What did Jim's letter say to Pam
The doors of the Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison has become a legend, a myth he founded himself. He was the singer of the Doors, a sensual poet, a dancing shaman, an American with a love of the blues, a traveler into the endless night, an erotic politician, king of the lizards, the incarnation of the Greek god Dionysus and an Adonis of rock and art Roll. These paraphrases and names could go on indefinitely, because Jim Morrison has provided us with enough material for it, although or precisely because his life was so short. Then the soulless voice in the dark cinema hall spoke: "The evening program is not new. You enjoyed it now and then. It shows birth, death and also your life. You can give yourself the rest. Did you have a nice world during your death? Rich enough for a movie? " With these words Jim Morrison begins the film "The Doors" by Oliver Stone. Jim Morrison's life was rich enough for a movie. Shortly after the band was founded, he saw his life like a shooting star shining in the night sky. It burned at both ends of the candle. Life condensed in him and all he wanted was the breakthrough to the other side. He died in a bathtub in Paris at the age of 27 and was buried on the Père Lachaise next to his admired poet colleagues Proust, Balzak and Oskar Wilde. His death has also become a myth. Did Mr. Mojo Rising disappear like his idol Rimbaud in Africa? Was it murder or suicide or a heroin overdose or really just cardiac arrest? Arman Sahisi put it aptly in the book "Jim Morrison. The Scream of the Butterfly" when he wrote: "Symbolically, however, Jim Morrison died of a long-planned and deliberately set overdose of Jim Morisson. He suffocated consciously, if you will and deliberately on the immense excess of his own strength ". Jim Morrison's grave has become a pilgrimage site for fans from all over the world. On the day of his death, his poems will be read and maybe someone will play the guitar. That's nice. But unfortunately there is always a drinking party and afterwards the place looks like a garbage dump. The gravestones in the whole area are sprayed with graffiti. He had wished for roses in his garden and royal children. It's like we're just reducing this man's multi-faceted personality to his dark side because he wasn't just a drug user and a drinker. Perhaps there is a more dignified and more beautiful way to celebrate this day at his grave, because the French cemetery administration wants to have the body transferred to America because of the events, but that would not be in Jim Morrison's sense. The music of the Doors has not lost its power and the Jim Morrison phenomenon has always experienced a renaissance. In the meantime a great many biographies have been written about him. They are all exciting to read and each show the life of this fascinating man from a different perspective.
Jim Morrison was born on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, near Cape Kennedy. He was born where the rockets go off. His father was an admiral in the Navy and a member of the General Staff. He was the keeper of secrets and his work was never discussed in the house. Later he was in the Pentagon. Jim had a younger brother and sister. The father raised his children militarily. He didn't hit them, but wiped them down until they came to tears. He demanded discipline and adaptation. Jim was only allowed to speak to his father as sir. The father commanded the family like his ship. Because of this, Jim developed a hatred of authority at an early age. The mother came from a rather unconventional family. As the daughter of a lawyer, she lived temporarily in a commune and her father ran for the communists. She conformed to her father, but ordered him around the house. She was dominant and fun-loving. The parents met shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The father learned to fly and served on an aircraft carrier. Jim lived with his grandparents for the first two years. When the father returned from the war, the family had to move again and again due to the many transfers. Jim remembered only a few pictures of his father, whom the family drove after all the time and who was not there after all, and once he was there, made far too high demands on everyone, including the fact that he would be there soon and have to travel there. Jim had nowhere to take root. He was an above-average intelligent child, his IQ was 149. However, he did not value good grades. He didn't want the parents to brag about it at their bridge club. He often played nasty tricks on his brother and his classmates. In the classroom he hunted imaginary bees, fell on his knees in front of the girls and recited love poems. He did everything to cause a stir. He read a lot and wrote his first poems as a child. In photos of children you can see him well-parted and a little chubby. When he was four years old, Jim Morrison had a traumatic experience. It is a story that appears again and again fragmentarily in his improvisations, and that was captured on "An American Prayer": "Me and my mother and my father and grandfather and grandmother, we drove through the desert at dusk and a truck , loaded with Indian workers, had just crashed into another car. I don't know what happened, but the Indians were lying all over the street and bleeding to death. The car stopped. I was afraid for the first time. I have to be about four years When a child is still like a flower, its head is hanging in the wind, when I think back on it, the thought occurs to me that the souls of the dead Indians, maybe one or two of them, slipped into my soul. And they're still there. " The Indians complained and wept. The family wondered why the Indians didn't take the incident more stoically. Jim was beside himself. They sent for the police and an ambulance. But Jim wanted to do more. He was so confused that his father kept telling him that he had only dreamed it all. At that moment the father denied him the perception instead of comforting him. In that moment the shaman was born. With this story, Jim Morrison pronounced his parents dead in public. This superfather was probably an unknown soldier to him throughout his life. "Unknown Soldier" appeared on the Doors' third LP in 1968. It was also made into a small film, one of the first precursors to today's video clips. You can see the band members as a firing squad on the beach in Venice. Jim is tied to a stake and shot. Blood runs from his mouth and pours on a sea of flowers. You can see scenes from the war, the firing of the cannons, the jubilee at the end of the war and in between terrible images from the Vietnam War. "The war is over. Its all over for the unknown soldier." Back then the Vietnam War was still at its height and this film was politically dangerous. For this reason it was not shown very often. Here Jim Morrison shows himself to be a pacifist and attacks the role of the father. In the song "Wild Child" he lets the wild child come alive again: "Wake up. Shake the dreams out of your hair, my beautiful child, my sweet. Wild child full of grace. Savior of the human race. Not your father or mother Child." In an interview Jim Morrison once emphasized that the suppression of emotions seemed to him to be the basic evil of humanity. He was of the opinion that the pain should be carried around with you like a radio. Our deep and pure feelings are drained off in the course of our upbringing and he compared this process to murder. With that in mind, Jim Morrison may never have grown up, and that's why his genius has surpassed so many of us.
In 1961, Jim studied for a year at Florida State University, majoring in theater. He let his hair grow long, wrote about the pictures by the painter Hieronymos Bosch, dealt with the consequences of the plague in the Middle Ages and designed stage sets. He continued to write poetry in his notebook, and Horse Latitudes was also created around this time. On Spanish ships, when the wind was completely calm, the ballast of the horses was also thrown overboard in order to get afloat again. Jim Morrison described this death throes of the animals with impressive words: "When the calm sea becomes a tank and its sullen and stunted currents create tiny monsters, true sailing is impossible. Strange moment. And the first animal is thrown overboard. Legs pump violently their stiff, green gallop and heads rear up, float, fragile, persist. Consent in silent nostrils agony, carefully refined and sealed. " The Doors later accompanied these words with eerie sounds. They used one of the first synthesizers and pounded like crazy on piano strings while Jim performed the lyrics with incredible intensity. The Doors didn't just reel off their songs one after the other in their concerts. There was always a large space for free improvisation and this sometimes resulted in a mixture of cheerful freak shows, cabaret and theater. These productions were often reminiscent of the performances and words of the schizophrenic and brilliant poet Antonin Artaud, who had written entire treatises on theater (e.g. on the theater of cruelty). For this reason the music of the Doors was also called Artaud rock. Jim Morrison had also studied this poet during his student days. He had a fondness for French literature, raved about Rimbaud, but also read Kafka and Freud and Nietzsche, was interested in magic and then discovered the poets of the Beat generation with their hero Jack Kerouac. Jim hitchhiked across the continent with a friend, looking for places where Kerouac had been in "On the Road". He just read a lot and also played his usual pranks, drove his friend's car into a telegraph pole and once his friends started a duel with umbrellas. Jim was drunk and grabbed an umbrella from a police car and the umbrella was lost during the scuffle. Jim ended up in jail for one night for theft, disturbance of the peace, opposition to government and drunkenness in public. Here this contradiction shows itself in its essence. He is the loner with the soul of a steppe wolf, verse-writing, romantic, intelligent and introverted, and then again it breaks out of him and he becomes a troublemaker with a penchant for exhibitionism. Jim's father was a captain on an aircraft carrier at the time and Jim was supposed to visit him there. He had his hair cut and his father urged him to shoot human-like target dolls with a machine gun. A marine photographer took pictures of it. The pictures show a sad Jim Morrison. If he remembered those days later, it was with anger.
