Jim Morrison was born James Douglas Morrison on December 8, 1943, in Melbourne, Florida. His father was an Admiral in the United States Navy. His family moved around due to his father’s job and position in the Navy. Morrison’s father was a strict authoritarian figure. Perhaps this had an influence on Jim Morrison’s rebellion that he reflected later in his music. Jim Morrison attended St. Petersburg Junior College and Florida State University, both for a year. Morrison then moved to the West Coast to study film and theater at UCLA in 1964.
He became obsessed with the poetry of William Blake and the writings of philosopher Frederich Nietzsche. He gradually lost interest in school and drifted away to finally write his own poetry. Morrison soon began experimenting with drugs, particularly LSD. Morrison impressed several people at that time and decided to form a band. Two of his band members were recruited from the Psychedelic Rangers. Robbie Krieger and John Densmore joined Morrison and The Doors was created. The name was Jim Morrison’s idea. He got the idea from The Doors of Perception, from Aldous Huxley’s book on mescaline.
Jim Morrison began his singing career fairly shy as a front man. He would avoid eye contact with his audience and sometimes sang with his back turned to the audience. He soon came out of his shell and began performing as the Jim Morrison we all know.
The Doors rose to stardom in 1967 with their debut that began a string of hit songs and headlines in the news. Morrison’s anti war antics were loved by many, but hated by some. Especially, due to his father’s position as an Admiral in the U.S. Navy. In fact, Jim Morrison was closely watched by the United States Government because he was related to a figure of a high status the US Government. His relationship with a US Admiral, his father, made him a “potential threat” to US intelligence at the time.
Jim Morrison was also known for drunken outbursts of behavior with frequent loss of his temper. He began performing with erratic messages to include profanity and innuendos of sex, to provoke frenzied reactions from his audience.
Law enforcement officials were frequently seen at concerts and often arrested Morrison on obscenity charges, which were usually later acquitted. The Doors also retreated into the studio, where they created works like LA Woman and the hard rocking Morrison Hotel. Morrison often retreated to Paris to unwind and write poetry.
Jim Morrison founded Zeppelin Publishing Company with the help of the legal department of Warner Brothers Pictures and Atlantic Records. Jim Morrison was also known for his very high IQ. Perhaps this was another reason why he was considered a potential threat to US intelligence. Interestingly, Morrison founded Zeppelin Publishing Company right before the rock band Led Zeppelin became famous. At the time, everyone knew who The Doors were, but Led Zeppelin was not well-known yet. Zeppelin Publishing Company was chartered, only to be shelved and later revived.
Jim Morrison encompassed a baritone voice that was dark and erotic. His poetic lyrics along with his voice, helped skyrocket The Doors to be one of the most talked about, controversial, and theatrical acts of our age.
Their popular hits of the 1960s included Light My Fire, Hello I Love You, Don’t You Love Her, and many more. On March 1, 1969 Jim Morrison and The Doors were booked for a concert in Coconut Grove, Florida. Morrison’s flight was held over in New Orleans, and he spent much time in the airport bar, drinking heavily.
By the Time Morrison arrived on stage, he was barely able to stand. In front of the screaming crowd of over 13,000 people, Morrison briefly exposed himself. Law enforcement officials were pressured by Miami area residents to issue a warrant for his arrest. Morrison later turned himself in to the FBI and went on trial on August 12, 1970.
Jim Morrison eventually withdrew from his own band to write poetry in Paris. He increased his drug and alcohol use, and was found dead in his bathtub on July 3, 1971. He was said to be the victim of an apparent heart attack. He was only 27 years old. Jim Morrison was then buried at the Pere-Lachaisse Cemetery, in Paris.
There is much controversy over his death because of the surrounding circumstances at the time. Following his death, there was a series of bizarre and strange events. People call them strange coincidences. For example, there was a three-day news blackout in the media. His death was not reported until the funeral was over. Robert Hillburn of the LA Times wrote about Morrison’s obituary. He titled in article “Why Morrison — News Delay?”. He ignited a controversial spark that since has not dimmed.
Since Morrison’s death, there have been rumors and myths of Morrison being spotted in strange places around the world. The most likely place he would be is Paris, France. However, there have been stories of sightings of Morrison, and even claims that he may be living in the Pacific Northwest. He is said to own a ranch there, and living peacefully in seclusion.
As highly unlikely it is for Jim Morrison to still be alive, stranger things have happened in our history. It certainly sparks the imagination of this Doors fan, and other music lovers around the world.