WEIRDLAND: jim morrison
Showing posts with label jim morrison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jim morrison. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Love Songs, Easy Rider, Jim Morrison

If love were a purely cultural invention, it would stand to reason that love would simply not exist in some cultures. However, anthropological research suggests that love is a universal emotion. For instance, biological anthropologist, Helen Fisher, studied 166 societies and she found evidence of romantic love in an overwhelming 147 of the 166 societies, or nearly 90% of the time. Scientific research suggests that the brain activity of couples in mature relationships is very similar to the brain activity of those newly in love (sharing the "cuddle hormone"). In The Descent of Man (1871), Darwin devoted almost twice as much space to bird songs as to human music. He saw these melodies, which play an important part in courtship and mating, as the prototype for more advanced types of music. Just as birds sing to attract the opposite sex, "primeval man, or rather some early progenitor of man, probably first used his voice in producing true musical cadences... This power would have been especially exerted during the courtship of the sexes,—would have expressed various emotions, such as love, jealousy, triumph,—and would have served as a challenge to rivals." Put simply, all songs were originally love songs.

In its long history, music has brought people together in many ways—in work and worship, ritual and recreation, and other settings where social cohesion can benefit from its aural glue, its ability to transform isolated individuals into a larger whole. The love song brings people together on a more intimate level, encompassing the most stylized forms of modern-day romance. Darwin, for his part, aimed to trace all these manifestations back to the same biological origins; and once he found this key, he decided that it unlocked many doors. Early human songs of courtship and mating also served, he surmised, as the foundation for language. Not just vocal music but, according to Darwin, even instrumental performances had their roots in the animal kingdom. He called attention to the "drumming to the snipe's tail, the tapping of the woodpecker's beak," perceiving them as the forerunners of our musical rhythms. He heard prototypes for human song in the croaks of frogs and the squeaks of mice, in the sounds of alligators and tortoises, even in the "pleasing" notes produced by the "beautifully constructed stridulating organs" of insects and spiders. "Love is still the commonest theme of our songs," Darwin noted, asserting confidently that birds "have nearly the same taste for the beautiful as we do. This is shown by our enjoyment of the singing of birds, and by our women, both civilized and savage, decking their heads with borrowed plumes." 


Yet even Darwin hedged his bets, noting that bird songs serve an additional purpose, allowing the mate to assert territorial claims as well as court the female. Meanwhile a growing body of research has documented the aggressive qualities of bird song. In the 1970s, ornithologist Douglas Smith found that birds surgically deprived of their singing ability were far more susceptible to territorial intrusions by other males. Around this same time, zoologist J. R. Krebs demonstrated that when recordings of a male's song are played on loudspeakers, the sound alone can dissuade rivals from entering his territory. The hormone vasopressin and its avian counterpart, vasotocin, have emerged as the key "missing links" connecting these different spheres of behavior. The injection of just a tiny amount of vasotocin in a frog's brain immediately leads to the initiation of mating behavior, and stimulation of vasopressin receptors in certain brain regions can turn a promiscuous vole into a monogamous one. Some have even started calling vasopressin the "monogamy hormone." Researchers have found that vasopressin not only plays a key role in regulating our sexual behavior—men in a state of sexual arousal show markedly higher levels—but is also linked to musical aptitude in humans, and even to receptivity in listening to music. 

If song and sex share the same hormonal triggers, might they also possess an intertwined evolutionary history? Research conducted by Sarah Earp and Donna L. Maney at Emory University in 2012 shows that the neural patterns in female songbirds when exposed to the mating songs of males of their species resemble neural responses in the mesolimbic reward pathway of humans enjoying a musical performance. Neuroscience strikes another blow for Darwin! And, coming back full circle to The Descent of Man, recent research tells us that the avian hormone vasotocin, which differs by only one amino acid from our "monogamy hormone" vasopressin, is connected to increased singing by male sparrows and the acquisition of stable stereotyped song patterns in songbirds. Certainly there are many missing evolutionary links between the white-throated sparrow and the Homo sapiens performing in a rock band, but the basic functionality seems the same. In a survey of thousands of commercial recordings, evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller found that 90 percent were recorded by males, most of them made during their peak years of sexual activity. This finding matches results, drawn across a wide range of species, that mating display practices tend to be exaggerated in one sex. If we judge by the Billboard charts, males initiate most of the musical courtships in human society, just as with Darwin's birds. "Music is what happens," Miller explains, "when a smart, group-living, anthropoid ape stumbles into the evolutionary wonderland of runaway sexual selection for complex acoustic displays."  Source: www.popmatters.com

50th Anniversary of Easy Rider: Situated at the end of its decade, Easy Rider literally and symbolically marks the turning point at which the idealism of the 60s curdled into the indulgent solipsism of the 70s. Though Wyatt and Billy’s long hair, sideburns, and far-out couture outwardly align them with the flower children and estrange them from squares at small-town diners giving disapproving looks, they’re far from avatars of peace and love. In his essay for the booklet accompanying the Criterion Collection’s home video release, critic Matt Zoller Seitz describes the film as “a freewheeling take on freedom – what it means and what it costs”. Tapping into that sentiment afforded Hopper and the trailblazers who’d follow his example their own version of the liberty he prized without romanticizing. After all, as Wyatt mumbles around a lonely campfire, they blew it. In the oft-cited campfire scene near the end, Wyatt tells Billy, “We blew it.” 

That line has been taken as an indictment of the American counterculture, which, like so many protean revolutionary movements, started self-destructing once it gained enough prominence to effect real change. One can read it that way. But the line strikes also as a more personal sort of confession, an admission that they have ultimately succumbed and bought into their own outlaw version of the capitalist rat race. For the New Orleans sequence with Karen Black and Toni Basil, while tripping on LSD, Hopper persuaded Fonda to talk to a statue of a woman in a cemetery as if it were his mother. “Oh God, how l loved you,” Wyatt sobs. The film’s piquant final shot—the camera rising away from Wyatt’s shattered, burning bike—suggests a soul’s ascent to heaven. It could represent the death of a man, or of a dream of revolution. Source: www.theguardian.com

Jim Morrison: "Real poetry doesn't say anything. It just ticks off the possibilities. Opens all doors."

-Frank Lisciandro: What’s the background of the “Graveyard Poem”?

-Ron Alan (music producer): That took place a night that we played at a club called the Sea Witch which was on the Sunset Strip, right across from Ben Franks, a little east of that. Jim had come down and we had been hanging out for about three days. We met Pamela and Peggy (Green) and we all took some acid and we saw the graveyard across the street; right there on Gower. On Gower, just south of Santa Monica Boulevard, there’s that very large graveyard. Anyway, it was like two or three in the morning and we were looking at that graveyard and we figured, that’d be a real good place to go. So me, Jim, Pam and Peggy climbed the walls and went into the graveyard. The minute we got into the graveyard, we saw a white rabbit and we chased it until he got away. And we just stayed in there and walked around. It was like almost defying death in a way, to embrace it. There is death, why hide from it. We were on acid and it was kind of like laughing in death’s face in a way. Then, Peggy got freaked out, she laid down on a grave and started crying and kicking her feet. And that’s in Jim’s poem, it’s the line: “One girl got drunk and balled the dead”. The cemetery scene from Easy Rider comes from Jim's Graveyard Poem. 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. Jim also wrote that song “My Wild Love” that night. “My wild love went riding... My wild love’s crazy, she screams like a bird, she went to the devil...” And then that came out on the next album Waiting for the Sun. 

