Break on through

By: sonofabeach96

Dec 08 2015

Category: Uncategorized

12 Comments

On this date, in 1943, James Douglas Morrison was born in Melbourne, FL.  He was better known as Jim Morrison, the lead singer of The Doors…or The Lizard King, Mr, Mojo Rising, or the King of Orgasmic Rock.  He was a legendary frontman, talented poet and songwriter, and displayed what some would call an old soul with deep interest in reading obscure 16th and 17 th century writings.  He was highly influenced by poets and philosophers, namely Nietzsche.  He was mysterious and dark and became the central representative of the counter-culture of the day in the late ’60’s.  A nomadic military brat, the son of a future-Rear Admiral in the Navy, who played a key role in the Gulf of Tonkin incident that essentially began the US involvement in Vietnam, became the ultimate rebel.

He went to school at Florida State University but ended up at UCLA in the Theater Arts school, graduating with a bachelor’s from film school in 1965.  He and guitarist Rick Manzerak, also a UCLA student, put The Doors together about a year later.  Morrison learned his stage presence from Van Morrison, no relation 😃, as opening act for him at The Whiskey a Go Go in June of 1966.  John Densmore, drummer for The Doors, described it this way: “Jim Morrison learned quickly from his near-namesake’s stagecraft, his apparent recklessness, his air of subdued menace, the way he would improvise poetry to a rock beat, even his habit of crouching down by the bass drum during instrumental breaks.”

The rocket to stardom didn’t take long to arrive.  Their first album, the self-titled The Doors, shot to no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified 4x platinum, and all of their remaining albums were top-10 as well.  Strange Days reached no. 2, and Waiting for the Sun reached no. 3.  Their fourth album, The Soft Parade was a bit off critically and resulted in some calling them “pop sell outs”, but it was top-10 as well. Their sixth and final studio album with Morrison in the band was 1971’s L.A. Woman, and was their most critically acclaimed, with the singles “Love Her Madly” and “Riders on the Storm” as huge hits.  The band released two more records after Morrison’s death, Other Voices in 1971 and Full Circle in 1972.

The band, and Jim Morrison himself, were not without criticism.  He totally pissed off Ed Sullivan by using the line “Girl we couldn’t get much HIGHER”, ignoring the request to change the word for the TV audience.  That move got them banned from the show permanently.  He was arrested in Dade County Florida for trying to incite a riot at the Dinner Key Auditorium, resulting in many of their future concerts being canceled.  In 1970, he was convicted of indecent exposure and profanity and was sentenced to 6 months in prison and a $500 fine.  He remained free on $50,000 bond.

Jim Morrison died in Paris at the age of 27, yet another shooting star.  The cause of death was officially cardiac arrest, but no autopsy was ever done.  A heroin overdose is the more assumed version of cause of death.  There are numerous accounts and conspiracy theories surrounding his death, some even believing he didn’t die at all.  Some say a friend bribed the coroner, some think his long-time love interest, Pamela Courson may have been negligent in not getting him help in time.  Who knows.  But his gravesite in Paris is a Mecca for music fans and has been for generations.  I’m doing my part to make sure my boys are aware of who he was and that his music will continue on to another generation.

In honor of the Lizard King, my songs of the day are:

“The End”

“Riders on the Storm”

“Love Her Madly”

“Waiting for the Sun”

“Back Door Man”

12 comments on “Break on through”

  1. Such a talented man, my dad was the one who introduced me to his work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sad ending to what could have been a truly brilliant career!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tragic. Died way too early.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. His grave is on my bucket list. Always wanted to smoke a big fatty with him 😉 collected all of his poetry and his music when I was younger and I think I impressed my English teachers with his prose…will be singing “I’m a spy” today ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not really a Doors fan but respect what Morrison and the band achieved, and though not alive during this time period, what they meant to the time they lived in.

    I like Van Morrison a lot and was surprised to learn of the fact you noted!

    The Ed Sullivan appearance seems almost comical today with our standards. Was the Elvis appearance also on Ed Sullivan where they wouldn’t show him below the wait shaking his hips? To think of what is shown on TV today and couples weren’t even allowed to be shown in the same bed on TV during that time. I always think back to Lucy and Ricky Arnaz, who were not only married on the TV show but in real life.

    Liked by 1 person


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