Jim Morrison was not only The Lizard King and enigmatic lead singer of The Doors, but he was also a poet and a lover of literature. Morrison was steeped in literary influence from a very early age and spent much of his formative years with his nose buried in a book. It gave him his insatiable talent for poignant and poetic lyrics as well as allowing his fans to create wild mythology around his character and intelligence.
Jim would then be able to name the book and author of the book before they finished the paragraph. Morrison devoured that stuff when he was a teenager and he was in another world and you have to wonder how that affected him. The whole point is that he was so far advanced in terms of literature he took in and he really seemed to become what he read sometimes. I had another teacher who was going to the Library of Congress to check to see if the books Jim was reporting on actually existed or he was making it up.
This journey would see Jim not only find his place within his own poetry and allow his work to influence his lyrics with The Doors. Jim was known to even hand out his hand-typed poetry before gigs so that he could share his inner workings with fans. Remembering when Bob Dylan covered John Prine in Manshausen Island Resort immerses you deep in Northern Norway.
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The Legacy of Jim Morrison and the Doors
Ads are what helps us bring you premium content! Thank you!As a naval family the Morrisons relocated frequently. Consequently Morrison's early education was routinely disrupted as he moved from school to school. Nonetheless he was drawn to the study of literature, poetry, religion, philosophy and psychology, among other fields. Biographers have consistently pointed to a number of writers and philosophers who influenced Morrison's thinking and, perhaps, his behavior.
While still in his teens Morrison discovered the work of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Beat Generation writers such as Jack Kerouac also had a strong influence on Morrison's outlook and manner of expression; Morrison was eager to experience the life described in Kerouac's On the Road.
Morrison later met and befriended Michael McClure, a well known beat poet. McClure had enjoyed Morrison's lyrics but was even more impressed by his poetry and encouraged him to further develop his craft. Morrison's vision of performance was colored by the works of 20th-century French playwright Antonin Artaud author of Theater and its Double and by Julian Beck's Living Theater. Other works relating to religion, mysticism, ancient myth and symbolism were of lasting interest, particularly Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
James Frazer's The Golden Bough also became a source of inspiration and is reflected in the title and lyrics of the song "Not to Touch the Earth".
Morrison was particularly attracted to the myths and religions of Native American cultures. While he was still in school, his family moved to New Mexico where he got to see some of the places and artifacts important to the American Southwest indigenous cultures.
These interests appear to be the source of many references to creatures and places such as lizards, snakes, deserts and "ancient lakes" that appear in his songs and poetry. His interpretation of the practices of a Native American "shaman" were worked into parts of Morrison's stage routine, notably in his interpretation of the Ghost Dance, and a song on his later poetry album, The Ghost Song. It is mentioned within the pages of No One Here Gets Out Alive by Danny Sugerman, that Morrison as a teenager was such a fan of Presley's music that he demanded people be quiet when Elvis was on the radio.
Reference to this can also be found in a Rolling Stone article about Jim Morrison, regarding the Top rock singers of all time. Morrison was, and continues to be, one of the most popular and influential singer-songwriters in rock history.
To this day Morrison is widely regarded as the prototypical rock-star: surly, sexy, scandalous, and mysterious. The leather pants he was fond of wearing both onstage and off have since become stereotyped as rock-star apparel.
Iggy and the Stooges are said to have formed after lead singer Iggy Pop was inspired by Morrison while attending a Doors concert in Ann Arbor, Michigan. One of Pop's most popular songs, "The Passenger", is said to be based on one of Morrison's poems. After Morrison's death, Pop was considered as a replacement lead singer for the Doors; the surviving Doors gave him some of Morrison's belongings and hired him as a vocalist for a series of shows.
In this he recounts his surprise at receiving a fan letter from Morrison who, inthanked him for his latest translation of Arthur Rimbaud's verse into English. Hardly anyone noticed that Jim was paraphrasing Rimbaud and the Surrealist poets. Alice Cooper in the liner notes of the album Killer stated that the song "Desperado" is about Jim Morrison. In Junea new fossil analysis revealed a lizard, one of the largest ever known that lived on Myanmar, was given the moniker Barbaturex morrisoni in honor of Morrison.
Another reference, "I am the lizard queen!
The Legacy of Jim Morrison and the Doors
Skip to main content. Tagged with: Jim Morrison.Jim Morrison may have been the iconic face of The Doors, but if anything Ray Manzarek's Vox Continetal organ-playing was at the heart of their sound. Manzarek passed away yesterday at the age of Although his sound and style live on in The Doors recordings, other musicians have also been seduced by the spirit of Manzarek and The Doors' style Iggy Pop's hellraising stage antics were inspired by his experience at a concert by The Doors.