“All hopes of eternity and all gain from the past he would have given to have her there, to be wrapped warm with him in one blanket, and sleep, only sleep. It seemed the sleep with the woman in his arms was the only necessity.” -D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

-Frank Lisciandro: How was Jim's relationship with Pamela?

-Ron Alan: Obviously, Jim must have loved Pamela a lot or else he wouldn't have been with her. He didn't have to be with anybody, he had pretty much the whole world at his feet as far as girls were concerned. But there was something about her that, well, somehow they connected, and whether they agreed all the time or not, it doesn't matter. Somehow their souls connected. He really cared about Pamela. That's the only girl he really cared about.

-Frank Lisciandro: He never talked about his conquests?

-Ron Alan: No, never. He was so far beyond that kind of thinking. He would talk about things he would reflect on what he would see in life if he was going to talk about anything. He was kind of a loner. His friends, he could count on one hand.

Raeanne Bartlett: Jim Morrison and Pamela Courson's love story and relationship was far from being perfect but we can't really judge it from the current mindset, for several reasons: even their closest friends said they didn't really knew what happened in their privacy, they were a secretive and a very private couple. It is hard, if not impossible to judge a story between two people that happened in such a different context, in such a particular era as the 60s, when men usually took care of their girlfriends/wives and did so with pride. Even though Pamela and Jim had their breaks, he always provided for her. Pamela would usually take long trips to Europe when they had their breaks, and whose money do you think she spent on those extravaganzas? Jim was her constant financial backing. Pamela had expensive tastes, although she liked everything from fancy French cuisine to junk food. She smoked Parliament Lights and her favorite restaurant was Canter's Deli. Jim smoked Marlboro Reds and Barney's Beanery was his favorite restaurant. The real Jim Morrison was quite different from his public persona, and far more conventional, despite his mental afflictions. Bobby Klein (The Doors' photographer) said, recalling Jim and Pamela's relationship: “Jim was truly in love with Pam. She came with us to San Francisco for The Doors appearance at the Avalon Ballroom. There was such an intensity between them. That intensity survived until they both died, and who knows, perhaps after that as well.” There's also a short memoir by Janet Erwin (Tiffany Talks) where she wrote about her affair with Jim right before he went to Paris, and Janet remembers how “Jim glowed when he talked about Pamela.”

-Michael McLure: Pamela called me when she got back from Paris after Jim’s death. She was living in Sausalito, living with some very strange people in a house over there. And then she gave me Jim's portmanteau, like a leather doctor’s bag that opened on the top with one handle at the top. I gave it back to her and said to her that it was clearly my understanding that Jim considered her to be his editor and I thought it would be a good thing for her to edit it. Then I did say to Pamela, “Look, the place you’re living in is not a place to have anything you’d care to keep. Put it in a safe, put it in some kind of a bank vault before it disappears.” And unfortunately, that’s what happened, it disappeared. The portmanteau itself was one of the most impressive examples I’ve seen of how a poet works. What was in the portmanteau was a hundred-and-thirty-page manuscript. I laughed, because I thought I had been like Jim’s best friend. I mean he had no other literary friend, you know, and he never told me about this portmanteau. I laughed and I thought, “He’s as secretive as I am; he’s as secretive as any writer.” "Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together" (2014) by Frank Lisciandro

Writing a prose poem can feel like accepting the unconventional; it is a form that invites the reader to re-invent it, and Morrison effectively establishes a conflicting ambiguity in his prose poem Notes on Vision: "Look where we worship. It is wrong to assume that art needs the spectator in order to be. The film runs on without any eyes. The spectator cannot exist without it. A room moves over a landscape, uprooting the mind, astonishing vision. A gray film melts off the eyes, and runs down the cheeks. The Passengers change terribly in their reeking seats, or roam from car to car, subject to unceasing transformation. Inevitable progress is made toward the beginning (there is no difference in terminals), as we slice through cities, whose ripped backsides present buildings. Sometimes other vessels, closed worlds, vacuums, travel along beside to move ahead or fall utterly behind. Farewell." Morrison paints a very gloomy, pessimistic picture of modern life and its message is irrefutably clear. The first stanza of this poem reveals an enigmatic and horrific description of the effect of the cinema, as the melted eyes are running down the spectators' cheeks instead of tears. The opening part of the poem scans as blank verse ("A room moves over a landscape, uprooting the mind, astonishing vision"), owing its force to the tension between the flatness of the delivery and the grotesque quality of the imagery. —"Unravelling Jim Morrison's Poetic Wilderness" (2017) by Koben Sprengers 

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Judy Garland, Jim Morrison: First-rate Self-destructive entertainers

2020 Spirit Awards Winners: RenĂ©e Zellweger–JUDY (Winner) Best Female Lead. Renee Zellweger Gets to the Core of Judy Garland’s Tragic Decline. When you think of self-destructive entertainers who died before their time, which names come to mind? Jim Morrison? Jimi Hendrix? Kurt Cobain? We don't really think of Judy Garland in this capacity because she lived 20 years longer than these fatalistic 20-somethings, burning out while she was fading away. If it’s taken so long for a bigscreen biopic of Judy Garland to come to fruition, perhaps it’s because the lady herself warned off any attempts with one of her most famous quotes: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” Zellweger offers an all-collapsing performance of the star at her lowest physical and psychological ebb: It’s gutsy, can’t-look-away work. Zellweger will likely win an Oscar with her performance.  Source: variety.com

Patricia Butler's book, Angels Dance and Angels Die is basically a "relationship dual biography," wherein Butler traces the romance between Morrison and Courson. Good memoir if you find a rock star's relatively monogamous love life interesting, although unsurprisingly the book skips almost every part of Pamela's life that doesn't involve Jim Morrison. It's funny coming from Patricia Kennealy that she puts her accomplishments above Pamela Courson's, when Patricia has just been a midlist SF/F author for some years in the 90s. But both before and since, her main claim to fame was handfasting with a rock star. This is the only part of Angels Dance and Angels Die that deals with Pamela's feelings on Patricia: "Conversely, when New York journalist Patricia Kennealy showed up at Pam's apartment in Los Angeles to inform Pam that not only had she had an affair with Jim, but had, she claimed, aborted his child as well, Pamela responded with nothing more than mild curiosity - 'How interesting,' she reportedly said. 'I've never met one of Jim's women before.'" Even though that anecdote actually comes from Kennealy's book, it shows how much of a threat Pamela perceived Patricia was: zilch. And I wonder: What the hell did James Douglas Morrison ever do to deserve the kind of treatment he has gotten in print? Is it just envy, that makes people so hurtful and hateful about him? By running him down, does that make them less unimportant, less stupid and vile? Do they hate and fear and resent his excellence that much? Admittedly, there's a lot to envy: He wrote poetry, he made great music. He was gorgeous, funny, romantic and self-deprecating. He got out there and let all sorts of morons project vicarious emotions all over him. Kennealy had an almost three year period to find Courson, who spent a good deal of her final years in Los Angeles, and demand to know what happened to Jim Morrison. If in Kennealy's position, I'd want some answers. But Kennealy remained mysteriously silent after receiving the news of Morrison's death.

