Jim Morrison was an American singer, songwriter and poet, best remembered as the lead singer of the Doors. Let’s see some amazing facts and trivia about him!
1.His full name was James Douglas “Jim” Morrison.
2. He was born on December 8, 1943 was an American singer, songwriter, and poet, best remembered as the lead singer of the Doors.
3. Due to his poetic lyrics, distinctive voice, wild personality, performances, and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his life and early death, Morrison is regarded by both music critics and fans, as one of the most iconic and influential frontmen in rock music history.
4. James Douglas Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida, the son of Clara Virginia and Rear Admiral George Stephen Morrison, USN, who commanded United States naval forces during the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which provided the pretext for the US involvement in the Vietnam War in 1965.
5. Jim Morrison had a younger sister, Anne Robin, who was born in 1947 in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and a younger brother, Andrew Lee Morrison, who was born in 1948 in Los Altos, California.
6. His ancestors were Scottish, Irish, and English.
7. In 1947, when he was 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.
8. He referred to this incident in The Doors’ song “Peace Frog” on their 1970 album Morrison Hotel, as well as in the spoken word performances “Dawn’s Highway” and “Ghost Song” on the posthumous 1978 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.
9. His family does not recall this incident happening in the way he told it. According to the Morrison biography No One Here Gets Out Alive, Morrison’s family did drive past a car accident on an Indian reservation when he was a child, and he was very upset by it.
10. The book The Doors, written 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.” This is contrasted sharply with Morrison’s tale of “Indians scattered all over the highway, bleeding to death.” In the same book, his sister is quoted as saying, “He enjoyed telling that story and exaggerating it. He said he saw a dead Indian by the side of the road, and I don’t even know if that’s true.”
11, Raised a military brat, Morrison’s family moved houses often.
12. He spent part of his childhood in San Diego. He completed third grade at Fairfax County Elementary School Fairfax County, Virginia.
13. His father was stationed at NAS Kingsville in 1952, he attended Charles H. Flato Elementary School in Kingsville, Texas.
14. He continued at St. John’s Methodist School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and then Longfellow School Sixth Grade Graduation Program from San Diego, California.
15. A voracious reader from an early age, Morrison was particularly inspired by the writings of several philosophers and poets. He was influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, whose views on aesthetics, morality, and the Apollonian and Dionysian duality would appear in his conversation, poetry and songs.
16. Some of his formative influences were Plutarch’s Parallel Lives and the works of the French Symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud, whose style would later influence the form of Morrison’s short prose poems.
17. He was also influenced by William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Charles Baudelaire, Molière, Franz Kafka, Honoré de Balzac and Jean Cocteau, along with most of the French existentialist philosophers.
18. 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.
19. In 1962, he transferred to Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee, where he appeared in a school recruitment film.
20. While attending Florida State University, Morrison was arrested for a prank following a home football game.
21. Jim Morrison co-founded the Doors during the summer of 1965 in Venice, California.
22. The band spent two years in obscurity until shooting to prominence with their #1 single in the United States, “Light My Fire”, taken from their self-titled debut album. Morrison recorded a total of six studio albums with the Doors, all of which sold well and received critical acclaim.
23. Though the Doors recorded two more albums after his death, the loss of Morrison was crippling to the band, and they disbanded in 1973.
24. In 1993, Morrison, as a member of the Doors, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
25. 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.
26. He was also well known for improvising spoken word poetry passages while the band played live.
27. Morrison was ranked #47 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”,and number 22 on Classic Rock magazine’s “50 Greatest Singers In Rock”.
28. Ray Manzarek, who co-founded The Doors with him, said Morrison “embodied hippie counterculture rebellion”.
29. Jim Morrison was sometimes referred to by other nicknames, such as “The Lizard King”, “Mr. Mojo Risin” and “King of Orgasmic Rock”.
30. Morrison developed an alcohol dependency during the 1960s, which at times affected his performances on stage.
31. He died at the age of 27 in Paris. As no autopsy was performed, the exact cause of Morrison’s death remains unknown to this day. Morrison is interred at Père Lachaise Cemetery in eastern Paris
32. He made several short films while attending UCLA. First Love, the first of these films, made with Morrison’s classmate and roommate Max Schwartz, was released to the public when it appeared in a documentary about the film Obscura.
33. During these years, while living in Venice Beach, he became friends with writers at the Los Angeles Free Press, for which he advocated until his death in 1971.
34. He conducted a lengthy and in-depth interview with Bob Chorush and Andy Kent, both working for the Free Press at the time (approximately December 6–8, 1970), and was planning on visiting the headquarters of the busy newspaper shortly before leaving for Paris.
35. Morrison’s first major love affair was with Mary Werbelow, whom he met on the beach in Florida.
36. The relationship lasted several years inspiring many of the songs on the first two Doors albums including the 11-minute ballad “The End” which Ray Manzarek said was originally “a short goodbye love song to Mary” calling her “Jim’s first love”.
