
heavily into Doors paraphernalia. Buttons that cost two
dollars ("We steal them from the mall.") T Shirts and
denium jackets emblazoned with Morrison's face. Posters for their bedrooms. Bumper stickers for cars they don't have yet. Most of the girls say they love Jim
Morrison, but they have no idea why. Yet when Kelly and her friends tick off the names of the other groups they listen to, it becomes clearer why they're so into
Morrison. "Oh, the Who, the Stones, Styx, REO Speedwagon," Kelly said. With the newer bands, especially, most kids don't and many can't name an individual member; no one personality sticks out from the pack. Even when Mick Jagger's
name is mentioned, it's obvious he doesn't appeal to
teenage girls today like he did a decade ago. The band
might be as big as ever, but Jagger isn't, and that's
the point. Mick Jagger, at thirty-six, is too old for
them, his nine-year-old daughter, Jade is just a few
years younger than some of Kelly's friends. Jagger
himself is as old as some kid's parents. Not Morrison.
The Jim Morrison the girls fall in love with, the one
in the pictures, is about twenty-five and always
will be. After the attraction of a face that
spells pure sex and the sultry voice that goes with it,
there's the air of mystery that surrounds Morrison. "You
know, nobody saw his body," Kelly said. She glanced out the window of the bus as it rolled toward the beach
and then turned to her friend Harry. "I heard that
Morrison might be living in Brazil. Or maybe it was in
Africa. When I want to play games with someone's head, I tell them Morrison might not be dead," said seventeen year-old Harry, who was wearing a worn white t-shirt with a picture of Morrison and the words Morrison Lives! written in red.
by Rosemary Breslin Rolling Stone
Magazine. September 17, 1981
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:05:38 GMT
JIM MORRISON, 1981: RENEW MY SUBSCRIPTION TO THE RESURRECTION PART 3
"Yeah," added Harry, "only Pamela saw the body." To these kids, it is a great thing that nobody close to Morrison, aside from Pamela, his wife, saw the body. It makes for a very good story. Furthermore, "Pamela ODed three years after Jim died," Harry noted. "So now there's no one alive show saw his body." Harry knows everything about The Doors," Kelly said. She lowered her voice: "I broke his heart in eighth grade." "He's probably over it," a friend said. "I don't think so," Kelly
answered, shooting a glance at Harry. "Ray Manzarek said if anyone could pull off disappearing, Morrison could," Harry continued. After he'd carefully arranged his
beach blanket, Harry took a snapshot out of his beach
bag. "I took this picture of Manzarek at Rock Ages, a
rock & roll flea market." Kelly grabbed the photo. It
was clear from the impatient look on her face that
she had no idea who the guy was." "I have a
picture of Morrison's grave at home," Kelly said. "My
sister's friend, Leslie, visited it last
summer." At Pere La Chaise, one of Paris' most famed
cemeteries, Leslie was looking at the graves of Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Blazac and Chopin when she saw "Jim-spray painted on a tombstone from the early 1700's. Leslie followed the arrow underneath the name to another grave, where another spray painted arrow pointed her to the plot where Jim Morrison rests. A little past Morrison's grave was one more arrow and the words You Passed It. Go Back. "The graves in the background of Morrison's looked like a subway wall," said Leslie, an international law student. On one grave was a dome-shaped piece of concrete with a pair of fancy, made-up eyes and big red lips painted on it. Beneath it was written L.A. Woman. On another tombstone, a picture of Morrison had been spray-painted through a stencil. Another
bore the legend KILL PEOPLE OVER THIRTY. At Morrison's grave, four fans stood smoking cigarettes and reading the words on the other graves. Pills wet from the rain, were scattered on his burial site, along with cigarette butts. So were an old pair of brown boots and empty bottles. The scene compelled Leslie to return more than once. "People came to party at Morrison's grave. From going there, I realized people were starting to trip again. And everybody could find significance in every little thing around the grave."
Leslie's friend, also a law student, went to pick up guys at Morrison's grave. "Aside from lots of American's, she met Germans. The Germans loved Morrison. Lots of the graffiti was in German," said Leslie. "Some of it was even in Latin." She met one German guy there and they went away together. "I thought the grave was an example of how there is an eternal flame for Jim Morrison. Most of them came only to see his grave. They didn't know that anyone else of importance was buried in Pere Lachaise. Me, I was wondering how Morrison had gotten into the place."
I saw some better pictures of Morrison's grave than the one Leslie gave me," Kelly said. "In a book of rock stars graves." She turned and inspected her muscular legs. "I have to watch out for my hips." "Hi Claude," Kelly said to a boy who walked past. "Quaaludes and beer," Claude said. "No," Kelly said and turned away. Kelly put her unfinished Coke back into Harry's cooler. "I only smoke a little pot." Inside the cooler were Kelly's three
Cokes and forty-eight bottles of Schmidt's beer. Harry
took one out of the cooler and walked over to his $200
JVC radio-cassette player. He was only playing the
radio this afternoon because his batteries were almost
gone and eight size D's cost eight dollars. Besides,
"they play so much Doors on the radio, you don't even
need the cassette." "And they play New Wave," Kelly
said of their favorite station. She scrunched her face
as if she were chewing aspirin. That's about how
much she likes New Wave. She'll listen to Frank
Sinatra's rendition of "New York, New York" and even Harry likes Anne Murray, his religious mother's favoritie.
