WEIRDLAND

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sex Addiction: Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison


"Treat me like a fool, Treat me mean and cruel, But love me. Wring my faithful heart, Tear it all apart, But love me. If you ever go, Darling, I'll be oh so lonely, I'll be sad and blue, Crying over you, dear only. I would beg and steal, Just to feel your heart, Beatin' close to mine. Well, if you ever go, Darling, I'll be oh so lonely, I'll be sad and blue, Crying over you, dear only. Beggin' on knees, All I ask is please, please love me." ―"Love Me" by Elvis Presley, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, recorded August 1, 1956

The beautiful Ms Linda Thompson shared so much of the Presley lifestyle after the departure of Priscilla that the word ‘relationship’ barely covers what they meant to each other. Linda met him on July 6, 1972. "I was Miss Tennessee Universe and T. G. Sheppard invited me to the Memphian Theater after midnight. I had a lot of trepidation about it. But my girlfriend, who was Miss Rhode Island, said we had to go. So if we hadn’t have gone, I probably would never have met Elvis. I even made a joke about the Dracula look and Elvis wasn’t fazed. He sat down and was very sweet. It was as if we had known each other our whole lives." But the doubts resurfaced that night. "I got home at about four o’clock in the morning and the phone rang. It was Elvis. His speech was slurred. I had never been around anyone who was incapacitated like that. I said, ‘Are you drunk? Why is your voice slurred?’ He said, ‘Oh, honey, I’m just tired.’ Of course, I found out he took sleeping medication, and I am sure he had taken a sleeping pill before talking to me. I wasn’t nervous because he was so down home and down to earth – there really was a sense of humility about him."

"I never felt more loved and more listened to and more known than when I was with him. One of the most beautiful qualities a person can have is humility and Elvis personified that. I always felt that he took the time to listen, to engage in conversation, to look you in the eye, to get tears in his eyes when the subject got to something sentimental. For Elvis it was love at first sight. He invited me to meet his father Vernon. Right away, he was saying, “Where have you been all my life?” It was part of her personality to want to hear things straight. Then we went straight to Las Vegas, where he was rehearsing for his shows at the Hilton. There were times when he was very paternal with me, very nurturing and caring. And there were times when I was very maternal to him because he was such a big baby." The affection bred pet names for each other: "I called him “Gullion” and “Bunton” and he called me “Adriadne” and “Mommy”. She didn’t accept that he wasn’t always the most faithful of lovers: "I tried to understand it. I was very young and he was very needy. There were times when Elvis wanted me to be with him all the time. In the first year, he did not even go to a dentist without my accompanying him. I was with him twenty-four hours a day in that first year. Apparently, he broke his record for fidelity. I knew he was mostly faithful because he never left my side and I never left his. I adored him and so was happy to be there most of the time. I tried to understand the infidelity. He was a prisoner, sequestered with the Memphis Mafia. He always said he only loved me. I certainly felt very loved by him. He would say that in his own way, ‘I am completely faithful to you and I don’t love anyone else.’ I always felt very loved and very treasured and respected by him. When I look back, the thing I most remember about Elvis is his tenderness, his kindness. When he told me he loved me, he had tears in his eyes. He had great passion. He was so sensitive. And very funny. He had a bracelet that said ‘Elvis’ in diamonds and he flipped it over and it said ‘Crazy’."

Linda also believed that he couldn’t refuse women, that as a southern gentleman, he literally didn’t want to be discourteous to their advances. “He wanted to please, and he didn’t know how to be standoffish with women, because that was not how he was raised. He always treated all women like ladies.” She had no doubt about her status with him. Above all, Linda remembered ‘his tenderness, his kindness. He was sensitive, passionate. Also very funny.’ There was another side to him, she always recognised, which to many people would seem in direct contradiction to his womanising and unruly behaviour. ‘He had a very distinct spiritual side,’ she emphasised. ‘He really felt the need for a God’– and, of course, there were always the songs he chose. ‘He grew up in a spiritual environment in Tupelo,’ she recalled. Elvis's relationship with Linda derived naturally into a cordial friendship, when in November 1976,  Elvis met Ginger Alden, a young model from Memphis.

Elvis invited Priscilla’s family, including her parents Paul and Ann Beaulieu, to his dressing room. He spoke to Michelle, Priscilla’s sister, about his hands. He was self-conscious that they were very bloated. But Priscilla had noticed them three years earlier on the day they met in the judge’s chambers and signed the final divorce decree. As they sat with their fingers entwined, Priscilla grew alarmed at how puffy Elvis was. “I knew something was different; something was wrong. I could see it in his eyes, I could feel it in his hands.” Now in Vegas, Paul sensed that “he didn’t want to let us go. He kept thinking of topics that would prolong the conversation, asking us what we needed and wanted.” After the divorce, Elvis had called Ann and said, “Please speak with Cilla,” and begged her to try to convince his ex-wife to come back to him. “It was a very sad conversation. I felt how desperately he wanted to keep his family together.” Ann knew that her daughter was determined to move on with her life, but she told Elvis that she would do what she could. “Please do,” he pleaded. “I want you all to be part of my family.” It was like a sword through her. “Elvis,” she said, “we’ll always be part of your family.” Priscilla knew Elvis held out hope that they would reunite. “I’d take Lisa over to his house and he’d say, ‘Cilla, go do what you have to do now. Go see the world. But when you’re forty and I’m fifty, we’ll be back together. You’ll see.” She would later say that in the last year of his life, “We underestimated his emotional pain. And he lacked the means to fully express that pain.” 

Ginger Alden was learning that being on the road and staying cooped up in Las Vegas was not the heady trip that it appeared. Once the glamour wore off, Ginger was homesick for her mother and sisters. And, Elvis learned, she missed a young man she had been seeing in Memphis. One day, in their bedroom in the Imperial Suite Elvis was seemed frustrated and adrift. She rarely saw him like that, and asked what was the matter. “Elvis found out that Ginger had a boyfriend, so he told her to call him and tell him that it was over, and she wouldn’t do it. She kept saying no.” Elvis and Ginger exchanged heated words, and then in anger, Elvis picked up a glass of orange juice and threw it across the room. Shirley had just taken the plastic off her dry cleaning, and now it was covered with sticky pulp. Ginger shrugged it off: “Oh, I was so mad! But he felt bad about it, I could tell. It was sad. Linda had taken off with David Briggs, and he wanted to show her that he could get someone who was prettier and younger.” Elvis seemed all too desperate to make the romance bloom, while others accused him of keeping Ginger a virtual hostage. More and more, there seemed to be nothing Elvis wouldn’t do to win Ginger’s affections. He went to her grandfather’s funeral in Arkansas on January 3, 1977, flying her family to Harrison, Arkansas, and then accompanying Ginger on the twenty-mile drive to Jasper for services in a tiny rural church. 

