Congratulations to the creative writing contest winner, Isabelle Richardson! Isabelle’s short story, Lizard Tracks, may be viewed below.
Thank you to all that participated in the contest by submitting writing or reciting poetry. There we many amazing submissions and we suggest you review them all!
Poetry submissions may be viewed here, or by searching the #TheDoors50 of Instagram.
The short story submissions may be viewed here. There were many submissions – stories will be added throughout next week, so check back often!
Lizard Tracks By: Isabelle Richardson
Well, just got in about an hour ago. Take a look around, see which way the wind blows. Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows? Are you a lucky little lady in the city of light? Or just another lost angel?
Angela walked down Santa Monica Boulevard and drank it all in. The color of the smog mixing with the sunrise, the bustle of the people on the sidewalk, and the faint smell of Chinese food wafted down the street. The wind blew her long, red hair around as she held her turquoise colored duffle bag with her right hand, her guitar on her back, and her brown leather jacket in the other hand. Her boots clicked on the pavement as she strode down the sidewalk. She was looking for Barney’s Beanery, where her friend, Ezra, was waiting for her. They would have breakfast then head over to his place, so she could get ready for the audition. Angela always dreamed of coming to LA. People had always told her to stay away from here. There’s too much traffic, it’s too expensive, the people are always grumpy. She didn’t believe any of them. This was the City of Dreams, she always told herself. And if anyone was going to make it big, it would be her.
“What brings you to LA?” a deep voice asked her.
She stopped and turned around. A skinny man with wavy brown hair and blue-grey eyes stood a few feet behind her with his hands in his pockets. Her stomach dropped. She recognized who it was, but it couldn’t be him. He was dead.
“How do you know I’m not from here?” she asked.
It was the first thing that came to her. He smiled and pointed at her duffle bag. She blushed.
“My train came in about an hour ago,” she confessed.
“Where are you from?” he asked, stepping a bit closer.
“They’ve got some good tacos down there,” he said.
“Yeah, they’re my favorite.”
“So, what brings you here, little girl?”
“I’ve got an audition at the Whiskey,” Angela said, her voice slightly trembling.
“What do you play?” he asked, getting closer and closer to her.
She smiled and pointed at the guitar on her back. He chuckled.
“Of course, you play guitar.”
There was a silence. She wasn’t sure of what else to say. He was barely a few inches away from her.
“It’s kinda cold out here and I know a good taco shop down the street. Wanna have lunch with me? Then I can show you around the city.”
The offer was tempting, almost a dream come true, but she found it difficult to go with
him. There was a darkness about him, one of unfulfilled potential and sadness. Why did he want her? What did he see in her? She had her goal in mind, and she had to focus on that.
“I would love to, but I can’t. I’m meeting a friend for brunch.”
He was taken aback, but not offended. He just gave a small nod.
“Some other time then.” He started to walk away.
“Wait, what’s your name,” she yelled after him.
He didn’t answer her. He just kept striding down the street, with his wavy brown hair bouncing with each step. Angela stared at him in a trance-like stance.
“Hey, hot stuff!”
Angela quickly turned her head to the right and saw a man with a gleaming white smile in a Jeep pointing to her. She sighed and went back to look at the man with wavy brown hair, but he was gone.
Angela arrived at Barney’s a half hour later. She’d only been here once before when she was a teenager on a trip with her family and she recognized the green and white striped awning. Rock and roll royalty had been through those doors. Angela imagined herself as a musician in the 60s, coming in just after a show, sweating and energized from the music. She would walk in with the rest of her bandmates and be shown to their booth in the back, right next to the pool table. They would order drinks and play games until the owners told them to leave. Then she would go back to her place in Laurel Canyon and write songs until the sun came up. Angela shook her head. Daydreams of a silly fangirl, she thought to herself. Shaking herself from her reverie, she pushed through the wooden door. Newspaper clippings were glued all over the ceiling while the red, glass Coors lamps illuminated the tables. She scanned the multicolored booths until she spotted Ezra’s natural platinum blonde hair near the window. Red and gold tinsel lined the windows with green ornaments hanging from them, tingeing his face as it was buried in his phone. She waved her hand in front of his face, and he looked up, annoyed, until he realized who it was and jumped from his seat.
“Oh my god, how are you?”
He gave her a big hug.
“Tired, long train ride,” she replied.
They sat down at the booth.
“Didn’t get much sleep?”
“Well I had that dream again.”
“Which one? The one with the cave in the desert?” he asked. “Not that one, a different one.”
“Oh, then tell me,” Ezra said.
“It’s the same one I’ve been having for weeks. I’m on a train, and I’m the only one aboard. I have no idea how I got there and when I look out the window, it’s pitch black. But then I realize I’m going through a tunnel, but the tunnel goes on for god knows how long. I just sit there, looking out the window at my own reflection. And every time, I know that someone is coming to collect my ticket, but I’m scared of them. Then the door at the end of the car opens, and it’s the conductor but I can’t see his face and he walks towards me, so slowly and I can’t get up to run away. So, I look out the window but
all I can see is my own reflection. And he’s getting closer and closer to me until we clear the tunnel and the light from outside is so bright I have to cover my eyes. Then I feel a cold hand on my shoulder and I wake up.”