But forget New Wave. It doesn't even get a first
chance with a lot of kids. Only Harry showed even a
little interest in X, the band Ray Manzarek now
produces. But the kids do love rock, Last year, the Doors
Greatest Hits package sold almost a million copies. "It
was basically an album that had been released
already, but we remastered, remixed and cleaned it up,
says Joe Smith. All totaled, the Doors sold 2.5
million albums in 1980. According to Ray Manzarek,
the worst years for Doors record sales were
1974-1976. "Everything was swept away by disco. I think Saturday Night Fever sold 26 million records," Manzarek says. By comparison, the Doors catalog averaged about 100,000 per year. But as Manzarek points out, "Disco dissipated; the Doors are still here." Aside from buying the records, kids love merchandise, which is Danny Sugarman's department. Sugarman, co-author of No One Here Gets Out Alive, manages Ray Manzarek's career and runs the management-public relations firm in Los Angeles. Now twenty-five, he started out handling Jim Morrison's fan mail at age thirteen. He was paid ten cents for each letter answered. "He gave me hope. He was my hero, my friend," Sugarman says.
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:06:05 GMT
JIM MORRISON, 1981: RENEW MY SUBSCRIPTION TO THE RESURRECTION PART 4
Addressing the recent Doors boom, Sugarman contends, "No one is selling the Doors. Business is great. We don't need to take advantage of anything." Sugarman initiated an official Doors fan club because of the demand for product, and because "we want to keep the quality and class. There's an incredible amount of bootlegging." Among the legitimate offerings, a shiny, French-design T shirt with airbrushed picture of the Doors. A cable TV-documentary about Morrison and The Doors will soon be aired. A live album is planned, using tapes that have surfaced of Doors performances on the Isle Of Wight and in Amsterdam. And there's been persistent talk concerning a feature length movie about Morrison. Sugarman throws out the names of David Essex, Rodger Daltrey and John Travolta as among those who won't play the singer. Sugarman's already at work on a
new book about Morrison - coffee-table size - with
30,000 words and lots of pictures. "He's bigger in death
than in life," says Sugarman. "My dream was to manage
Jim, and this is as close as I could get. I do
everything with a lot of concern and responsibility. What
Jim would want."
At the time of Morrison's death, his estate was estimated to worth about $300,000. The Doors' music is owned by the three surviving Doors and the Jim Morrison estate, which is administered by Morrison's deceased wife's parents and his own
mother and father. Pamela Courson Morrison's dad is a
retired high-school principal, Jim's father a retired
admiral. "They buy condos and cars," Sugarman says. "Jim would have given it to Andy." Andy is Morrison's younger brother. However, Sugarman and most others associated with the band prefer not to discuss monetary matters. When asked how much in royalties is presently coming in, Sugarman says, "I don't like to talk about money." A promoter offered us ten or twenty grand to play in some arena. Without Jim," says John Densmore. "He didn't care who sang. Just that he could advertise the Doors. I'm worried. I'm waiting for some backlash. Will it get saturated? Is this going to turn against us?"
When "Riders On The Storm" came on the radio, five
young boys laying on beach blankets began singing
in-out-of-tune voices. Only Kelly didn't know every word of the song, but she gave it her best shot. "Most girls think they're into the Doors, but all they listen to us
Greatest Hits," Harry disparagingly. He's been into the
Doors for three years now, ever since he shared a room
with his older brother. "My brother's in the marines
now. Morrison got him through boot camp. He'd go to
sleep singing Doors." Harry listens to about three
Doors albums each day. On July 4th, Harry's best
friend, Jim, said Led Zeppelin was the best rock group
ever and "Stairway To Heaven" the best song. Harry
hasn't spoken to him since. Harry's father once ventured
to listen to the Doors, but he left the room after
quickly deciding that Morrison was a crazy man. Harry's
favorite baseball player is Jim Morrison, a third baseman
for the Chicago White Sox. Harry was seven
when Jim Morrison died. He was three when "Light My
Fire" reached number one in Billboard magazine. The
closest anyone has come to seeing the Doors is a "tribute band" called Crystal Ship. They're just one of at least four such groups cashing in on the revival. In
Detroit, there's Pendragon. In L.A. there's Strange Daze.