Elvis was more impetuous in all matters of love now. On January 9, he spurred his dentist, Max Shapiro to marry his young fiancĂ©e, Suzanne, in Palm Springs that very day, waking Larry Geller in the middle of the night to come perform the ceremony. Elvis bought the rings, and Ginger stood in as maid of honor. “When Elvis met Ginger,” Geller observed, “something came over this guy. Part of it was beautiful, because he just so desperately wanted a real relationship. The next morning, he said to me, ‘Man, I can’t believe this girl! I look at that woman’s eyes, and it’s my mother’s eyes.’ So for the first month, he was really just nuts over Ginger.” Elvis had confided to Geller about a previous sentimental dilemma. “I have to make a decision. It’s between Ann-Margret and Priscilla. I really love them both, but I’m choosing Priscilla because I want a wife who isn’t in show business, somebody who will devote herself to a family.”

In Vegas, 'Memphis Mafia Princess' Shirley Dieu had caught Elvis taking Ginger’s hand and putting it between his shoulder and neck. Then he placed his own hand on top of hers, and patted it. “See Shirley,” he said, “she loves me just like you love Joe.” It broke Shirley’s heart, but it also worried everyone as to how far Elvis might go. Nothing about his involvement with Ginger indicated rational thinking. In Palm Springs, especially, Elvis seemed to have almost no control over his impulses. Ginger was a symbol for Elvis, whom he could project his dreams onto in relation to what was going on in his life: his health problems, his waning youth, his father’s second heart attack, his conflicts with Colonel Parker, everything. Ginger received an engagement ring. On January 26, 1977, Elvis came to her and proposed, she said. “It was like old-fashioned times. . . he was on his knees. He asked me to marry him, and I said, ‘Yes.’ ” She was sitting in his black reading chair in the upstairs bathroom at Graceland, and he pulled out a green velvet box and produced a stunning eleven-and-a-half-carat diamond worth $70,000. He was in such a hurry for it, that jeweler Lowell Hays took the stone from Elvis’s own TCB ring until he could find a replacement. Ginger was now the second woman to whom Elvis had proposed in a bathroom.

Ginger often questioned Elvis’s medication use, she would say later, and tried to get him to not take the packets that Dr. Nick prescribed and Tish Henley doled out like clockwork. It was, in fact, the reason for some of their arguments. “Although I asked him to try not to use the medication that I thought he did not need, and there were times that he didn’t, I truly believed that in time I would be able to convince him.” However, on the morning of August 16, Ginger had no opportunity to reason with him because she was heavily medicated herself. She had menstrual cramps, and about 6:30, Elvis had called Tish Henley and asked her to bring up something so Ginger could sleep. The beauty queen would later say she took Quaalude tablets, but the nurse, who kept her drugs under lock and key in her trailer, would insist she sent up one Dilaudid pill, though the opiate was far more powerful than anything Ginger could have needed for menstrual pain.

Ginger didn’t watch Elvis like Linda did. Finally, at 2:20 P.M., Ginger turned over in Elvis’s huge bed and found it empty. Had he never come back to sleep? She noticed his reading light was still on, and thought it peculiar. Ginger knocked on the bathroom door. “Elvis?” There was no answer, and so she turned the knob. “That’s when I saw him in there,” she said later. Elvis was slumped on the floor, angled slightly to the right. He was on his knees, his hands beneath his face, in a near praying position. His pajama bottoms bunched at his feet. Elvis had seemed to fall off the toilet. He laid so still, so unnaturally still. Elvis’s death had not been quick. Nor had it been painless. But if Elvis had called out, Ginger likely would not have heard him, so deep was her drugged sleep. Ginger was in a state of shock. “I didn’t want to think he was dead. God wouldn’t want to take him so soon.” Elvis Presley had died of polypharmacy in the bathroom at Graceland at the age of forty-two. Elvis had crawled several feet and vomited before dying—but he didn’t want Ginger to see any more, and sent her into the other room. Then he called for an ambulance, and got Dr. Nick on the phone and mumbled something about a heart attack. Ginger was struck with “an overwhelming sense of sadness, disbelief, and feeling as if Graceland had also died.” —"Baby, Let’s Play House: Elvis Presley and the women who loved him" (2009) by Alanna Nash

A new classification of sex addiction as a mental disorder by the World Health Organization could monumentally shift the conversation surrounding a condition that's often deeply misunderstood. Experts who treat sex addictions hope the classification will help change the disorder's perception from a moral failing to simply a medical issue. In its new International Classification of Diseases, WHO defines "compulsive sexual health disorder" as a "persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behavior." The new classification means that sex addiction can be diagnosed based on a list of criteria. Experts also hope the new classification will chip away at a larger goal: destigmatizing sex addiction. Most sex addicts, Magness said, are ordinary people. "Most of the people that I work with are people with very high morals, very responsible, leaders in their industries; many are even clergy or physicians," Dr. Milton Magness said. For those people – the vast majority of whom are men – experts hope the diagnosis will open the door for treating sex addiction like any other mental health issue. Source: eu.usatoday.com

Brett Farmer places Elvis Presley's "orgasmic gyrations" of the title dance sequence in Jailhouse Rock (1957) within a lineage of cinematic musical numbers that offer a "spectacular eroticization of the male image". Lester Bangs credited Elvis as "the man who brought overt blatant sexual frenzy to the popular arts in America." Elvis would grow up to be a beautiful man with soft characteristics (full lips, sleepy eyes) that coupled with his swinging dance onstage accounted for his wild sex-appeal. Elvis's traditional upbringing and high testosterone levels confirmed him as a full-blown heterosexual. The adult Elvis saw no conflict in his desire to wear mascara and carry a gun—the symbolic phallus—at the same time. Albert Goldman's biography Elvis (1981) was clearly attempting to sneer and deride, to debunk the "Elvis Myth", to deplore the squandered potential, even to revel in the degradation. For many fans and critics, Goldman's research was undermined by his intense personal dislike of Presley. The popular music historian Charles Hamm even wanted Goldman's Elvis to be reclassified as fiction. Goldman's research was limited to merely recording with every sign of glee, how Elvis's talent, once arisen, fell back into what Goldman sees as the traditional illiterate half-coma of popular culture.

Mama Gladys raised Elvis on stories about a twin brother who died at birth, imaginable cause of what Albert Goldman sees as Elvis' bad/good "split personality." Gladys' death seemed to remove his wholesome foundation, opening the way to drugs, overeating, sex addiction, occultism, and guns. Later came his TV comeback special on December 3, 1968 and his bizarre Vegas phase, soon followed by a descent into "infantilism, drug invalidism and madness", all triggered by anonymous death threats (Colonel Parker notified the FBI they came from Charles Manson's circle) and Priscilla's infidelities. Elvis Presley is merely the focus for Albert Goldman’s contempt for a kind of successful regional man or mass personality. Goldman is palpably scared by the vitality of non-intellectual life among humankind. Source: markduffet.com

Like Elvis, Jim Morrison's at times ambiguous appeal belonged to his performing antics onstage. Offstage, Morrison was the most flaming blatant heterosexual you can imagine. He was more purely and unswervingly heterosexual in his gender orientation, more glowingly sensual and blazingly secure in his very considerable masculinity, ardently devoted to his physical enjoyment of women, and theirs of him, and a gentleman besides. Jim Morrison always craved attention from male and female audiences while his personal sex life was exclusively heterosexual. His face was more than handsome, it was pretty and displayed vulnerability, but he was not feminine. In his eyes something definitely masculine burned. More than masculine, something dangerous. ―"Break on Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison" (2014) by James Riordan

