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“That was Jim! Jim wrote that! Jim came down from the rooftop! The words, man, the words! Jim Morrison was a poet and he wrote the words! Hi, I'm Ray! Ray Manzarek! I play the piano!”
James Douglas "Jim" Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American sex symbol, crooner, and occasional poet, best known for his time as the
unstable leader of the LSD-alcohol-speed rock group, The Doors. Morrison's flowing locks of hair, sharp wit, and incredibly thick beard were the main reasons for his great popularity.
During his time with The Doors, Morrison produced a large amount of popular music and became a symbol of the '60s to rival even The Beatles. However, his heavy drinking and complete lack of social etiquette also made him a symbol of wild, crazy youth and he is known to have set the standard for many of the later famous singers in rock history. Additionally, Morrison is known to have never learned how to read music or even play an actual musical instrument (tambourine is not considered an instrument), yet he is continually credited with being the main creative force behind the Doors; his lovely mind was somehow able to formulate complex melodies and map out parts for multiple instruments at a moment's notice. Today, Morrison's legacy is astonishing, with people of all countries and backgrounds worshipping him with wall-sized posters and black lights.
Morrison was also a self-proclaimed possessed body. Apparently, the soul of a Native American man passed into the young Morrison's body and led him on his spiritually drunken path. This has never been proven, and may have been simply an excuse for some of his less acceptable behaviors as an adult.
The Early Years
Jim Morrison was the firstborn of Steve and Clara Morrison, two innocent lovers in search of a normal American parenthood experience. Unfortunately, they had no idea what raising Jim Morrison would be like. The young boy was a troubled and mischievous little bugger, and as an elementary, middle, and high school student was obviously sharper than his classmates. Even as a smaller child, Jim showed his dark yet unique sense of humor when he nearly killed his siblings on a ski hill via toboggan. He mainly made friends with students who shared his interests in literature, poetry, and general snideness, especially towards those with authority. Morrison enjoyed comparing his teachers' lives and actions to those of various tragic characters from literature. The teachers would usually end up breaking down in tears, their emotions finally set loose. Soon, Jim's parents began to realize just how rebellious he was, and naturally became very, very scared.
Jim, however, merely saw himself as a cool cat with a nice attitude and a variety of weird interests. He paid no attention to the consequences of his more questionable actions, and merely sought a good time wherever he went, especially at parties where drugs and alcohol were made available. He made a habit of infuriating as many people as possible each day, including his girlfriend Tandy Martin. During his high school years, Jim began writing poetry at a disturbing rate, filling notebooks, textbooks, and bathroom walls with his views on the Earth and people in general. At the time, they naturally appeared to be simply the annoyed rantings of a bored teenager, but later proved very important to Jim's creative process as a composer. By the time Jim graduated, he was ready to go off and fulfill his wildest dreams. To do this, however, would require plenty of hard work, communication, and other stuff.
Forming The Doors
Sensing that great change was in the air, Jim left his childhood home after high school and began hitchhiking across the country, searching for the ocean. He had little money, but often tried reciting poetry or singing old ballads to "pay" for food or clothing. Sometimes he merely walked through blistering deserts or waded through wild marshes with only his thoughts to accompany him. After many hard weeks, Jim finally arrived in the city of eternal love, sunshine, and happiness and set up a tent on a popular seaside beach. During the next few months, Jim got well in touch with his inner self, did as many drugs as he could get his hands on, and enjoyed acting inappropriately around teenage girls.
Morrison eventually decided to be slightly more productive and join film school at UCLA. He had always enjoyed films, both artistic and not, and so promptly sent home for the tuition. Relieved that the young man was even attempting anything significant, his parents gladly paid for his initial time at school. He quickly gained a reputation at UCLA for his odd, non-linear films and was not popular with his teachers or many of his fellow students. For that reason, he ended up spending a lot more time back on the beach with his drugs.