"I had a good time listening to Strange Daze," John
Densmore says. "They had every lick, every drum beat down. The singer even had some of Jim's rap down. Every note was copied exactly. They're making a living. They usually play clubs, but now I hear they're going to play a thousand seater in the valley." Harry
couldn't have picked a safer idol than Morrison. That's
the greatest thing about the guy: he's not going to
change. He's not going to go Christian on you. He's not
going to preach against liquor and drugs. Morrison is
going to stay twenty-seven and keep saying the things
he always did, the things teenagers like to hear. If
Morrison's death is a hoax, which few kids actually believe, the best thing he could do is remain dead. He'd be thirty-eight now. Probably out of shape and with a
burnt-out-voice. For Jim Morrison, there's nothing quite like being dead to keep him popular.
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:06:24 GMT
JIM MORRISON, 1981: RENEW MY SUBSCRIPTION TO THE RESURRECTION FINAL PART
With kids, Morrison hits home in a lot of ways. "He was always rebellious," said Harry.
"He hated school. He hated cops." What more do you
need? Rebellion is a very popular word when you're
growing up. Even if you've never had an encounter with a cop, at seventeen you've got to say you hate them.
"You know, Morrison could drink a quart of Jack
Daniel's," said Harry. "He must have had some stomach. And drugs. He could get unbelievably wasted and still write. He was a genius. He read books."
"The lyrics are really the thing," Kelly said. "I can understand the words when I hear them. When I listen to the Stones, I can only make out a word here or there. You know how you listen to a record and you think they're saying one thing, but when you see the words on the cover, they're not what you thought? You feel really stupid. Well, I usually understand Morrison's words." "You listen to the words and relate to then," Harry said. To be honest, most kids can't articulate what it is about the lyrics that they "relate" to. But that
doesn't mean they ought to be written off as losers. At
seventeen, it's just that you still haven't figured out a
way to get what's in your brain out of your mouth. So
you end up sounding a little ignorant, and everybody
else talks about you as going nowhere. "I think the
kids are getting the message. I think they understand
the words and the music," Ray Manzarek says. "I'm
very proud of them. They're not a bunch of little
idiots. All hope is not lost. Morrison introduced them to
a bit of literature. Obviously, he was a poet. They
might want to know what he read. Maybe from the
popularized account of a wild poet, a crazy guy, they might go buy Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" or pick up
William Blake. One of them might even read Nietzsche.
Hope is in the kids."
by Rosemary Breslin Rolling Stone
Magazine. September 17, 1981
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:06:48 GMT
Jim & Janis
Jim Morrison was another rough character who came into her life in 1967. From the beginning their bands had been linked in people's minds. The Doors were known around San Francisco as "Hollywood's
version of Big Brother," and in LA, Janis was referred to as "the female Jim Morrison."
"The Doors came north and we went south," Sam (Andrew) says. Big Brother started gigging at LA's Whisky-A-Go-Go and the Golden Bear Club
in Huntington Beach, and the Doors came up the coast regularly to play the Matrix and Winterland. Says Sam, "They were a slithery crew even then. We were playing the Matrix one weekend when we heard about the Doors coming to town. This was when we first met all of them. They were in an incubation period just as we were, still sweet and innocent."
James Gurley, recalling the night he and Janis first saw the Doors, takes a more acerbic view. "Janis and Morrison were two big egos clashing in the night," he says. "They never got along from the first
time we saw the Doors at the Matrix. She didn't like Jim Morrison and he didn't like her. They were too much alike – two monstrous egos."
In January 1967, the Doors were playing Winterland, and Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane told them they should catch Janis' act at the Avalon between their sets. The Doors complained that the Avalon
was two miles across town, but John Densmore would never forget the trip. Said John, "The female lead singer was so good, we were told it would be worth the hassle of getting back for our last set. I remember thinking that a girl who called herself `Big Brother' must
be kind of butch."
Robby Krieger and Densmore arrived, "in the middle of a torching rendition of `Down On Me'" and later went backstage to tell Janis how sensational she was. Said Densmore, "She thanked me kindly and offered me a slug of her gallon of rotgut wine. Seeing Janis Joplin
up close wasn't as appealing as from a distance, but she was warm and friendly, and that deep, husky voice kept reminding me how powerful she could belt the blues."
In June 1967, Jim Morrison was in New York, complaining bitterly that he had not been invited to participate at Monterey Pop. The weekend
of the festival was practically a national holiday in the rock world, and the Scene, the hip club in Manhattan where the Doors would usually played, closed so that everyone could go to California. The Doors were reduced to playing dumpy little clubs in Philadelphia and
Long Island, and Morrison began to nurse a grudge against the San Francisco bands. "My flower-child half strongly wanted to be tripping and dancing at the Festival," said the Door's Densmore,"but I was in
the demon Doors."