Jim enrolled in the Film Department of the Theater Studies Chair at the University of California at Los Angeles. There were three great directors on the faculty: Stanley Kramer, Jean Renoir and Josef von Sternberg, whom Jim Morrison admired with ardent admiration. Among the students was the young Francis Ford Coppola. Jim felt comfortable there. He made friends who were intelligent, well-read, funny, and unconventional. There was constant debate and Jim kept making notes in his book. These thoughts later appeared in his volume of poetry, "The Lords. Notes on Vision." For him the cameraman was a voyeur and the film lived from the fear of the end. A collection of dead images that are artificially fertilized and the viewers were secret vampires. The film was a spectacle or a peep show, magic and witchcraft. History of shadows. The teachers viewed Jim Morrison with skepticism. It was scary to them. In her eyes he always played Marlon Brando. It was approaching the mid-sixties. The narrow-mindedness and narrow-mindedness of the 1950s had just been overcome. A musician from that time humorously expressed this attitude towards life in a single sentence: "In the fifties there was no sex. Only Elvis had sex." Rock and Roll had prevailed and the Beatles were just on the march. Marlon Brando and James Dean were still heroes on the big screen. Sensitive rebels who were spun in their own, mystical dream worlds. That was how the teachers sensed the talent in Jim Morrison, but that talent was also unsettling and dangerous, and it was not yet fully developed. Jim had not yet found the right medium to express his ideas. So his graduation film didn't turn out very well either. This film was an idiosyncratic collage. He hadn't written a script (like his idol Renoir) and the film was badly glued and tore when showing. The film has not been saved and therefore the content can only be reconstructed from stories. In the first scene, Jim was seen inhaling the smoke of a joint and throwing his head back, then a dancing test picture. Cut! A nuclear explosion! At a party, students threw darts at Playboy posters. Indian chants. Scenes from the bars of Los Angeles. A girl in suspenders danced to loud rock and roll music on a television set while Hitler troops marched across the screen. A girl licked the cameraman's eye. The picture on the television faded to the point. Darkness. End. The film was probably the purest underground. He was totally panned by the students and teachers. Jim was accused of incoherence and called deranged. He is a stoner and a chauvinist. If you can believe Jerry Hopkins and Daniel Sugerman in their biography "Nobody gets out of here alive", then they made him a fascist and a communist in the same breath. Some students watched Jim leave the room and cry.
During his film studies he also met Ray Manzarek. This friendship was very important. Ray was four years older than Jim and his family was of Polish descent. He grew up in Chicago and his father was a mechanic. He was tall and blond and slim. An honest and open soul, a good buddy, a great narrator, intelligent and enthusiastic. In contrast to Jim, he was down to earth and came from a harmonious family. His films were more popular with the teaching staff. Jim admired him for refusing to cut an erotic scene from his film. Ray had taken piano lessons regularly since he was eight and practiced the instrument every day. He mastered classical music as well as jazz and blues. In his youth he had gone to the blues clubs and had seen bands like Muddy Waters live. While studying film, he and his two brothers formed their own band. It was called "Rick and the Ravens." Ray and Jim loved the same movies. They had a crush on Ingmar Bergmann and Kurosawa and met in a rare, almost forbidden showing of a Genet film. You attended a seminar with Josef von Sternberg and raved about Marlene Dietrich. Ray once asked Jim if he could join his band for a gig. Six men had been hired and they were only five. Jim picked up the guitar and pretended to be playing. For that he got twenty-five dollars. Jim was pleased with the easy money.
In 1965, after Jim graduated from college, he told everyone he was going to New York. But he didn't. He stayed in Venice and lived there on the roof of a department store. Venice was a beautiful, somewhat shabby resort town near Los Angeles. There was a beach with palm trees, small canals with delicate bridges on which ducks swam, junk shops, cheap restaurants and beach cafes. It was the ideal place for artists, hippies, retirees, students and mad people. Jim was looking for a job, but most of the time he was smoking joint after joint and writing verses in his notebook non-stop. There was this view of the endless expanse of the sea, and longings, ideas and images arose from it, which emerged brightly from the deep darkness for the first time to the surface of consciousness. He heard the melody of the words and then a whole orchestra. In the sound of the sea, the words had revealed themselves to him in the music, music that only he could hear. He used the words to memorize the melody. This is how the images came to life in the music. He lived on the roof of his imagination and in the struggle of life was armed only with a blanket against the cold, a candle and a bunsen burner. His baby fat was lost for good. Sometimes there was enough money for a meal at Olivia's. This is where the wonderful song "Soul Kitchen" was written: This place where you want to stay all night, where the cars drive by, full of eyes, where your thoughts are warmed by the friendly stove and your fingers are quick minarets that speak in secret alphabets, this place where you learn to forget. "Throw me out and I'm wandering around, baby, stumbling into the neon forest." This linguistic power of Jim Morrison paved a way by just drifting.The simple longing for security brought out the most beautiful metaphors in this song.
The Beach Boys could be heard on the radios on the beach: "Fun fun fun" and "Surfin". With their harmonies and great vocals, they were the first band in the States to compete with the Beatles. Bob Dylan sang with his grater voice folk songs with demanding lyrics, a mixture of poetry and pacifism, which was called protest song. The Rolling Stones acted wildly with "I Can't Get No Satisfaction". An important element was missing from those early days of rock music. The dark side of the moon was missing. The doors were missing. Jim was strolling along the beach when he met his friend Ray Manzarek in the twinkling evening sunlight. Ray was as at a loss as Jim about how to get into the tough movie business. He lived with his Japanese girlfriend in a small apartment by the sea. Ray was totally surprised to find his friend here in Venice and he was amazed because he hardly recognized his friend. Jim Morrison had transformed into an absolute beauty with a sensual aura. Ray asked him what he was doing and he told him that he was writing songs. Ray persuaded him with long pleading and pleading to sing him a song. Jim sat on the sand and let the sand trickle through his fingers, then closed his eyes and sang "Moonlight Drive". The melody seemed to come straight from his heart. A tender and longing melody, but full of dynamism that slowly increased. The words began to float: "Let's swim to the moon. Let's climb the tide, enter the evening the city hides asleep. Let's swim out tonight, love, now we must dare. Stop at the ocean on ours Moonlight ride. " Jim paused and for a moment the world stood still. Jim went on singing verse after verse. He sang "My Eyes Have Seen You" and "Summer`s Almost Gone" and they drummed their hands on their thighs and made the rhythm. In the end, Ray's mouth was open. He was thrilled and carried away. It is truly a great merit that Ray Manzarek saw the full potential that was in Jim Morrison at this unique moment, and it is merit that he believed in him firmly. In their youthful euphoria, they decided to form a rock band and make millions. At that time nobody would have thought that this dream would come true. Jim thought his voice wasn't enough for a singer, but Ray disagreed. He could hold the notes well and he had a sense of rhythm. The only thing missing was practice. Jim wanted to name the group "The Doors". Ray found this suggestion banal. But Jim was thinking of "The Gates of Perception" by Aldous Huxley, a book about mescaline experiments in which the author writes about consciousness in another world. A world where there is no dead matter. A world in which the ego merges with the object. Huxley had borrowed his book title from a quote from the poet prince William Blake: "If the gates of perception were cleaned, everything would appear as it really is: Inexhaustible!" There was the known and there was the unknown. In between was the door. Jim wanted to be this door, this passage into a new dimension. After this explanation, Ray no longer found this suggestion banal.
Ray next insisted that Jim move in with him. His girlfriend agreed. When he told his friends that he was going to start a new band with Jim, they laughed at him or thought he was crazy. From now on, they went to the practice room every day and rehearsed their pieces. Jim wrote a letter to his parents saying that he would sing in a rock band. His father wrote back angrily that he should finally give up the nonsense in his head. He wouldn't have financed him four years of study for that. He would have broken off his piano lessons and would not even have sung the Christmas carols. In a few terse words, he urged him to return home. That letter was reason enough for Jim to leave home forever. You should never hear from him again. At the time, only Ray's girlfriend had a job. Once, in a supermarket, Jim made three steaks disappear into his big coat. At the end of the month the hunger became too great. For their journey into the unknown, Ray and Jim needed a drummer and a guitarist. Ray and his brothers released a single called "Rick and the Ravens", but it didn't sell. In a meditation course given by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Ray met the drummer John Densmore. John Densmore was the son of an architect. He started playing drums at the age of twelve and had a penchant for jazz. He played the timpani in high school and jazz drums in college. He adored Dave Brubeck and John Coltrane. He hung around the jazz cellars at a young age and oriented himself there to Art Blakely and Elvin Jones. John was slim and dark-haired, looked a little angular and closed, but inside was very sensitive and vulnerable. Jim Morrison was a little creepy to him, but he was also fascinated. John Densmore mastered the loud and the soft tones. When he played, he always had his invisible antennae extended. He was creative on the drums, was good at improvising, and had a sense of drama. With this line-up they recorded their first demo record and went to the record companies in Hollywood with it. Their feet were sore, but all record companies rejected the band's songs. Ray's brothers left the band, but John Densmore brought his friend Robby Krieger into the group. He looked calm, tender and sensitive with his curly hair. John and Robby had played together in the group "Psychedelic Rangers". He was the son of a wealthy financial advisor. Robby had a keen mind, a sense of humor, and he played the guitar like a young god. He started at fifteen, then developed a taste for flamenco and Spanish guitar, switching from folk to blues and rock. Jim was fascinated by his bottleneck technique. At nineteen, Robby was the youngest musician in the group. He studied physics. The four grew closer and closer together and they talked shop and rehearsed day after day and week after week. Sometimes they played small parties for a few dollars. The band didn't have a bass player. They didn't want to sound like any other band, so Ray Manzarek played the Fender keyboard bass with his left hand and the organ with his right hand. This regular organ bass led the listener into a state of trance. The Doors finally got a record deal with Columbia. Billy James became interested in the music of the Doors. But soon the group was shelved and nothing happened, everything fizzled out and the contract was canceled at the Doors' insistence. John and Jim avoided military service by ticking the homosexual tendencies box on the questionnaire when they were drafted. There was no way they wanted to go to Vietnam and there was no way they wanted to give up their music.