It was a few months later that Jim met the Buddhist organ player Ray Manzarek outside of a police station that Jim had just been released from. The two struck up an unlikely friendship, facilitated by the fact that Ray shared Jim's interest in film at UCLA and LSD, which he could afford a lot more of than Jim could. Jim soon told Ray of strange voices he had been hearing in his head, which constantly urged him to make music and become famous. At first, Ray took Jim for even crazier than he had already assumed, but after Jim sang him a few of his own songs (supplied by the voices), Ray knew they had to share Jim's talent with the world.
The two started a rock band with two of Ray's friends from Buddhism class at UCLA. Originally called The Portals, they went through numerous name changes (The Gateways, The Apertures, The Entrances, The Physical Admittance or Departure of a New Territory) before arriving at the more conventional name The Doors. Their debut album, creatively titled The Doors (which was Manzarek's idea), hit the music scene hard. Many music fans bored with The Beatles and their tiresome ability to create album after album of musical masterpieces were far more engaged by the music of The Doors, and Jim's creative lyrical adventures.
While he was not responsible for actually making the band famous (that was Robby Krieger's job), Jim did push the band and their music to the brink of total perversion by singing about topics that audiences raised on cute pop rock may not have been ready for. Jim truly intended to open interstellar portals to dreamscapes of unparalleled enlightenment and ecstasy, but eventually only succeeded in pissing off old people and inciting fornication. Many quality-leather back seats were stained due to the band's sonic evocation of crazy shape-shifting demons making tender love beside cacti. It was during this time that Jim Morrison realized that he was perhaps the world's foremost sex symbol, a fact that both frightened him and made him act even stupider around women.
Time with The Doors
“Yeaaaah OOOoooh eeeeeee ERRRRRRRR Uuuhhhh Ahhhh”
Morrison wrote most of the lyrics and music for The Doors while continuing his drug use, having sex with an enviable quantity of women, drinking, and making an image for himself at photo shoots by staring moodily at non-existent objects whilst pointing at the camera. He also singlehandedly created the now well-known image of The Doors as some guy with leather pants screaming and jumping around while three hippies played carnival music behind him.
Morrison boldly began introducing radical new ideas to the world of rock, such as his starling "mommy complex" lyrics. These lyrics in particular were highly controversial; his views on familial relationships and hidden desires turned many heads, and raised many angry, wagging fingers from plenty of listeners. With later albums, he even started to enjoy experimenting with his own identity, using fictional names to build up fantastic (but also slightly stupid) alternate identities, the most famous being "The Lizard King". Along with the super-clever anagram "Mr. Mojo Risin'" (a reference to Morrison's addiction to a morning cup of coffee), these alternate identities greatly increased Jim's mystique and popularity, mainly with daydreaming teenage girls.
On stage with the Doors, Morrison's acrobatic performances allowed him to release inner tension while simultaneously conjuring up delight from his fans. Soon, many people's main reason for coming to see the band was to watch Jim dry-hump his microphone stand and body slam the stage. Jim's actions got out of hand after he began simulating oral sex with Robby Krieger's guitar at concert after concert. His bandmates knew something had to be done to help the troubled Jim. But then again, it was Jim's stunts that were bringing in the money.
However, by the time the band released their album The Soft Parade, Jim was reaching the evil, scary cliff of no return. He became more interested in drinking than actually writing songs, leaving Krieger to throw together a collection of lame hits. Obviously, Jim was in a bad shape, as it was on this album that he actually let Krieger sing on one of the songs. Krieger later insisted that it was all Jim's idea, and formally apologized for anyone who had been offended by his vocal spotlight.
In live performances, the Doors were reaching the point of absolute insanity. When Morrsion actually decided to show up, he would often ignore his bandmates and spend hours either lying face-down onstage, insulting the audience, or making dozens of crude sex jokes, which by this time just weren't funny anymore. The offensiveness reached an all-time peak when, at a concert in Miami, Jim allegedly whipped out his own penis for all to see. It is still unclear whether or not he actually exposed himself that fateful night, but it did lead to a highly publicized arrest and trial a year later. During the trial, Morrison would confess to having been "swept up in the moment" (leading him to destroy a city auditorium) and "most likely trying to wake up the audience from their obvious day-to-day stupor".