“Jesus, that’s frightening. And you’ve been having it for weeks?”
She nodded her head.
“Did you see where you ended up?” Ezra asked, sitting on the edge of his seat.
“No, I never do,” Angela replied solemnly.
Ezra relaxed his shoulders and slumped back in his seat. She picked at her nail.
“What do you think it means?”
“I don’t know. Your attraction to train conductors?”
“Ha, ha,” she replied.
“Either way, I’m sorry you’ve been having this dream,” he said.
“It’s all right,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.
“On the bright side, your audition is at 3 so we have some time to hang out. We should go walk around Venice Beach. There’s a giant mural of-”
“Jim Morrison, I know. On the side of the apartment building.” “You definitely know your shit,” Ezra said smiling.
Angela smiled back. She was glad she had a friend like Ezra to cheer her up once in a while.
“Before we do that, I have to tell you the times, so we get there at 2:30 then…”
She listened as Ezra went over the logistics of their afternoon. What time she was supposed to show up, when they can rehearse, etc. All she could focus on was the back of a man with wavy brown hair who had just walked into the restaurant. Did the mysterious man follow her here? The man turned around, but it was a false alarm.
“Is that Val Kilmer?” Ezra asked. Angela shrugged her shoulders and picked up the menu.
Better luck next time, kid.
Those words rang in Angela’s head as she walked down Hollywood Boulevard, her guitar on her back. She dragged her feet on the ground and held her head down. She didn’t understand what went wrong. All the notes were in tune, the rhythm was on time, and the song sounded great. She failed her mission. She was supposed to come to LA, nail her audition, and her dream would come true. But that didn’t happen. She looked up at the sky, looking for answers.
“You look lonely,” the familiar deep voice told her.
She looked up and saw the stranger she met earlier in front of her. He had on a white flowing shirt and brown leather pants with lizard skin boots.
“I look like a loser. I didn’t pass the audition,” Angela said.
“It’s not the end of the world,” he said in a soothing voice.
“What do you mean?” she said.
“You’ll have other chances. But failure isn’t a bad thing,” Jim said, “It can happen and your dreams still come true.”
“When?” she asked.
“When it’s supposed to. I wandered around Venice Beach for months until I ran into a friend of mine from UCLA, and look how that turned out,” he said, smiling.
“What’s your name?” she finally asked, “I know who you are but, it can’t be.”
“Jim,” he replied.
He held out his hand. She reluctantly took it. He had a gentle touch, but his skin was cold and scaly. She decided in that moment to go with him. What else did she have to lose?
“How about those tacos, Angela?”
He stayed beside her as they walked down Hollywood Boulevard, talking and laughing as the diminishing sunlight brought darkness over the city.
In 2017, the city of Los Angeles declared January 4 “The Day of The Doors.” This year on The Day of The Doors, Encino city councilman declared the intersection of Densmore Avenue and Morrison Street in Encino “Doors Junction.” The council member appeared alongside John Densmore to mark the occasion with new street signs and a recital of Jim’s poetry by John. Mr. Koretz presented John with a certificate of the proclamation as well as souvenir street signs.
Thank you to everyone that has participated in The Doors Creative Writing Contest so far! There is still time to enter, as the winner will be announced on January 5, 2018. You may find official contest rules here.
Poetry submissions may be viewed here, or by searching the #TheDoors50 of instagram.
Below you may find the short story submissions! Please note, each story represents the opinion of the author and not the opinions of The Doors or The Doors team. Which one is your favorite?
Inside The Head Of Mark Benek By: Giorgio M.