Again and again Jim came into the practice room with his crumpled slips of paper and napkins on which he had written his texts. He sang his melody and the group had to find out what key and what rhythm it was. The group then slowly worked out the arrangement. One day Jim suggested that all band members write a song. They should orientate themselves on the four elements, songs about earth, fire, air and water. It turned out that Robby Krieger had a great talent. He had thought of the song "Light My Fire", a wonderful, catchy song. Ray Manzarek developed an almost baroque organ intro with tremendous dynamics, a single firework of sounds. Jim suggested that the income should be split evenly among all four, including for writing the songs. It was a wise offer to avoid rivalries in the band.
In the spring of 1966 the Doors played their first gigs in the "London Fog", a shabby shed on the Sunset Strip. Nearby was the "Whiskey-a-Go-Go", where the well-known bands such as the Byrds, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Frank Zappa and the Animals performed. They played there for five hours every night and received five dollars a nose from the box office when it was full. The audience consisted of the last strays of the night: drunks, pimps, businessmen, sailors, tourists, hookers and hippies. In the beginning, they filled the shop with their friends. On stage, Jim was still shy and inhibited. He sang with his back to the audience, clutched the microphone and looked at it as if it were an alien object. Since their repertoire was still not quite sufficient, they began to expand their pieces more and more and woven long, free improvisations and solos into their songs. Jim slowly learned to move freely on stage and to use his erotic charisma in a targeted manner. The girls noticed him and began to rave about him. The song "The End" became an epic. A shiver ran down the audience's spine when he sang at the end: "This is the end, beautiful friend. This is the end of laughter and gentle lies. This is the end, my only friend, the end of our well-thought-out plans, that End of all that exists, no security or surprise, the end, I'll never look into your eyes again. This is the end ". Drummer John Densmore seemed to anticipate the singer's every move and commented on the gestures and words with his drums. The air was full of tension and the group grew closer and closer together in these magical moments. The audience didn't seem to notice much of this. It just didn't happen. Sometimes they only played in front of four people in the little shop and the go-go girl danced in her cage. It was at this time that Jim Morrison met his cosmic partner Pamela Courson. Pamela had studied art. She was down there with her friend in the audience and John Densmore had flirted with her during the breaks, but she only had eyes for Jim. He noticed these looks and used all his charm to win them over. She was a fragile-looking beauty with big eyes, pale skin, and long, red hair. John Densmore got over the loss. The love between Pamela and Jim should last a lifetime, despite all the antics and turbulence. They held together whatever happened. Pamela believed from the bottom of her heart in the poet Jim Morrison, whom we are actually only discovering today. In their eyes, the role of the rock star was more of a hindrance to the poet.
The owner of the London Fog was named Jesse James, for everyone's pleasure. He announced to the Doors that they were fired. Business was just too bad. Now they had played four months for a starvation wage in front of a small audience, and now they were left with nothing again. Ray Manzarek felt the naked fear creep around his neck. Above him a cloud of depression. Robby and John were dejected. Jim shrugged. But it was precisely at this low point in her career that the tide turned. That same evening, Ronnie Harran, the talent scout for "Whiskey a Go-Go" came through the door. She offered them a job as a house band for five hundred dollars a week. She had been made aware of the band. When she saw the Doors live, she was just amazed, especially by Jim Morrison. Jim told her they would think about it. When she left, the others wanted to beat him up. They asked him: "What does superior mean here?" Jim grinned: "Are you trying to give the impression that we are easy to get?" They poked him and then burst out laughing.
Right from their first appearance in "Whiskey" they were the opening act for Van Morrison. At the end of the week there was a gigantic jam session with the two Morrisons, who had the same name but were not related. They were kindred spirits. They both had this fondness for the blues and alcohol, and they were both great singers. They sang "Gloria" and songs by John Lee Hooker. Both were as if withdrawn that evening, completely immersed in their music. The mail went off and the audience was enthusiastic. The Doors experienced their own music as one big change in consciousness. The Doors' music had power and word got around. Jim Morrison acted like a magnet. Suddenly they had the success they had always dreamed of. Jim was surrounded by groupies, especially Suzy Creamcheese, and Jim didn't want to disappoint them. Pamela remained number one, but only formed the top of a pyramid. The happy girls kept coming back to Jim. The Doors offered their fans passion and ecstasy. Musically, they penetrated new areas. They became a symbol of freedom and thus competed against the world of norms and constraints. In their texts they wanted to heal the injuries on earth and find the way back, to the other side, back to paradise. Everything was going wonderfully until one day Jim took it to extremes when he suddenly sang those lines on "The End" that he had never sung before. It was nothing new that he would come up with a new text in the middle of the stage, he had done that many times before, and as always the band adapted to it. Jim had put the audience in a trance so intense that the dancers stopped dancing in their cages and no one served drinks. Everyone froze in tension, only the roar of the bass and the drum kit could be heard as he sang: "Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain ... and all children are crazy; waiting for the summer rain ... Yeah ... There Danger lurks on the outskirts of the city. Drive on the king's highway, baby ... Eerie scenes in the gold mine. Drive west on the highway, baby ... Ride the snake. Ride the snake to the lake, the ancient lake. The snake is long, seven miles. She is old and her skin is cold. The west is best. Come here and we'll do the rest. The blue bus is calling us. Driver where are you taking us? " There was a long pause. The whole song was structured like a classic Indian raga, was over thirteen minutes long and the guitar sounded like a sitar. And at the same time it was a Greek drama. The audience was still moving in a slow dance as if in a trance. Then Jim raised his voice again and sang, "The killer woke up before dawn, he put his boots on." John and Ray and Robby were amazed and they were curious to see how it goes on. "He took a mask from the ancestral gallery and he walked across the hall. He went into a room where his sister lived, then he visited his brother and then ... he continued down the hall." Ray wondered how he would finish this eerily beautiful variant. Would he leave them all in a maze? "And he came to a door and he looked inside: Father? Yes, son? I want to kill you!" Ray almost passed out when he realized the point of the whole story at that moment: That was the Oedipus complex! Now came what had to come: "Mother, I want to fuck you ... yeahh! All night, Mom!" The drums exploded, the guitar began to screech, everything howled and roared and screeched, sounds of chaos and madness. Jim danced wildly in a circle. Again and again he sang "Fuck. Kill. Fuck. Kill." And it sounded like a mantra and like the gurgling of water in a rain gutter. In the end, the singer lay down on the stage as if he were dying. Gentle girls' hands from the audience began to stroke him so that he got up again. The song ended softly and tenderly as he sang, "This is the end, beautiful friend. It hurts to give you free. But you will never follow me. The end of laughter and gentle lies. The end of nights when we tried to die. This is the end ".
Jim Morrison was a master of reduction. He had adorned King Oedipus with archetypes and reduced them to the simplest denominator. The audience applauded frenetically, but the manager of the "Whiskey" acted wilder than Sigmund Freud's opponents at the time. His expressions were almost more obscene than what was sung on stage before. The Doors were fired within five minutes. That was the end of the end again. But in the end, the Doors always had a Guardian Angel. So they weren't too sad, because three days earlier they had signed a contract with Jac Holzman from the record company Elektra Records. They were supposed to record three albums and had been offered artistic freedom. This point was very important for the Doors. They went into the studio full of anticipation.
The author Rainer Moddemann made the discovery in his book "The Doors" that the famous blue bus, which Jim Morrison sang about again and again, really did exist. It was the bus that drove him to the university every day. The route taken by the bus was exactly seven miles. In the book you can see a photograph of the triangular sign, on which you can read: "Big Blue Bus". This bus becomes a death ship. The author writes that the Roman wilderness will probably mean Venice and that the lake would then correspond to the Pacific Ocean. Jim Morrison himself saw the song "The End" as a farewell to childhood.
