A self-styled “erotic politician,” James Douglas Morrison was a creative soul, a loud drunk, and a fantastic entertainer who knew how to push the buttons of individuals, an audience, and society at large. The Doors worked hard at the Whiskey Go Go in Los Angeles. Jim’s early stage presence was poor, but as the band grew tighter he grew comfortable with the role.
“Light My Fire” sealed the band’s success and Jim was lauded as a mysterious Greek god and featured in teeny magazines. Morrison quickly grew tired of the success and wanted to be viewed as a filmmaker and poet. His lyrics for the Doors touched on subjects such as the meaningless war in Vietnam (“Unknown Soldier”), ecology (“When The Music’s Over”), and sketches from his life and imagination (“LA Woman,” “The End,” “Riders on the Storm”)
In 1969, after a concert in Miami, Morrison was accused of exposing himself on stage. The charges were ridiculous, witnesses dubious, and the trail bore strong markings of a farce. He was eventually let go with a fine, but he was done with his leather clad show biz persona. Jim Morrison gained weight, grew a beard, wrote poetry, directed a movie, and moved to Paris. One morning his girlfriend Pamela found him dead in the bathtub of the Paris apartment they shared. The official cause of death was heart failure. Morrison apparently did heroin the night of his death, and there are several conspiracy theories surrounding his death (i.e. did he really OD in the bathroom at the Rock & Roll Circus?).