WORDS SENTENCED TO TWO CONSECUTIVE LIFE SENTENCES PLUS 49 YEARS
TO CAPTURE NATURE
WORDS IMPRISOND INBETWEEN INVISIBLE LINES OF A PAGE
DO NOT ACT SO SURPRISED
WHEN THE WORDS
FOOL THE WARDEN
ESCAPE THE CONTINENT THEN THE CONSONANT AND VOW AND HOWL
SAVE THE KNITES LIFE
AFTUR THE WORDS
SUCCESSFULLY PLOT ANOTHUR GREAT ESCAPE
TO ANOTHUR WORLD
INSIDE YURR BRAIN
COMPLEX C-I-T-Y BLUES
IS LIKE AN OFFICE
WITH A NICE VIEW
THURR ARE CONSTANTLY OPEN WINDOWS
OPEN FILE CABINETS
IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS IN THE BREEZE
UNCORKED BOTTLES OF WINE
IMPORTED FROM ITALY
THE PLAY BOY BUNNY
LITES MY CIGGURRETTE
WITH HUR FINGUR TIP
SHE TURNS ON
THE LITE BULB ABOVE MY BED
AN IDEA TO GET HUR IN MY HEAD
SHE WALKS LUXURIOUSLY
WITH GREAT EASE
LIKE A TRAPEZE ARTIST
WITH A TRAY OF SEVENTY THREE MARTINIS
ON HUR FINGUR TIPS
WHO THOUGHT THAT I
WOULD BE THE ONE TO FALL
FOR HUR VOLUPTUOUSNESS
TO FALL SO DEEP DEEP UNDURGROUND
WHERE I FOUND A BRAVE NEW SOUND
FROM THE NEW ORLEANS
BLUES MUSIC SCENE
IN A LIMOUSINE
FROM LONDON TO PARIS
I KNOW THAT I KNOW
JUST WHERE IT IS
SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
IN BETWEEN THE LIMITS
OF REALITY AND FANTASY
THURR IS THE ELEKTRIK C-I-T-Y
BUILDINGS ARE BUILT
YELLOW ORANGE GREEN RED BLUE
AND PINK POKER CHIPS
A ROYAL BLUSH
ARE BLACK AND WHITE
LIKE A CHESS BOARD
AND ON THE WRITEURS BLOCK
THURR ARE NO NUNS
NOR STOCK BROKEURS
JUST PIMPS AND
WEST END WOMEN IN BLUE STOCKINGS
THURR IS A CITY IN MY HEAD
IT IS WHERE I LIVE
THURR IS A FIRE IN THE FOREST OF CHROME PALM TREES
MY BRAIN HAS BEEN REPLACED BY A BURD IN A CAGE
I OPEND MY MIND
I OPEND THE CAGE
THE BURD NATURALLY OPEND ITS WINGS
I GET HIGH TO GET AWAY
AND IN THIS ESCAPE I WISH I COULD STAY
AS I LEAVE
MARY QUICKLY FOLLOWS ME
SHE HOLDS HUR RED DRESS ABOVE HUR KNEES
UNDRESSES AND GENTLY SCREAMS
COME BACK TO ME
AND I DO
I SURRENDUR MYSELF ALMOST SO DESPURRATELY
BECAUSE WHEN SHE IS NEXT TO ME I GET A FEELING OF ECSTASY
SHE MAKES ME TEPURRARILY INFINITLY HAPPY AND
AS SHE APPROACHES ME SHE SAYS
LOST IN LUST
WITH LOVE I FOUND
THY OPEN HEART
BLEEDING ON THE GROUND
SHE PUT MY HEART BACK INTO A ONCE EMPTY SPACE INSIDE MY CHEST
AND WITH MORE WORDS SO KIND AND TRUE
MY BLOOD CHANGED COLOUR TO A KIND OF BLUE
AS THE TRIUMPHANT TRUMPET PLAYUR PLAYS
I CARVD OUR NAMES IN A
ON A CHROME PALM TREE
FOR NO REASON
GIVE ME A KISS
BECAUSE I LOVE YOU
AND NOW SOMEHOW
LUST IS LOST WITH LOVE REFOUND
I CANNOT FIND THE WORDS TO DESCRIBE HUR MAYBE THE COLOUR RED
DRIVE TO YOU IN A RED CAR
WALK WITH YOU IN RED SHOES
LOOK AT YOU THRU RED SAINT LAURENT SUN GLASSES
AS YOU SPEAK WITH RED LIPS
AS WE DRINK RED WINE OUR THOUGHTS INTURTWINE LIKE YOUNG VINES
ON AN OLD TREE
IN THE REDWOOD FORREST
SO CLOSE YET SO FAR FROM NAPA VALLEY
I WILL CROSS THE RED SEA
WALK WITH YOU IN RED SHOES
AS SHE SPEAKS WITH RED LIPS
ELEKTRIK RED FLOWUR PEDALS TWURL IN HUR HEAD
RED VYNL SPINS
AS WE PATIENTLY DRINK RED WINE
I WROTE YOU A LETTUR SO BLUE
A LETTUR I HOPE YOU RED
A LETTUR I HOPE YOU COMPREHENDED
I WISH YOU WERE MINE
I WISH IT WERE NOT TRUE
HAVE I EVUR CONFESSD MY LOVE FOR YOU
HAVE I EVUR CONFESSD MY TRUE LOVE FOR YOU
ELEKTRIK BLUE FLOWUR PEDALS TWURL IN MY HEAD
I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO
PLEASE BREAK MY HEART
RED WINE OPENUR
AS THE KING
DRINKS HIS DRINK
WITH A CLEAN PALETTE
FROM A DECORATED CHALACE
IN HIS PROTECTD PALACE
THE BAR MAN BEGINS
TO POUR THE POOR MAN
A DRINK ON HIMSELF
DID YOU KNOW
THE GARDEN OF EDEN IS
THE POOR MAN
DRINKS HIS DRINK
AND THE GODS ARE GETTING DRUNK
2 : 47 AM
IN THE LARGEST CASINO IN PARADISE
A PAIR OF DICE TUMBLE
FROM GODS LEFT HAND
SNAKE EYES PARALYZED
DID I FORGET TO MENTION
IT IS HAPPY HOUR IN HEAVEN
AND GOD IS GETTING DRUNK
THAT IS WHY GOD IS NOT ANSWURRING YURR PRAYURS
IT IS NOT THAT GOD DOES NOT CARE
IT IS THAT GOD NEEDS US MORE THAN WE NEED GOD
SO DIONYSUS AND BACCHUS AND ANGELS AND DEVILS
SURPRISE GOD ON A SUNNY SUNDAY AFTURNOON IN THE LIVING ROOM
GOD GET IT IN YURR HEAD
IF YOU USE IT YOU USE IT
IF YOU ABUSE IT IT ABUSES YOU
IT IS A DIVINE INTURVENTION
EVEN GODS HAVE THURR FLAWS
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
The Rise and Fall of Jim Morrison By: Nikki M.