In the Sunset Sound Studio, the Doors met producer Paul A. Rothchild and sound engineer Bruce Botnick.The two became, so to speak, the new, invisible members of the group. They got on well and the collaboration was close and intensive, because Paul Rothchild was an incredible perfectionist. The first thing they did was play "Light My Fire" and put in a great long guitar solo. While Robby played warrior, Jim hopped out of his singing booth, danced like a shaman, and waved the rattle. They recorded the "Alabama Song" with a wonderful carnival sound. In a single day "The End" was on the tape. That first album also featured the wonderfully melodic and melancholy "Crystal Ship" and "Take IT As It Comes", which Jim dedicated to the Maharishi. "Break On Through" should be released as a single. The album was ready in just two weeks. However, there was a small incident during the recording. Jim Morrison had put out a fire in the studio one evening after rehearsals that never broke out. Maybe he still had the song "Light My Fire" and too many drugs on his mind when he saw the red emergency light in the studio flare up like a fire. He eagerly picked up the fire extinguisher to save the Doors' work. Paul Rothchild had the water damage repaired without saying a word about it, because Jim had done a good job. Jim was full of energy. He changed the company's advertising texts and replaced the banal, factual statements with longer texts with pictorial catchphrases that outlined the band's image. In one sentence he explained that he felt like a bowstring, stretched twenty-two years ago and suddenly let go.
When the studio recordings were finished, the Doors played at the "Ondine" in New York. It was a club that was absolutely hip. In the beginning they played "Backdoor Man" by Willi Dixon, that wonderful, earthy blues. The other songs sounded unusually psychedelic to New Yorkers, but they loved them. Andy Warhol was a regular at Ondine and he admired Jim Morrison. Jim wanted to get to know this great artist and visited him at the Factory. There Jim met the German model Nico. Andy Warhol brought them to his group "Velvet Underground". She was very blonde and very beautiful, had a deep voice with a German accent and seemed as aloof as Marlene Dietrich. Jim fell in love with her and for that short time in New York they had a relationship. Nico had later told her friends that Jim Morrison was the only person who ever understood them. He had advised her to write her own songs. She followed his advice. It is said that Nico always carried a picture of Jim Morrsion with him. Often she would put it on a table, light a candle in front of it, and then pray to him. That was at a time when Jim was still alive! This relationship between the two must have been more tender and intense than it was later portrayed in the press. Nico wasn't the only one who had a penchant for idolizing Jim Morisson, some fans did, too. Jim had struggled against it all his life. He later had an argument with Robby Krieger about a line of text in the song "Tell All The People" that Jim didn't want to sing. It was the sentence: "Follow me." Jim had also said, "We can plot a murder or start a new religion." Both came to the same thing.
In January 1967 the album came out. It was simply called "The Doors". For the first time a rock band was advertised on the giant billboards on Sunset Srip. "Break On Through" was not a hit, but disc jockeys kept calling the record company because more and more fans wanted to hear "Light My Fire" on the radio. At seven minutes, the song was too long for a single. So the nice long solos were cut out of the piece. Ray and Robby nearly had a crying fit. "Light My Fire" was number one in the charts within a very short time. They sold more records than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. The small company Elektra Records had been overrun. Jac Holzman had to sign contracts with new press plants to serve the chain stores in the Midwest and South. The Doors became number one in America.
Jim was a hit with the photographers. Gloria Stavers shot with him for a teenage magazine. These recordings made Jim a pop icon. Jim reacted to the camera's lens like Marylin Monroe once did. He accepted Gloria's demands, hung himself with chains, and had himself photographed with a bare torso and in fur jackets. The long, dark curls framed the beautiful face with the high cheekbones. The large, deep dark eyes were hypnotic and the full mouth was sensual. Some of the most beautiful recordings from this period are from Joel Brodsky. Jim wanted to look like Alexander the Great. He always kept his head tilted slightly to one side, just as Plutarch had described the great conqueror. He actually brought his history book with him to the hairdresser's. Jim washed his hair often, but he never combed it. He wanted them to look like wings of a bird. Jim later felt ashamed of these recordings and wished he had never done them. He also didn't agree that his personage should be featured on the cover photo, but his beauty sold well. They wanted to make the young lion out of him, but he thought he was the king of the lizards. Later Jim got his way and the design of the cover should change fundamentally. The very first recordings of the group were made by Paul Ferrara. Linda McCartney (Paul McCartney's wife) took atmospheric photographs of him. At the time, she thought he was an unknown singer with fascinating ideas. Little did she know then that she was photographing a future rock idol. She shared her love of art with Jim. He told her he didn't know whether to let her photograph him because she was revealing the true character of her characters. Jim's trademark was the tight leather pants with the concho belt. His movements were like the movements of a snake, soft, graceful and graceful. There are tons of famous photographers who have captured Jim Morrison's fascinating shots. Entire illustrated books were created. Many rare and beautiful photos are from Frank Lisciandro.
Meanwhile, Jim and Pamela had rented an idyllic little apartment with wood paneling on Laurel Canyon. Jim also often lived at the Alta Cienega Motel on Santa Monica Boulevard. This small space above the entrance gate with the number 32 should remain his refuge for years to come. Jim wrote a song about Pamela and the house at Laurel Canyon. It was called Love Street. In this song there is a somber premonition between the lines. Two houses down the street lived a former disc jockey who secretly supplied Pamela with heroin from time to time. She did everything possible to keep this fact a secret from Jim. Jim hated hard drugs and he hated everything related to them. In an interview he once said that this type of crime against acquisitions just seemed degrading to him. Although Pamela managed to hide her heroin addiction from Jim for a long time, he must have guessed something (perhaps without his realizing it) if you take a closer look at this song with the cheerful melody: "She lives on the street of love . Linger a long time on the street of love. She has a house and a garden. Wanna know what's going on. She has robes and she has monkeys. She has wisdom and knows what to do. She has me and she has you. Me see you live on the street of love. There's a shop where the creatures meet. Wonder what they're doing in there. Summer Sunday and a year. I think I think it's nice ... so far. " The creatures were the dealers Jim could see from the window in front of the little general store across the street. Jim always dedicated his love songs to his Pamela and there is a slight melancholy in all of these songs.
John Densmore and Robby Krieger rented an apartment together. John had still lived with his parents and was now glad to finally have escaped their allegations. They did not agree that their son made nothing but music. From now on the members of the band no longer had to turn over every penny, because from now on they played in front of a larger audience. Now they were no longer the cheers for the big bands, but the main attraction. Now they got a thousand dollars for one gig. They played at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco in time for Human Be-In. The Doors became an event there. The band got around like wildfire. Then they played in the Avalon Ballroom, where people who knew something about music met. They played one more time in the "Ondine" and then again at home in other clubs. Jim sang at every concert like it was his last appearance. Once he fell into the drum kit and injured his back. Everyone in the audience believed this act was part of the show. Soon after, the first two reviews appeared in the Los Angeles Times. The first criticism was very encouraging; in the second, John Mendelsohn described Jim as overaffected, dark, and bland. He wrote that "The End" was an investigation into how boring it can seem when he recites some remarkably simple, some over-labored psychedelic inconsistencies and errors. Almost a year later, Jim met the critic in the elevator. When the doors closed and the critic could no longer escape, Jim smiled and said, "Partly remarkably simple, part overworked psychedelic inconsistencies and errors - huh?" Jim always kept his sense of humor, even with bad reviews. Only sometimes did he really hit back, e.g. when he was called a black leather demon and a Mickey Mouse de Sade. Then he could be cruel and use a subtle form of psychological terror. He once embarrassed a journalist until she almost cried. There was always a scorpion sting in Jim's character. Maybe he needed it to protect his sensitive soul.
In his spare time, Jim sat in his red armchair with Pamela, reading books or hanging around somewhere. Sometimes he stayed in his motel for a few days. In the nights he went through the bars, played on stage with unknown bands, partied with old friends and that always ended in big booze. If he was overcharged, he would play torero on the highway. His jacket became a red cloth and the cars were the bulls. Then at dawn he would write a poem or a song. The Doors got a manager. You now needed a protective wall between you and the organizers. They needed someone for the daily routine and the press, and most of all they needed someone for the damn phone. Last but not least, they needed a babysitter for Jim Morrison, someone who would pull him out of the pubs in time for the shows. Robby's father had found them a good lawyer. In the summer of 1967 the Doors team was as good as complete. Only one was missing. That was Danny Sugerman. Later he was to take on a task that no one had expected at the time. His job was to keep the Doors' name on everyone's lips thirty years after Jim Morrison's death. He was almost a little boy then, just fourteen years old. Just fledged, he hung around in front of the Doors' office. He was an ardent fan of the group right from the start. Jim gave him an autograph and allowed him into the office after Danny told him that his stepfather bullied him from morning to night. The Doors' office was a haven in paradise for Danny. Jim sometimes lent him his fur-lined jacket so he could show it off at school. Whenever he visited Jim and Pamela at their house, he would always beg Jim to go to the bars with him. Jim encouraged him to take a look at the books on the shelf. He asked him benevolently to read it, then he would be grateful to him for it later. Besides, he should do his schoolwork, and then maybe he'd go to the bars with him. Danny's idol almost became a father's substitute. There was a lot to do in the office and Danny got as annoying as a fly at times. Jim solved the problem by offering him a job. He should answer the fan mail and collect and archive the newspaper articles with the reviews. Danny was over the moon. Now he was allowed to be with the group and experience everything. Now he was allowed to do what he enjoyed most and was paid for it. He was also able to escape the stepfather's assaults for a few hours in a safe place. Jim also tried to talk to the man once, but didn't have much success, it just caused trouble. Still, Jim offered him some protection. It was dangerous, because you could spread the stupid rumor in the press that Jim was hooking up with little boys. The man had actually threatened that, because Danny was not yet of legal age. That was mind-boggled nonsense, of course, and Jim wasn't intimidated. Jim liked the boy's character and wit, and he just felt sorry for him. Throughout his life, Jim only obeyed the dictates of his heart. Danny was later able to return the favor for everything. After Jim's death, he wrote the first biography of Jim Morrison with journalist Jerry Hopkins. Thanks to his persistence, he brought this book to the man despite many rejections and against all expectations. The book became a bestseller! For Danny, Jim was a god among gods, or at least a saint. After Jim's death, Danny became the manager of the Doors.