John Densmore on Jim Morrison and Pamela Courson: "Pamela was this adorable waif from Orange County, cute as a bug. She came up to Hollywood to find herself and she found Jim. She was clearly his soulmate.” Patricia Kennealy: "Jim certainly loved Pamela and cared about her, and I’ve never denied or dismissed that, for all her faults and flaws, she had a great and sunny charm and a prettiness that was truly astonishing; what a pity the inside of her didn’t match the outside. Never mind the fawning tone Patricia Butler took in her letters: that was only a ruse to get me to talk to her, so she could then boast of my cooperation and turn right around and trash me in Angels Dance Angels Die; as, indeed, that paragon of truth in reportage, her dear mentor Albert Golddigger--oh, sorry, Goldman--did when I flatly refused to talk to him about Jim for the obnoxious lie-o-rama that thankfully died with him. As a rule I never boast, but I feel I must point out with pride and pleasure both, that I told witnesses on a Friday that if Goldman's book on Jim could not be stopped, then he would just have to die, and, on Monday, he did! Butler's ill-advised character assassination of Jim was needed to persuade anyone how wonderful her heroine little Pamela was."

Salli Stevenson, rock journalist, on Patricia Kennealy: "I interviewed Jim Morrison for Circus Magazine in October 1970. Morrison Hotel was released in February 1970. The song was written and recorded by the end of 1969. It was written about Pamela Courson. Jim Morrison said to me that he and Patricia Kennealy did not know each other well at that point. They had exchanged a few polite notes and she saw him only three times. Jim also said he didn't consider their 'Pagan wedding' in June 1970 as anything more than a creative experiment. He further said there were no witnesses, only Jim and Patricia were present. If you timeline Patricia's "Strange Days" and compare Jim's schedule you will find that Patricia Kennealy spent less than a week and a half with Jim Morrison: days, not even a month." 

In the 1980’s, in the book “Rock Wives” Patricia Kennealy had no qualms about confessing that her time with Jim Morrison was nothing but an extended one night stand. Patricia was an accomplished sci-fi author and was content to keep to herself. When Oliver Stone began researching for his film project, however, I think it occurred to Patricia that she could capitalize on her affair, and so she wrote a laughable “memoir” that borders on pure, unadulterated farce. People have evaluated Jim’s schedule at the time, and they were able to spend maybe a week and a half together. To say she is stretching it would be putting it nicely. I've read Stephen Davis' awful biography of Morrison, and he is much nastier about Kennealy than her "most hateful and virulent detractor" (Patricia Butler). Patricia's claims about the writings have proven to be false. She met with Andy Morrison (Jim's brother) and Andy (along with a handwriting expert) confirmed that the writings were forgeries. She was supposed to release them in 2010 (that would have been the 40 year mark under the old copyright law, thus making them eligible for the public domain), but when Andy made it known that they were forgeries, somehow all of the claims disappeared, and she never spoke of them again. This has been confirmed by Jim Morrison’s former brother-in-law, Alan R. Graham.

-Frank Lisciandro: During Jim’s trial in Miami, you were there with him. Did Patricia Kennealy come and visit Jim during that period?

-Babe Hill: “Yeah. I really didn’t know her that well to form any kind of impression.”

-Frank Lisciandro: Did you have the impression he was in love with her?

-Babe: “No.”

-Frank Lisciandro: Did you ever hear about the witch’s marriage ceremony he was supposed to have gone through with her?

-Babe: “No. But it could have happened. I mean, we’d wind up in some pretty strange places sometimes; drunk in the middle of the night in Hollywood. As I recall, he didn’t believe that she was ever pregnant.”

“Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together” is the only book that reveals the real Jim Morrison. I want you to know, that after reading seveal biographies on Jim - and listening to/reading everything currently available online/in press regarding Jim - I have come to believe that “Friends Gathered Together” is the single most important document we have on Jim Morrison. These perspectives of the people who truly knew him are of enormous value. I believe historians will concur with my thoughts on this, when all the information on him comes in; and the dust settles…” -Dr. Tim Culver Professor of Psychiatry Clinical/ Dept. of Psychiatry University of Calgary –"Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together" (2014) by Frank Lisciandro

2/5/71 (Friday): Patricia and I visit Diane Gardiner at The Doors office. Patricia soon wishes we hadn't gone, because Diane immediately lights into her for the crap she pulled back in December: "You don't DO that, Patricia!" Diane roars. "You DO NOT sit someone down and say [she adopts a simpering, whiny tone] 'Your old man knocked me up' What's the matter with you? Jim doesn't like his wife being harassed by a rock journalist, okay?" I am wondering more and more if she befriended me simply because I was moving to Los Angeles and she needed a friend here who didn't know any of these people--especially Jim and Pam. It's beginning to look as if she's made herself persona non grata not only with Jim but virtually everyone connected with him.

2/10/71 (Wednesday): Full moon. Patricia and I go to a press party, someone says Richter himself is predicting a much bigger quake tonight, that yesterday's was just a foreshock. We freak out but Allen Rinde takes us out for drinks and calms us down, at least temporarily. I get weirded out again, decide to drive across the desert to Las Vegas. Little chance the Corvair will make it, so we decide to call Jim. He's got a much better car and might even be up for the drive. Patricia leaves a message with The Doors' service, but of course he never calls back.

2/12/71 (Friday): I am just heading back to the laundromat when I see Jim getting out of his car in the parking lot behind Barney's. I wait for a minute, watching while he leans in and pokes around in the back seat. I'm trying to decide whether to walk over and say hello or proceed as if I hadn't seen him. His status as rock heartthrob throws me off balance. About that time he straightens up, sees me and waves--that takes care of that. We chitchat a bit, he says he's going to get a beer and something to eat before going to the studio. He invites me to join him but I tell him I just ate and had better get my clothes.

"Is Patricia still here?" he asks. "Still staying with you?"

"Yes." There's the flicker of a grimace on that handsome face, which gives me the nerve to add, "I get the impression you're not exactly thrilled to see her."

"That's putting it mildly," he says. He shakes his head. "She keeps acting as if there's something there, and there just isn't."

"There used to be though, didn't there?"

He looks me straight in the eye. "No."

Whoo boy, I think. This man is pissed off.

"Is this just a visit," he says, "or is she planning to stay?" His tone is sardonic and bitter. Tell him I think she's leaving on the 20th.

"What day is that?"

"I think it's a Saturday... a week from tomorrow."

"What time's her flight?"

I can't resist. "Why? You want to drive her to the airport?"

