The life of Jim Morrison lasted only twenty-seven years, but he remains an American icon and a legend of rock music. His IQ was off the charts, he was a master of the written word and from most accounts Morrison was an all around swell guy when sober. However, the power of booze and drugs slowly destroyed the musical career of Jim Morrison and ultimately ended his life.
Tallahassee Arrest 1963
Three years before The Doors released their first album, The Doors, Jim Morrison was a student at Florida State University. On September 28th, 1963 the future rock icon was arrested for stealing the helmet and umbrella of a police officer, disturbing the peace, resisting arrest and public drunkenness. The edgy teenager was clearly on his way to becoming a great rock star.
University of Michigan Concert 1967
On October 20, 1967 Jim Morrison was so knackered that he was unable to perform (that’s what she said).The three sober members of The Doors performed with Ray Manzarek on lead vocals, however it was soon evident that the young, boisterous crowd wanted the more charismatic Morrison. After a thirty-minute break, The Doors returned to the stage with their belligerent lead singer who proceeded to make unintelligible noises and dropped hefty f-bombs into the mic. One can only imagine how the sound boomed throughout the venue and frightened the young audience. Manzarek later recalled that he had never seen Morrison so drunk onstage. After sobering up, the lead singer played a flawless show and inspired another future rocker in attendance, Iggy Pop.
Las Vegas Arrest 1968
What happens when Jim Morrison visits Las Vegas? A quiet weekend in the desert? On January 28th, 1968 Morrison was arrested at the Pussycat a’ Go Go for public drunkenness. A confused bouncer clubbed Morrison over his melon after mistaking the singer’s cigarette for a doobie, and the long-haired, hippie Morrison began to threaten the cops until he was hauled off to the clink.
Miami Arrest 1969
On July 1st, 1969 Jim Morrison had been boozing all day and missed his connecting flight for a concert in Miami. The show started one hour late and Morrison taunted the audience with all the vigor of ten schnickered rock stars. The drunken singer snagged the hat of a policeman, and simulated oral sex on guitarist Robbie Krieger. What else? Morrison also called the crowd “a bunch of fuckin’ idiots.”
Four days later an arrest warrant was issued for the singer claiming that he had exposed little Jim onstage. “The Miami Incident” was the beginning of the end for The Doors, and perhaps for Jim Morrison. Several noteworthy venues refused to book the controversial band, and the next year Morrison moved to Paris.
Paris Death 1971
The death of Jim Morrison remains a mystery. Only a small group of people viewed his body, and he was immediately buried at the famous Pere Lechaise cemetery in Paris, France. What happened on Jim’s final night? Morrison biographer Danny Sugerman claimed that Jim’s girlfriend, Pamela Courson, provided heroin to the singer, which led him to take a bath after becoming sick. Courson was a heroin addict, but Morrison had never used the drug before that night. Other theories have Morrison passing out at a local Parisian nightclub and dying near a toilet.
Jim Morrison’s vices caught up with him in the end, and his drunken behavior continues to overshadow his talent forty-two years after his death.
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