In New York, the Doors also appeared on television on the Ed Sullivan Show. Ed Sullivan asked them to smile widely. The producer asked them not to sing the word "higher" on "Light My Fire". Once again the group felt as if they were in a piece by Ionesco. Ed Sullivan had never smiled himself. Ray called him Mr. Iron Eater. "Light My Fire" was a passionate song, not a cheerful one. Once again, a little word was dangerous because either drugs or love could get you high. "Girl, we couldn't get much higher," was more likely to mean love. This "high" in the song was the uppermost limit of a feeling that one had to achieve before love becomes a stake. Ray Manzarek promised to change the text, but had deliberately lied. The group could not replace that word with another, with the intent that it would rhyme. It would have distorted the meaning and destroyed the poetry of the song. The Doors did not want to do the Puritans a favor like the other groups had done. Even the Stones had changed their lyrics for Ed Sullivan. The only problem was that there was a censor button on the mixer. A little peep would have ruined the whole song. But they remembered who was at the mixer: it was Paul Rothchild and Bruce Botnick. So they sang the song as always. It turned out to be a nice shot. The group sang against a glowing red background. Afterwards, the producer didn't want to stop whining and complaining. In fact, Ed Sullivan would have liked the music and would have planned it for the next six more shows. He asked Ray if he knew what that would have meant for her career? He had to swallow, but Jim just said, "Hey man! So what? We've just been to the Ed Sullivan Show!"
The Doors recorded their second LP "Strange Days". Then they used a lot of material from the early days, such as Jim's first song "Moonlight Drive" and "Horse Latitudes". Bruce Bottnick had a surprise for the band: a new eight-track recording device, and he also brought Paul Beaver with him with one of the first Moog synthesizers in rock history. Jim thought these sounds were the purest Kabbalah. He wanted Paul to make the sound of shattering glass falling out of nowhere into creation. Unfortunately Paul couldn't produce a sound again. The device kept producing new tones, the possibilities were endless. There was a lot of experimentation on the record. "When The Music's Over" was just as epic as "The End": "When the music is over, turn the lights off. The music is your only friend until the end. What have they done to the earth, ours good sister? ravaged and looted and slashed them, bit them and stabbed them with knives in the side of the dawn and fences them up and kicked them down. I hear a lovely sound with your ears down on the ground. we want the world and we want her now! ... Before I fall asleep, I want to hear the cry of the butterfly one more time. The music is your only friend until the end. When the music is over, turn off the lights. Persian night, Baby. See the light, baby. Save us Jesus! Save us! " This piece was also very long and Jim Morrison put the verses of this song together again and again on stage. The idea of the butterfly's scream came to him while driving through New York City at night. As he drove by, he saw the pink neon sign of a porn cinema with the announcement for the film "The Scream of the Butterfly". He had his notebook on hand immediately. At two o'clock in the afternoon the recordings in the studio for this piece should begin. Jim also showed up at two o'clock sharp, just one day late. The musicians had waited hour after hour and who didn't come was Jim Morrison. So you recorded the part alone and Jim had to find his way through the jungle with his voice alone.Jim wrote the song "People Are Strange" when he visited Robby and John because he felt so sad and depressed. Robby went for a walk with him and they went to a place with a beautiful view. Jim came back beaming because he remembered this song and these lyrics: "People are strange, you are a stranger. Faces are ugly, you are alone. Women seem malicious when you are not wanted. Roads are uneven when you are dejected When you are a stranger, faces come out of the rain. When you are a stranger nobody remembers your name. " This song seemed so personal and so honest and it also had a matching melody that it was decoupled as a single.
In the middle of the recordings for this second album, the group received their first royalty check. Ray looked at the little paper and inwardly cheered. There was the sum of fifty thousand dollars. If he divided by four it left over twelve thousand dollars for each. He grinned and asked for his check. Bob Greene of the Elektra office grinned back and said, "This is your check, Ray, take another look. The others already have their check for the same amount." There actually was his name. Ray's eyes almost fell out of his head. Bob went one better by telling him he'd be getting the next check in five months and that there would be a bigger sum on it. Ray went home in a frenzy. Now he could finally marry his Japanese friend Dorothy. Now there was enough for a family and a cozy home and he could even offer her a certain luxury. When he got home the door fell into the house as soon as Dorothy opened it for him. He just said, "Just look at this check. Dorothy, will you marry me?" Of course she did. Ray thought about how smart it had been of Jim to divide the whole cake by four. In the band there was never an argument about which song should be recorded and there was never an argument about money.
The recordings in the studio continued and they added "Unhappy Girl" by playing the whole song backwards. "You`re Lost Little Girl" was a beautiful and sad love song. Frank Sinatra could have sung it. Paul Rothchild wanted a relaxed voice for this recording. But how did you get Jim into a meditative state so quickly? The band had an idea and smirked. Pamela was in the studio and she should be a little tender with her Jim. The lights in the studio went out and after twenty minutes Jim answered from the vocal booth. His voice then radiated a great peace during the recording, just as Rothchild wanted it to be. When this experimental work on the record came to an end, Jim got involved in designing the cover. The group agreed on a fair scene with acrobats, muscled dwarves and jugglers. The band's lettering could be read in the background. A torn poster from the first cover.
Now the band had to promote their new record and made their first tour. It went to Iowa, Denver Colorado, New York, Tulsa Oklahoma, Danbury Connecticut, Nantucket Beach Massachusetts, Baltimore, Maryland, Selinsgrove Pennsylvania, Berkeley California and so on and so on. The big money machine had oil in its gears. In October 1967 "Strange Days" was released and on October 30th, Elektra announced that the first album "The Doors" had reached over a million dollars in sales. The single "Light My Fire" had gone over the counter over a million times. The Doors got their first gold records for their very first records. This event was duly celebrated by the Doors. When Jac Holzman failed to show up for the party, Jim rioted in front of his Door. He had been completely drunk once again.
Jim was giving longer and longer interviews now. Time, New York Times, Saturday Evening Post, Life and Look reporters had him on their A-list because the Doors had a diverse audience. They also enjoyed interviewing him themselves. He invited them to the nearest striptease bar and delivered them entire essays between beers, which came easily from his lips onto the tape. For example, he said: "You are always looking. You open one door after the other. Up until now there has been no consistent philosophy or politics. Sensuality and evil now give us an attractive image, but think so." a snakeskin that is peeled off once. What we do, our performances are an effort to transform. At the moment I'm more interested in the dark side of life, evil, the dark side of the moon, the night. But we are in our music about to break through into a realm of greater freedom and purity. It corresponds to the alchemical process. At the beginning there is the phase of disorder, of chaos, the return to a primeval realm of calamity. From this, through purification, the elements are obtained, a new germ of the Found life that transforms everything, all matter, personality, until finally - hopefully - the true self of man emerges and in a holy wedding cancels all of these dualisms and opposites. Then one no longer speaks of good and bad, but of something that is united and pure. Our music and ourselves in our rock theater are still in a state of chaos and disorder with perhaps a germinal element of purity, almost a beginning. It has started since we got involved as people: music and people become one. Think of us as erotic politicians. "
The press did not turn him into an erotic politician, nor did it turn him into a sensual philosopher. It made him a sex symbol with no competition. James Dean was dead, Marlon Brando had a belly and now came Jim Morrison. Jim's parents found out where he was through the press. The mother had already toyed with the idea of appointing a detective on Jim, but the father had forbidden her. Jim and his mother exchanged only a few words on the phone. She said he should come home for Thanksgiving and they would be together again with the family, as they were before. Jim invited her to a concert at home in Washington. The mother reproached him for not calling and then she said that if he came he would have to cut his hair. This last sentence probably led Jim to continue to flee from his parents and to allow himself to be shielded by his troupe when his mother attended the concert with the younger brother.