Following these massive failures in 1969, Jim decided to take the band back to basics. For the follow-up to the failure, Jim chose to take a humbler approach to his place in The Doors. He titled the album Morrison Hotel, and actually sat down with his fellow band members for the photo (although he was still the focal point of the picture). The album was, quite honestly, just another blues album recorded by a bunch of white guys, but it still managed to lift The Doors up from the dung-heap of The Soft Parade. Jim seemed to be getting back on track for the moment. He no longer required a bib at dinner times, and could even be seen entering the recording studio on two legs. The band and Morrison were ripe with a sense of optimism, which of course didn't last.
In addition to being a rock singer/lyricist and a sexy beast, Jim was a published poet. In order to distinguish the two, he had his poetic works published under his given name, James Douglas Richard Thomas Morrison. His works were given to some acclaim, though detractors were quick to point out that many were "eerily similar" to obscene graffiti written in the men's room of the Whiskey-a-Go-Go. Those that were not were merely abstract ramblings (and not particularly good ones either) on Jim's hate for his father. In some of his poems, he even insisted that all the assholes he had ever met in his life were simply doppelgängers of his father.
Collections of his early works include: Jim Morrison's Outspoken Limericks Vol I-III and Two Lords and a New Creature Walk Into a Bar. Following a peroid of 24/7 drunkenness, or, as Jim called it, "personal growth," Jim declared his preferred form of dirty limerick "Like, played out, man," and re-dedicated himself to the dirty haiku.
- I take you upstairs
- My room, a chamber of love
- Don't try to resist
In short, Jim was famous, and therefore his poems were soon as revered as verses from the Bible. However, Jim did later have his own Bible. The publication of Jim Morrison's Official Bible, which featured the original text of the Holy Book with annotations by Jim, was the best-selling book of 1975 in the Vatican City.
Death in Paris
After the Doors released their 1971 ska "comeback album", Los Angeles Inhabitant of the Female Gender, a depressed and worn-out Morrison flew to Paris with his girlfriend. He hoped to escape from the commotion of rock stardom by traveling to one of the most isolated and snobbish countries in the world, which for the first few weeks helped Jim in his writing and outlook on life. But, he soon felt the waves of shittiness that had always haunted him creep back in to his mind. Eventually, he was drinking the heaviest he ever had, and it seemed in many ways that he had totally given up. His girlfriend Pamela Courson often found him watching French children's networks on television. The great singer had truly sunk to his lowest point ever.
Sadly, after spending several months in this living hell, Morrison died while relaxing in a mud bath one evening. Because the inept French hospital that Jim's body was sent to had mysteriously lost its probing and poking instruments, an autopsy could not be performed. Because of this, Jim's death has forever been a topic of conversation amongst conceited rock fans touting their knowledge of Morrison. One prevalent theory is that he was attacked and murdered by a rubber duck as he reclined in the bath. Because rubber duck attacks do not result in any wounds, this theory is very probable and was widely believed after Jim's death. Later investigations have suggested that Morrison had fallen asleep in the bathtub after injecting himself with a quart of heroine, and that the rubber duck had been falsely accused. Tragically, it was put to death in 1973. And because of the death of Pamela Courson only a few years after Jim (overcome with grief, she tragically passed away while watching a children's network, in an attempt to be "re-united" with Jim), we may never know the truth behind Morrison's death.
Morrison was buried in Paris, mere feet from the resting place of Oscar Wilde. His corpse has spent the ensuing forty years listening to pithy witticisms and rejecting offers of necrophilic sodomy.