"I thought maybe the two of us could have dinner that night. You can help me celebrate."

"All right," I say, after a short hesitation. This is an invitation I can accept, since Patricia will be back in NY by then and there's no way she can find out and be hurt by it. For all I know he's just looking for companionship anyway, and I could certainly use a new friend.

"I won't be as happy to see her go as you are, though. I don't blame you," I add quickly, as his grin fades. "I know she's made an awful fool of herself."

"She's done a lot worse than that," he says, "but we can talk about it some other time. I need to get going. Where's your car?"

Tell him it's still at the laundromat, he offers to drive me back, I say thank you but I don't think any bogeymen will get me. It's only two o'clock or so, and I don't want to tie him up any more.

"I'll see you a week from tomorrow then," he says. "About six?"

"Okay," I say. "You remember where I live?"

"Sure," he says, staggering me. "On Flores, right? Below Fountain? East side of the street..." he squints, "third floor, about halfway down on the right. Right?"

"Right." He grins at me a moment longer, then shyly tilts my chin up and gives me a quick peck on the cheek. And he strolls off towards Barney's door, throwing me one sly, sideways glance as he goes, while I stand stupified, savoring the smoky-sweet taste of his mouth and wondering what I've just got myself into.

All of a sudden I am looking at a journal, and the contents are electrifying. My suspicions about the abortion are correct. She knew Jim was not the father, and that's why she aborted. What I didn't know, didn't even suspect, was the reason for her coming to Los Angeles twice, throwing herself at him over and over despite his obvious indifference and hostility. She's trying to get him into bed again. Good grief, Patricia, smell the coffee. Your "thing" with him is already so dead it's mummified. She also obsesses about Pamela so much, how he continues to "cleave unto" Pamela instead of "cleaving unto" her. I'm so sorry for her, and yet I loathe her. It's just beginning to dawn on me, the extent of her crimes... is too strong a word, isn't it? Yet she bulled her way down to Miami, stuck out her belly, threatened paternity suits, and she didn't really believe, herself, that he was the father. What if the press had discovered the reason for her presence? I remember how she seemed to dismiss the trial as some kind of dodge he'd arranged to avoid his "obligations" to her. But I don't remember any hint of sympathy for him, at what had to have been the worst time of his life.

I’m just rinsing the soapsuds off my face when the door opens. It’s Jim Morrison carrying his cigarettes. He has the look of exasperation I’ve started to think of as his 'Patricia Look'. He pokes around in my bag to find one of my purloined Poppi matchbooks, then sits down on the stool, and props his feet on the edge of the bathtub. His exhaustion is palpable, and I’m beginning to feel guilty for not going around to the Alta Cienega as he asked. Initially I assumed Patricia had gone to Miami to offer Jim her moral support. She soon made it clear he hadn’t invited her and that she’d gone down solely to confront him. Patricia had no sympathy for Jim’s plight whatsoever despite the fact that he was facing a possible prison term. It’s been decades now since I’ve felt any sympathy for her at all. I haven’t read Strange Days, and nor do I intend to, but I’ve had parts of it read to me, enough to know it’s simply a further and ever more spiteful rearranging of reality. Since its publication in 1992 Patricia has continued to demonstrate her truly vicious, vengeful and greedy nature.

I was just drifting off when I noticed someone sitting down next to me on the sofa–I felt the cushions give under his weight. He placed his hands under my shoulders to lift me up, and bent to kiss me. He was so close I could feel the heat of his face over mine, and I knew it was Jim Morrison because I could feel his masculine smell. Then we kissed again softly and he tentatively slid his right hand under my skirt, while locking my eyes with his half-closed eyes. He started to unbutton my blouse and I touched his warm chest under his open shirt. The kiss continued to be wet, expansive and unreal. I felt like floating, his kiss like a peak of heavenly sugar through my bloodstream. Without saying any word, we went to my bedroom and immediately I lost notion of time. He was such a good kisser, slow and dreamy and fierce all at once. The next morning, I found Jim washing his hair and whistling, in a great mood. He smiled sleepily as I got in, picked up the soap and covered my body with white lather. Then he stood back so the hot water ran down my body, proving himself kind and considerate. As the soap slid smoothly between us, he kissed me sweetly. Then he lathered me up again, smiling childishly. Not without certain difficulty, we made love for the second time under the shower. “I’m going to dry off. But stay inside if you want,” he said, almost breathless when he was leaving the shower. --Tiffany Talks: Your Ballroom Days Are Over, Baby (1999) by Janet Erwin

Thursday, February 06, 2020

The Soft Parade deluxe edition, Jim Morrison


Many established musical artists have released albums that are stylistic head-scratchers, something that appears to be the very antithesis of what they're normally known for. Bob Dylan released the puzzling Self Portrait in 1970. Neil Young embraced synthesizers with Trans in 1982. The Doors were a potent mix of garage rock, blues and psychedelia, and The Soft Parade veered (at times, deeply) into pop territory. What really set The Soft Parade apart from the other Doors albums at the time was the appearance of horns and strings on several of the tracks, which some fans and critics claimed dulled their edges. The truth is, these embellishments only appear on a few of the album's songs. While they occasionally seem distracting, they frequently carry the songs into inspiring realms. Morrison was to sing something like "I'm gonna love you / 'Til the stars fall from the sky" and also drink heavily during the making of The Soft Parade. The new 50th-anniversary deluxe edition of The Soft Parade gives fans a chance to revisit the album in its original form (remastered by longtime Doors engineer and mixer Bruce Botnick), adds some previously unreleased studio material, a rare B-side, and horn/string-free versions of "Tell All the People", "Runnin' Blue", and "Wishful Sinful". The single "Touch Me", one of the Doors' biggest hits, is perhaps the one track that benefits from these embellishments. It seems unusual to think that The Soft Parade received the kind of hate that greeted it in 1969. Other raw recordings include "Rock Is Dead", a much-bootlegged, hour-long jam session that's interesting from a fan's standpoint but hardly something the average listener will sit through more than once. Source: www.popmatters.com