“Being drunk is a good disguise,” said Jim Morrison. His pupils dilated, forming a black core that penetrated me. I felt his violence prickling under my skin, threatening to erupt between us. “Now, what are you? A cunt.” I blundered defiantly. “You’re mine. You’re my cunt.” He gave me a desperate, searching look, his voice was raw. “Do you understand that? You’re only mine.” He scrutinized me, waiting for resistance. I gave none, feeling strangely secure and comforted, as if we were locked together in some primal way. His harshness subsided. Later, lying peacefully entwined, Jim asked, “Do you know what I mean when I talk to you like that?” ”I think so,” I said. I felt he was trying to define sexuality, reducing us to the basic elements. “It’s hard to explain,” he began. “No. I do know what you mean,” I thought I did. Jim agreed, lying down beside me and smiling sweetly. He sighed and rolled his head across the pillow to look up at me shyly, almost worshipfully. His eyes were wide and vulnerable, with a boy’s 'do-you-like-me' look. When he took his defenses away like that, it blew me away. All I wanted to do was reassure him, love him; he was a stray child with no mother, lost in the world. We felt raw and tender in the moment and held each other with all the love we’d never found. It seemed the warmth and strength of those who will forever be friends. ”If it wasn’t for this, life wouldn’t be worthwhile,” Jim said, his voice near tears. The desolation in his words scared me. “You know, we really get along well, don’t you think?” he asked, an astonished look spreading across his face. “We should spend a lot more time together.” “It’s easy to be with you, too,” I smiled. We just stared at each other, embarrassed. “You take birth control pills or something, don’t you? I mean, if we’re going to keep seeing each other, we don’t want you getting knocked up or anything.” “I grew up on them,” I said icily. When we walked outside, the smog in L.A.’s air had produced a twilight mirage of color; the evening sky glowed an incandescent lavender, pink, and salmon. Piled into his friend's tiny convertible, we drove down Sunset Boulevard. The night was warm, the lights sparkling. ―"Love Him Madly: An Intimate Memoir of Jim Morrison " (2013) by Judy Huddleston

It was the greatest night of my life/Although I still had not found a wife/We were close together/We tripped the wall and we scaled the graveyard/Ancient shapes were all around us/The wet dew felt fresh beside the fog/Two made love in an ancient spot/One chased a rabbit into the dark/And I gave empty sermons to my head/Cemetary, cool and quiet/Hate to leave your sacred lady/Dread the milky coming of the day ―Graveyard Poem by Jim Morrison

Sunday, July 08, 2018

The Straight Dope, Iconoclast Jim Morrison

It's 1969, and the world is on fire. When rock music reporter Tom Bean gets a tip that something is fishy about the death of The Rolling Stones' Brian Jones, he investigates and gets a beating for his troubles. That sets him on a race to stay one step ahead of shadowy killers targeting Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison as he tries to save their lives. Fast-moving and noirish, this historical novel is based on actual FBI and CIA operations of the time, including the implausibly named but entirely real Operation CHAOS, which tried to disrupt opponents of the Nixon Administration. Dain Dunston gives us a rock & roll novel in the tradition of Nick Horby, Don DeLillo and Jennifer Egan. The Straight Dope takes us on a tour of the world of rock, chasing the action from San Francisco to New York, London and Paris.

“Nearly 50 years after they died, the members of the 27 Club still haunt us. In this page-turner of a thriller, Dain Dunston's young reporter tries to stop their killers. Can peace and love win out?” — Charles McNair, The Epicureans. "Probably you're thinking it's implausible that the CIA wanted to kill four counter-culture rock stars in the 1960s. The Straight Dope is a trippy ride into the what-if of the weirdest part of the American 20th Century, when Manson really did hang out with the Beach Boys, Hunter S. Thompson really did ride with the Hells Angels... and the Feds really did regard rock and roll as a threat. This thing is so good I had the munchies after the first chapter.” — Neely Tucker, The Ways of the Dead. Source: www.amazon.com

SAN FRANCISCO DECEMBER 1, 1968

The night I met Jim Morrison my pen ran out of ink. I was on the corner outside the Carousel Ballroom at Market and Van Ness. There was a line of kids waiting to see Janis Joplin play her last gig with Big Brother and the Holding Company and I was making a note about the scene. I didn’t write much about the L.A. bands and I didn’t know much about him. All I knew was – and it was now confirmed – that Jim Morrison was trouble. "Who the fuck are you?" asked Morrison. "I’m Tom Bean. From the Chronicle." He swayed on his feet and stared at me and then his eyes softened. He reached a hand out and put it on my shoulder. I drove home the long length of Geary Boulevard, trying to remember if I knew any songs in praise of redheaded girls. Morrison: "You ever think about what it’s like to be human? Like birds. They don’t know why they fly south, they just do it. We do things and don’t know why we do them. It’s all like a cosmic game, you know? Let me buy you breakfast."  He surprised me. He looked remorseful and ashamed. Morrison’s idea of lunch was the first bar we came to on 5th Street. It was called The Shillelagh, a dark Irish bar filled with Teamsters who drove the Chronicle’s trucks and men from the Typographical Union. Morrison astonished me by saying he loved Rilke, and quoting him. "Love is never understood; and what we lose in Death is not disclosed." So, if song gives holiness and joy, I asked, why leave the band? Why shut the door to that? For the first time since the encounter at The Shillelagh, Morrison stopped talking. For a moment, the whole world seemed to stare into his glass. The bar was silent and a small black and white TV reran silent footage of the riot at San Francisco State.

ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA JULY 4, 1969

I kept my head down and did what I was told and before I knew it, we were halfway through 1969 and it was the Fourth of July. I stood in the bleachers with my sister’s family and waved our big American flag as choppers from the Naval Air Station flew overhead and colorful floats rolled down the street front of us. There was a bagpipe band, with grown men in kilts, and the Shriners with their funny hats. There were lots and lots of bored-looking teenagers dressed as clowns and hoboes. Excited dogs in circus garb trotted along behind them. And then came four F-4 fighter jets trailing red, white and blue smoke behind them. I waved the flag higher and wider and thought, oh, it’s great to be an American. It turns out that J. Edgar Hoover was already keeping dossiers on the Doors, on Janis Joplin and on Jimi Hendrix. I would have laughed this off six months ago. In fact, when first Morrison said it, I did laugh. But after hearing what Bob had to say, I was beginning to wonder. I told him about my conversation with Morrison the previous December. Federal officials harassing local officials who in turn were harassing promoters. The Doors are finished. The Miami bust gave the bureau everything they need. Morrison was shy. To call a guy up and say, I wrote a poem, and read it, that wasn’t easy. On a stage in front of ten thousand people, you weren’t nearly as exposed. You wore a performer’s mask. But with one person, there was nothing to hide behind. You were exposed and I could hear his voice crack with the tension of self-evaluation, as if he feared I would judge him and, given who I was, I might have. Instead, it made me want to encourage him. He ended on the last little stanza, if that’s what it was.