While it was Jim Morrison's outlandish behaviour that first attracted him to the band, The Stooges frontman also deepened that bond by later playing with Manzarek. What is less well known is that Iggy Pop was considered as a replacement when Jim Morrison passed away aged 27 in Recorded by Echo and the Bunnymen, the band's eponymous fifth studio album was also produced by Manzarek who played keyboard on the third track 'Bedbugs And Ballyhoo'.
The Doors was one of Ian Curtis' favourite bands, with his baritone voice often compared to Jim Morrison. Similarities have also been pointed out in terms of the bands' musical style and mood. But The Doors' is certainly one of his influences. Marilyn Manson may not be put in the same category as The Doors very often but last year the shock rocker joined Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger onstage to perform 'People Are Strange'.
The singer-songwriter first saw The Doors live in and after the experience she thought to herself "I can do that". Although often categorised as grunge during their early career, The Stone Temple Pilots have clear psychedelic influences and have covered songs by The Doors. The band's lead singer Ian Astbury was offered the role of Jim Morrison in a film adaptation of the late rocker's life because of their facial similarities. However he turned it down.
But he did perform as a member of The Doors in alongside Ray Manzarek. Casablancas said he was drawn to the bands' instrumentation as well as Jim Morrison. Live: Title. Now playing. Toggle navigation. Newstalk Share this article. Coronavirus restrictions to remain in place until May 5th. Leaving Cert postponed until July or August.George Morrison was the commander of U. Admiral Morrison was also a skilled pianist who enjoyed performing for friends at parties.
Jim Morrison's younger brother Andy remembered, "There was always a big crowd around the piano with my dad playing popular songs that he could pick up by ear. During his early years, Jim Morrison was a dutiful and highly intelligent child, excelling at school and taking a particular interest in reading, writing and drawing. He underwent a traumatic but formative experience around the age of five when driving with his family through the New Mexico desert.
A truck packed with Indian workers had crashed, leaving dead and mutilated bodies of the victims strewn across the highway. That was the first time I tasted fear.
Morrison moved frequently as a child due to his father's naval service, first from Florida to California and then to Alexandria, Virginia, where he attended George Washington High School. As a teen, Morrison began to rebel against his father's strict discipline, discovering alcohol and women and bristling at various forms of authority. Nevertheless, Morrison remained a voracious reader, an avid diarist and a decent student.
When he graduated from high school inhe asked his parents for the complete works of Nietzsche as a graduation present—a testament to both his bookishness and rebelliousness. Upon graduating from high school, Morrison returned to his birth state to attend Florida State University in Tallahassee. After making the Dean's List his freshman year, Morrison decided to transfer to the University of California at Los Angeles to study film.
Because film was a relatively new academic discipline, there were no established authorities, something that greatly appealed to the freewheeling Morrison. Nevertheless, Morrison quickly lost interest in his film studies and would have dropped out of school altogether if not for his fear of being drafted into the Vietnam War.
He graduated from UCLA in only because, in his own words, "I didn't want to go into the army, and I didn't want to work—and that's the damned truth. With Morrison as vocalist and frontman, Elektra Records signed the Doors the following year, and in January the band released its self-titled debut album. It was their second single, "Light My Fire," which catapulted the band to the forefront of the rock and roll world, reaching No. The Doors, and Morrison especially, became infamous later that year when they performed the song live on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Because of its obvious drug reference, Morrison had agreed not to sing the lyric "girl we couldn't get much higher" on the air, but when the cameras rolled he went ahead and sang it anyway, cementing his status as rock's new rebel hero. Combining Morrison's darkly poetic lyrics and outlandish stage presence with the band's unique and eclectic brand of psychedelic music, the Doors released a flurry of albums and songs over the next several years.
Woman Throughout the band's brief tenure atop the music world, Morrison's private life and public persona were spiraling rapidly out of control. His alcoholism and drug addictions worsened, leading to violent and profane outbursts at concerts that provoked the ire of cops and club owners across the country.
Morrison spent nearly the entirety of his adult life with a woman named Pamela Courson, and although he briefly married a music journalist named Patricia Kennealy in a Celtic pagan ceremony inhe left everything to Courson in his will. She was deemed his common law wife by the time of his death. Throughout his relationships to Courson and Kennealy, however, Morrison remained an infamous womanizer.While groups like the Beatles or the many bands emerging from the Bay Area were earnestly touting a fusion of music, drugs and idealism that they hoped would reform — and redeem — a troubled age, the Doors had fashioned an album that looked at prospects of hedonism and violence, of revolt and chaos, and embraced those prospects unflinchingly.
