(08.12.1943. – 03.12.1971.)
“I am the lizard king. I can do anything.”
Sometimes really isn’t easy in only a few sentences say everything it should be told about Jim Morrison, the legendary leader of the legendary The Doors.
Jim Morrison – poet, shaman, rock star, sex symbol, the lizard king… he was all this and much more. Many people said Jim Morrison could do anything, but live longer then 27 years. Although 37th anniversary of his death will be marked this year, Jim Morrison is even today, the same as in the time when The Doors reined the world’s stages, on of the most distinct enigmas of our time.
Jim Morrison, the son of US navy admiral George Stephen Morrison and Clare Clark Morrison was born as James Douglas Morrison on 8th December 1943 in Melbourne, Florida, USA. When he was younger then four, in 1947, he was a witness of traffic accident in the desert in New Mexico. Despite the fact his mother cover Jims eyes with her hand, little Jim saw the bodies of dead Indians and since then he believed their souls “jumped into his own”. With this belief that is a subject of the song “Peace Frog” on The Doors album “Morrison Hotel” Jim would die.
In 1964 Jim moved to California where on the UCLA he started to study cinematography. There he met Ray Manzarek who by that time played in a blues band Rick and the Raven. Manzarek delighted Morrison’s song and they gather the band. The Drummer John Densmore and the guitarist Robbie Krieger joined the band. Morrison named the band The Doors in 1996, inspired by the essay of British author Aldous Huxeley that was published in 1954 – Doors of Perception. Huxeley himself was inspired by Blake’s poetry: “When the doors of perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are, infinite.”
Although he quit his studies for a while, Jim Morrison graduated in the end but he didn’t make films but he used his film-makers skill to film the music video for the song a long before the music video format will become principle of music industry. In mid-1960’s he moved into Venice Beach near Los Angeles where her lived his bohemian life – he wrote songs and experiment the drugs, especially LSD.
The Doors career begun in the legendary L.A. club Whiskey A Go Go where they developed their special sound and lyrics that are reflection of the turbulent time of the 1960’s and where soon the band became a synonym for avant-garde art, anti-war movement and the drug culture. But because of the last one and also Morrison’s spontaneously loud meditations and sacrilege during the show the band lost the engagement in the popular L.A. club. But all subsequent Morrison’s shows will be characterized by exhibitionism, capers, invitation to young people to stand up against the taboos by sex, alcohol, drugs and music that open the doors of perception. All this culminated with Morrison’s arrestment during the concert in Miami in 1969 because of the denude on the stage.
Unless he was the The Doors singer, Jim Morrison is an author of a few poetry books and one of them, The Wilderness, he devoted to his girlfriend Pamela Susan. Their relationship, the same as Morrison’s life, wasn’t spared of turbulent and it was often on the edge of craziness and depravity.
Beside the first album named simply “The Doors” that is considered as one of the best album in the history of rock and that brought songs “Alabama Song”, <“Back Door Man”, “The End”, “Twentieth Century Fox” and “Light My Fire”, The Doors recorded two more perceived albums – “Morrison Hotel” and “L.A. Woman”. But after the incident in Miami and lawsuit, Morrison leaves to Paris where drowns deeper into drugs and alcohol and where his life ends on 3rd July 1971.
Jim Morrison, “the black angel of rock’n’roll”, was found dead in the bath in his Parisian apartment with the smile on his face. The coroner as a cause of the death stated heart-attack. But because of the veil of mystery related to Morrison’s death and funeral appeared different theories about it. Pamela Susan said that Jim and she were in the apartment when Jim left to take a bath but when she came into the bathroom she found him death in the bath.
Jim’s friends in the USA first didn’t believe Jim is dead. Ray Manzarek came up with the theory Jim played he’s dead to write his books in peace. This theory was supported by the mystery funeral of Jim’s body on the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Jim Morrison was buried in silence on the same cemetery where are buried Oscar Wilde, Frédéric Chopin, Edit Piaf, Marcel Proust and Moliere and his grave is every year visited by the river of his fans.
Twenty years after Jims death his friend, the photographer Alen Roney, who declared Jims death under his real name Douglas and who organized the secret funeral with only 5 people present said Jim Morrison died of heroin overdose and that he spent the last three days of his life enjoying the drugs with Pamela Susan.
However, Jim Morrison is one of the biggest legends of all times. And that was is for sure left behind Jim Morrison is a rock star prototype – peevish, sexy, mysterious, charismatic, dark. Jim Morrison is decades after his death recognizable in Patti Smith, Trent Reznor, Iggy Pop, Marilyn Manson…
Jim Morrison himself once said: “If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it’s to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel”. He and his The Doors really opened the doors of perception that no-one can close.
Text: Ivana Sataić (firstname.lastname@example.org)