Jim Morrison once said, “I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps, “Oh, look at that.” Then- whoosh, and I’m gone…and they’ll never see anything like it ever again…and they won’t be able to forget me-ever,” from the article, “Jim Morrison.”
Jim Morrison, December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971 – so much talent, wasted, in too short a life.
Morrison came to UCLA with the desire to study film, and write poetry, but music intervened. He met Ray Manzarek one day at a beach, and showed him some of his poetry. The words excited Ray, and he asked Morrison to join a band called “Rick and the Raven’s.” Morrison agreed, and in 1965 they recorded an album that included three of his poems, “Summers Almost Gone,” Break on Through” and “Moonlight Drive” put to music. Morrison pounded on record companies’ doors for months, until he sold the album to Columbia Records.
When guitarist, and writer, Robbie Krieger joined the band along with Morrrison, John Densmore, on drums and Manzarek, on keyboard, the group was complete. Morrison had seen the phrase “the doors” in a quote by William Blake, “There are things known, and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors,” and he talked the group into changing their name to the Doors.
The Doors burst upon Los Angeles, and rock and roll would never be the same. Their style of music was different. Morrison’s haunting baritone voice produced a blend of rock and roll, and the blues, with a hint of psychedelic thrown in.
Jim Morrison was the Doors, and his meteoric rise to fame was like a “huge fiery comet, a shooting star.” Toward the end of 1966, through 1967 he rode that comet to superstar status. The Doors music personified Morrison’s stage presence. The rock and roll beat the occult-like lyrics, and the drugs and alcohol, which were his constant companion, brought a mesmerizing stage presence. The music controlled Morrison at times sending him into a frenzied psychotic-like condition, and he controlled the audience hypnotized by what they were viewing.
The fiery comet showed signs of sputtering, in the late 1960’s. His lifestyle of alcohol and drugs was burning him out. He began showing up late for recording dates, too drunk to sing. He’d miss concerts forcing the other to perform without him. His reputation as a drunk, and his outlandish behavior proceeded them, and heavy police presence was common at their concerts.
In Connecticut, the police sprayed him with mace, and at the infamous concert in Miami, the police charged him with indecent exposure, profanity and public drunkenness. After that, promoters’ cancelled all the Doors forthcoming concerts.
With no concerts, the Doors began releasing albums to keep their name on the scene. “The Soft Parade” and “Absolutely Live” albums received poor reviews, because Morrison wasn’t his robust self. However, time heals wounds and fans forgot, and forgave him about Miami. In 1971, their album, “LA Woman” was back to their old style, and warmly received.
About this time, Morrison, and long-time companion Pamela Courson, left for an extended vacation in Paris. While there, Morrison’s comet crashed and burned in their motel room, where he died of heart failure. “Whoosh, and I’m gone, and they never see anything like it again, and they won’t be able to forget me- ever.”
Prodigy: Jim Morrison: prodigy.net