|Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors|
They both thought of themselves as purist of the art form rather than those who wanted to achieve celebrity status.
The recent loss of 27-year old Amy Winehouse brought me back to an artist that shared many similarities to her.
Jim Morrison, artist, lead singer of The Doors, passed away July 3, 1971. He was also age 27. In the world of above average music artists, death seems to have affinity for those at the age of 27. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain all died at age 27.
Morrison and Winehouse share more than a few passing similarities.
Morrison wrote poetry and was an above intellectual (I.Q. of 149); he was often misunderstood because of it. While attending UCLA, he became fast friends with a fellow student by the name of Ray Manzarek, they became the first two members of The Doors which was formed the summer that they met in 1965. Manzarek recognized the genius of Morisson’s poetry and felt that his words could be put to the tune of Rock n’ Roll.
Morrison believed that he could get a deeper, spiritual and poetic word across to a generation of anti-establishment people, something that Morrison himself embodied. So he agreed that he would go along with the forming of a music group though it was with understandable reluctance.
Once The Doors hit the scene, Morrison himself stood out and instantly became a sensation with the young girls of that era. He was different, he was bad and he seemed not to care what anyone thought about him or really about anything. Thus the image portrayed was no doubt a part of what was expected, those who knew Morrison speak of his softer side.
In his ever growing rise to fame, Morrison grew increasingly uneasy as things did not go the way he originally envisioned. He was a sex icon and that is what he desired.
Morrison already had what many would describe as self destructive habits, thus any he already had would increase. He binged on heroine and often drank heavy liquor like it was water. His rebellion of fame had begun and was very public in a time of stricter censorship.
The Doors had landed the biggest act in town; The Ed Sullivan Show. They were asked to perform their hit song Light My Fire. Unfortunately, the word “higher” which were in the lyrics of the song was forbidden on national television at the time. In true Morrison fashion, he said it anyway and right in the face of the camera lens which caused a pandemonium on live television. The Doors were banned from ever performing on Ed Sullivan again.
Morrison began showing up to performances late or intoxicated. He was rumored to have exposed himself at one venue, although it is not known for sure it caused The Doors to be banned from yet another venue.
By 1969, the once slim and slender Morrison had become a heavy boozer with a pot belly and a very thick beard. He often recorded the remaining albums under the influence of hours of heavy boozing.
Morrison had finally found his way out through his unending fascination with death; it was achieved by total abuse for his body, the vanishing of the looks that his female fans longed for. He wanted to only have his music appreciated, not so much he himself; even though he was rumored to be quite the ladies man.
Jim Morrison has a voice that will echo on for generations to come.