Morrison started his rant: "Music is an art but it’s also a business. And if the business suffers, the art disappears. Think of it as a global distribution system. People like bananas. To grow bananas takes big farms and lots of little men running around in Central America. To bring bananas to your store takes trucks and trains and ships and then more trucks. That five-cent banana you cut up on your corn flakes costs a penny to grow and three cents to transport. In the same way, that Rolling Stones ticket people think is unfairly priced reflects tens of thousands of dollars of transportation, equipment and stadium rental. You wouldn’t ask your grocer to give you a banana for free. Why would you ask The Rolling Stones to give you a concert for free? The fastest way to Hollywood is over the hills on La Cienega. Things like oil wells in the middle of a city. They are a nice metaphor for this reptilian hump of post-war sprawl that pumped the brains out of human beings and repackaged them as daytime game shows and bubble gum music. What got me were the signs, the endless billboards that line the road through the oil fields and were plastered to every vertical surface when you got down to the flats, the miles of gridlock paved with identical cinderblock Monopoly building. Air-Conditioned polar bears promising It’s Coooool Inside. Fly Now, Pay Later, We Try Harder. Signs for clean used cars and dirty books and Girls, Girls, Girls. 

L.A. is a psychotic ant farm grinding itself to dust, and I realized that the little Mustang was the only sky blue I was going to see on this trip. Whatever’s the opposite of rose colored glasses, that’s what I had on. San Francisco was going to hell and L.A. was showing the way and this state I used to love is sinking under the weight of a million tract houses and a billion diminishing dreams. By the way, I hate that prick Jean de Breteuil." (Jean de Breteuil was a heroin dealer who did try to steal girlfriends away from both Jim Morrison and Mick Jagger.)

The cab turned right at Norton Avenue, a nice tree-lined street of Spanish style bungalows with white stucco walls and red tile roofs. It stopped across from a modest 1930s garden apartment and de Breteuil strolled up to the bougainvillea-draped steps of the unit in back. It wasn’t the kind of place you’d expect to find a big rock star and it didn’t seem to be the kind of place de Breteuil would want to hang out. But there were six mailboxes on the front corner and when I took a close look, the name on the last box explained it all: Pamela Courson, Morrison’s girlfriend. I went back to the Plymouth and sat there. What the hell was I going to do now? What if Morrison was in there? Would Morrison kill him in front of his girlfriend? Should I bust in and break it up? I ran through the actuarial tables on what de Breteuil might do next. Pam was a friend of his and, I presumed, a lover. Was he stopping by to say hello or maybe treating her to a hit of fresh product?

PARIS JUNE 24, 1971

I had the idea that a profile on the rock star turned poet in Paris would work for the New Yorker, so I met Jim in his apartment for an interview. Pamela Courson (his girlfriend) was back. And from the way he talked, it seemed like things were complicated between them. Morrison introduced us but it didn’t feel right. It felt tense, like they’d been fighting and after she offered tea but didn’t make any, Jim suggested we go for a walk. The Count is back, Morrison said as we walked through the tree-lined Place des Vosges, surrounded by red brick mansions over an arched arcade. "He has Marianne Faithfull with him, so Pam moved back in with me." He looked embarrassed, as if having to explain this revealed a failure of will on his part. Morrison stared at the cloudless sky. A distant 707 was cutting a crystalline trail from east to west. He lit another cigarette, inhaled and coughed. "Did you know they offered me a role in a movie? Opposite Robert Mitchum. But I would have to go back to L.A. and I can’t do that yet."

Bean: So what’s the deal with Pamela?
Morrison: I made her promise to stop seeing the Count and she says she’s going to get off the junk. But she’s not ready yet. I can see that. It’s not like trying to quit smoking. What I’m doing is, I’m trying to help her control it and slowly cut it down. I don’t want her scoring from that creep and I sure as fuck don’t want her scoring on the street. A woman shouldn’t be out there like that. Scoring dope is a man’s job. The Count is dealing this fluffy pink Chinese heroin that’s super strong. Pamela calls it cotton candy. The thing Oscar Wilde said, 'All men kill the thing they love,' but I won't. I want to try her dope. Look, how can I help her if I don’t know what she’s going through? So I said I would do some heroin and then she couldn’t tell me I didn’t understand her, and then I could try for her health and mine and the health of the relationship. —"The Straight Dope: A Novel of Sex, Death and Rock & Roll" (2018) by Dain Dunston

Anger, hostility and irritability are frequently observed among patients with unipolar depressive disorders. Approximately one third of depressed outpatients present with “anger attacks,” sudden spells of anger accompanied by symptoms of autonomic activation such as tachycardia, sweating, hot flashes, and tightness of the chest. Depressed patients with anger attacks are significantly more anxious and hostile and they are more likely to meet criteria for avoidant, dependent, borderline, narcissistic, and antisocial personality disorders than depressed patients without anger attacks. German-American philosopher Paul Tillich characterized existential anxiety as "the state in which a being is aware of its possible nonbeing" and he listed three categories for the nonbeing and resulting anxiety: ontic (fate and death), moral (guilt and condemnation), and spiritual (emptiness and meaninglessness). According to Tillich, the last of these three types of existential anxiety, i.e. spiritual anxiety, is predominant in modern times while the others were predominant in earlier periods. Tillich argues that this anxiety can be accepted as part of the human condition or it can be resisted but with negative consequences. In its pathological form, spiritual anxiety may tend to "drive the person toward the creation of certitude in systems of meaning which are supported by tradition and authority" even though such "undoubted certitude is not built on the rock of reality".  —Anger: The Unrecognized Emotion in Emotional Disorders (2016) by David H. Barlow

"Jim Morrison was the nicest guy you ever met in your life. He would charm your pants off and often did with the ladies. That's what they didn't capture in the Oliver Stone movie--he was portrayed just like a drunk and a jerk. He was a cool guy and he was really fun to hang out with. He was too sensitive as an artist. Hopefully one day they'll make another film and show the real side of Jim Morrison." —Robby Krieger

-What would blow Jim’s mind the most about today’s music? -Patricia Kennealy: “How artificial, stupid, boring, trivial, shallow and talentless it is. He’d hate it. Today, nobody wants to actually criticize anything, heaven forbid. But then, there’s really nothing creative there to criticize. It’s just commercial, record-company-generated trash.”

Jim Morrison kept his life very compartmentalized, to protect his own privacy and that of the people he cared about. The vultures who have been strip-mining Jim’s life and legend to this day, as Danny Sugerman, sensationalist writers and such, have chosen to go with lies. They prefer their own, utterly erroneous take on it. Morrison was one of the great iconoclasts of all time, one of the great image-breakers. He’d hate what people have made of him. He'd hate to have been made an icon. Also people project their unsavory fantasies and wish-fulfillment trips onto him, and he doesn’t deserve it. They did it when he was alive, and a million times more so since he’s been dead. He was a beautiful, courteous, generous, humorous, loving soul. I’d say that’s their loss, but really the loss is, tragically, Jim’s. Per the stipulation in his will, which also stated that they were not yet married, Pamela Courson inherited Jim's entire fortune, yet lawsuits against the estate would tie up her quest for inheritance for the next two years. After Pamela received her share of Morrison's royalties, she never renewed contact with the remaining members of The Doors. Even though Jim and Pamela had their grievances, he always provided for her. Pamela would usually take long trips to Europe when they had their breaks, and spent huge amounts of money on those extravaganzas. 

