WEIRDLAND: Scars of Sweet Paradise: Joplin, Morrison

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Scars of Sweet Paradise: Joplin, Morrison

“She looked so sad in sleep/Like a friendly hand/just out of reach/A candle stranded on a beach/While the sun sinks low/an H-bomb in reverse.” —The American Night (1971) by Jim Morrison

What doesn’t seem in dispute is that Janis Joplin went to bed once with Jim Morrison of The Doors. Linda Bacon, one of the many Austin refugees who lived in the Bay Area, recalls that The Doors were in town and invited Janis out to dinner. Jim Morrison arrived with his girlfriend, Pamela Courson, in tow, while Janis showed up with Sam Andrew (guitarist of Big Brother & the Holding Company), Dave Richards—the band’s roadie—and Linda. Both Andrew and Richards had designs on Jim's girlfriend Pamela. Everybody knew Janis had designs on Morrison. Both read Nietzsche, Ferlinggetti, McClure, and Corso, and if Janis wasn't the expert on Plutarch, Baudelaire, and Norman O. Brown that Jim was, she could readily discuss Gurdjieff, Wilfred Owen and F. Scott Fitzgerald. After dinner they all moved on to Janis’s Lyon Street apartment, where Linda claims “Janis and Jim sort of dragged each other into the bedroom. Morrison’s girlfriend left in tears, with Sam in hot pursuit.” It wasn’t a good match, though, and on a subsequent occasion, Janis knocked Morrison over the head with a Southern Comfort bottle after they had gotten into an argument in which he had grabbed her by her hair. “She hated Jim Morrison,” says a West Coast booking agent. “We could have all made so much money had she allowed a Doors/Joplin package to go on. But she refused. He didn’t like her that much, either. They were two of a kind and they hated what they saw in each other.” Morrison begged Paul Rothschild to give him Janis' phone number. “I had to say, ‘Jim, Janis doesn’t think it would be a good idea for you two to get together again.’ He was crushed,” Rothschild said. Sometime after Janis's night with Morrison, she told her friend Henry Carr, "Morrison was okay in bed, but when we got up the next morning, he asked for a shot of sloe gin."

According to Danny Fields: "They both frequented Barney’s Beanery, and I’m sure they’d see each other there often.  Before Janis died, they had both made some amends for which Jim was grateful." In 1970 Jim and Janis got together at his request shortly before he left for Paris. Calling her his old drinking buddy, he said he wanted to make amends, and they had a warm visit. Morrison was trying to control his alcoholism, drinking only white wine. Janis, too, was under the illusion that switching from hard liquor to some other drink would help. Morrison was genuinely grateful for having made amends with Joplin. When they said good-bye that day, Morrison told her that rock 'n' roll was now a part of his past. —"Scars of Sweet Paradise: The Life and Times of Janis Joplin" (2000) by Alice Echols

Let me state this accurately: Jim Morrison was a fantastic human being and an incredible creative artist, but not for the reasons Ray Manzarek said. Jim's myth and legend do not need the manipulation of Ray or Danny Sugerman. Jim left us with poems and songs and films that establish him as one of the 20th century's most creative inhabitants. Ray should have stopped trying to make Jim the bad boy of rock, the embodiment of Dionysus, and a petulant child. Jim's poems will endure long after anyone can remember Ray's stories. I did the interviews with Jim’s close friends that are gathered in my book, “Friends Gathered Together” because of the Stone movie which was supposed to be about Jim, but contained not a shred of truth about any Jim Morrison I ever knew. No wonder because Stone followed Danny Sugerman's book, which is so badly distorted that a close friend of Jim’s cried after reading only 20 pages and threw the damn book away. Although the film was made with all the technical skill that Hollywood is famous for, it was an endless series of lies, not only about Jim but also about the times. He paints Pamela Courson in a less than stellar light, even though Jim and Pam were indeed soulmates; neither could ever be with anyone else. Pamela Courson has been as enigmatic a figure in Doors history as Jim, and nearly all of the friends in the book say the same thing about her: she was often aloof, cold, possessive of Jim, and unfriendly toward The Doors' inner circle.