Some would say it all started in July 1965. America was in a fragile state, in the midst of the Vietnam War. It was a time of confusion, yet also a time of revolutionary change. It was a time when people were yearning to find their purpose on this big, beautiful world.
Jim glided across the golden sand that paints the beaches of Venice, California. With the crushing ocean waves serving as the background music to that summer day, he sat down next to a UCLA classmate he recognized on the beach. Without much introduction, Jim told his classmate, Ray, he wanted to start a band.
Ray replied laughing, “Do you even sing?”
Confidently, still with the natural background music of the Earth there to compliment Jim’s voice, he spoke the following words: “Let’s swim to the moon, lets climb to the tide, penetrate the evening that the city sleeps to hide.”
Ray sat there awestruck. “Did you really write that?”
And thus, the beginning of one of the most iconic rock bands to this day was set in motion. Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek sat there on Venice Beach completely unknowledgeable of what their lives would soon become. The places they would travel, the people they would meet. Not knowing the fortune and success that they would come into, but also the inevitable depression and angst that they would endure as well. Jim and Ray sat there on Venice Beach with the warm sand cushioning their toes, the hot sun radiating off their faces and the cool ocean breeze blowing their long hair cuts in the wind, clueless that they would soon become known in every country around the world as the new rebellious and destructive rock band: The Doors.
But as I said before, only some would say this all began on that warm summer day in July 1965. Jim’s journey began much earlier than that. December 8th, 1943, Melbourne Florida– a legend was born.
Jim was born James Douglas Morrison, son to Clara Virginia and Rear Admiral George Stephen Morrison, who commanded US Naval Forces during the Vietnam War. Being in a military family was tough for Jim. Moving from state to state and never having very many lasting friendships, Jim formed undeveloped and unusual social skills.
In 1947, at only four years old, a tragic accident had shaped Jim’s life forever. The Morrison’s were driving on a highway in the desert and witnessed a horrific vehicle crash where Jim feasted his innocent, youthful eyes upon several Native Americans lying bloody and lifeless. Unable to stop looking, despite his parents’ efforts, Jim swears that on that day the soul of one of the lifeless Native Americans’ elevated from ground where the motionless body rested and entered into his own. Morrison believed this incident to be the most formative event of his life and would use that as an excuse to justify any of his unorthodox behaviors to come. References to this event are repeatedly made by Jim in various songs and poems that he has written.
In the years to come, Jim’s family moved from state to state to satisfy his father’s occupation. Knowing that no home or friendship would last too long, Jim resorted to readings of all varieties. His favorite authors were his only friendships that lasted, for they would always be there no matter where he traveled. Jim found a particular liking in poetry and the work of various philosophers. The band’s name, The Doors, originated from a quote by one of Jim’s favorite authors:
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” –William Blake
It was around the time Jim discovered his passionate interest for reading that he began getting himself into trouble. He was so interested in philosophy that he often pushed limits and boundaries to see how people would react. He not only wanted to see the extent of what he could get away with but he wanted to open people up to the idea of being honest and true.
By this nature of behavior, Jim was kicked out of many living situations throughout college. He did not want people to hold back from expressing their emotions so he did everything he could to piss them off. Morrison thought he was doing them a favor by teaching them to be true to themselves but the rest of the world did not see it that way. He never learned his lesson and his destructive behavior did not end there. It only worsened as it followed him to stardom.
While studying at Florida State University, Jim grew a passion for film. This is when his professors urged him to transfer to UCLA to further his prosperity. And so he moved to Los Angeles. And thank God he did. Jim made two films at UCLA before graduating in 1965. The films were bizarre and harshly criticized, driving him into a state of dark sadness. Jim gave up film. His brain was complex. He was shy and misunderstood. The meaning behind his actions and words were buried so beneath the surface that it was hard for anyone to relate. Jim did not take criticism lightly, and this would follow him to his grave.
