Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jim Morrison - Troubled Rocker, Troubled Genius

From Wikipedia.
James Douglas Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American lead singer and lyricist of the rock band The Doors, as well as a poet.
Born in Melbourne, Florida, he was of British and Native American ancestry.
In 1947, Morrison, then four, witnessed a car accident in the desert, where a family of Native Americans perished.
He referred to this incident in the song Dawn's Highway from the album An American Prayer, and again in the songs Peace Frog and Ghost Song.
Morrison believed the incident to be the most formative event of his life and made repeated references to it in his songs, poems and interviews.
With his father in the United States Navy, Morrison's family moved often. He spent his childhood in San Diego, California.
In 1958, Morrison attended Alameda High School in Alameda, California. He graduated from George Washington High School (now George Washington Middle School) in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1961.
Jim was inspired by the writings of philosophers and poets. He was influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Rimbaud, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Kenneth Patchen, Michael McClure and Gregory Corso.
In 1964, Morrison moved to Los Angeles, California, to attend the University Of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Morrison completed his undergraduate degree at UCLA's College Of Fine Arts in 1965.
Morrison subsequently led a bohemian lifestyle in Venice Beach. Living on the rooftop of a building inhabited by his old UCLA cinematography friend Dennis Jakobs, he wrote the lyrics of many of his band's songs there.
The Doors, formed in 1965 by Morrison, took their name from the title of Aldous Huxley's The Doors Of Perception (a reference to the "unlocking" of "doors of perception" through psychedelic drug use).
Morrison was its lead singer and songwriter. The group's best known songs included Light My Fire, Love Me Two Times, Love Her Madly and Touch Me.
Light My Fire eventually reached number one on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.
In 1967, Morrison and The Doors produced a promotional film for Break On Through (To The Other Side), their hit single.
The Doors also made music videos for The Unknown Soldier, Moonlight Drive and People Are Strange.
Morrison became addicted to drugs over the course of his singing career and in 1969, he was seriously overweight.
His close friends nicknamed him Jumbo Jim. During his early days, Morrison was nicknamed the Lizard King.
Morrison self-published two volumes of poetry in 1969.
In 1971, Morrison visited Paris and lost some weight. He was found dead by his girlfriend, Pamela Courson, on July 3, 1971 in his bathroom.
He was believed to have overdosed on drugs. Courson died of an overdose three years later. Like Morrison, she was also 27.
Morrison was buried in Paris' Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
In 1991, Val Kilmer played Morrison in Oliver Stone's film The Doors.