The Doors' second LP sold as well as the first. The managers approached Jim and asked if he would like to leave the group. Then he could hire musicians and make a lot more money. After all, he is the draft horse. He could become even more famous. Jim said he would think about it. That was a lie again. Jim went to Ray, Robby and John, told them the story and they considered whether they should look for new management. At the Doors, all resolutions were passed unanimously. They stuck together like the four musketeers, were more democratic than the democrats, even if Jim was unpredictable or drunk on stage. The Doors continued to tour with four people. The pressure of the big money machine was slowly becoming clearly noticeable. They lived between the airports, sometimes they no longer knew which city they were actually in. They flew first class, were given preferential treatment, got into big black limousines and the fans ran after them. Every night they slept in a different hotel. A life out of a suitcase. They gave interviews, gave autographs and had to worry about the next LP on the side, although the last one had just been mixed up in painstaking detail by Paul, Bruce, John, Robby and Ray. To do this, Jim had to keep circling the poetry in his head and exploring unknown melodies. He had to keep scribbling the beautiful and true words in his notebook or on napkins and then type them in the typewriter. They had to fascinate an audience that was getting bigger and bigger. They were now playing in huge halls in front of thousands of people. Jim waved his microphone over his head like a lasso. He let himself be carried by the curtains to dizzying heights and he was the first to venture into the audience. He spread his arms and sailed like a great bird into the arms of the surging audience. Jim slowly switched to alcohol more and more. The LSD kick scared him now. He had enough kicks now. He had the girls, the fame, the money, constantly new impressions and the music. All he wanted now was Brother Alcohol, his old friend Dionysus. He promised distance from everything and temporary oblivion.
In December 1967 the band made an appearance in New Haven. As always, police officers were posted everywhere to protect the band from attacks by fans. There was a large barrier between the stage and the audience. It was a bit strange because at that time the audience never really broke out. The days when the teddy boys hacked furniture to pieces at Bill Haley's concerts were long gone. Only the Rolling Stones caused another riot in their early days on the Waldbühne. In the hippie generation, nonviolence was almost a religious dogma. When the Doors sang "When The Music's Over" or "The End" at the end, the audience was emotionally drained and went home in a frenzy. Jim Morrison felt like a shaman on stage and he always felt he could direct the emotions of the masses in a positive way. He was always of the opinion that it was not the audience who experienced catharsis, but whoever was on stage. He also believed that no one would try to storm the stage if the barrier wasn't there. The barrier occasionally encouraged someone from the audience to climb the stage like a mountain climber in order to hug the admired star for a brief moment on the summit. This police presence was a little scary. It was also strange that the cops would always pull out their notepads when Jim made a derogatory remark about the Republicans in a subordinate sentence. In times of the election campaign, of course, you didn't like to hear that. Neither in New Haven. He also sang these ruthless yet poetic lyrics, truths wrapped in the blues: "Five to one, baby! One to five! Nobody can get out of here alive. You will have your baby and I will have mine. We will make it, Baby, if we try. The old get old. The young get stronger. It may take a week or more. They got the rifles and we got the majority. We'll win, take it all. Come on! Your ballroom times are over, Baby. The night is looming. Shadows of the evening creep over the years. You walk the earth with a flower in your hand. Try to tell me that nobody understands. Make a handful of pennies out of your hours. " And then everyone sang in chorus: "Let's get together again!" And then more and more quietly: "Let's get together again!"
In New Haven, Jim Morrison was backstage with a girl. He just wanted to talk to her in peace. The roadies dragged the amplifiers past them, the groupies ran around everywhere and the policemen stood in the corridors. They went into the washroom. Jim kissed her. Suddenly a policeman came in and shouted: "Come on kids, get out there! Nobody is allowed backstage". "Who says that?" asked Jim and stood protectively in front of the girl. Didn't he know Jim was the singer? "I said get out of there! Come on now, move!" He picked up the chemical club on his belt. "Last warning, last chance!" he said. "The last chance to swallow it," Jim replied and the girl ran off and Jim got the whole load in his face. Jim had attacks of suffocation and he could no longer see anything. He screamed in pain and stumbled down the hall. It was half an hour before the performance. The roadies and the group ran over and took care of Jim. They washed his eyes out and a doctor had to be called. The audience had to be put off for a while.
With red eyes and still half blind, he sang his "Backdoorman" with full passion: "You men eat your meal, beans with bacon. I ate more chickens than a man has ever seen ... because I am the backdoor man! The men have no idea, but the little girls understand! " The rhythm pounded for a while and then softened as he once again sang lines he had never sung before. "I want to tell you something that happened here in New Haven a few minutes ago. This is New Haven, isn't it? New Haven, Connecticut, USA?" John dropped his drumsticks and began to moan loudly. Then he continued to drum softly. Jim sang in the soft blues of a meal, of a few drinks, of a conversation about religion with a waitress and he sang of this beautiful girl and slowly the heavy backdoorman rhythm set in again: "And we wanted to be a little alone and left into the washroom. " And then he sang in the broadest southern slang of the little man in his little blue suit with the little blue cap. He sang the whole story. And then at the end: "Oh, I'm the man from the back door. Everyone hates me. I'm the man from the back door." The audience roared with laughter. It was a loud laugh against the police. Suddenly the lights came on. Robby whispered in Jim's ear, "I think the cops are mad." The police lieutenant came on stage and told Jim that he was under arrest. Jim held the microphone under the policeman's nose, but a second policeman came on stage and they grabbed his arm, led him through the curtain and then dragged him down the stairs.
He was put in front of a patrol car in the parking lot and his picture was taken. They then beat him up, kicked him, and threw him in the police car to drive him to the station. Jim spent a couple of hours in jail, recovering from the wounds below the belt. Road manager Bill Siddons deposited $ 15,000 in bail from the box office. In the general hustle and bustle, two famous journalists and a photographer were also arrested in the parking lot. The police had made a big mistake there. It was a shot in the oven. The photographer had just returned from an assignment from Vietnam. The press was on Jim's side and only gave him more publicity. The charge of an offense against morality, trespassing and resistance to the authority of the state had to be dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Jim and Pamela became best men at Ray and Dorothy's wedding. Jim sang for the newlywed couple most of the night and ended up being dragged off the stage. Then the Doors made their young road manager Bill Siddons their manager. Work on the third LP "Waiting for the Sun" should begin. At first everything seemed to fail. Jimbo came out. That's what Ray Manzarek called that darkest person in Jim Morrison, this Mr. Hyde, a mean drunkard. Jim came into the studio drunk and brought his drinking buddies with him. Paul Rothchild threw them out in a high arc. It was so bad that Ray remembered sadly the young man who had sung to him on Venice Beach. John Densmore had left the band full of anger, but came back the next day because he missed the work together too much. Without the Doors, life was no longer life. Paul Rothchild encouraged the group to continue. He had the feeling that Jim wouldn't live long after he saw the liquor corpse lying there on the floor. Jim went into the vocal booth drunk and sang "Five To One" with such intensity and passion that Paul Rothchild used the song on the record. The recording was successful right from the first take. During the recordings, you were always on the verge of calling an ambulance. But Jim got up again. He was the purest stand-up man. Jim came up to Ray and said, "I think I'm going to have a nervous breakdown." Jim wanted to get out. He kept telling Ray that he just couldn't take it anymore. Ray thought of everything they had achieved so far. The Venice dream had come true. All the work was worth it. Ray wished it could go on and on. He took his friend a few days off and asked him to go on for just six more weeks. And Jim went on and on. Ray later blamed himself for not taking these words more seriously. The work went on. They recorded "Yes, The River Knows", a wonderful ballad, "Wintertime Love" was almost a Viennese waltz. "My Wild Love" was created spontaneously. A nursery rhyme with clapping hands. "Hello I Love You" was released as a single. A catchy tune with a rhythm that went straight to your stomach. This song was number one on the charts not only in America, but also in Europe. After the incident in New Haven, however, it was soon put on the index and was no longer allowed to be played on the radio. The moral police always followed the band now.
After the recordings, the Doors hired their old friends from the UCCLA to document the band's live performances with the camera. Jim threw himself into work with them. They played in Hollywood, Dallas and Huston, Honolulu and New York.Jim sat in the cutting room with his friends for hour after hour. He also began to put together his first volume of poetry. Pamela wanted him to devote himself only to this work. Jim had bought Pamela a boutique and had the ceiling decorated with real peacock feathers. He had put a large part of his money into the band's music system. He himself still lived in his small, shabby motel or with Pamela. All he owned was a box of books. Jim spent round after round in the bars or gave Danny a plane ticket so he could admire the band on tour. He threw his expensive jacket over a little boy's shoulder because he saw him shivering in the rain. He bought a snakeskin suit and his friend new boots because he needed them. But basically he hadn't changed his lifestyle much since the days on the roof. Jim didn't care much about what he called all the needs. He didn't need a house or a car or horses. He wanted to give the audience what they really wanted and needed: something sacred! This Dionysian spirit was still the most important thing to him. He once said to a friend: "If I don't develop further within this year, then I'm only good for nostalgia."