Filled with anger, Jim did not attend his UCLA graduation so his diploma was mailed to his family; a family in which he had left in the past, never to look back upon. Then he moved to Venice Beach, California.
And so we return to that warm day in July where Jim and Ray sit in the soft golden grains, looking out onto the endless horizon of the Pacific Ocean dreaming of their futures, not knowing that their dreams would soon come true.
Not much time had passed until the sun and the stars aligned perfectly on the Earth’s rotation to form a fate that would never be forgotten. The gravitational pull of the moon not only guided the salty waves of Venice Beach, but it guided John Densmore and Robby Krieger into the company of Jim and Ray. The doors of perception were finally open. The Doors were finally born.
C’mon baby light my fire.
Once they began making the music, The Doors started playing regularly in a popular local LA venue called Whiskey a Go-Go. Jim’s shy and reserved persona increased substantially when performing in front of crowds. He rarely faced the audience while performing and was almost always seen with his back to the crowd. Like many others in Hollywood, the pressure of upcoming fame and stardom drew him to the bottle. Alcohol was Jim’s drug of choice. The alcohol would take Jim on a dangerous and self-destructive path.
Less than two years after Jim and Ray’s encounter on the beach, The Doors were signed to Elektra record label. In the 60’s, a new age was rising where the norms of society were being loosened from its noose. The people finally started to have a voice and ability to express their own opinions. Freedom. The Doors were labeled an antiestablishment band, often singing of dark and powerful subjects such as death, murder and madness. The darkness was also accompanied by more traditional themes such as sex, drugs and rock and roll. A few months after being signed, their hit single Light My Fire landed them the number one spot on Billboard’s Top 100 in June ‘67 and remained there for three weeks straight. The Doors were finally on the map.
While listening to the radio in his room, Morrison’s younger brother Andrew was interrupted by a friend barging through his door.
As Light My Fire played in the background the boy screamed excitedly, “Andrew, do you know who that is?”
“The Doors, so?”
“Andrew, that’s your fucking brother singing.”
Jim’s family, who he hadn’t given a thought about since he left Florida, had no idea what Jim was up to this whole time. It was only a matter of time before the whole world would know of Jim and his rebellion, coexisting with Manzarek, Densmore and Krieger.
Their aesthetic was different than most upcoming bands at that time. The Beatles were young and innocent. The Grateful Dead was peaceful and happy. The Doors were dark and reckless. Jim was a bad boy. A menace. A rebel dressed in leather. He took the world by surprise and made it his throne.
Once risen to stardom, The Doors were requested to perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. The band was to play the songs Light My Fire and People Are Strange. They were asked by Sullivan’s censors to not reference drug use on air while performing their top hit.
“Can you please change the line ‘girl we couldn’t get much higher’ to ‘girl we couldn’t get much better?’”
So the band got on stage. Manzarek on the organ. Krieger on the electric guitar. Densmore on the drums. And Jim, standing at the front of the stage with his brown curly hair sitting long enough to brush the top of his shoulders, took his microphone off the stand and started singing.
“You know that it would be untrue,
You know that I would be a liar,
If I was to say to you,
Girl, we couldn’t get much higher.” They all smirked mockingly.
The band finished the song without changing a single word, which they mutually agreed upon before they performed. Once they walked off stage Sullivan angrily refused to shake any of their hands. The show producer told the band they would never be invited to perform on the Ed Sullivan Show again.
Jim shrugged. “Well hey man, we already did.”
This would not be the last time The Doors would expose their rebellion and carelessness to the world.
Jim was spiraling faster down his self-destructive path. His drinking habits were becoming a nightmare to his band mates and his fans. He would miss practices and half the time he actually did show up he was too belligerent to even play. On one occasion Jim arrived to the studio to find that his band mates had already left and trashed the whole place. He never paid for the damages.
The law finally caught up with Jim’s destruction on a cold December night in 1967, and he was arrested for the first time in his musical career– although not the first time in his life. The Doors were to perform a show in New Haven, Connecticut. Before the show Jim met a woman. Jim took the woman backstage to the shower area and the two began kissing. Not recognizing Jim as the band’s front man that he was supposed to be protecting, a security guard at the venue told Morrison and the girl to vacate the area.
“Eat it” Jim said.
The guard pulled out a can of mace, “Last chance.”
“Last chance to eat it!”
Jim was sprayed in the face with pepper spray right before he was about to perform.
The officer apologized for the incident after The Doors’ manager told him he had just maced the lead singer of the very band he had been hired to protect, admitting he hadn’t recognized the singer.
When Jim was finally able to perform, his anger and sadness caught up to him mid-song. He stopped singing.
“The whole world fucking hates me,” he yelled into the microphone.
Jim proceeded to tell the audience of his encounter with the officer backstage. He went on to call him a little blue pig in a little blue hat.
