Jim Morrison by Stephen Davis

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Biography, Music

And We Thought Rock Stars Were Lucky
I knew Jim Morrison was a crazy rock star but the extent of his craziness as per this biography, was an eye-opener. Only after reading this book did I realise that poor old Jim was born wired all wrong, the music (and alcohol) just tweaked it up a notch higher. His childhood was certainly not rosy but he definitely contributed to making things worse for himself. Things never got better as he grew older but he never gave anything a chance to get better. Probably only towards the end of his life.

Doors was an awesome group and their music was undoubtedly brilliant. But Jim (as always) didn’t fit in. He seemed to be on a different path internally and walked a different path externally. I guess it’s got to do with society, people’s expectations, following rules, etc. All of which were things he didn’t give a damn about and yet in some ways (his own way mostly) he had to conform to. He puts it very well in an interview mentioned in the book where he says that the initial albums done by the Doors were the real creative stuff. They would play the songs a thousand times and keep tweaking them till they felt they were right. The songs were a part of them. But on the later albums it was all directed by the producers, market expectations, the number game and even by the audience. So they weren’t making songs for themselves anymore and that kills the true creative genius in an artist.

Jims antics when drunk (which would be ‘all the time’) are hilarious in a pathetic way. You feel sorry for him while somewhere inside you admire the fact that at least he followed his heart in whatever he did. His soul mate, Pam,  didn’t do much for his soul and his band’s apathy was heartbreaking (although understandable to quite an extent).
It seemed like all the musicians, artists, groupies, etc of that time were a bunch of crazy people blowing their minds on drugs and sex.

Jim’s death is so sad and senseless. And the way it was handled till his burial is  equally crazy. The cover up, the delay, no autopsy, it’s all quite ridiculous.

I wish people could handle success better and enjoy what they earn sensibly. If Jim had just been a bit more controlled and thought things through in his head he would have become the great poet he wanted to be. But then, it wouldn’t have been the true James Douglas Morrison.

A few words about Stephen Davis. He’s written the book very well. I like the way he moves back and forth in time ever so  slightly. His unbiased portrayal of Jim’s character, makes you see all sides of the story. All in all, never a dull moment, just like Jim’s life!

Different shades of the Lizard King:



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