"Morrison took it personally," according to his biographers, feeling he was being discriminated against because of his identity as an LA rocker. By the time Janis and Morrison got together after Monterey,
she'd returned to Haight-Ashbury a star. Rolling Stone, which started publishing in 1967, called her "the major female voice of her generation," and Ralph Gleason said she was "easily the most exciting singer of her race to appear in a decade or more." Alternately
happy and puzzled by the big splash she'd made, she said she was enjoying fame but was acutely mindful that "before this, nobody ever care
whether I lived." A social outcast since puberty, she was
bewildered by the world's sudden adulation and frankly didn't know what to do with it. But there was one aspect of fame that she embraced instantly
and wholeheartedly" It was an aphrodisiac. Some of the most attractive men of her time were now available to her.
Jim Morrison was in her apartment one night with a group that included Dave Richards, Sam Andrew, Morrison's girl, Pamela Courson, and his tailor. "When I got there, Morrison was already there with
some hippie guy who was his clothing designer and traveled all around with him, making Morrison's leather pants," says Dave Richards. "Morrison was very drunk. We all were. Sam was, I was, Janis was. Only Morrison's girlfriend wasn't drunk. She was a
little uptight, actually. She didn't want to be there. Both Sam and I had designs on her. They only other woman there was Janis and we both knew that Janis had designs on Jim Morrison."
At Janis's apartment that night in San Francisco, Janis went over to Dave Richards after a while and whispered, "I'm going to go in there
in my bedroom. Why don't you tell Jim to come in there? I want to talk to him for a minute."
"Oh," Dave said, "Okay." Then he went over to
Morrison and said, "Hey, Jim." Morrison glanced up and said, "Yeah?"
"Janis wants to talk to you for a minute."
Morrison got up and walked into the bedroom, Says Dave, "The door closed and I heard lock – clank! And that was that. The girlfriend sat there and sat there. Hours passed."
Janis's boudoir was a soft and seductive seraglio, with velvet, satin, lace and silk everywhere. Bob Seidemann's nude poster of her adorned one wall, and there were incense, lubricating lotions, booze,
dope, water pipes and needles.
Morrison may well have struck her as the ultimate catch. Writers of the sixties out did themselves attempting to capture his sensuality.
Biographers noted that in black leather he "looked like a naked body dipped in India ink." Journalists referred to him as a "surf-born Dionysus" and a "hippie Adonis." Rock critic Lillian Roxon wrote adulatingly, "The Doors are unendurable pleasure prolonged." Richard
Goldstein lionized him as a "sexual shaman" and a "street punk gone to heaven and reincarnated as a choir boy."
If Morrison got as far as Janis's life story that night in her bedroom, he learned that they had much in common. Jim wanted to be a writer, and Janis, too, intended to write a book, according to Sam.
They were both avid readers and both and been to Venice, California, beatniks because of On The Road. Both read Nietzsche, Ferlinggetti, McClure, and Corso, and if Janis wasn't the expert on Plutarch,
Baudelaire, and Norman O. Brown that Jim was, she could readily discuss Gurdjieff, Wilfred Owen and F. Scott Fitzgerald, not to mention The Sensuous Woman.
Jim and Janis remained cloistered in her room for hours, while Sam, Dave Richards, and Pam waited just outside the door. Says Dave, "Finally I said to Pam, `You know, if you're waiting for him to
come out of there, he's probably not going to be out of there until tomorrow. He's not coming out."
"Oh, yes he will!" she said.
"She was pretty young, `No,' I said. "He's not
coming out." Sam and I had ulterior motives, anyway. Finally, she got really mad and she said, "Call a cab." I called her a cab and later, as I was walking
her down to the street, I opened the door of the cab for her and she got in and Sam went in right past me, pulled the door shut, and the cab went off with both of them in it. I told Sam later, "You son of a bitch!" He said, "You got to be quick." Sam slithered right in there.
Sam had this myth in his mind about the equipment men: "Goddamn, you guys get all the women because you always get to town first." Since
he was a star and making more money then us, he'd invested the oppressed workers with great sexual prowess. That's what was in his head."
Sam confirms Dave's account, saying, "Yes, it's true. The
equipment men arrive first at a gig and get all the girls. At last, with Pam, I could challenge the typical proletarian myth about the potency of the working class."
Sometime after Janis's night with Morrison, she told her friend Henry Carr, "I don't like Jim Morrison. He was okay in bed, but when we got up the next morning, he asked for a shot of sloe gin." By Janis's standards, sloe gin was a sissy drink.
Pamela Courson, though hurt when Jim slept around, went along with the Lizard King's peccadillos. Given her choice, Pam would have preferred a "more traditional" relationship. She was living with Jim at this time at 1812 Rothdell Trail in LA's Laurel Canyon and they
were already playing the dangerous games that would eventually kill them both, drugging, scaring each other with spiders and black magic, getting high on acid, and driving down Mulholand with their eyes
Around the time that Jim was sleeping with Janis, Pamela got even by making it with handsome actors such as John Phillip Law and Tom Baker. Later Tom Baker fell in with Andy Warhol's crowd in New
York and starred in I, A Man, one of Warhol's pornographic epics. Ironically, when Pam broke off with Baker and went back to Morrison, the two men became close friends and drinking buddies, and Baker
became one of Janis' lovers. He lived at the Casa Real near the Chateau Marmont with two other young men, and the three of them became known as "the boys who fuck famous women."