“I’m just like you guys man, he did it to me, they’ll do it to you.”
The crowd went wild.
The police came on stage and dragged Jim out. Morrison was arrested and charged with inciting a riot, indecency and public obscenity. Thirteen other arrests were made following Jim’s, as the angry and disappointed crowds took to the streets.
This was the first of two arrests that made an extremely harsh impact on The Doors. The second happened on March 1st 1969, Miami Florida.
He said, she said.
Rumor has it, while on stage at a venue in Miami, Morrison exposed his penis in front of an audience composed of nearly twelve thousand people. Jim appeared to masturbate in full view of the crowd while screaming obscenities. He was sentenced to jail and given a fine to pay after being found guilty of indecent exposure and open profanity. But did it really happen? Five hundred photos were entered into evidence and not a single one depicted Morrison doing anything of the sort. In addition to that, he and his band mates swore that he never actually pulled it out, he was only joking about doing it.
Whether it happened or not, after this fiasco the touring days for The Doors were pretty much over. No venue wanted to gamble with the consequences that normally followed their performances. Many cities in many states banned The Doors from performing there.
Jim felt like a laughingstock. His alcoholism, meant to cope with his anxieties, only made them worse. It ruined him. He was heart broken. He wanted to start over and write poetry but no one took him seriously anymore. He started this journey wanting to be the change the world needed. He wanted to open up the minds of his fans and allow them to explore every crevice that had been smocked with spider webs in their brains since the day they were born. He wanted to be looked up to. To be understood. And to him, all he ended up as was the dirty rock star who wasn’t welcomed anywhere to perform anymore. Jim’s ego had plummeted. He let himself down. His pain crawled so deep inside him that the only way he knew how to cope was to escape his reality. He got drunk enough to forget his rise and fall, and when he woke and the pain was numbingly present; he did it all over again. Jim’s once slender figure and boyish face was now fattened and bearded. The alcohol took a toll on his mind, body and soul.
It wasn’t long after that that Jim moved to Paris with his longtime lover Pamela Courson. He wanted to focus on himself and his poetry. He wanted to forget about the dreadful life he left behind. The embarrassment and humiliation he caused not only himself but his band as well. Jim wanted to achieve happiness. He wanted to rebuild his name, reconnect his muse. He crawled out of the dark abyss that he had been internally living in for so long, brushed the dust off his leather jacket and opened his book of life up to a new chapter.
March 11th 1971. Jim sat on his airplane headed for Paris, looked out of his window and smiled. He turned his head to the left to see his eternally beautiful inamorata sitting beside him. Her silky red hair draped down past her shoulders and stopped just below her breasts. She looked back at him. He saw blue eyes filled with hope. He grabbed her soft hand, closed his eyes and dreamt of the future. A new beginning awaits.
The couple arrived in Paris. Jim had been so eager to get his life back in order but he could not escape his fate. After time, Jim eventually gave into the plague that had been slowly killing him already, the addicting poisons of drugs and alcohol.
In the early morning of July 3rd 1971, Pamela found Jim’s body lying lifeless in the bathtub at their apartment on the rue Beautreillis in Paris. Although a prisoner to drugs and alcohol, heroin had never been touched by the hands of Jim Morrison until that night.
Jim drew himself a warm bath after a night out with Pam. He walked over to the mirror hanging above the sink and saw an unfamiliar man staring back at him.
“Who have I become?” He thought.
As Jim was staring back at the man he could not recognize anymore, he looked down and saw a bag of powder on the sink that Pamela had left there. Jim set up a line for himself of what he believed to be cocaine and grabbed a dollar from his pocket. He knelt down; his tired, bearded face leveled with the sink, and took a deep breath in through his nose.
The euphoria. This was not cocaine.
Jim was still alive but felt like he was already in heaven. He turned the faucet on the bathtub off. He undressed and he got in slowly. He felt every inch of his body entering the warm tub until he was totally submerged in the sparkling water from his neck down. He closed his eyes peacefully and took a deep breath. He thought of the Native Americans in the crash. He thought about each home he lived in as a child. He thought about meeting Ray on the beach. He thought about his first show at Whisky a Go-Go. He thought about his song holding the number one spot on the Billboard’s Top 100 for three weeks. He thought about his band, his friends. He thought about seeing Pamela’s face for the first time and falling in love. He thought until his breath ran out. And that would be the last breath Jim Morrison would ever take.
“People fear death even more than pain. It’s strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death. At the point of death, the pain is over. Yeah, I guess it is a friend.”
Jim Morrison was twenty-seven years old when Pamela Courson found his lifeless body lying in the tub. Only twenty-seven, but what a life he lived. Speculation, as expected, followed the circumstances of his death but I’d like to believe Jim went out without fear, without pain. Despite his faults, Jim Morrison will remain in history as one of the most extraordinary artists to grace this planet. Thank you for your life Jim, may you rest in eternal Peace.
