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Jim Morrison

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Essay title: Jim Morrison

I don't quite recall when I first heard a Doors' song, but I could safely assume that it was Jim Morrison wailing the tune "Light My Fire" or "Break on Through". After all, these two anthems are the foundations upon which the Doors' legend was built, and to this day remain the band's gems. But as I have come to learn through the years of reading about and scouring over regurgitated bits of information of this group is that they are so much more than a member of the genre of those 1960s bands who musically fell in love with drugs, love, and repetitive choruses. Gathering knowledge from a countless number of books, newspaper articles, and documentaries about the band's lead singer, Jim Morrison, has led me to scorn the drunken, obnoxious hippie identity that a majority of the public has perceived him to be some thirty years after his passing. There was a time when I shared these prejudicial views with the casual listeners, but it's been quite a long road to personally come to the conclusion that Jim was a poet who had something valuable to say when he was performing. However, a public misconception of Morrison and the Doors still remains, and will linger for the simple reason that we cannot re-live the late 1960s and become acquainted with this rock n roll icon. Thus, this very fact incited me to gain a better understanding of the legend that's been bogged in criticism for the last thirty years.

Now, before I commend Jim for all that he's accomplished in his twenty-seven years on this earth, it is only reasonable and fair to point out that he was not flawless. He was not one to compromise with authority, and undoubtedly expiremented in drugs and risky situations. Indeed, he often put himself in danger, and the result was a payment of the ultimate price: death. Death from years of alcohol abuse, late night partying, and frolicking around town. Death from a haggard soul that had done and seen almost everything that anyone could conceive. However, it should be cited that he had never purposely intended to harm another soul on his downward spiral through life. He would often saturate his mind with liquor, but consciously close the flood gates just as he was to plummet from the edge of sanity. The same "loud-mouthed, insane, drug-induced monster" who once sang with a straight face of killing his father and having sexual intercourse with his mother would ink words of sensitivity and sentiment, as well. The series of love songs dedicated to his longtime girlfriend and soul mate, Pamela Courson, were such an incredible contrast to Jim's publicly

constructed character, that people who knew him would liken his personality to that of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Almost anybody who remembers the exposure Jim received when the Doors were at the pinnacle of their success circa 1967/'68 can attest that the screaming revolutionist who challenged crowds and vibrantly jumped, tumbled, and threw himself across a stage was not even remotely the same reserved intellectual we were introduced to away from the spotlight. Long-time friends, family members, and reporters alike dubbed Jim as a unique, soft-spoken, shy intellectual who at times had an innocent wild streak to him. His performances were so unconventional to his off-stage semblance, in fact, that at times he seemed as if he was a phony, leaving behind his wits to play insane during the concert.

But it was all too real to those who had the fortune of witnessing one of the greatest musical theatres ever, or what we refer to as a Doors concert. In lengthy Oedipals such as "The End", which was a crowd favorite at every arena and coliseum, Jim addressed everybody's deepest fears of death and melancholy most performers never dared to touch. In each performance Jim would change his words slightly, but never neglecting the song's ability to put a listener's body into a numb trance with morbid thoughts piercing their sanity.

Not one critic could deny the fact that Jim Morrison had an incredible vocabulary used in painting pictures of reality and persuasion to the audience. The fact that Jim had a gift was no secret, but the manner in which he presented his introspection of human nature and life were somewhat controversial and contributed to the abrupt halt in Jim's life. Indications of his stage mannerisms occurred

before Jim and the Doors became a nationally recognized band as they were fired from one of their gigs at a whiskey bar for a lewd, vulgar rendition of the aforementioned song "The End". On stage, misbehavior continued for Jim, as 1967 marked the year in which Morrison was thrust into the national spotlight for good by inciting a riot against police in New Haven, Connecticut.

Finally, the concert that damned Jim Morrison's legend for eternity arrived. On March 1,

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