Jim Morrison

From ArticleWorld

James Douglas Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida on December 8, 1943. This master poet, singer and songwriter, is best remembered for his unique contribution to the 1960’s group, The Doors.


Early influences

Morrison was born to Admiral George Stephen Morrison and Clara Clark Morrison. One of his earliest and most significant memories was experienced at 3 years old. On vacation driving through New Mexico, Jim and his family came upon what appeared to be a recent car accident. Morrison recalls that there were bodies of Native Americans and “funny red paint” strewn all over the highway. As his father and grandfather went out to investigate the scene, Jim “felt the souls of some of the dead” enter his soul. This event is later recalled in his song, Peace Frog. Morrison attended high school in Virginia. His family moved to Southern California in 1961 but sent the young Morrison to live with his grandparents in Florida. He attended Florida State University for a few years, then moved back to California where he graduated from UCLA film school in 1965.

The Doors

Morrison’s chance meeting with Ray Manzarek in Venice Beach, California, yielded the formation of The Doors. John Densmore and Robby Krieger joined the group shortly afterwards. The Doors broke through the standard rock and roll sound, by bringing their unique blend of blues, jazz and rock to the scene. The Doors was also the first group to introduce extended musical works such as The End, When the Music’s Over and The Celebration of the Lizard (running time: 30 minutes).

Substance abuse

After many years spent using LSD, Morrison switched to alcohol. He drank heavily and very often showed up for rehearsals drunk. By the late 1960’s, Morrison was 20 lbs overweight and becoming increasingly erratic. Rehearsals were frequently cancelled because he couldn’t perform. At a 1969 Miami concert, he was convicted of indecent exposure and open profanity. Despite these apparent set-backs, the group continued to record albums. They next released Morrison Hotel/Hard Rock Café in 1969 and L.A. Woman in 1970.

An expatriate death

Jim Morrison moved to Paris in March of 1971 in an effort to concentrate more on his writing and to quit drinking. Unfortunately, it would prove to be a brief effort as Morrison died on July 3, 1971 in his bathtub. He was 27 years old. There was great speculation as to the cause of his death. Some felt that his wild lifestyle had caught up with him and he died of heart failure. Others speculated a drug overdose. Neither of these accounts were proven as an autopsy was never performed.

In an interview shortly after his death, Pamela Courson, Morrison’s long time girlfriend, claimed that he had died of a heroin overdose. She had administered the drug because Morrison was afraid of needles and couldn’t inject himself. Some believe that Jim Morrison is still alive. He often spoke of faking his own death – although this remains a speculation.

Pop culure icon

Many films and books have been made about Jim Morrison and the Doors, and he himself authored many poetry books. Morrison's life can best summed up by one of his own quotes: “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.”