Jim Morrison as I saw him up-close at one of his last DOORS concerts ever.
After The Beatles, the band that I listen to over and over is The DOORS.
Other than the official releases, there is very little in the way of video performances,
although there are many unofficial audio-only concert performances of varying degrees of quality.
When I wanted to get the complete attention of college students during my "Media And Society" class at a prominent Los Angeles film school, all I had to do was tell them that I actually attended a DOORS concert. I saw enough DOORS T-shirts being worn by the students who apparently were as thrilled with their music in modern times as I was in 1967. I would talk about seeing them in their fourth to last concert ever in August 1970 at the San Diego sports arena. We came just an hour early and were right up on the stage. Two things stand out. Jim Morrison was on his best behavior that night. He had a court date the next week in Florida for allegedly exposing himself on stage. And needed to be a good boy. He did "Louie Louie" and an Elvis song that night, two things simply not usually done live by The DOORS. Their music is timeless. A combination of pop-rock-jazz-blues-psychedelia seasoned with the memory of the legendary rebellious Jim Morrison is as powerful to young audiences today as it was in his brief time in the public square.
I was fortunate that when I had my worldwide Yahoo! show that Ray Manzarek came on for an hour to tell some great stories and clear up many myths. But nothing topped Jim Morrison's alternate girlfriend, Patricia Kennealy, who "married" Jim in an occult wedding that was not legally binding. She told me stories about Jim's death that have me creeped out until today. I also had Jac Holzman, the then president of Elektra Records come on and talk about his signing of the group in 1966. He really had a strong feeling about THE DOORS and it is to his credit that millions of people have enjoyed the music.
So what did Ray have to say? He was very unhappy with the Oliver Stone bio movie. He said a number of things never happened in reality. This included Jim seeing dancing Indians everywhere and a scene where Jim and his girlfriend Pam ruin a Thanksgiving party by screaming and throwing pieces of the main course at each other.
Patricia Kennealy-Morrison, the rock journalist who competed for the affections of Jim Morrison, died recently at age 75. If you saw the Oliver Stone film, "The Doors," you know that she was the woman who married Jim Morrison in an occult witchcraft ceremony that had no legality. She legally changed her name by adding the Morrison part after his death. I talked with her for an hour which is about as close as you can get to someone who had the most intimate relationship with the Lizard King. The conversation consisted of my many questions about the real Jim Morrison. When I got to the question of "How did Jim Morrison die?," she told me something quite startling. She claimed that Jim called her from Paris and said that when he would come back to Los Angeles, the two of them would marry in a legal marriage ceremony. She said that she told Jim's other girlfriend, Pamela Courson, what Jim told her. She stated to me that Pamela told Jim, "You are not going to marry anybody else but me!" while he was relaxing in the bathtub and administered a fatal dose of heroin to him. Obviously I was quite shocked by her statement and have found it disturbing since she told me that. There was never a thorough investigation by French authorities into Morrison's death.