She loved Yves Saint Laurent, Nudie Cohn, and she had a very big interest in vintage fashion. Pamela always seemed to get what she wanted no matter what! When she caught Jim with Judy Huddleston at a motel, she managed to get Jim out of that motel room by making a scene. As Queen of the Groupies Pamela Des Barres recalls, "Pam was a tough chick." I took Pamela Des Barres' tour in Los Angeles and she told the story about the erotic back bend she was doing for Jim when Pamela came home and threw her out. Des Barres said that regardless of what other women say of their affairs, Pamela Courson was the only woman Jim loved madly. Jim felt that he couldn't live without Pamela. The Lizard Queen (Pam) was an elusive creature at her core who was completely contradictory. Patricia Kennealy, on the other hand, was someone who did not get the kind of attention that she wanted in Jim's life and so, when The Doors' film came out in the early 90s, Patricia saw it as her opportunity to rewrite history and punish the dead for their roles in her inherent unhappiness. Although surely she knows the core of the truth of things, Patricia has lied for so long about the whole deal that she probably believes quite a bit of her own stories. 

Ginny Ganahl, who worked in the Doors' office, said that people referred to Patricia Kennealy as "The Potato", and this was sprung from her sour attitude when people saw her around town looking for Jim's company. I think that Jim at first was drawn to Patricia's intelligence and talents as a writer, but that after a while, her possessive aggression and demands for time and attention became too much and that he was civil but wary of her. Patricia stalked Pamela Courson as well, and despite her assertations that Pam was an airhead, she was never anything besides cordial to her. It just strikes me as very convenient, when in 1987, for the book "Rock Wives", Patricia was far more honest, saying in essence that she and Jim had a fling but that it was never a serious one. “Jim had a continuing love relationship with Pamela,” Paul Rothchild remembered: “Pam was the nice sweet girl next door, a vision. They were the classic fighting couple. And they couldn’t live without each other. Jim took her to to the wall mentally over and over. Pam would challenge him, she would drive him crazy because he loved her and she loved him. She was able to stand up to him.”—by She Dances in A Ring of Fire Tumblr

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Elvis Presley: “The King”, Jim Morrison: Self-Destructiveness, Interminable desire


Written and directed by Eugene Jarecki (“Why We Fight”), The King is a meditation on the current American crisis that’s built around a deep-dish portrait of Elvis Presley. The two elements—America and Elvis—come together in ticklish, surprising ways that expand and delight your perceptions.  If “The King” has a thesis is that America has entered its Fat Elvis period. We’re bloated, addicted, going through the motions, coasting on our legend, courting self-destruction. Yet the question the film asks is how, exactly, we got there, and Jarecki attempts to answer it by taking every aspect of Elvis’s life and career—not just the greatness but the betrayal of greatness. Elvis, by the end, didn’t just lose his majesty, he lost his faith, and so, in many ways, have we. In “The King,” which was entitled “Promised Land” when it premiered at Cannes in 2017, Jarecki takes a road tour of America in a 1963 Rolls Royce that was originally owned by Elvis. 

Greil Marcus, in his landmark 1975 book “Mystery Train,” had made the case that Elvis wasn’t just a legendary rock & roller but a quintessentially grand and timeless American artist. The scope of his music—its joy and its promise—was so epic that the more you played it and thought about it and lived in it, the more you realized how much it had changed you. Albert Goldman’s scandalous 1981 biography of the King, reveled in every last tawdry detail of Elvis’s addictions, his degraded descent. In “The King,” Eugene Jarecki puts together both sides of Elvis: the incandescent American artist and the overblown dysfunctional sellout. 40 years after Elvis left us (he died on August 16, 1977), Greil Marcus, who never lost the faith, makes the revelatory point that prior to the existence of the United States, there had never been a political document that devoted an entire nation to anything like “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Elvis Presley, when he came on the scene, was acting that out. Elvis shaking his hips on TV, sexualizing the entire culture with that ebullient fast-vibrato croon, was the pursuit of happiness. He seemed to open that door to everyone.

Now we’re in a drugged-out haze in a dopey white jumpsuit, fat and bloated and depressed. Donald Trump is our president and we’re about to drop dead in the bathroom. As former Secretary of Defense Richard Perle said: "people think that you can just elect a new man to office, and everything will change. It's already a different world. We have already changed." “The King” is a searching, impassioned, let’s-try-this-on-and-see-how-it-looks movie. It’s an essay in the form of an investigation. Elvis, after all, may have lost his faith, but the difference between Elvis and America is that we still have time to get ours back. Source: variety.com

The maintenance of dissociated alternating ego states is used to prevent a generalized feeling of anxiety throughout the self by protecting the libidinally derived all good ego core and by restricting anxiety to the all bad ego core, which is based on aggressively derived introjections. Therefore, the affected by borderline syndrome cannot integrate a stable identity. Denial, in its crudest form, reinforces splitting. Denial can interfere in a severe but focal way with reality testing, for example, in the denial of a reality at the service of a transference distortion. Borderline patients also can deny the significance of external events that were very significant to them. A more sophisticated form of denial is the intensified expression of an affect opposite to the one being denied, for example, the manic denial of depression. The depressive-masochistic personality disorder, the highest-level outcome of the pathology of depressive affect, presents an extremely punitive superego. This predisposes the patient to self-defeating behavior and reflects an unconscious need to suffer as expiation for guilt feelings or a precondition for sexual pleasure. The more realistic or understandable past object relations are replaced by highly unrealistic, sharply idealized, or persecutory self representations that cannot be traced immediately to actual or fantasied relations of the past. Sometimes they are replaced by a defensive disintegration of the representations of self into libidinally invested part-object relations. —"Narcissism, Self-Destructiveness and Borderline States" (2004) by Otto F. Kernberg

Who was Jim Morrison, and why did he fall apart? These seem to be the basic questions posed by Stone, but in the end the viewer is left wondering why he cared in the first place. With mere glimpses of twisted, half-baked memories from Jim’s early years, it’s hard to understand his evolution and decline. The Doors covers the period from 1965-1971, focusing on the band's lead singer, poet and songwriter. Morrison cannot handle the pressures of success and we see a slow train wreck as he turns to excesses in drugs, drink, women and exhibitionism. It hardly matters that when novelist Eve Babitz was a young Venice hipster, she pegged The Doors as nerds whose fans thought they were cool because "they had lyrics you could understand about stuff they learned in Psychology 101 and Art History." (That didn't stop Eve Babitz from sleeping with Morrison). Stone adores film deconstructing and has had great success with it previously, but this picture completely missed the mark. No wonder Ray Manzarek complained "Oliver Stone has assassinated Jim Morrison."