Baker, who'd appeared nude in the Warhol film, told Morrison he was nothing but a "prick tease" and challenged him to "let it all hang out" at a rock concert. Eventually, Morrison did exactly that, in Miami, and the resultant legal complications drove him to a nervous
breakdown. Baker perhaps also goaded Janis to some of the extremes, including exposure, that came to typify her later concerts.
1970 – Jim Morrison and Janis got together at his request shortly before he left for Paris. Calling her his old drinking buddy, he said he wanted to make amends, and they had a warm visit. Morrison was
trying to control his alcoholism, drinking only white wine, but the damage had already been done. He had a deathly pallor, his coordination was shot, and he was carrying forty pounds of bloat. Janis, too, was under the illusion that switching from hard liquor to
some other drink – in her case, a mixture of alcohol and milk– would help, but for booze hounds like Janis and Jim, any kind of hooch, from Kahula to cough syrup, is a killer. When they said good-bye that day, Jim told her that rock `n' roll was now a part of his past.
From the book, "Pearl – The Obsessions and Passions Of Janis Joplin" a biography by Ellis Amburn (1992)
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:07:06 GMT
JIM MORRISON, A PORTRAIT OF A POET AN INTERVIEW WITH FRANK LISCIANDRO, MORRISON'S CLOSE FRIEND AND EDITOR OF HIS LOST POETRY.
di Giulio Bianchi
In answer to your questions I've written something about Jim. I think that the man and poet, Jim Morrison, can be best discovered in a careful reading of his poems and a good listening of his songs. That is the hope and legacy of every creative person: that they leave behind a view of their inner and exterior worlds, that they show us their discoveries,and their doubts, in the works that they create.
Q -You are one of the few people who had
the luck to be a close friend of Jim Morrison, a discussed character, described as Dr. Jeckyl and Mr Hide:great artist and poet, full of talent and charisma, but also individualist, drunkard, drug addict and thirsty for sex. Who was in your opinion the real Jim Morrison?
A - First of all, I can tell you that Jim Morrison was a good friend, kind,generous and thoughtful... at least he was with me. Most of the people
who considered him a friend have this same impressions
of him. He treated everyone fairly, both friends and those he didn't know. He constantly argued with the other members of the band for lower ticket prices
for Doors concerts. He was always ready to buy drinks or a meal for whoever he was with. He gave things away, as if he feared that they would become attached to him. If he received a gift from a fan, he would give it to the next person he met.
Money seemed to have no meaning to him. He never owned anything of any value, except for one car. He never owned a house or expensive art, or furniture, or those special luxuries we expect rich stars to own. He
traveled with the clothes on his back, his notebooks and whatever book he was reading.
He was extremely intelligent and well read. In my life (at least to now) I have not met more than one or two people who are as brilliant or as quick witted as Jim Morrison. He read everything (novels, pulp fiction, trashy magazines, scientific journals, history, philosophy, psychology) and remembered most of what he read. This wonderful gift enabled him to quote from books almost word for word.
He was a poet with the moods and conflicted spirit of poets. My opinion (and that of many others) is that he was one of the most talented and accomplished American poets of his day. To be fully appreciated his poems need to be read in their original language.
He was easy to be with, and could be very charming. As a child he had learned good manners and could fit easily in any society that expected politeness. He was very funny and loved telling jokes and having a good time. And he could be serious, discussing films or music or theater in the most profound way.
Yes he was an alcoholic, but no he was not a 'drug addict'. He might have used LSD, and even abused it, but he used it to search for something, not to escape from anything. I never saw him use heroin, and he disliked smoking marijuana. His preferred anesthetic was alcohol, and he drank too much and too often.
He lived his life with a calm, unhurried simplicity, and honesty.
Q - Don’t you think that the life and the character of Jim Morrison, emphasized by the media with the legend
of his true or presumed excesses, had obscured his art and his figure of poet and musician?
A - The legends that the popular media creates almost always obscure the true meaning and art of creative individuals. When the artist is also a
"star", then the media version of his/her life becomes either a distortion or something so banal that 'gossip' and speculation replaces truth and fact.
Morrison's reputation as a poet suffers because of his reputation as a rock 'star'; and even his talents as a
singer/performer suffer when the media concentrates on his arrest in Miami and New Haven.
Jim created a 'persona' on stage,and the pop press took this to be the true Jim Morrison. That's like
saying an actor playing a killer on stage must be a killer in real life. Oliver Stone's mega extravaganza film took the myths about Morrison and presented them as reality. This over inflated fill does not portray the Jim Morrison any of his friends knew.
After this film, will anyone ever again find the real Jim Morrison, the poet,performer, singer and filmmaker?
It will not be easy to discover the artist under the shitpile of half-truths and exaggerations that has been thrown over his name.
