Born in: Melbourne, Florida
Career: Singer, Poet, Songwriter, Writer and Film Director
Died on: 3rd July 1971
Jim Morrison was the lead singer and lyricist of ‘The Doors’, a popular American rock band. He was a multitalented individual, who can be acclaimed as an excellent singer, poet and songwriter. In fact, Jim was believed to be one of the most captivating and prominent front men in rock music. If that wasn’t enough, one can also credit him with authoring several poetry books and directing a documentary and short film. All in all, we can say that Jim Morrison was a person who had varied talents and skills.
Childhood & Early Life
Jim Morrison was born as James Douglas Morrison, on 8th December 1943, in Melbourne, Florida. His father, Admiral George Stephen Morrison was in Navy and mother was Clara Clarke Morrison. Jim was the first child of his parents and in 1947; he became the proud brother of a baby girl, later named Anne Robin. In 1948, Jim again became a brother, this time of a baby boy, Andrew Lee Morrison. It has been said that he witnessed an accident in 1947, which left a mark on his life.
In fact, he even referred to the incident in a spoken word performance of the song ‘Dawn's Highway’ and then, in the songs ‘Peace Frog’ and ‘Ghost Song’. Since Jim’s father was in the Navy, he traveled a lot. A part of his childhood was spent in California, where he attended Alameda High School (1958). In June 1961, he graduated from George Washington High School in Alexandria, Virginia. For his junior years, Jim went to St. Petersburg Junior College, while living with his paternal grandparents in Clearwater, Florida.
Later Life & Profile
Jim Morrison attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, in the year 1962. It was here that he had his first brush with the world of cinema, when he appeared in a school recruitment film. He moved to Los Angeles in January 1964 and went to UCLA's film school, the Theater Arts department of the College of Fine Arts. Jim graduated from there in 1965 and during this period, he made two films. It was also around this time that he built up friendship with writers at the Los Angeles Free Press.
Jim Morrison self-published two volumes of his own poetry - ‘The Lords / Notes on Vision’ and ‘The New Creatures’, in the year 1969. Later, both the volumes were combined and made into one, namely ‘The Lords and The New Creatures’. In fact, these volumes were amongst the only ones that were published during Morrison's lifetime. Morrison befriended Beat Poet Michael McClure and also worked with him on many unmade film projects, including McClure's infamous play ‘The Beard’.
Jim Morrison started a project, known as ‘HWY: An American Pastoral’, in the year 1969, in which he was assisted by Paul Ferrara, Frank Lisciandro and Babe Hill. He also formed his own production company in order to retain complete control over the project. He recorded his own poetry, in a professional sound studio, at two instances. One was in March 1969, in Los Angeles, and other was on 8th December 1970. Some of the segments from his first recording session were issued in the bootleg album ‘The Lost Paris Tapes’.
Later, they formed a part of ‘An American Prayer’ album, released by ‘The Doors’ in 1978. The poetry from the latter session was never released and it is still under the possession of the Courson family. It has been alleged that Jim Morrison was asked by Warhol to star in ‘I, a Man’ with Nico (1967), but was talked out of it by the management of ‘The Doors'. Later, he asked Tom Baker to play the role. He was an advocate of the underground newspaper and continued to be so till he left for the holy abode, in 1971.
Jim Morrison Timeline
1943: Born on 8th December, in Melbourne, Florida
1947: Witnessed a car accident in the desert, which he later mentioned in a number of songs
1958: Attended Alameda High School in Alameda, California
1961: Graduated from George Washington High School in Alexandria, Virginia
1964: Moved to Los Angeles, California
1965: Completed his undergraduate degree in UCLA's film school, making two films during that time
1969: Self-published two volumes of his poetry
1969-70: Recorded his own poetry in a professional sound studio
1971: Died on 3rd July