Fast Eddie By: Matt S.
“Grabmeuhcouplecokes… cotton mouth y’kno?” as Fast Eddie chokes out the last toke of the roach. Quickly, Fast Eddie stashes the funky skunky stuff into an old oxidized ALTOIDS can – MADE IN GREAT BRITIAN, NT WT 1.76 OZ (50g). Fast Eddie had this logic that if he collected all his roaches, he could pawn off the “1.76 OZ of homegrown” to some free-lancing left-brained Polo wearing yuppie college kid for 50 bones. If anyone could pull a stunt like that, it was Fast Eddie.
“Yafuckinkiddinme! ‘Spose I’ll hoof it across the street to PAULIE’S CORNER STORE since Pizza Face and Pretty Boy both got Cerebral Palsy all-a-sudden” – Yeah, that’s the villain I been scheming with since I got clipped from the umbilical cord. Fast Eddie, guy was a maniac with a potato head. But, his barber scalped a fade around his temples to precision. Jesus, I mean his barber was his actual wingman. He’d tell us to go to the gay barber. We’d be sitting in at SPEEDY’S CUTS while Fast Eddie was choppin’ the locks and we’d overhear,
“Fast Eddie what work will my soft hands be doing today?”
And Fast Eddie would dish it right back, “If you wanna play with more than these..
On December 7, 2017, John Densmore and Robby Krieger accepted the Founders Award on behalf of The Doors at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, WA. The Founders Award is an honor given to artists who have made outstanding contributions in popular music. The ceremony included an all-star lineup of artists performing a Doors tribute concert. You may find photos from this historic event below.
The Doors Live at the Isle of Wight - 1970 - 60 second trailer - YouTube
The historic last concert ever filmed of The Doors is now available for the first time! The concert was meticulously restored via the latest 21st century technology, color-corrected and visually upgrading the original footage. The entire show, now presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, was mixed from the original multi-track audio by longtime Doors engineer / mixer / co-producer Bruce Botnick.
Filmed on August 30, 1970, 2 AM, in front of 600,000 people, with Jim Morrison’s ongoing Miami obscenity trial still weighing heavily on the band, they traverse such staples as “Roadhouse Blues”, “Break On Through (To The Other Side)”, and “Light My Fire”.
The DVD and Blu-Ray also contain the bonus featurette “This Is The End’ – with interviews conducted by the film’s original director, Academy Award® Winner Murray Lerner with Krieger, Densmore, original Doors manager Bill Siddons and archival interview footage of Manzarek from 2002.
Celebrate The Doors 50th Anniversary by participating in this creative writing contest! Create a poem or short story inspired by the band’s 50-year career for your chance to win THE SINGLES 7″ Boxset.
Poetry must be submitted by posting a video of your poem being read via Instagram video. Short story submissions (3-5 pages) can be sent to doorsLA1967@gmail.com. Only original pieces will be accepted. The judges will be the members of The Doors management team. One lucky winner will be announced January 5th, 2018.
CREATIVE WRITING CONTEST RULES:
Fans may submit one (1) original piece of work.
For poetry, fans must record themselves reading the poem to Instagram and use the hashtag #TheDoors50. Select few will be posted to the official Facebook page.
For short stories, fans may not submit anything longer than five (5) pages and must submit them to: doorsLA1967@gmail.com. Select short stories will be posted to The Doors’ official site and shared on the socials.
Work will be judged on originality and creativity.
One winner will be chosen by members of The Doors management team. All decisions of the judges are final.
A winner will be chosen January 5th, 2018. The winner will receive THE SINGLES 7″ Boxset.
Any and all Entries in The Doors Creative Writing Contest shall be deemed, and shall remain, the property of The Doors Property, LLC. The Doors Property, LLC shall not be subject to any obligations of confidentiality with respect to any Entries, nor is The Doors Property, LLC liable for any use or disclosure of any Entries. The Doors Property, LLC shall be entitled to unrestricted use of the winning entries for any purpose whatsoever, commercial or otherwise, without compensation or credit to the provider of the Entries or any other person or entity.
Originally released in 1970, Absolutely Live was the first live album released by The Doors and featured concerts recorded in 1969 and 1970. This 2-LP midnight blue vinyl edition was remastered by Bruce Botnick.
Alfred Music, the leading publisher in music education since 1922, is thrilled to release The Doors: 50th Anniversary Songbook, a comprehensive guitar TAB hardcover edition featuring the complete studio recordings from 1967–1971.
Few musical artists defined the spirit of 1967 as well as The Doors. In fact, the band released two albums that year—kicking off 1967 with their landmark self-titled debut in January, then releasing Strange Days in September, seemingly bookending that momentous Summer Of Love.
The Doors: 50th Anniversary Songbook features authentic transcriptions with guitar TAB, lyrics, vocal melodies, and signature keyboard and bass parts of all 62 tracks from the band’s six studio releases with legendary frontman Jim Morrison. This highly collectible songbook also includes an introduction from Guitar World’s Jimmy Brown, a color photograph section, and a select band discography.