Oliver Stone's Jim Morrison is juvenile, destructive, obnoxious, and often, pointless. He hardly comes off as a genius, poetic or otherwise. Stone uses the docu-drama format as a license to condense times and events, while simultaneously inventing composite characters and situations that never existed. The downside, in addition to the lack of scope regarding Morrison, comes in the numerous episodes that never happened (Patricia Kennealy being present at the New Haven show Morrison got arrested at, Patricia Kennealy and Pam Courson having a catfight, Buick actually making a commercial using the song Light My Fire and Jim finding out about it by watching TV, Jim setting fire while Pam was smacked up in the closet... and on and on). Oliver Stone was actually kinder to Richard Nixon and Gordon Gekko than to Jim Morrison. Jim Morrison's personality doesn't unfold at all. Oliver Stone focuses on the wrong things. Sure, Jim Morrison was an alcoholic with a disregard for authority, but he was also a very intelligent, sensitive, friendly and funny person. This is far from the picture most people have of him after seeing the movie. Source: www.amazon.com

Patricia Kennealy met Jim Morrison in January 1969 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, the day after The Doors had appeared at Madison Square Garden. In June 1970, Jim and Patricia were supposedly married in a Celtic handfasting ceremony--an event that Oliver Stone later depicted in his 1991 film, The Doors. After the film release, Kennealy wrote a memoir, Strange Days, about their brief romance. According to Jerry Hopkins: "Except for Pamela, there was no one girl that he saw often for periods of more than a few days, and in the months since they'd met. Jim and Patricia had been in the same room only a few times. Nor had there been many phone calls. A sheaf of oddly personal letters, gifts of jewelry and rare books, but nothing that signaled a passionate courtship." Kennealy, however, tried very hard in Strange Days to model the character of herself after Pamela Courson. Patricia describes herself as a stylish redhead who kept Jim in check and didn’t take any guff from him, making herself out to be the muse who put Jim in his place, all the while inspiring his work… a lot like Pamela did. Patricia, however, was not a natural redhead. Color videos from that era show her with medium brown hair, without one red highlight. Patricia knew that no one could ever replace Pamela in Jim’s life,  and from the very beginning she was madly jealous of Pam. 

This photo is one of two that exist of them in the same proximity, and what you can tell is that she’s cut her co-workers out so that this photo looks more intimate. It was taken for promotional purposes for the magazine Kennealy wrote for, Jazz & Pop. Patricia Kennealy was just one of Jim Morrison’s many one night stands. Jim went along with it as a joke and didn’t take it all seriously, a fact attested to by Kennealy in a book called “Rock Wives,” written in 1987. When The Doors movie came out, Patricia changed her story totally to make herself out to be much more important in Morrison’s life that she really had been. Going by Morrison's schedule at the time, he could have spent maybe 10 days with her tops. A real womanizer, when he was sober, Jim Morrison was the epitome of the southern gentleman, considerate, extremely polite, generous, very romantic and higly respectful towards women. As John Densmore recalled: "Jim liked to treat women with great respect." Jim wrote passionate love letters and poems to these women, and many thought he really meant it, but Pam was the only one in his heart. 

Pamela was much desired even before meeting Jim, she inspired not only the music of The Doors but other bands of that era. Jim and Pam were madly in love with each other from the beginning. Although Pam often recriminated his infidelities and Jim reproached to Pam she could be 'meaner than a rattlesnake,' they were meant to be together. Kennealy deluded herself when she said: "Jim found it hard to accept love because he had never been given very much of it, and did not think himself worthy of love." Although it can be true Morrison didn't receive the love he needed as a kid, he never hesitated in receiving love from Pamela. Also, Morrison is alleged to have loved—in a much lower intensity—other women like Mary Werbelow, Nico, Judy Huddleston, or Peggy Green. But Jim never loved Patricia, he just saw her as an obsessive stalker and even was justifiably scared of her. Someone made a great Pin on Pinterest where it shows a sample of Kennealy's handwriting and what is supposed to be Jim Morrison's signature on a Pagan "marriage document". The document was handwritten by Kennealy herself and it is fairly obvious that she forged Jim Morrison's signature on it, the handwriting really is identical. It would not be any surprise that no ceremony took place at all, or if it did it took place while Morrison was completely passed out. —by RiderOntheStorm1969 & She Dances in A Ring of Fire Tumblr

Pamela Courson’s remains are in a crypt at Fairhaven Memorial Park, behind a plaque that says, “Morrison/Pamela Susan.” Cemetery workers have to clean the plaque regularly because so many people kiss it. Kim Fowley (The Runaways' manager) talking about meeting Jim and Pam in Canyon of Dreams by Harvey Kubernik: "I met Pamela Courson, Jim's wife, at the Renaissance Faire on Sunset Blvd. Morrison said to me 'When you fall in love, you'll be a better poet.' One of the most intelligent guys I ever met in rock and roll." Why did Jim Morrison feel that cosmic connection to Pam Courson? Was she "complicated, and a basket case" as Alan Ronay described her? Was she a sweet child or a wild child? Was she Morrison's bane of existence or his muse of immense inspiration? Pam Courson is probably the most mysterious wife of an acclaimed rock star ever. And until today she's been and continues to be a beautiful mystery. The truth is Jim Morrison caught her eye and pursued her at the campus of a college party. Pamela barely raised her sight from her coke. She was one of a kind! As Jim walked off the London Fog's stage, she was waiting for him holding a beer and a bag of mushrooms. They made love for over three hours in their first night together. Jim knew he had found his cosmic mate, and didn't want to lose her. She was not a groupie, she was not a floozy, she was a strange angel, and his girl forever. Jim became Pamela's protector, and even when he couldn't make her love, he could make know her of his interminable desire, of how special she was for him. As all the true love stories, Jim Morrison's unique relationship with Pam Courson was utterly misunderstood. Some insiders thought Morrison was lost, at the mercy of the unstable Pam, but they were dead wrong. Jim chose Pam, chose Love. Jim Morrison said that Love was the answer. Source: www.wattpad.com

Monday, July 02, 2018

Jim Morrison: Man Against Himself (47th Anniversary of Jim Morrison's death)

Being unable to accept or recognize the interior, more complicated layers of one’s identity, and lacking adequate awareness or acceptance of other people’s full identities, are symptoms of being unintegrated—to suffer from a syndrome of 'diffuse identity.' Borderline impulsivity traits are predicted by both diffusion and identity splitting. 'Splitting' is the tendency to swing from idealization to devaluation of self and others. This conclusion is in line with Otto Kernberg’s observations that identity 'diffusion' is characterized by the continued presence of contradictory identifications and the predominance of 'splitting' over repression. However, when splitting is used by an individual who does not present a diffusion of identity, impulsivity could be related to a negative emotional state associated with a specific lack of impulse control. The present results are in accordance with Kernberg’s model postulating that identity diffusion reflects a lack of integration of positive and negative segments of objects relations and is associated with several behavioral manifestations such as emotional lability, anger, interpersonal chaos, and impulsive self-destructive behaviors (Clarkin et al., 2007). Levy and colleagues (2006) describe identity diffusion as a lack of metasocial-cognitive ability to observe, reflect, and describe emotional states which can reduce affect and selfregulation. It is assumed that identity and cognitive processes have a reciprocal influence on the development and modulation of affective responses by providing the representational aspects of affect activation (Kernberg, 2005). The dissociation between two sectors of the psyche could deprive the person from having access to crucial information during the deliberation stage of information processing. Source: www.researchgate.net