Changes in functional network organization related to romantic lovers may indicate alterations in the processing of abstract representations of the self. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that lovers’ abstract representations of the ‘self’ are adapted to include their significant other. From an evolutionary perspective, changes in network organization may be less aberrant and more naturally-occurring, as previous studies suggest that intense lifetime achievements, including falling in love and finding an intimate partner, are central in human motivation for ‘expanding the self’. As discussed above, our results confirm love-related changes in brain networks. Some of these changes parallel the effects observed in addiction, while others differ from addiction. Romantic love is a state of intense longing for union with another. The early stage of romantic love is reminiscent of addiction, with behavioral changes that include euphoria, intense focused attention on the preferred individual, and obsessive thoughts about the person (Hatfield and Rapson 1987). Previous fMRI studies have found that lovers show significant activation when viewing pictures of their partner, including the limbic-reward system and other networks: ventral tegmental area (VTA), nucleus accumbens (NAC), caudate, insula, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), hippocampus, posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), precuneus, temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), and hypothalamus. Results showed lower small-worldness, mean clustering coefficient and modularity properties but enhanced emotional-social processing (e.g., decreased degree in left angular gyrus and left medial orbitofrontal gyrus, and increased degree in bilateral fusiform gyri) in romantic lovers. Our findings provided first evidence of love-related brain network organization changes, and suggest that romantic love is both similar and different from addiction. People with depression, anxiety and insecurity have significantly increased blood flow in the amygdala and memory system. Unpredictability, mystery, and sexual attraction make the amygdala go into a hyper-activation mode. Via neurotransmitters, this signals to the adrenal glands that something exciting, scary, mysterious, and unpredictable is going on. This, in turn, results in the adrenal glands pumping a surge of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol into the bloodstream. Via the bloodstream, adrenaline increases heart and breathing rates; noradrenaline produces body heat, making you sweat; and cortisol provides extra energy for muscles to use. Though falling in love is associated with anxiety, this state—in combination with the belief that there may be reciprocation—is also at times accompanied by intensely pleasant emotions. These emotions arise from an underlying brain chemistry that resembles those triggered by cocaine use. When you become truly infatuated with a person, you might make decisions you wouldn’t dream of making in a sane state of mind. Nothing really matters compared to the object of your infatuation. In extreme cases, people might move across oceans, abdicate a throne, rob banks, or even commit murder for the sake of love. Source: link.springer.com

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.” 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 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 real depressive feeling which is being denied. 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, reflecting an unconscious need to suffer as expiation for guilt feelings or a precondition for sexual pleasure. Sometimes their past object relations 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

Jim Morrison was the first rock and roll method actor. By behaving in an outrageous and provocative manner, Jim Morrison attempted to fill the void, to prevent panic from overwhelming him. That chaotic state of mind that characterized Jim Morrison was relentless, leading him in the process to experience profound and consuming identity conflicts. Jim Morrison would grow to hate this self-conscious image – it was mostly studied perversity. Psychoanalyst William W. Meissner conceptualized these “emotive vs detached” borderline types—also known as "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. In accordance with Kernberg’s model, 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. 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. 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.

James Riordan offers one of the best characterizations of Morrison onstage: “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 the 1960s, researchers experimented with the psychedelic drug psylocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to see if it could induce spiritual experiences in healthy volunteers. The first of these experiments took place on Good Friday in 1962. Harvard researchers administered psilocybin to ten students in the basement of Marsh Chapel at Boston University. The religious setting and the drug together gave rise to religious experiences in all study participants. (The experiments came to a halt when the US government prohibited them in the early 1970s). Psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), and mescaline, affect the dopamine system, the serotonin system, and the adrenergic system. Their effects on the adrenergic systems, which normally cause an increase in the blood concentration of adrenaline, can cause panic attacks and extreme anxiety. 

The drugs’ effects on the dopamine system are responsible for thoughtless decision making and irrational actions during a “trip,” such as self-mutilation or suicide. The psychedelic effects of the drugs are largely due to their affinity for the 5-HT2A receptor. This receptor is a serotonin receptor. When a psychedelic drug in the serotonin family binds to it, the drug functions just like serotonin. In normal amounts, the feel-good chemical serotonin yields a sense of relaxation and relief. In large amounts, however, serotonin and serotonin agonists like LSD, DMT (dimethyltryptamine), and the magic mushroom ingredient psilocybin have psychedelic effects.  The effects of psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, DMT, and psilocybin, can be extreme. Because these drugs cause the brain to enter an over-excited state, they can have seizure-like effects. They furthermore can give rise to hallucinations, illusory color experiences, a feeling of floating, a feeling of one’s identity disintegrating, and illusions of time and distance. Thoughts can become uncontrollable, rambling, and obscure, and edged in acid, old memories may blend with new experiences. Source: www.researchgate.net

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 letters, gifts of jewelry and rare books, but nothing that signaled a passionate courtship." Patricia 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. But Jim never loved Patricia, he just saw her as an obsessive stalker and even was justifiably scared of her. Before enrolling at UCLA, Morrison attended Florida State University in Tallahassee. At FSU, in 1962, Jim studied art and psychology. In an interview with American Legends, Gerry McClain remembers his fellow FSU student, Jim Morrison, remarking: "Jim was straight. At FSU, he had a girlfriend, Mary Werbelow. Some guy was bending over to talk to her at a party and Jim got jealous. He grabbed the guy by the belt and threw him across the room."  When Judy Huddleston confessed she'd only had sex with three guys prior, Morrison seemed startled: ”You’re practically a virgin,” he burst out, flushed. “I feel really privileged.” He looked embarrassed and thrilled, like he’d just made it with the Virgin Mary.

Philip O’Leno met Jim in 1964 at the UCLA Film School where they were both undergrads dreaming about becoming filmmakers. Phil, who had studied acting at Los Angeles City College, was tall, moody and well read. His inspiration was Orson Welles, Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil.  -Phil: After I got back from Mexico and I had that place on Third Street, Jim asked me one time “Have you ever broken through?” And I said, “Yes,” because I definitely had. I was thinking of some of my mushroom experiences up there in the mountains. I had completely transcended out. I was cut-off completely from physical life and I was bound up in the experience completely. I had totally gone all the way out and come back, so I said, “Yes.” That’s what that LSD experience meant for him. Not just drugs, but a way of breaking out of the shell, shedding the skin and becoming another being. To die and to be born again. -Frank Lisciandro: How was Jim really? -Phil  O’Leno: Jim was extremely intelligent, brilliant. He was also ‘naive’, meaning not too much of this world. –"Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together" (2014) by Frank Lisciandro

Friday, January 31, 2020

Greil Marcus analyzes The Doors & Jim Morrison

“We really didn’t see it coming, the new world of rabid individualism and the sanctity of profit,” the British novelist Jenny Diski wrote in 2009. “But perhaps that is only to be expected. Perhaps the Sixties are an idea that has had its day and lingers long after its time. There were, of course, those, the great majority, doubtless, who, having finished with their wild youth, put on proper suits come the mid-Seventies and went off to work and a regular life, having just gone through a phase, as the more liberal of the grown-ups suggested. But some—these days called, derogatorily, idealists—maintained their former sense that “society” exists, and believe it persists, beyond the approved decades of self-interest and greed that have followed. We are the disappointed remnant, the rump of the Sixties.” 


In 1968, when Elvis sang “Tryin’ to Get to You,” going back again to Jimmy Reed’s “Baby What You Want Me to Do” as if it were a talisman of a treasure he couldn’t name, each time deepening it, dropping words in search of a rhythm the song didn’t even know it wanted and now couldn’t live without—what returned was the sense of awe, of disbelief, that greeted him when he first made himself known. In the years before that, his “Mystery Train,” recorded in 1955 for Sun Records in Memphis—before, so the story went, the money machines in Hollywood and New York turned him into a sausage—had over time acquired a patina of purity. There was an elegance in the recording that couldn’t be denied. The coolest DJs, the most sophisticated connoisseurs, chose “Mystery Train” as their one transcendent Elvis—to show that even the dumbest rube could stumble on the sublime.