Q - I think that Jim Morrison was the most cultured musician of the sixties. What were his literary
roots and who were the writers and poets that he loved best?(in my opinion his lyrics shows that, in the difference of most of the american musicians, Jim didn’t know only american literature, but had wider knowledges and influences .)
A - I don't know who Jim's favorite authors were but I do know that he read and appreciated all of the world's great literature from Sappho and the Greek dramatists to the Beats.He was cultured and could carry on an
intelligent conversation on almost any topic.
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:08:28 GMT
Q -How Jim faced the dichotomy between the introspective & meditative art of the poetry, which needs lonliness and concentration, and his activity of rock star, always under the floodlights of the success and of the media?
A - There is only a dichotomy where you see one.
The life of a poet is not always a solitary existence, look at Shakespeare, who was poet, playwright and performer, too. I believe that Jim loved the theater
of rock and liked being a performer, especially when he could perform his own poetry. And he enjoyed the lonely craft of the poet. He maintained a balance between these two personalities, between these two worlds. As a rock star he was NOT always under the floodlight of fame. Being a star in the 60's in LA was much easier than being a media personality in Italy today. Jim walked the streets of LA without being bothered by fans or a hundred photographers trying to snap a photo.
Q - Can you tell me something about the process of composition of the songs of the Doors?
Did Jim write only the lyrics or also the music of the these songs?
A - Jim wrote most of the lyrics to the Doors songs. Sometimes he came to rehearsal with an idea for a melody or rhythm to accompany his words. For the most part it was the other band members who contributed the music. Creating a Doors song was a complex process, and varied from song to song.
Q - In your opinion what is the album in the record production of the Doors that better represents the essence of the music of the band?
A- Surely the Doors first album is a classic and represents the early development of the group. The second album "Strange Days" is a pure concept work and shows Jim's preoccupation with the mystical and mythic. And "LA Woman" is a collection of songs that shows the fulfillment of the band's musical talents as well as the maturity of Morrison as songwriter and
poet. These are my three favorite studio albums.
Q- The sixties was a period of great musicians. Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and many other artists created the wonderful soundtrack of this period. Among the musicians of his time, who were the artists that Jim Morrison estimated more and felt more in affinity with his artistic inspiration?
A - Jim appreciated The Who, Elvis, The Beachboys, Miles Davis, Jim Hendrix and The Stones. And he deeply loved the blues as performed by legendary blues men like John Lee Hooker, and B. B.. King. He didn't talk much about music or his favorite artists, but he seemed to enjoy almost every live performance we saw together.
Q - How was the attitude of Jim Morrison towards the contestation movement of the sixties in its multifarious expressions ( civil rights, against Vietnam war, flower power...)? Did Jim share the ideals of the sixties, join this movement and was into contact with some of its leaders or he never had a real political conscience?
A - Morrison was not a political animal, at least not
verbally. His political consciousness was his own,
he didn't wear it on his sleeve. I don't think he ever marched against the war in Viet Nam,or for civil rights. But a reading of his poetry shows that he held humanitarian and egalitarian values.
We discussed the events of the day and his thoughts were in line with the movements for peace and justice of our day. He was a natural revolutionary, and believed as much in the freedom of the spirit as in political freedom.
Q -Pamela Courson shared with Jim the days of the glory and of the success but also the tragic destiny . How is your recollection of Pamela and how was the importance of her figure in Morrison’life and artistic evolution?
A-Jim dedicated his books of poetry to Pamela who was his companion, lover, muse and friend. She encouraged him to write and publish his poems, and in many ways she was the most important figure in his life. Pamela Curson was beautiful, intelligent, creative and spoiled;
and as wild and willful as Jim was. They made a perfect pair. I think they loved each other, as only very strong hearts can love.
Q -How was possible that a beautiful, talentfull and rich young man, worshipped by the audience, like Jim, destroyed himself. Don’t you think that Jim was prisoner of his own myth of damned artist?
A - Jim did not destroy himself. That's an easy media explanation for the early end a fascinating life. When last I saw him, his health was good. His alcoholism was a constant problem and many people share that disease. In fact, in America,10% of those that drink are alcoholics. Alcoholics suffer from their disease as much as the victims of other diseases. Do we say that people
who have cancer or heart disease destroy themselves? No! We acknowledge that the disease destroys them. Jim had no wish to die. He looked forward to a long and productive life. The myth of the tortured and damned artist is a romantic and literary conceit that leads us away from the true situation. Jim was too smart to believe in media myths. I don't know how Jim died, but I think that his death must have been an careless accident. Or the culmination of a life of alcoholism.
from 'liverock Italia'. September 2004
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:08:52 GMT
The Demons of Père-Lachaise
Père Lachaise is a vast cemetery like no other. Here lie the remains of illustrious creators like Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Frèderic Chopin and Gertrude Stein. Jim Morrison's death gave the cemetery its biggest draw however. Every year the pilgrims come to Mecca. From all over the world they come. The grave is marked out with signs. The security guards keep a bored watch, interrupting a Canadian acoustic take on 'The End'. Morrison's own words are etched in Greek: 'Excise Your Own Demons.' A crocodile-shoed crock of the 70s lights a cigarette and places it on the soil of the grave, there to stand with pots of flowers, bouquets, roses, watches, candles, scraps of paper and blotched ink. The graffiti is everywhere. The old rockers have come from Florida, greasy and sore- eyed from sleeping in too many airports and train stations.