Imagine a mind not ever feeling safe, moving along in life accompanied by an unimaginable dread, in which there is no sense of oneself, and no reference points—a self-threatening mental state. While encompassed in the nothingness, the mind experiences a confounding chaos and an indescribable sense of catastrophe. Unable to comprehend the reality of others, the mind thus cannot comprehend itself or a recognizable self-reality. A little understood disorder in the 1960s, it engulfed the sufferers leaving no way out. One of the most complicated and disruptive states of being, it is difficult for someone in it to describe and almost impossible for those not there to imagine. But it has been identified, and is now able to be treated with modest success. In clinical practice, it is currently known as borderline syndrome or borderline personality disorder. That chaotic internal state of mind that characterized Jim Morrison's psyche was relentless, leading him in the process to experience profound and consuming identity conflicts at times. Psychoanalyst William W. Meissner has conceptualized these “emotive vs detached” borderline types as constituting what he calls a “hysterical - schizoid spectrum”, placing Janis Joplin on the hysterical end and Jim Morrison on the schizoid end.

Relatives, biographers, and fans have considered the possibilities and offered their speculations, which generally fall into one of the following hypotheses. The first one is that the subculture of the rockstar lifestyle destroyed Jim Morrison. But we must consider that alcohol and drug abuse were symptoms of a deeper, less obvious disturbance. Elvis Presley for example, for all his abuse of various substances, did not exhibit such persistent and chaotic behavior. Nor did he verbalize the feelings of alienation and despair that were so characteristic of Morrison. The second hypothesis consists of the concept of success in the world of entertainment as actually a defeat for one’s spiritual and emotional health. Especially the idea of the continually exploited and alienated star, finally turning to drugs and alcohol for relief. This theme is encountered in at least one biography of Marilyn Monroe, and is suggested in the movie based on Janis Joplin's life, The Rose. Many other artists had to cope with the pressures of stardom that were a constant source of aggravation in their lives, but they didn't succumb to self-destructive impulses. Thus we must look further into Morrison's personality, not only the environment, for the answers. 

Some of his biographers presented a portrait of Jim Morrison as a taunting, teasing, hostile, oppositional man whose embrace of the dark side reflected his own deeply embedded despair. However much he may repel us, we can not help but be touched by the depth of his suffering. A diary of Morrison, thought to be from around this period (at the end of his life, in Paris), is riddled with a sense of helplessness—scrawled passages of desperation in lines like ‘God help me, God help me’ scribbled over and over again, filling entire pages. Jim Morrison appeared to have attained his rock star status by a confluence of unusual circumstances: the emerging student counterculture of the sixties, his own rapidly expanding interest in radical experiences, and the considerable artistic talent he possessed for developing music. On some level, Morrison realized that the danger of the times was also internal—that the "love generation" was hardly without its own dark impulses. In fact, Morrison seemed to understand that any generation so intent on giving itself permission to go as far as it could was also giving itself a license for (self) destruction. He also talked of pursuing sanity through insanity, and so he embraced the mysterious, the inscrutable, the extreme, the illogical, the disordered and the sensual. The purpose of his self-destructive substance abuse was not to discover the other side but to escape the other side. By behaving in an outrageous and provocative manner, Jim Morrison attempted to fill the void, to prevent panic from overwhelming him. 

Jim Morrison was quoted as saying, “I think the highest and lowest points are the important ones.” Also, “People use me to come alive. They’re all looking for a peak experience.” Morrison acted out on many levels. Not all were entertaining; few were understood. Sometimes he seemed to propose taking on the audience's evil urges or even becoming evil’s repository. James Riordan and Jerry Prochnicky offer the best characterization of his performances: “Watching him sing was like witnessing a man dangling in his own anguish. Seeing him scream, writhe, and whisper his way into a head-on clash with some ultimate truth could be truly frightening.” In Man Against Himself (1938) and Love Against Hate (1942), Karl Menninger described that inexplicable external behaviors are the result of struggles with untamed, internal forces present in all humans. In the case of Morrison, these self-destructive and aggressive forces could be avoided only by achieving some form of psychological mechanism such as sublimation or personality integration. Morrison's charisma, and some of songs and poetry emerged from the most conflicted elements of his personality. The tragedy was that the full promise of Jim Morrison was unrealized at the time of his death. —"Living in the Dead Zone: Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison—Borderline Personality" (2010) by Gerald Faris

The Crack-Up: Before the morning of July 3, 1971, Alain Raisson, a French fireman, had never heard of the American singer and poet Jim Morrison. Raisson and his team of five firemen tried to revive him, but failed, and within minutes of arriving at the apartment on 17 rue Beautreillis in the Marais district of Paris, it was Raisson who pronounced Morrison dead. The cause of death appeared to be heart failure, and because there were no bruises or any other marks of violence on the body, the police who arrived shortly after Raisson's team decided not to proceed with an autopsy -- a decision that many of Morrison's fans still question today. "If anyone in the police had known he was famous, I am sure they would have done an autopsy," says Raisson, who will not speculate on what caused Morrison's apparent heart attack. All he knows is that Courson made the emergency call at 9:20 on that fateful Saturday morning. Raisson and his team arrived minutes later, and found her distraught, still in her nightgown. She told them that Morrison had awoken at 6 a.m. and told her that he was not feeling well, and would take a bath. When he wasn't in bed nearly 3 1/2 hours later, Courson went to investigate and called the emergency number. "That was the encounter, very intense and very brief," repeats Raisson. According to Mirandi Babitz, "Jim and Pamela were just always talking about death, they talked about dying together". —"A History of the 27 Club: Jim Morrison" (2015) by Howard Sounes

Friday, June 29, 2018

Jim Morrison's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


"She had orange ribbons in her hair/She was such a trip, she was hardly there/But I loved her just the same/There was rain in our window/The FM set was ragged/But she could talk/We learned to speak/All we did was break and freak it/We had all that lovers ever had/Now her world was bright orange/And the fire glowed..." Orange County (1970) by The Doors

There really are no good biographies on Jim Morrison except Frank Lisciandro's "Friends Gathered Together" or Jim Cherry's "The Doors Examiner," the rest written mostly by 'authors' trying to cash in by using sensationalism as their marketing tool. I just finished reading Patricia Kennealy’s book. Here are a few varied thoughts about her memoir Strange Days: *Kennealy seems utterly obsessed with Pamela Courson. Her name is mentioned (on average) at least every 3 pages. *Patricia Kennealy’s sense of humor is very barely existent... the couple of moments of intended humor (which are buried deeply beneath her self congratulating monologues) fall flat and feel embarrassingly false.