Unlike any rock ’n’roll singer since “Heartbreak Hotel” devoured the world’s airwaves, Jim Morrison had Elvis’s Greek-god looks, his seductive hooded eyes. But he faced “Mystery Train” as if it were an object of disdain: something that had to be wrecked. Morrison was facing legal charges for indecent exposure. Well before that, Morrison had come on stage drunk, sometimes babbling, lashing out, sometimes at the crowd, sometimes at phantoms only he could see; he appeared on stage in a fog of self-loathing, and he could hate the songs he had to sing as deeply and expansively as he could hate his bandmates, his audience, and himself. l remembered Oliver Stone's The Doors' reviews were terrible: “What a shame to have to take your clothes off for a movie like this,” one critic wrote at the time of Meg Ryan’s nude scene. The media had a sense that ever since the 1960s, life had been empty. That nothing had happened since: nothing worth memorializing, anyway. The anniversaries were attempted funerals. They were attempts to bury something. But the funeral never seemed to end, and the burial never seemed complete. The Doors film is a denial that Stone had missed the 60s craziness, a denial so loud it says one thing: I did miss it. “What does this movie have to say to a ’90s audience?” Stone asked himself and he answered himself: “Freedom. It once existed . . . But there’s a religious fundamentalism returning to this country.” It was a heroic act to make this movie, he wanted you to understand. Six dollars and you could watch. The movie should have been crazy. Instead it was terrifying. 

All I remembered of the Doors was the complex and twisting thrill of being taken out of myself. It was a sensation captured by Ian McEwan in The Innocent, a novel that ends with the fall of the Berlin Wall, about what a young man felt when he first heard “Heartbreak Hotel,” when the song “spoke only of loneliness and despair. Its melody was all stealth, its gloom comically overstated. The song’s self-pity should have been hilarious. Instead it made Leonard feel worldly, tragic, bigger somehow.” In Oliver Stone’s movie, and in real life, The Doors made the myths and were instantly their victims. Already in 1968 the Doors were performing not freedom but its disappearance. This is what is terrifying: the notion that the Sixties was no grand, romantic time or a nice place to visit, but a place, even as it is being created, people know they can never really inhabit, and never escape. In The Factory scene, the mood changes as the band (The Velvet Underground) refuses to let their songc (Heroin) build in any conventional manner, refuses to even hint at a change, a break, a release. Everywhere in the room there is a sense of anticipation and dread. People know what roles they are expected to play but those roles are beginning to break down. The camera fixes on single faces in the crowd, isolating them, and there’s a coldness in the faces, as if they’re watching a snuff movie: as if they know they aren’t going to like what comes next, but can’t turn away. In this long sequence, nothing is stressed, nothing is glamorized. 

The Sixties come forth as a time and place where people live by breaking rules they know are right, mainly to see what might happen. What I remember most about the Dinner Key Auditorium concert in Miami was the feeling that anything could have happened that night, that Jim Morrison could have died, that the people in the cheap seats could have trampled those in the more expensive ones. If Morrison had passed out, we might have cheered as spectators in the Roman colosseum Morrison imagined himself in. People cheered and laughed when Morrison exhorted: "You’re all a bunch of fucking idiots! Letting people push you around! How long do you think it’s going to last? How long are you going to let it go on? How long are you going to let them push you around?” They thought it was part of the act, part of the show. The show goes on, the band plays, the crowd leaps and screams, but there is nothing to hear. It’s a moment of complete suspension; Jim Morrison’s first, public death. This moment hit not like some defining event in one person’s insignificant life, but as a moment in history. It’s a good metaphor for an era that in 1991 had no part in the media’s life-support system. It’s this silence, this almost physical sense of an absence, that as culture the Sixties bequeathed to the next decades: the sense of a different world. It’s a silence that ultimately silences all the endlessly programmed Sixties hits, that mocks their flash.

“Morrison was one of the few if not the only performer I knew who really believed what he was saying,” Robby Krieger said in 2006. "He wasn’t just up there doing his trip and then he’d go home and have a beer and laugh at it all, laugh all the way to the bank. He was a guy that, when he went home it was just some cheap motel somewhere until the next show. He lived his whole life right on the edge, and people could sense that when he was onstage." Unlike Rolling Stones songs about women who needed to be put in their place—“Under My Thumb,” which you can almost see the singer rehearsing in a mirror, or the dizzying “Miss Amanda Jones”—the Doors’ portrait of the perfect L.A. woman was all bright colors, and full of affection. Listening to Roadhouse live 1969, Morrison dives for a monologue—“Money beats soul,” he states, drunk but forming his words carefully in the belief there’s someone interested. He croons: “I-got-something-to-tell-you-about-your-soul.” He stops crooning. “You know how much your soul’s worth? Your soul’s worth about as much as you can get on Wall Street, my dear. Now, you may think I’m cynical or dangerous, to tell you that. You may think that I’m a little hard to take—hey—listen, doll, I’ll tell you the goddamn truth. Money beats soul, every time.” In Pittsburgh, on May 2, 1970, for the fourth number of the set, the band hammers into Roadhouse, and the drama unfolds when Morrison, his voice already desperate, preternaturally expanding with each line, descends into the bubbling swamp of the tune, the place without words. He disappears into the maw of the music and keeps going, you gotta cronk cronk sh bomp bomp cronk cronk cronk eh hey cron cronk cronk ado ah hey che doo bop dag a chee be cronk cronk well rah hey hey tay cronk cronk see lay, hey—he sustains it all for a solid minute. 

With each measure of vocal sounds the pressure is increased, the pleasure is deeper, the abandon more complete, the freedom from words, meaning, song, band, hits, audience, police, prison, and self more real, precious, and sure to disappear around the next turn if you don’t keep your eyes on the road. In that long minute, Morrison sings the whole song in another language, one only he could speak, but that anyone could understand. All of that was in “Roadhouse Blues”: not as autobiography, not as confession, not as a cry for help or a fuck you to whoever asked, but, as Louise Brooks liked to quote, she said, from an old dictionary, “a subjective epic composition in which the author begs leave to treat the world according to his own point of view.” Morrison was not able to cope with the apathy of his audience—it seems as if his attempts to “wake” them up from their collective submission did indeed fail. Around December 1969 Morrison told friends he was having a “nervous breakdown.” Morrison began to taunt the crowd with the same lines that would crack open the show at the Dinner Key in Miami three months later: “You want music?” Everybody screamed. “Well, man,” he said, “we can play music all night, but that’s not what you really want—you want something more, something greater than you’ve ever seen, right?” Someone shouted “We want Mick Jagger!”