Fèlix de Azúa has called it the 'Rimbaud syndrome': some artists come to be transformed into a figure of mythic proportions and ambitions. 'These are artists with a convulsive temperament that swings abruptly between depression and interspection to periods of huge genius' wrote Azúa. Unpredictable, highly strung, part antisocial, Jim Morrison took the syndrome to rock culture like no one before him. He also brought the genre more original creativity than most of its surviving figures.
Born in Melbourne, Florida on the 8th of December 1943, Morrison registered as a theatre and cinema student at the University of California in Los Angeles. His US Navy admiral father dictated a future his son didn't want. Jim devoured symbolist literature: Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Verlaine - the same writers who excited Patti Smith. These scribes helped imbue in Morrison his social conscience too. His other stimulation of a non-sexual nature was rhythm and blues music, still a very black art form.
A pianist form Chicago named Ray Manzarek was the catalyst between Morrison and musical success. The two met at a local club and were bound by more than a shared bohemia. They took the name from William Blake. 'There are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and between them there are the doors.' Mystery, LSD, experimentation, cryptic poetry were Morrison's media and the mix was typified in 'Break On Through to the Other Side' and 'Light My Fire' from the band's first album 'The Doors', released in 1967.
Morrison, Manzarek, Robbie Krieger (guitars) and John Densmore on drums took the language of rhythm and blues and meshed it with psychedelia and cabaret (hence their take on Kurt Weill's 'Alabama Song'). Morrison in reality however was drawn to music only in its ability to extend his poetic license further. His poetry compilations are available in volumes like 'The Lords', 'The New Creatures' and 'The Celebration of the Lizard'.
Someone who always took things to the limit, to extremes, Morrison couldn't do anything other than be lewdly exhibitionist at concerts, clash with cops or nourish an addiction to booze and other stimulants. Morrison had created a persona: the quintessential tormented and irreverent artist.
On the 1st of March 1969 the Doors frontman was arrested at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami. Morrison ended the show with an arrest for 'simulating masturbation and oral sex on the audience' and was slapped with a five hundred dollar fine and eight years penal servitude. He never served the sentence: it was still being appealed two years later when he died. The judge who sentenced him died this January, 2003.
A one way street took him to Paris in January 1971, to an apartment on Rue Beaux-Arts, which he rented with girlfriend Pamela Courson. Morrison wanted to distance himself from the music business and write more poetry. More time was spent however in the bars and bistros of the area than on artistic research. But then Morrison did often find his inspiration at the bottom of a whiskey glass... Morrison went beyond his usual extremes on a balmy third day in July 1971. Life ended with an overdose of experimentation. He died in his bath of a heart-attack, brought on by drugs and drink. Jim Morrison was 27, the same age as Jimi Hendrix was when he died. Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin and Rolling Stones creative pillar Brian Jones died at that age too.
The world of rock lost one of its great agitators on the 3rd of July 1971. Jim Morrison, the charismatic singer of the Doors was an idol dead, an addition to the other epic victims of pop's pioneering age. Poet and singer of the countercultural revolution who left a legacy of convulsive discs, Morrison's cult lives on and the record companies still squeezes new albums from the old recordings.
'The only thing that interests me is rebellion, disorder, chaos and any senseless activity' said Morrison. The rebellious, the disordered and the chaotic are pale shadows over Jim Morrison's tombstone at Père Lachaise. Stronger is the sense of senselessness: the senselessness of a great talent's death and the empty sorrow left in his place. His death may have been preordained or inevitable. Morrison was too volatile a star to shine peacefully. Morrison once described religion as a 'bunch of bullshit.' Yet in the searching faces, the tears and the candles gathered about his tomb in Père Lachaise, Jim Morrison has become an alternative religion, his bible a collection of music that never loses its relevance nor its appeal.
Mark Godfrey reflects on Jim Morrison after a visit to his grave in Paris...CLUAS.com May 2003
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 22, 2004 21:09:31 GMT
MEET JIM MORRISON
The facts are very simple. So simple that they might mislead you into thinking that the young man whose picture you see on this page is- well, a lot like a lot of other young men. But he isn't. His full real name is James Douglas Morrison. He was born on December 8, 1943, in Melbourne, Fla.- which is near Cape Kennedy. Jim is six feet tall and has brown hair and haunting blue-grey eyes. After attending Florida State University, he moved to California, where he studied film-making at UCLA. Fortunately, he was side-tracked into the world of music (which had always held great interest for him) and he soon found himself the lead singer of a group called the Doors.