In fact, Morrison seemed to understand that any generation so intent on giving itself permission to go as far as it could was also giving itself a license for destruction, and he seemed to gain both delight and affirmation from that understanding. Popular on Rolling Stone.
But back in the late s, it seemed rather different. To many observers, it appeared that the group had pretty much shot its vision on its first album. It was as if a musical vision that only a few months earlier had seemed shockingly original and urgent had turned merely morbid, even parodic. In addition, Morrison himself was already deeply immersed in the patterns of drug and alcohol abuse and public misbehavior that would eventually prove so ruinous to him, his band, his friends and his family.
Some of this behavior, of course, was simply expected of the new breed of rock hero: In the context of the late s and its generational schisms, pop stars often made a point of flaunting their drug use or of flouting mainstream or authoritarian morality.
In the film version of this incident, Oliver Stone portrays the concert as part pageant and part travesty, and while it was perhaps a bit of both, most firsthand accounts have described the show as simply a pathetic, confusing mess.
The Doors had been scheduled to perform at p.
By the time the group arrived onstage, Morrison was already inebriated, and he continued to hold up the performance while he solicited the audience for more to drink. A quarter-hour later, after the music had started, Morrison halted songs midway and wandered about the stage, berating the audience to commit revolution and to love him.
Finally, toward the end of the show, Morrison hounded audience members into swarming onstage with him, and the concert ended in an easy version of the chaos that the singer had long professed to aspire to. On that fateful evening in Miami, Jim Morrison no longer knew what his audience wanted from him, or what he wanted from himself for that matter, and so he offered his most obvious totem of love and pride, as if it were the true source of his worth.
He needed help; he did not merit cheap veneration, and he certainly did not deserve the horrid, moralistic brand of jail-house punishment that the state of Florida hoped to impose on him.
Of course, Morrison never received — or at least never accepted — the help that might have saved him. Womansurprisingly authoritative, blues-steeped works that showed Morrison settling into a new, lusty and dark-humored vocal style and lyrical sensibility.
Perhaps in time he might have come to a compassionate understanding of what he and his generation had experienced in the last few years, as the idealism of the s had finally given way to a deflating sense of fear and futility. As it turned out, Morrison simply continued to drink in a desolating way, and according to some witnesses, he sometimes lapsed into depression over his inability to reinvoke his poetic muse, taking instead to writing suicide notes.
Finally, at five in the morning on July 4th,Pamela Courson found Morrison slumped in the bathtub of their Paris flat, a sweet, still grin on his face. At first, Courson thought he was playing a game with her. On this dark morning, though, Morrison was playing no game. Jim Morrison had died of heart failure at age twenty-seven, smiling into the face of a slow-coming abyss that, long before, he had decided was the most beautiful and comforting certainty of his life.
The year before, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin had died as well, also of causes brought on by alcohol or drugs. The roots for this renewal trace back to the middle and late s and to the issues surrounding the advent of the punk movement.
In other words, Jim Morrison has gradually been rehabilitated into one of the more indelible, widely revered heroes of the s.James Douglas Morrison December 8, — July 3, was an American singer, songwriter and poet, who served as the lead vocalist of the rock band the Doors.
Due to his poetic lyrics, his widely recognized voice, unpredictable and erratic performances, and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his life and early death, Morrison is regarded by music critics and fans as one of the most iconic and influential frontmen in rock history. Since his death, his fame has endured as one of popular culture's most rebellious and oft-displayed icons, representing the generation gap and youth counterculture.
The band spent two years in obscurity until shooting to prominence with their number-one single in the United States, " Light My Fire ," taken from their self-titled debut album. Woman ", and " Riders on the Storm ".
He recorded a total of six studio albums with the Doors, all of which sold well and received critical acclaim. Though the Doors recorded two more albums after Morrison died, his death severely affected the band's fortunes, and they split up in Morrison was also well known for improvising spoken word poetry passages while the band played live.
Morrison developed an alcohol dependency during the s, which at times affected his performances on stage. As no autopsy was performed, the cause of Morrison's death remains unknown. George Stephen Morrisona future rear admiral in the U. Inwhen he was three to four years old, Morrison allegedly witnessed a car accident in the desert, during which a truck overturned and some Native Americans were lying injured at the side of the road.
He referred to this incident in the Doors' song " Peace Frog " on their album Morrison Hotelas well as in the spoken word performances "Dawn's Highway" and "Ghost Song" on the posthumous album An American Prayer. Morrison believed this incident to be the most formative event of his life,  and made repeated references to it in the imagery in his songs, poems, and interviews. His family does not recall this traffic incident happening in the way he told it.