The Doors' third LP also became number one in America. 750,000 units were sold in ten weeks. The Doors gave a concert at the Hollywood Bowl and the Rolling Stones were in the audience. The Doors were the favorite group of soldiers in Vietnam. "The End" sounded loudly from the loudspeakers of the helicopter while they were shooting at people down there. They sat there in the dark and listened to their doors tapes. They stuck together and promised to write to their mothers. At the same time, the film "The Unknown Soldier" was not allowed to be shown on television, but was broadcast on the radio: "Breakfast while the news is read. The television fed the children. Unborn alive. Alive dead. Bullets hit the helmeted head. And it's all over for the unknown soldier. Shovel a grave for the unknown soldier, nestled against your sunken shoulder. It's all over for the unknown soldier. The war is over. " The hippies kept chanting "The war is over" on their protest marches. At some point the government had to give in to public pressure. "The End" later became an important musical element in the final scene of the Vietnam film "Apocalypse Now".
Next, the band went on a European tour with Jefferson Airplane. They looked forward to the old continent and its culture. Jim took his Pamela with him. When they arrived in London, they were greeted by hundreds of fans and a camera crew. First they played at the Roundhouse in London. It was called that because it used to be a hub for railroad locomotives. An old, dusty shed with a lot of atmosphere. There was a big light show and the audience was in brightly colored gypsy clothes. The place was packed and the English rock stars were there too, including Paul McCartney. It turned out to be a wonderful concert and Jim cast a spell over them all. There were only 2500 seats and the Doors felt reminded of their earliest beginnings in front of such a small audience. They played four evenings and the ten thousand tickets sold out in no time. The people gathered in huge flocks in front of closed doors to hear at least something. They were put off by the BBC because they were shooting the concert. The result was the really worth seeing film "The Doors are open". Cuts were faded in during the concert, namely weekly news from the Democratic Party conference in Chicago and a demonstration in front of the American embassy in London. Jim thought that was okay, although he agreed with the other Doors that these scenes were also a prejudice against the Americans. The group was seen and appreciated here very strongly from its cultural and political aspect. The Doors liked this kind of intelligence and criticism in ancient Europe. Besides, it seemed to Jim that life was a little quieter here, and money wasn't as important as it was in the States. He could have got used to this climate. Meanwhile, Pamela rented a small apartment in London because they wanted to stay in London for a few days after the tour. Before the tour continued, the two went into hiding and took a trip to Stonehenge.
Germany was next on the agenda. You should perform in Frankfurt. They were greeted with flowers at the airport. The press was instructed to stay away from Jim and only watch him. The Hamburg photographer Günter Zint made a photo study of him there. The group felt very spoiled by the record company in Germany. Jim was very taken with the beauty of the young woman who was supposed to look after the group. Journalist Florentine Pabst was fascinated by Jim. In Stern, she reported on his sleepwalking charm: "Sleepwalking he walks through the room and lets dark curls fall on lazy eyelashes." She reported how he raved about Rilke and Nitzsche and then during this interview he recited a poem by Hermann Hesse in his soft voice. She reported that he wrote poems in a black exercise book almost every day, but no one saw them. He said to her: "I never write my poems myself, my spirits write them for me."
Jim strolled around, climbed the pulpit of the Nikolaikirche and had himself photographed there. He donated five hundred dollars to the priest and was allowed to improvise a little on the organ. He sat in an apple tree and wrote poetry. When he climbed down again, he immersed himself thoroughly in the wine tasting. ZDF shot a small film for a song on the Römerberg. The passing passers-by marveled at the long-haired exotic among all the cables, guitars and amplifiers. The beginning of the concert was disrupted by American soldiers stationed there. They kept whistling and shouting in between. Jim's wine tastings left in the middle of the stage with an excruciating headache. He was a little disappointed when the audience applauded the Alabama song by Brecht and Weil. The song was written here in Germany and this song was the reason Jac Holzman's attention was drawn to her. But in the end there were so many encores that the cloakroom women complained about the overtime. Later there was a new, small pub in Frankfurt called "Morrison".
They had their next gig in Amsterdam. Shortly before customs, Jim remembered that a member of the opening act Canned Heat in Frankfurt had put a large piece of hash in his pocket. Jim swallowed it very quickly before the customs officer could meet his eyes. At the airport bar, of course, he did a lot of washing up. He washed it all down with pure whiskey, schnapps and beer. That evening, when Jefferson Airplaine was still playing, Jim suddenly jumped up to them on the stage and sang and danced like a dervish gone mad. He sang "Somebody To Love" with them. He drove the band to faster and faster pace, got tangled in the cables and fell, got up again, kept singing and then collapsed in the middle of the stage. Jefferson Airplanes had thought it was great fun at first and then they were scared to death. They did not know that this dangerous mixture of hashish and schnapps was developing its full potential. Jim was brought into the cloakroom, then he decapitated another bottle of beer, emptied it in one gulp and then slowly sagged. Bill Siddons ran to him when he saw him slide off the piano chair. He no longer gave any sign of life. His skin was pale as lime. "It's over now," shot Bill through his head. Jim had glassy eyes and he didn't move. Ray, Robby and John flashed through it like lightning. They had the same thought as Bill: "It's over. It's all over." With trembling hands Bill held a mirror under his nose and waited for a breath of breath. It took almost an eternity before a tiny cloud appeared there. A doctor from the audience rushed up and said that the minister had lost consciousness. An ambulance was called and Jim was driven to the hospital with an oxygen mask and blue lights on. The Jefferson Airplane had just finished their set. The audience was briefed and asked if they wanted their money back or if they wanted to see the Doors, but without Jim Morrison. The audience wanted the doors. It was an old and venerable music hall, in which otherwise only classical music could be heard. The Doors played like they'd always been a trio. Robby and Ray took over the vocals, but they did without the epic pieces. The audience went wild with enthusiasm. The next day, a large photo of John Densmore appeared on the front cover of a newspaper. Ray and Robby noticed a touch of megalomania in John that day and they didn't want to stop amusing themselves about it. Jim was back on his feet soon too. He couldn't remember anything. The doctor had asked him how all this had happened and he had told him that he was just so terribly tired. He couldn't think of anything better. The doctor then lectured for over twenty minutes on the dangers of show business and told him to protect himself from greedy managers who burn out talent. He smiled and told this story to Bill and the others. They beamed at him. They were so glad that it wasn't all over. They were so glad that he was sitting there in front of them as if nothing had ever happened. The next day they drove to Copenhagen and then it went to Stockholm. Here, too, they gave excellent concerts. Then they returned to London. Jim and Pamela entertained the group like a king in their rented house, because the group now wanted to go home without them. Ray found everything so natural and fine and cultivated. No more talk of Jim wanting to quit.
In London, Jim received a visit from the poet Michael McClure. He wanted to ask him if he would like to play Billy The Kid in the latest film adaptation of his play "The Beard". For the next few days they walked through the community, always planning to find the grave of Keats in the Lake District. But nothing came of it because they were always too drunk. Between beers, it was all about poetry. The two got along wonderfully. One morning the notebook with Jim's poems was on the table. Michael started to read. He knew Jim wrote poetry, but no one had read it except Pamela. He was so impressed that he kept urging Jim to publish it. Jim didn't want his poems to be associated with his rock star image, but that couldn't be avoided. He was really serious about it. Michael advised him to publish it as a private print with a small edition. That wouldn't be a flaw. Shelley and Lorca and he himself would have done it too. Jim agreed to that. If he would publish it, it would only be under his full name: James Douglas Morrison!
When Jim got back home in America, he went back to his friends in the cutting room. When work on the film was finally over, they called it "Feast of Friends". It hadn't turned out to be a full-length feature film, as they had actually intended, but the result was still impressive. You could also sell it to television. The other Doors members were disappointed with the result. The film seemed too short and too chaotic to them. Incidentally, through Michael McClure's agent in New York, Jim had found a publisher who complied with his terms and did not want to market him as a rock star. Jim called the book "The Lords and The New Creatures". He was also thinking of a private print for Los Angeles. Soon there were concerts again and the next record should be recorded. They were now playing in large stadiums, such as the 18,000-seat forum. The audience now ignored the opening act and there was always only the calls for the song "Light My Fire". Firecracker burst onto the stage and narrowly missed Jim. The audience just wanted to see a freak show. The Doors were right at the top now, but Jim was frustrated inside. The big money machine became routine and there was hardly any room for inspiration between Jim and his audience. The Doors now brought their own bodyguards to their concerts. They were all incredibly tall and they were all very muscular and they were all black. Now the group was no longer dependent on the "protection" of the police. It was a hard time. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy had been murdered. The Manson gang roamed the streets murderously. The Vietnam War was still not over. Jim and Robby had been beaten up by a gang of racists for their long hair. Robby had suffered a black eye and on the next TV show he refused to have it done. For him it was like a badge of honor. Once the power was turned off for the band and there was a riot in the audience. Jim had commented on the election campaign for President Nixon with four years of mediocrity and horse shit.