Titles: Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) • Back Door Man • Been Down So Long • Blue Sunday • Break on Through (To the Other Side) • Cars Hiss By My Window • The Changeling • Crawling King Snake • The Crystal Ship • Do It • Easy Ride • The End • End of the Night • Five to One • Hello, I Love You • Horse Latitudes • Hyacinth House • I Can’t See Your Face in My Mind • I Looked at You • Indian Summer • L.A. Woman • L’America • Land Ho! • Light My Fire • Love Her Madly • Love Me Two Times • Love Street • Maggie M’Gill • Moonlight Drive • My Eyes Have Seen You • My Wild Love • Not to Touch the Earth • Peace Frog • People Are Strange • Queen of the Highway • Riders on the Storm • Roadhouse Blues • Runnin’ Blue • Shaman’s Blues • Ship of Fools • The Soft Parade • Soul Kitchen • Spanish Caravan • The Spy • Strange Days • Summer’s Almost Gone • Take It as It Comes • Tell All the People • Touch Me • Twentieth Century Fox • Unhappy Girl • The Unknown Soldier • Waiting for the Sun • The Wasp (Texas Radio and the Big Beat) • We Could Be So Good Together • When the Music’s Over • Wild Child • Wintertime Love • Wishful Sinful • Yes, the River Knows • You Make Me Real • You’re Lost Little Girl.
The Band Concludes Their 50th Anniversary Year By Revisiting Strange Days
With Remastered Stereo And Original Mono Mixes On 2-CD Version,
With Original Mono Mix Also Available On Vinyl
Both Are Set For Release On November 17 From Rhino
LOS ANGELES – The Doors had one of the most extraordinary debut years in music history in 1967, releasing a string of hit singles and two platinum albums, beginning in January with the band’s self-titled debut, followed by Strange Days in September. The latter peaked at #3 on the Billboard album chart and featured classics like “Love Me Two Times,” “When The Music’s Over,” and the title track “Strange Days.”
For the album’s 50th anniversary, Rhino will release STRANGE DAYS (50TH ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION). This double-CD features stereo and original mono mixes and will be available on November 17 for a list price of $15.98. The music will also be available via download and streaming services. At the same time, the original mono mix of Strange Days will be released on vinyl for a list price of $21.98.
STRANGE DAYS (50TH ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION) was produced by the album’s original engineer Bruce Botnick. It includes the original stereo mix of the album on CD for the first time in a decade, with sound that’s been remastered for the first time in 30 years. The second disc features the album’s original mono mix, which has been remastered for this set and is making its CD debut. Accompanying the set are liner notes by music journalist David Fricke, as well as a selection of rare and previously unseen photographs.
The success of The Doors’ debut album – including the #1 smash “Light My Fire” – kept the band in-demand and on the road in early 1967. When Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, and Ray Manzarek weren’t playing live, they recorded songs for Strange Days at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, the same studio they used to record their debut.
Having a larger budget for Strange Days allowed the band to spend more time experimenting in the studio. They used an eight-track recorder for the first time, which resulted in some memorable overdubs like Krieger’s double-tracked guitar on “When The Music’s Over.” Surprisingly, the trippy keyboard sound heard on the album’s title track is actually one of the earliest appearances of a Moog synthesizer in a rock song.
Strange Days mixed new songs written on the road with some written before the band’s 1967 debut. In fact, the band performed “Strange Days” during its 1966 residency at the London Fog in L.A., while “My Eyes Have Seen You” dates back to 1965. Another early track is “Moonlight Drive,” which was one of the very first songs that the band practiced together, and where the band heard Krieger’s haunting bottleneck guitar playing for the first time. It’s also the song Morrison sang to Manzarek at Venice Beach in 1965 when the two former UCLA film students reconnected and decided to start the Doors.
50 years ago on September 17, 1967, Jim Morrison solidified his place as a poetic rebel. Before the band was to perform “Light My Fire” on The Ed Sullivan Show, Jim was specifically told he couldn’t sing the word “higher” on air.
As Robby Krieger explains, “We thought they were joking – who were they kidding? Wanting us to change the lyrics on the number one song in America? We decided to just do the song as-is and maybe they would forget all about it. What could they do? After all, it was live television! So, yeah, we never played the Ed Sullivan show again. But we didn’t care.”
John Densmore added that Ed fumed, “’You will never do this show again,’ after we’d directly disobeyed his censorship requirements. Jim turned to him and remarked, ‘Hey, that’s okay – we just did the Ed Sullivan show.’”
And the rest is Rock N Roll history.
Watch Ray Manzarek talk about the experience, here:
Ray Manzarek Discusses The Doors Appearance on Ed Sullivan - YouTube
View the full performance here:
THE DOORS "Light My Fire" on The Ed Sullivan Show - YouTube
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