According to the Morrison biography No One Here Gets Out AliveMorrison's family did drive past a car accident on an Indian reservation when he was a child, and he was very upset by it. The book The Doorswritten by the surviving members of the Doors, explains how different Morrison's account of the incident was from that of his father.
This book quotes his father as saying, "We went by several Indians. It did make an impression on him [the young James]. He always thought about that crying Indian. He said he saw a dead Indian by the side of the road, and I don't even know if that's true. He continued at St. InMorrison attended Alameda High School in Alameda, Californiafor his freshman and first semester of his sophomore year. A voracious reader from an early age, Morrison was particularly inspired by the writings of several philosophers and poets.
He was influenced by Friedrich Nietzschewhose views on aesthetics, morality, and the Apollonian and Dionysian duality would appear in his conversation, poetry and songs. Some of his formative influences were Plutarch 's Parallel Lives and the works of the French Symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaudwhose style would later influence the form of Morrison's short prose poems. He was also influenced by William S. His senior year English teacher said, "Jim read as much and probably more than any student in class, but everything he read was so offbeat I had another teacher who was going to the Library of Congress check to see if the books Jim was reporting on actually existed.
I suspected he was making them up, as they were English books on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century demonology.And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee. James Douglas Morrison's poetry was born out of a period of tumultuous social and political change in American and world history. Besides Morrison's social and political perspective, his verse also speaks with an understanding of the world of literature, especially of the traditions that shaped the poetry of his age.
It is my intention in this essay to show Morrison as a serious American poet, whose work is worthy of serious consideration in relation to its place in the American literary tradition.
By discussing the poetry in terms of Morrison's influences and own ideas, I will be able to show what distinguishes him as a significant American poet. In order to reveal him as having a clearly-defined ability as a poet, my focus will be on Morrison's own words and poetry. I will concentrate on his earlier work to show the influence of Nietzsche and French poets such as Arthur Rimbaud and Antonin Artaud and the effect they had on Morrison's poetry and style. Morrison's poetic style is characterized by contrived ambiguity of meaning which serves to express subconscious thought and feeling--a tendency now generally associated with the postmodern or avant garde.
His poetic strength is that he creates poetry quite profound in its effect upon the reader, by using vividly evocative words and images in his poems. While it is obvious that Morrison has read writers that influence his work, and their influence remains strong in subject and tone, he still manages to make it his own in the way he adapts these influences to his style, experiences, and ideas. We would expect to find remnants of quotes, stolen lines and ideas, in a lesser writer, but Morrison shows his strength as a poet by resisting plagiarism in order to achieve originality in his own verse.
Eliot has said, "Bad poets borrow, good poets steal. Morrison's poetry is very surreal at times, as well as highly symbolic--there is a pervading sense of the irrational, chaotic, and the violent; an effect produced by startling juxtapositions of images and words. Morrison's poetry reveals a strange world--a place peopled by characters straight out of Morrison's circus of the mind, from the strange streets of Los Angeles boulevards and back alleys.
Morrison's speech is a native tongue, and his eye is that of a visionary American poet. He belongs to what poet and critic Jerome Rothenberg calls the "American Prophecy. A special concern for the interplay of myth and history runs through the whole of American literature.
Thoreau, Emerson, and Whitman saw the poet's function in part as revealing the visionary meaning of our lives in relation to the time and place in which we live.
The lasting impression of Morrison's poems is that they attempt to render the dream or nightmare of modern existence in terms of words and imagery, quite bizarre and obscure, yet compelling at the same time. An important aspect about the body of his work and his commitment to his particular style, one closely aligned to Rothenberg's prophetic tradition, is that it is in the tradition of what other poets of his time were writing.
InProfessor of French Literature at Duke University, Wallace Fowlie, published the first scholarly study of the poetry of the charismatic lead singer of the sixties rock band The Doors. The fact that Morrison had written to Fowlie, thanking him for his translation, Rimbaud: Complete Works, Selected Lettersproved the starting point for Fowlie's comparison between the two poets. Despite Fowlie's apparent good intentions, his knowledge of Rimbaud's work and his understanding of French symbolism far outweigh any of the observations he makes about Morrison's poetry.
Perhaps the most insightful point he makes is when he labels Morrison "Kouros," the Greek word for "a youth attractive to men and women. At other times it is hurled almost as a curse at those youths who insolently torment older people. After inadvertently making his own contribution to the Morrison myth by stereotyping him as Kouros, Fowlie goes on to disclaim his own observation by stating that "[t]his name I suggest as representative of the non-hypocritical innocence of Jim when he was not aware of the power of his appearance and his personality.
This is a typical example of Fowlie's misunderstanding of Morrison's character and is what informs most of his discussion of Morrison's poetry.