With the show breaking down, Morrison went to the edge of the stage and began to declaim “The Celebration of the Lizard.” People laugh. “One morning he awoke in a green hotel. With a strange creature growing beside him.” “Is everybody in?” he asks, with each time people shouting: “NOOOO!” “The ceremony is about to begin,” he says and people laugh out loud or giggle in embarrassment. Then Morrison stood silently. “Stupid,” someone mutters. “Asshole!” There’s more yelling. “SSSHH,” Morrison whispers. “Fuck you!” someone shouts. People are screaming parodies of the lyrics that Morrison isn’t singing. In the murk he has more presence than ever—but his voice is nothing compared to the far more powerful, mocking crowd. Morrison is again making up words to throw the crowd off, to summon the song from the dead: “A creature is nursing its child, soft arms around the head and the neck, a mouth to connect, leave this child alone, this one is mine, I’m taking her home, back to the rain”—he sounds like a poet cowboy. Then the crowd is screaming at him in a way that hasn’t happened before: in the face of the screeching, crows flying out of people’s mouths, and you can see Morrison as the people in the crowd are seeing him, a freak, the Elephant Man, the crowd thrilled at how grotesque he is, how crazy, everybody pointing, and though the band is playing, now the real music is coming from the crowd, a tangled skein of sound moving through the hall without a brain.

“You give people what they want or what they think they want,” Morrison would say to a reporter. “But if you go too fast for them and pull an unexpected move, you confuse them. When they go to a musical event, a concert, a play or whatever, they want to be turned on, to feel like they’ve been on a trip. But instead of making them feel like they’re on a trip, that they’re all together, if instead you hold a mirror up and show them what they’re really like, what they really want, and show them that they’re alone instead of all together, they’re revolted and confused.” —"The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years" (2013) by Greil Marcus

-Jim Cherry (DCM): Little is known about Pamela Courson. What do you remember of her and her relationship with Jim? To your knowledge were there other women who affected Jim as much as Pamela? -Jac Holzman: Well, the thing that I think the movie The Doors missed that was a shame was that Pamela was a pretty good foil for Jim. She could give as good as she got. She would stand up to him. In the movie she is a cartoon of a girlfriend with very little depth. What they actually did was dare and double-dare each other constantly. It was interesting to watch, but it was not fun to be around. I'm sure there were great moments of intimacy and closeness which I was never a part of but it was a prickly relationship for sure. I know that Jim had other women in his life. I think they were as much to taunt Pamela as they were for Jim to get off. -The Doors Collectors Magazine.

"I think Pam was pretty in a sort of refreshing, Irish Spring kind of way, like you might see in an ad on TV. When we were having lunch together- the last time we were together- Jim began talking about changing his artistic identity and the fact that he was maturing at the age of twenty-seven and that he viewed things differently. He felt that he couldn't live without Pamela, that she was the one that he always returned to and she was the complement to his existence." -Leon Barnard (The Doors European Press Agent). The Doors' manager Bill Siddons said: “Pamela was the only one. I knew there were other ones, but ultimately Pamela was always the only real one.”

“Always smile, even if it's a sad one, for sadder that a sad smile is only the sadness of not knowing how to smile. People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality.” —Jim Morrison   


February 1971 Interview. Location: Diane Gardiner's Apartment - Los Angeles. Publication: Rolling Stone # 77 - March 4th - 1971. Info: Jim Morrison's last known recorded interview is conducted by Rolling Stone journalist Ben Fong-Torres and also features Pamela Courson. This tape was made unintentionally after a chance meeting at Diane Gardiner's apartment in Los Angeles. The interview is later used in the March 4th, 1971 issue of Rolling Stone. Ben Fong-Torres: "I used to pop into Hollywood on a regular basis. Sometimes I stayed at the apartment of a rock publicist friend, Diane. One of her neighbors was Pamela Courson - Jim Morrison's old lady. One February afternoon in 1971, Jim came around, looking for Pamela. She wasn't there, so he decided to wait for her. When Diane introduced us, I asked for an interview. He and I hit it off right away, and got into doing this kind of parody of a TV talk show. I played Dick Cavett; he was a rock star. With my cheap cassette recorder running, we settled into a pretty serious chat about the future of rock and his own future. Despite his reputation as a wild man, Morrison struck me as a very smart, thoughtful guy."

Monday, January 27, 2020

Unravelling Jim Morrison's Poetic Wilderness

Rock star iconicity aside, Jim Morrison wanted to be remembered for the written word, favouring morality prose by the likes of Charles Baudelaire, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean Cocteau and William Blake. He actually plucked The Doors’ name from a William Blake text: “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” One of his poems is ‘Power’: Jim Morrison openly strove for empowerment, using his voice to promote the power of possibility and the power of the individual. The guarantee of a golden outcome isn't really the point; it's about realising the merit that comes with your simple act of striving. Another interesting poem is ‘The Opening Of The Trunk’: The “trunk” in this title is a lot heavier than you think. Morrison lifts the lid on life here and its contents spill out all over the floor. The mind opens, the soul starts to wander in search of freedom, it brands America with a dystopian stamp, it ascends upon a stage in front of society, claims that he's an unordinary human and then suggests that he can guide a girl with dreams towards the Labyrinth. Morrison may have written this piece in a very metaphorical sense but, by the end, we're naturally picturing him in the middle of a maze. Will anyone ever get to the centre? Source: www.gq-magazine.co.uk

Jac Holzman said that Danny Sugerman was not friends with Jim as he had people believe. Sugerman was a close friend of Ray Manzarek but fell out with him before his death. Ray fired Danny as his manager since Danny was going to go public with the darker side of Ray Manzarek before he died which caused the rift. Luckily for Ray, Danny died. Most acquaintances of Morrison used their lucky break as a meal ticket. Andy Morrison has disavowed Patricia Kennealy. Janet Erwin has disavowed Judy Huddleston, saying Judy saw Jim Morrison at a concert and might have been alone with Morrison intimately on one occasion. As for Sugerman, nothing could be screaming out louder "daddy issues" than his worship for Morrison but Sugerman actually needed a psychiatrist spelling it out for him. When Jim Morrison is the voice of reason and moderation in your life, oh boy! Throughout the mayhem of many years, Sugerman's interest in music always seemed superficial, even if he acted as Ray Manzarek's manager for a while. Actually, it is hard to believe that Manzarek trusted such an irresponsible dopehead to manage his career, but these are facts. And the narcissism is over the top with Sugerman. The problem with Jim Morrison was that he was thrown under the bus in the worst possible way by his own camp. Danny Sugerman's book offended those who knew Morrison best, according to Frank Lisciandro: "Many of Jim's closest friends find that book very objectionable. I call it 'Nothing Here But Lots Of Lies,' because it's full of bullshit. You have to realize that despite what he says, Danny Sugerman did not know Jim Morrison. If you think that a fourteen-year-old can go in a bar and drink with someone, you're crazy. That never happened. I know for a fact that Jim did not like Danny. Jim told me on numerous occasions that Danny was a nuisance. But because Jim was a nice guy, he was kind enough to give Danny a few minutes of his time. Danny was always pestering Jim. So those stories of Danny having dinner or doing his homework at Jim and Pamela's apartment are hilariously ridiculous. That never happened." Source: newdoorstalk.proboards.com