37. Werbelow has remained out of view to rock historians with one exception, a 2005 interview with the St. Petersburg Times where she said Morrison spoke to her before a photo shoot for the Doors’ fourth album and told her the first three albums were about her.
38. Jim Morrison spent nearly the entirety of his adult life with a woman named Pamela Courson after meeting while both attended university.
39. They met and she encouraged him to develop his poetry.
40. At times, Courson used the surname “Morrison” with his apparent consent, or at least lack of concern. She was buried as Pamela Susan Morrison.
41. After Courson’s death in 1974, and after her parents petitioned the court for inheritance of Morrison’s estate, the probate court in California decided that she and Morrison had once had what qualified as a common-law marriage, despite neither having applied for such status, and common-law marriage not being recognized in California. Morrison’s will lists him as “an unmarried person” but listed Courson as the sole heir.
42. They had previously obtained marriage licenses in Colorado in 1967 and in Los Angeles in 1968. The Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek described Courson as Morrison’s “other half”.
43. Morrison spoke to Courson through his lyrics and his poetry and dedicated his published poetry book The New Creatures to her. Songs like “Love Street”, “Queen of the Highway”, “Blue Sunday”, and “Indian Summer” as well as many of his poems were said to be written about her.
44. Jim Morrison also reportedly regularly had sex with fans (“groupies”) such as Pamela Des Barres and Josépha Karcz, who wrote a novel about their night together, and had numerous short flings with other musicians, as well as writers and photographers involved in the music business.
45. They included Nico, the singer associated with the Velvet Underground, a one-night stand with singer Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane, an on-again, off-again relationship with 16 Magazine’s Gloria Stavers as well as an alleged alcohol-fueled encounter with Janis Joplin.
46. Nico also wanted to marry Morrison and they cut their thumbs in the desert with a knife and let their blood mingle. Nico said, “We exchanged blood. I carry his blood inside me.”
47. David Crosby said many years later Morrison treated Joplin meanly at a party at the Calabasas, California, home of John Davidson while Davidson was out of town. She reportedly hit him over the head with a bottle of whiskey in retaliation during a fight in front of witnesses.
48. In 1965, Judy Huddleston met Morrison and claimed she had a four-year on-and-off relationship with him that she chronicled in her book Love Him Madly: An Intimate Memoir of Jim Morrison and an out-of-print book called This is the End My Only Friend: Living & Dying with Jim Morrison, which was updated as Like He Was God.
49. In 1970, Morrison participated in a Celtic Pagan handfasting ceremony with rock critic author Patricia Kennealy. The couple signed a document declaring themselves wedbut none of the necessary paperwork for a legal marriage was filed with the state. Kennealy discussed her experiences with Morrison in her autobiography Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison.
50. In July 1971, Janet Erwin documented in her journal having dated Morrison during the last few weeks before he traveled to Paris. She wrote the essay “Your Ballroom Days Are Over.” On a couple of their nights together there were strong aftershocks from the 1971 San Fernando earthquake; one aftershock measured 5.0 on the Richter magnitude scale.
51. At the time of Morrison’s death there were at least three paternity actions pending against him although no claims were made against his estate by any of the putative paternity claimants. Pamela Des Barres later said in her autobiography I’m With The Band: Confessions of a Groupie that Morrison “turned out to be very much a one-woman man”, referring to his relationship with Pamela Courson.
52. Jim Morrison joined Courson in Paris in March 1971, at an apartment he had rented on the rue Beautreillis (in the 4th arrondissement of Paris on the Right Bank). In letters he described going for long walks through the city, alone.
53. During this time, he shaved his beard and lost some of the weight he had gained in the previous months.
54. He died on July 3, 1971 at age 27.He was found by Courson in a bathtub at his apartment.The official cause of death was listed as heart failure, although no autopsy was performed, as it was not required by French law.
55. The grave had no official marker until French officials placed a shield over it, which was stolen in 1973. The grave was listed in the cemetery directory with Morrison’s name incorrectly arranged as “Douglas James Morrison.”
56. In 1981, Croatian sculptor Mladen Mikulin voluntarily placed a bust of his own design and a new gravestone with Morrison’s name at the grave to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Morrison’s death; the bust was defaced through the years by cemetery vandals, and later stolen in 1988.Mikulin made another bust of Morrison in 1989, and a bronze portrait of him in 2001; neither piece is at the gravesite.
57. In the early-1990s, Morrison’s father, George Stephen Morrison, after a consultation with E. Nicholas Genovese, Professor of Classics and Humanities, San Diego State University, placed a flat stone on the grave.
58. The bronze plaque thereon bears the Greek inscription: ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ, literally meaning “according to his own daemon, i.e., guiding spirit,” to convey the sentiment “True to Himself