After almost two years of hard work, the Doors (Jim, Robby Krieger, John Densmore and Ray Manzarek) finally did what every group has to do in order to start their climb to the top- they cut a hit single record. Oddly enough, the hit had been sitting on record store shelves in the Doors Elektra LP for quite a while. One single was lifted from the LP and didn't make it. Then someone came up with the bright idea of releasing the vocal part of Light My Fire as a single record (if you have the LP, you know that the whole Light My Fire band is eight minutes long). Anyway, as they say, the rest is history. Except it really isn't- for Jim Morrison is not like any other pop singer to appear on the scene: past, present or future. One word that can describe him is "total". He is so whole, so complete, so all himself and nobody or nothing else that just meeting him is an unforgettable experience. Hearing him sing and watching him perform- well, that's really magic! I've been lucky enough to have this experience, and I'll try (mind you, try) to describe just a little bit of what it's like to you. So close your eyes, open your mind and take my hand while I try to lead you through "Jim Morrison's magic land". It begins like this:
At first, everything is serene- blue and green. The lights are low and the stage is empty. Slowly, the boys come out and in the dark ness they start to "set up". You can hardly distinguish which is which. After a minimum amount of tuning up, the house lights suddenly go on. Just as they do, there is a fabulous blast of sound. It's the Doors- and they are on and it's unmistakably their music that you hear. Then, seemingly from nowhere, a figure leaps onto the stage. It's him- Jim Morrison! And you feel something you have never felt before. It's like an electric shock that goes all through you. Jim is singing and you realize that it's a combination of him, the way he looks and moves, and his sound that has completely turned you on. His voice is like spirals of flame, and beautiful red and yellow colors seem to fly out of his fingertips.
Come on, baby, light my fire....He is singing it to you and all at once the room around you seems to glow. At first it's warm, then it's hot- like something burning, but it doesn't hurt. You dig it. It's the fire- the fire that Jim is singing about. The fire that he knows all about and now- suddenly- you do too! You are consumed by his vibrant presence and his sensational singing. He is electric. He is magic. He is all afire. And everything that he is, he is giving to you freely and totally!
Then he is gone. The music continues for a while- echoing through your mind- and the room around you, which you think must have been consumed in the blaze that Jim created in you and all about you, slowly comes back into focus. Soon, all is serene again. It's blue. And it's green. And it's serene. But the gigantic talent of Jim Morrison has changed you- and you will never be the same again.
by Gloria Stavers 1967
16 Magazine November 6, 1967
Jim Morrison’s Lethal Baritone
John Kerry loved to listen to The Doors as he cruised the Mekong Delta searching for Vietnamese to knock off. Here’s how Douglas Brinkley describes Kerry’s taste in music in his new book, Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War:
"Kerry’s favorite group was The Doors, and he would blast ‘Light My Fire’ and ‘Love Me Two Times’ while patrolling the Delta rivers, finding empowerment in Jim Morrison’s powerful baritone to send the VC fleeing … Yet Kerry -and all the men of PCF-94 [the Swift patrol boat that Kerry commanded] -reject the Coppola version of rock ‘n’ roll Swift boats zooming up and down the Mekong Delta rivers like psychedelic sailors."
Press Action March 09, 2004
Jim Morrison is MTV's Most Wanted Artist this July.
July 3rd marks the 33rd death anniversary of Jim Morrison. MTV pays tribute to the poet, dreamer and legend with a whole host of special shows all this month on MTV.
Born to a Navy admiral, James Douglas Morrison grew up as an army brat, moving around from base to base, with absolute rebellion against his father's disciplinarian techniques.
Morrison was unusually intelligent; he scored in the 'genius' range in his school IQ tests and was a voracious reader. Teenage was a time for poetry and discovering alcohol, whilst terrorizing his teachers and fellow students.
In the summer of '65, while at UCLA, Jim met Ray Manzarek on the Venice beach, impressed him with his poetry and awkward baritone. Manzarek roped in John Densmore, a drummer, and a blues guitarist, Robbie Krieger. And The Doors were born.
Initially an introvert who performed with his back to the crowd, alcohol and LSD gave Morrison the impetus to push the Doors to the top of the L.A. club scene.
During this period, Jim also met his soulmate, Pamela Courson, who stuck with him through heavy drug use, affairs and abuse till the day he died.
From 1967 to 1970, Jim saw it all. The hit records, the misses, the fans, the alcohol, the wild, drug-induced, on stage theatrics which angered the critics and the law, the arrest for public indecency, the trial, the conviction, the toll of stardom.
Finally deciding to take a break from the chaos as well as Pamela Courson, Jim moved to Paris to focus on his poetry and forget about rock-n-roll for a while. His life in Paris was shrouded in mystery until his death in the July of '71.
MTV July 2004