*98% of this book feels like pure bullshit. Jim Morrison was a very heavy drinker, behavior that is known to cause, amongst other things, lethargy and impotency. Yet, according to Kennealy, her and Jim’s sex life (something that she discusses redundantly) was fabulous all the time, and that he never, ever faltered in that department. I could list off countless sources that have remarked on Jim’s alcohol related impotency, namely Pamela herself. *Patricia fails to make Jim seem special or intelligent or wild or extraordinary at all. He becomes a caricature not unlike the one played by Val Kilmer. The Jim Morrison in this book can’t seem to shut up... he jibber jabbers constantly. There is even a scene at one point where Jim weeps uncontrollably over his love for Patricia. Okay.

*Despite her apparent dislike for Pam, PK falters at times with how she apparently feels about her. PK was actually friends with Pam while Pam was alive, but I suppose that was easy enough to discard when Pamela herself died, in favor of cashing in on Jim’s name. There are quite a few moments where PK portrays Pam as having the mindset of a child, and then she’ll turn around and say things like, “She wasn’t that kind of stupid!” She mentions a few times that Pam was very sweet, and that she feels sorry for her, and even prays for her to this day. Also, she cannot seem to let go off how beautiful Pamela really was. Some examples: “Pamela Susan Courson, nine months younger than I, three years younger than Jim, is a staggeringly pretty woman.” “She was charming, extremely pretty...” “Though Val Kilmer and Meg Ryan are pretty enough, next to Jim and Pam they look like dull unattractive urchins with bad hair (wigs, but still).” *Try as she may to discredit Pam’s intellect, she does not dare deny Pamela’s importance to Jim, and even admits the following: “I believe he loved Pamela as well as could love anyone.”

*She also prattles on and on about how she had such lovely auburn hair when she was “with” Jim, but colored photos from that time show that Patricia’s hair color was actually more of an ash brown, without so much as a hint of a red tone. Looks like she’s been dyeing her hair auburn ever since Jim died so that she can claim that his songs praising bright red hair were about her. This is not unlike what Pamela DesBarres, Nico, and Janet Erwin (a groupie) have done in an attempt to look Jim Morrison’s type since Pam and Jim have both passed on. *The book is wholly self serving. I can’t find not one admitted flaw. *Patricia takes as many pot shots as she can at other Doors insiders, as well as the surviving Doors, and Jim/Pam’s families.  Source: pamelacourson.tumblr.com

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: The private Jim Morrison was the antithesis of his extroverted stage personality. He spoke slowly and quietly with little emotion, often pausing to reflect or collect his thoughts before continuing. Though he was confident, he was not usually egotistical or pretentious. On the contrary, he often was gentle, sensitive, and considerate of others' feelings. Many who knew Morrison will tell you he was a well-mannered "Southern gentleman," someone you would have no problem taking home to meet your mother. It was only onstage, or after having too much to drink, that his voice became deep and loud, his manner vibrant and gruff, and his actions mindless. Tom Baker was in New York doing a I, A Man at The Factory, when he and Warhol stopped in to see The Doors at The Scene, Baker saw a different Jim Morrison onstage. "His performance was a classic one," Baker wrote, "giving off glimpses of all our beautiful tragic/comic American Heroes... one moment I saw Brando's 'wild one,' the next James Dean's rebel, then Chet Baker, and finally Elvis."

LSD was key in providing Morrison with access to the further regions of reality. With fame came more women. Except for Pamela, the majority of the women he was having affairs or one-night stands with were on the bizarre side. Many were alluring and attractive in their own way, but some were just outright weirdos who drew Morrison because of their strangeness: freaked-out go-go dancers who were into demonism, and disgruntled groupies. Morrison attracted the strange and the bizarre like a magnet and he was often surrounded by mystics, perverts, drunkards, and just plain lunatics. He collected people like stray dogs. While he knew they were sponging off of him, he was too kind to drive them away. Sooner or later they'd disappear. Sometimes he would get drunk and go nuts and that would scare them off, other times they got bored with him. Morrison saw these people as kindred spirits, people out on the edge, and he was fascinated by them.

Themis Fashion Boutique, 947 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles. Pamela Courson traveled to Europe frequently to stock her store. The store was hardly ever open and kept odd hours. Meanwhile, Jim and Pam's clashes continued. Although the boutique kept her busy, it didn't do much for her insecurity, and the effects of his drinking and her drug use were now taking their toll. Mirandi Babitz elaborates: "Pam and I used to do a lot of coke together in the early days, but now she was getting into heroin. She was snorting it. I don't think Jim cared if she did it, but if he found she was getting too fucked up he would probably get upset. I'm sure they were like any addicted couple would behave. Each one blamed everything on the other's problem." Others claim Morrison got very angry with Pam over her use of heroin. A neighbor in Laurel Canyon recalls Pam describing a violent argument over the issue where she locked herself in the closet to get away from Jim's rage. Close friends of Morrison's doubt the validity of this story, however. 


After the Hollywood Bowl, The Doors went on the road playing Houston on July thirteenth, 1968. Pam, feeling ignored while Jim was on the road, had a fling with actor John Phillip Law of Barbarella fame. She made sure Morrison heard about it and they had many a long-distance argument over it. Her idea was to force him to come home and finally he did the next best thing. Mirandi Babitz remembers: "He finally said she better get her ass out to New York where he was. She drove to the airport, parked the car in the regular parking lot, and took a flight to New York. She came back two weeks later and the police had towed it and discovered the kilo of marijuana she'd left in the trunk. They busted her, but Diane Gardiner [The Doors' publicist] had someone get her out on a first defense. I don't know how... a kilo was a lot in those days, but I think they realized she wasn't selling, she was just spaced out."


Even though he was pleased with many of the new songs, Morrison drank heavily during the recording sessions of LA Woman. As usual, this put additional pressure on everyone involved. Pam came to a few of the sessions, but her presence did little to change things. One time, however, she got hold of Jim's bottle and drank it to keep him from it. Bruce Botnick describes what happened next: "So here were the two of them, completely out of their minds and crying. He started shaking her violently. I think he was putting me on. She was crying out of control, telling him he shouldn't drink any more and that's why she drank it. And I'm cleaning up, and I said, 'Hey, man, it's pretty late.' He looked up, stopped shaking her, said, 'Yeah, right,' and hugged her, and they walked out arm in arm. I felt he had done all that for effect. I'd seen him do that sort of thing before, because he'd always give you a funny look afterward, to see your reaction."

The appeal of cinema lies in the fear of death — While The Lords contains many interesting insights on vision in general and cinematography in particular, it is The New Creatures that really shows Morrison's more poetic side. Dedicated "To Pamela Susan," the work resounds with imaginative verse centering mostly on sexual conflict and is interwoven with images of pain and death. Some of the poems began as ideas for songs while others took the themes of songs and explored them in a new direction. Though the meanings are usually obscure and shadowy, the language and depth of thought is often fascinating. The Lords appease us with images. They give us books, concerts, galleries, shows. Especially the cinemas. Through art they confuse us and blind us to our enslavement. Art adorns our prison walls, keeps us silent and diverted and indifferent. Morrison had originally thought of the "Lords" as the people who control society, but later the concept evolved into something else: "Now to me, the 'Lords' mean something entirely different. It's like the opposite. Somehow the Lords are a romantic race of people who have found a way to control their environment and their own lives. They're somehow different from other people." —"Break On Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison" (ekindle, 2014) by James Riordan