We’ve hit another watershed moment in 2021 – the 50th anniversary of the physical death of Jim Morrison. Mind you, he is very much alive in our memories. There, he forever will strut his stuff, pout his pout, slam back the booze, sing his songs and do God knows what else.
The iconic photograph reproduced under the header endures as the face that has launched umpteen billion fantasies. So many have tried to describe his allure. One columnist said Morrison was the “first major male sex symbol since James Dean died and Marlon Brando got a paunch”. Others called him a “leather tiger,” a “shaman-serpent king, the “Acid-Evangelist of Rock”, a sort of “Hell’s Angel of the groin.” and even, “The King of Orgasmic Rock.”
I like what prose-poet Liza Williams said, “He was a “baby bullfighter / ultimate boy Barbie doll.”
To avoid all the notoriety and the circus-like atmosphere that surrounded the deaths of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, the Paris police reported, “Morrison’s death was caused by a heart attack while taking a bath. Just that. Natural causes. Nothing more.”
In 2007, Jorge and I visited Jim Morrison’s tomb at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. So many statesmen, artists, humanitarians – saints of every hue are buried there – yet the Morrison grave is the only one that must have a guard 24-7. Many of his fans still want to cart off a piece of him. The photograph shows the gravesite. I like to think the miniature guitar I left might be one of his favorites fan girl gifts.
When I mourn Jimmy’s death, I am comforted that we still have Mick. I often wonder if Morrison’s death at 27 spurred Jagger to give up his own dangerous habits so he could keep on rockin’. He also grew into the ultra-disciplined manager of the Stones – albeit always with an edge – He has kept his gig going almost twice as long as Morrison lived.
What is it about these bad boys? Why, even when they’re dead and gone, do they still hold us captive? I think maybe this is because they allow us a vicarious walk on wild side.
Hello, I love you
Won’t you tell me your name?
Hello, I love you
Let me jump in your game
Light my fire? Hm-m-m-m-m?