While the band was recording their fourth LP "The Soft Parade", there was a first clash within the group. Robby had composed the song "Tell All The People" and Jim didn't want to sing the lyrics. It was about the lines: “Follow me! ... and then on:“ Take your rifles and follow me downstairs. ”Jim definitely didn't want to call for violence and he didn't want people to follow him on his way. Anywhere. Jim didn't want to sing that line and Robby didn't want to change it. In the end it was agreed that the composer and lyricist had to be on the cover. And then there was a fight over the song "Light My Fire." ". The group had sold him for a commercial to the car company" Buick "when Jim was in London. They had signed the contract without him. Jim was beside himself. The song was still sacred to him, although he already had it came out to his ears because he had to sing it over and over again. Didn't you know what they were saying to millions of people? Ray said he thought it was a good idea because this car was small and environmentally friendly. Jim said that he would have sold his soul to the devil only for the money, for his standard of living. The whole thing was a betrayal to Jim. So far they had made all their decisions together. What had become of their friendship? Robby told him he hadn't been there. You couldn't have reached him. Furious, Jim called Jac Holzman and threatened him with hacking a Buick in the middle of the stage if he didn't cancel the contract. Jim had won. The commercial was never shown on television. For the next three days the Doors did not speak to each other.
On the LP "The Soft Parade" the Doors used a lot of wind instruments and strings that came to them in the studio and also went on stage with them in between. They brought in Curtis Ami, a jazz saxophonist, and trombonist George Bohanan for the song "Runnin Blue". Robby Kriegers song "Touch Me" became a hit again. Here Jim had changed the lines "Hit Me" to "Touch Me". Robby put up with it this time. Jim's whole melancholy flowed into his lyrics. Like a preacher, he exclaimed, "You cannot ask God with prayer ... Ask God with prayer ... You cannot ask God with prayer." And then the gentle complaint: "Can you give me refuge? I need a hiding place. A place for me to hide. Find an easy asylum for me. I can no longer make it. The man is at the door!" Could Jim have been telling the truth to the doctors in Amsterdam when he collapsed? Did he just swallow all this stuff because he was tired? Was death just around the corner? The big money machine slowly demanded its victims. The press didn't like the Doors' new album. It was too classic for them and overloaded with too many instruments. George Harrison visited the Doors for the recordings on this fourth LP. Jim and George greeted each other like old friends. The Doors were a bit surprised at this. In London, Jim had visited the Beatles in their studio to record their "White Album". He had sung in choir for her. Jim hadn't told anyone about it.
Over time, Jim had changed in appearance. He was stronger now, had actually got himself armor and a beard. His voice had grown darker and stronger. He had a real blues voice now. His whole charisma had now become very manly. "See me change!" It was at this time that Jim began to love the Living Theater. In February 1969 the troop came to California. Jim reserved sixteen tickets for each performance. The play in this confrontational theater was called "Paradise Now". Loudly complaining, they declaimed: "I have no right to travel without a passport. I am separated from my fellow human beings. The gates of paradise are closed to me. Others define my borders. I don't know how to end the war. I cannot do without it Live money.I have no right to take off my clothes. "They mingled with the audience and provoked responses. In the end, they took off their clothes. They only kept their underwear because otherwise the police would have arrested them. Sometimes the police intervened and prevented them the progress of the play. Jim made friends with the cast of actors. The Doors feared Jim might imitate them on stage. Jim was more and more looking for a political message. The poet James Douglas Morrison became more and more routine cornered. Deep inside a longing began to grow. It was the longing for the ivory tower. He just wanted to be a poet and cultivate his little garden, unrecognized and beyond the hustle and bustle.
The Doors should go on a big tour again. Nineteen appearances were planned. First, Miami was on the program. A few days before the performance, Bill Siddons noticed that the promoters were charging a dollar more per ticket than had been agreed. He also found out that too many tickets had been sold. He put people with counters in front of the entrance. The hangar was an old, converted seaplane hangar on a naval site. It was the old home of Jim Morrison. In the end they had crammed fifteen thousand people into a hall that no more than ten thousand would have been allowed into. They had ripped out all of the furniture to make even more profit. The big money machine became voracious. The Doors did not want to perform there under these circumstances. There was a lot of anger and an argument. Meanwhile at the airport a man was waiting in a truck for the roadie Vince Treanor and loaded the brand new system. A new amplifier system with huge boxes that the roadie had built himself. The man had brought his entire karate club with him and in no time the system was stowed away. Vince was thrilled that his job was done so quickly. The truck roared off and Vince was suddenly all alone. They hadn't taken him. He called Bill Siddons. Bill Siddons and the Doors did not come to an agreement with the organizers. The organizers said: "You will play!" And Bill Siddons replied, "I don't think so." And then the words fell: "No appearance - no system!"
Full of anger, the group flew to Miami. Jim was even angrier and flew behind alone. There were only difficulties on his way. He had an argument with Pamela and then he missed his connecting flight. The group was urged to perform fifteen minutes early and Jim came on stage at the last minute. The roadie had called out to them beforehand that the stage was about to collapse. The crowd down there hooted and it was as hot as a sauna. People were still pushing and it smelled like the swamp. In all this frustration, Jim had once again had too much to drink. The first thing he did was sit down on the edge of the stage and drink a bottle of wine with his fans. The rhythms began pounding to "Backdoorman" and Jim let go of one of his screams again, screams that only he could produce. A scream like from Dante's inferno. He shouted, "You are all a bunch of slaves! How long do you want to be pushed around? What do you want to do about it? What do you want to do about it?" The band pounded their instruments like crazy. The crowd pushed closer and closer to the rickety scaffolding to touch him. Ray noticed how the stage on the right side sagged a bit. Jim went on singing and bathing the audience in a rollercoaster of emotions. "I don't want a revolution, I'm talking about love. I want you to love one another." The band played "Touch Me" and "Love Me Two Times". Jim yelled that he wanted to see people dance in the streets. The fans slowly but surely conquered the stage. A vegetarian put a lamb in his arms. Jim felt it purr like a cat. It wasn't scared at all. Next someone poured a bottle of champagne over his head. People shouted "Light My Fire" again and threw burning matches onto the stage. Jim stood there quietly for a moment, then took off his wet shirt and shouted, "Does anyone here believe in astrology? I don't. It's all a bunch of crap. I'm Sagittarius. It's the most successful of all signs. I prefer to get mine here." a few more kicks before the whole shit house goes up in flames! " The music went on and the audience hooted and roared. More and more people stormed the stage. Resigned, he says: "You didn't come here to hear our music. You want the circus games. You just want to see my cock. All right. I'll show it to you now!" Ray gestured to Vince. Jim wore white boxer shorts under his leather pants. Did he want to undress like the actors in the Living Theater? Jim had never worn underwear and the white underpants gleamed brightly from the leather pants. Vince crawled up to Jim and twisted his belt buckle back and lashed it tight. He couldn't open his pants now. Jim was dancing flamenco now. He held his shirt in his hand like a bullfighter. He held it in front of his pants like a capa and pulled it away again. With a mischievous smile on his face he asked: "Have you seen him?" The crowd yells "yes" even though nothing was to be seen. People were hypnotized and saw snakes everywhere. And then again. He held the shirt in front of his pants, danced his tap dance, and then he pulled the shirt off again. The crowd let themselves be carried away by this dance. Robby played a long solo along with it. Jim sank to his knees in awe and watched his hands slide over the strings. The stage was already dangerously listed. The crowd pushed more and more forward, howling and roaring. They were playing "Light My Fire" now and Jim was screaming he needed a little love. The security forces pushed people off the stage, which was slowly but surely collapsing. The bodies soared through the air as John escaped and Robby brought his guitar to safety. Bags of paint flew after them. A folder grabbed Jim and threw him down. Fortunately, he was caught by the hands down there. Jim was now in the midst of the raging crowds and his bodyguards couldn't get to him. Ray started playing for his friend up there all by himself. Maybe he could hear him. He was afraid they might kick him down there. Jim heard the sounds and began to move forward, dancing. The people followed him dancing. From above you could see how a spiral pattern slowly formed out of the raging and chaotic crowd. Jim sang "Five To One" and huge circles formed while dancing. A huge snake with Jim for its head. In this dance they sang: "Let's get together again". In the end, Jim climbed the stairs, waved again, and then he was gone backstage. The stage had now finally set to land on the ground. Very slowly, as if in slow motion. Ray stopped playing. The crowd dispersed. Beer cans and clothes were lying around everywhere. Nobody was harmed. Ray wondered why Jim hadn't been arrested that night. The whole concert had been the purest apocalypse and the purest madness. Besides, everyone had had a great time. A lot of fun! Backstage, the Doors had another bottle of beer with the cops.
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