After his death, numerous witnesses claimed to see Morrison drinking prune juice smoothies at local health clubs. These rumors were dismissed after the public mutually agreed that no one as impossibly cool as Jim Morrison would ever drink a prune smoothie, and certainly not in public. However, empty smoothie cups are sometimes found in the vicinity of his grave, deepening the mystery and the myth of rock's greatest Caligulesque fame whore.
Drinking and drug use
Morrison's legacy was built not only on his singing, but also on his heavy use of drugs and alcohol, as mentioned earlier. It is said that Jim snuck his first beer from the hand of his unconscious father at age nine. Because of the "yummy taste" it provided, Jim developed an interest in the drink. He started drinking seriously later, mainly at parties in order to fit in with the crowd, but soon became known in his high school class for his heavy drinking and subsequent fantastic journeys through the town on the back of a nonexistent horse. Alcohol remained Jim's source of
destructiveness inspiration for the rest of his life.
Jim did not often drink with the other members of The Doors, but preferred the company of non-musicians while drunk so that he could go on rants about music and composing and pretend he knew what he was talking about. Alcohol is also said to have been the death of Morrison. It is very possible that on that fateful night in the bathtub, Jim fell asleep and was pulled under the water by a vicious, bloodthirsty Alcohol Monster. His girlfriend has confirmed this theory, but that is most likely because she would have been the one who let the Monster enter the apartment in the first place.
As if that wasn't cool enough, Jim also managed to consume about a fifth of the world's supply of psychedelic drugs during the early and mid '60s. He initially was interested in tapping into the deep recesses of the mind and expanding human consciousness, but eventually just wanted to "watch the pretty colors" again and again. His preferred drug during the '60s was LSD on a sugar cube, which he licked away over the course of ten minutes rather than just eating it. By the end of the '60s, Jim's body was like a sponge that held large amounts of drug residue. Even Mick Jagger was somewhat amazed, a harrowing thing to consider.
“It all comes down to whether or not you truly believe in Jim's cosmic energies, you know? Sure, you can buy into the propaganda, and agree with all the sickening lies, but by doing so, you are disgracing that man's life! Because he is still alive.”
There have been many fans who, following Morrison's death, simply did not buy into the fact that he was really dead. Many of these crazies also believed that Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Elvis Presley still roamed the Earth, and were probably just trying to increase their chances of "sightings". One of the foremost believers in the "Jim is alive and shall return" theory is Ray Mazarek himself, who immediately after the announcement of Morrison's death simply smiled, shook his head, lit a cigarette, and murmured, "That tricky bastard" before chuckling and walking away. He refused to attend Morrison's funeral, calling it a hoax, and to this day has taken to traveling the country to spread the word about what "really" happened to Jim.
Besides the Alcohol Monster and rubber duck theories, some believe that Jim was actually an alien and was brought back to his home planet on that night, Planet Ahyuiogk 12. These people are called Scientolo-Morrisonians, and are incredibly vicious, bloodthirsty people.
Morrison is now considered one of the most enduring symbols of the 1960s, and of classic rock. Many teenagers, however, do not have the slightest idea of who he is, a wide-ranging problem that record companies everywhere are fervently trying to fix. His albums with the Doors have sold millions worldwide, and his poetry has sold over a hundred small, obscure pamphlets worth of writing. His popularity is so strong that some people base hairstyle, clothing, and drinking preferences based solely on what Jim Morrison is known to have worn/drank/snorted, etc. Nowadays, many aging hippies find great pleasure in bringing up Morrison in casual conversation, and take to boasting about their extensive Jim Morrison hardcover poetry collection, their vinyl Doors' records, and their autographed Ray Manzarek keyboard cleaning fluid.
Some notable researchers argue that Jim would not have been able to cope with this sort of 21st century bullshit had he lived, and that his "death" was actually inevitable. Some of those who knew/drank with Jim have their own points about the man's legacy and greatness, such as his passion for
making bad life choices living on the edge and being an asshole "straddling the divide between life and death". Numerous monuments and murals have been erected in his honor, and his hairy chest will forever be adored by a great number of people.