The film presented an image of this era (the mid to late 1960’s) that was gloomy and drug infested; while the truth (at least from my perspective) was that the era was very much alive with hope for a better future. It was an exciting and vibrant time that pulsed to the beat of great music, that grew an intelligent, confident and active opposition to the war-machine in Washington, and birthed a genuine search for spiritual awakening. All this while the arts were experiencing a renascence-like renewal. Are the remaining Doors afraid of the truth about Jim Morrison? Afraid the fans will see Jim as the central creative force in the band, as the intellect and soul of the group? Why don’t they want the world to see Jim Morrison as a complete human being? They met a genius on their way to maturity and they've had trouble trying to justify their behavior during and since that genius walked out of their lives. Almost all the people I meet have already figured out that Jim Morrison was an extraordinary individual, and not the asshole that Hopkins/Sugerman/Stone would have us believe. Source:

The Door's manager, Bill Siddons, claimed that Jim and Pam had taken a marriage license to Paris. Pamela Courson and Jim Morrison had previously obtained marriage licenses in Colorado in 1967 and in Los Angeles in 1968, but never legalized it. This sourced info was taken off Jim Morrison's Wikipedia page by User:CorbieVreccan as were other credible lovers of Morrison like Enid Graddis or Peggy Green while they greatly expanded on Patricia Kennealy-Morrison's claims which are highly contested. The page should be neutral. Jim Morrison - Personal Life (Wikipedia): "Jim Morrison's relationship with Pamela Courson, his longtime girlfriend, was reflective of his dual personality. Their romance was a tumultuous blend of tenderness and uncontrolled passion right from the beginning and this fire-and-ice quality lasted right to the end." —Source: "Break on through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison" (1991) by James Riordan

Discussion about Patricia Kennealy section: Patricia Kennealy added the last name Morrison to hers many years after Morrison's death. Kennealy never brought the proof she claims to have as far as Jim Morrison's letters. She never identified the "ordained minister" or "witnesses" she claims attended the wedding ceremony. Kennealy's claims about her alleged relationship with Morrison have been publicly disputed by former colleagues, friends of Jim Morrison and Pamela Susan Courson-Morrison and members of the surviving Doors—without Kennealy taking any meaningful action, legal or otherwise. Much in the same way that no matter how many eyewitnesses have publicly gone on record to clarify what actually happened the night Jim Morrison died, Wikipedia is bound to stick with the "official" cause of death. Is Wikipedia not bound to verify statements from people regarding claims of "marriage" and other serious issues? Based on the fact that all encyclopedic information must be verified, references to Kennealy's claims should not be included at all.

Another relationship that was wiped out from his Wikipedia is Janet Erwin. Although she was probably "another notch in Morrison's bedpost" this is the last documented affair Jim Morrison had in February 1971 in Los Angeles, California before his death in Paris, France on July 3, 1971. Erwin dispels Patricia Kennealy's claims and unveils her as an imposter. Her copyrighted story starts, "This piece was originally written as an expose of Patricia Kennealy and what those of us who were there and know what really happened regard as a series self-serving lies about what was in fact a very brief romantic relationship with the late Jim Morrison." Andy Morrison told the press that he had met with Kennealy and that a handwriting expert found that she was trying to publish letters and poems that were determined to have been forged by Kennealy. Also, Kennealy's "marriage document" was completely handwritten by Kennealy herself. In "An Open Letter to Jim's Fans": Kennealy just confirms that her real obsession is with Pamela Courson, not with Morrison, and the fact that Morrison had the audacity to choose Pamela over her. You know what they say, "Jealousy is a snake bite that takes 70 years to kill you." How Patricia Kennealy managed to fool Oliver Stone's is a mystery. Source:

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