Judy Huddleston on Jim Morrison: "I was in love with Jim as if he was God, whether that is personified as Adonis, Dionysius, or Jesus… I believed his love could save me but I didn’t believe I could save him. Jim definitely wasn’t as one dimensionally dark as the Stone characterization. But he was an alcoholic and probably borderline. Like everyone, he had moments of happiness or joy, but clearly he was not happy. On balance, he was more tortured than most--genetics, karma, childhood, alcoholism--whatever the reason. It was like a switch got flipped, far beyond a regular mood swing." A new peer-reviewed paper (published in the January 2018 issue of Science Direct) has shown that possessing a high intellect could be directly linked to several psychological disorders including Depression, Anxiety, ADHD and Autism. The highly intelligent individual has a remarkable capacity for seeing and internalizing vast uncertainties, possibilities, and problems. This gift can either be a catalyst for empowerment and self-actualization or it can be a predictor of dysregulation and debilitation. The study found that high intelligence could also potentially be linked to almost double the risk associated with autoimmune disease. The study also suggests that an above average IQ could also have a large impact on physical health. *Mood Disorders - National average 9.5% High Intelligence 26.8% *Depressive disorders - National average 6.7% High Intelligence 25.8% Source: www.sciencedirect.com

"I was born to sail away to touch the land of my dreams but evil winds filled my sails and finally I lost my way. The ship run aground of my life and now, I lie here broken, helpless... The Lords have secret entrances, and they know disguises. But they give themselves away in minor ways. Too much glint of light in the eye. A wrong gesture. Too long and curious a glance. The Lords appease us with images. They give us books, concerts, galleries, shows, cinemas. 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." —The Lords of The City poem by Jim Morrison

Up to this day, Jim Morrison's poetry remains a subject generally unappreciated within academic circles, which often consider it to be vain and trivial due to the combination of Morrison's image as a rock star and the often obscure nature of his poetry—many of his poems fail to coherently put the images and ideas present into comprehensive meaning. The notion of the Lords is a philosophical construct and a poetic device used to distinguish society as hierarchical, invented by Morrison to unveil and demystify the mechanism of mass deception through art and idolatry. These mechanisms are unerringly present in every sliver of society and they go, more often than not, unnoticed by those outside of the centre of the circle of our society, which Morrison often compares to a "labyrinth," to which these Lords "have secret entrances." The Lords are in control of society's "events," meaning its entire structure and organization, which all take place "beyond our knowledge." In other words, they transformed democratic society into a mediacracy, where a state of ignorance is installed and maintained through mass media, used to "keep us silent and diverted and indifferent."  In that line of thought, the Lords are also those who have, whether consciously or not, accepted their masks as their faces out of "sloth & cowardice" and who now prod others in line. Morrison argues that all the social institutions create doctrines and systems that force people to live in a specific manner. The minute people accept those structures that others have imposed upon them, the perception of their proper identity and reality are inevitably controlled by those structures. This line of thought is a direct development of Nietzsche's acrid critique of the "herd mentality," which he defines as "the lower species, the sum of zeroes (herd, mass, society)." Due to the herd instinct, Nietzsche claims, "the whole of existence is vulgarized: in so far as the mass is dominant it bullies the exceptions."

In an interview with Lizzie James (published by Creem magazine in 1981), Jim Morrison clarifies about how the gradual repression and ultimate enslavement specifically takes place: "When others demand that we become the people they want us to be, they force us to destroy the person we really are. They demand that we show only the feelings they want and expect from us. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your senses for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. It's true, we're locked in an image, an act – and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image – they grow attached to their masks." When Tony Thomas (in May 1970) inquired Morrison about the role of women in art, Morrison replied: "Well, it's that masculine desire to dominate life, rather than just accepting it and flowing with it. And I think that is responsible for the creation of films and a lot of other things." After which Thomas asked the following question: "Men are dominant in the arts, as writers, composers. You think women are wise to keep out of it?" To which Morrison responded: "It's a contradiction, cause I'm totally hung up on the art game. But women have less need to re-establish a connection with life because they are life."

Morrison's philosophy is predominantly influenced by the ideas and writings of that other infamous European Idealist and great role model for Morrison: William Blake. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is often referred to as a prophetic work which provides a guide or 'manifesto' for the individual to forge a path to freedom from the constraints of the world “through the progression of contraries.” William Blake, just like Morrison after him, believed people didn't live up to the full potential of their reality, but lived a life dictated to them by oppressive powers. For Blake, these would be the power of the institutions from the dogmatic empirical ideology prevalent in 18th century Britain. These powers deceived and condemned people to live in a narrowed, limited reality, resulting in Blake's observation that "man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern." The impact of a narrowed perception on mankind is, according to Blake, more alarming than it initially seems. Leading Blake scholar Saree Makdisi connects the limited reality to the biblical concept of the fall. Blake diagnoses the people around him as fallen, as "stripped of their capacity for imagination," as bound down, but immediately provides a cure for said disease, with that one most famous line: "If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is: infinite."

Compare this to Morrison's line: "When this disintegration into pure existence is at last achieved, the object is free to become endlessly anything." With both writers, the idea of purity and limitlessness is present after this particular "disintegration." Blake never proposed to reverse the religious morals (and certainly not for cheap upheaval, which certain slovenly readers dared to state); he suggests that "the real Good is not abandonment of all restraints but a marriage, or union of the contraries, of desire and restraint, energy and reason, the promptings of Hell and the denials of Heaven." So, the visionary act is a matter of attaining altered states of consciousness, which to Morrison means "to engage all the senses, the total organism, and achieve total response." Importantly, right at the core of his philosophy, Blake shapes his concept of God, connecting it to Man's imagination and transcendence. Blake believes Man is "evolving towards the eternal, a state in which thought and life, body and mind are unified, strengthening and reaffirming each other" and that at a given point in time, everyone will be infinite and it will be that, in Blake's words, "Man is all Imagination and God exists in us and we in him. The eternal body of Man is the Imagination and that is God Himself."

"Do you know how pale & wanton thrillful comes death on a strange hour unannounced, unplanned for like a scaring over-friendly guest you've brought to bed. Death makes angels of us all & gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as raven's claws." —The American Night poem by Jim Morrison. Throughout Morrison's poetry, the city symbolizes and embraces all of civilized society, where "we all live" concentrated in a large, insectoid circle, "a ring of death with sex at its center." Additionally, Morrison often describes large crowds of people as "swarming streets," slaving and toiling away for a purpose unknown or unbenefited by them. The other element, the camera or cinema, provides people with the illusion that they are the ones spying on others from a great distance, satisfying "our longing for omniscience," yet in reality, cinema moulds its spectators into the same swarm of "aquatic insects" they are observing from a great height. Exactly this mechanism of replacing real life with an artificial reality, projected on a mass scale, is the key element to the Lords' control over the city. Through the palliating, appeasing effect of cinema, citizens aren't even concerned about the control over their own lives anymore, and freely grant it to whoever is there waiting to pick it up.

Morrison compares the Lords to the most notorious and vicious despots of history, as their system of mass media saturation could very well be seen as a weapon of mass destruction: Cinema is the most totalitarian of the arts. All energy and sensation is sucked up into the skull, a cerebral erection, skull bloated with blood. Caligula wished a single neck for all his subjects that he could behead a kingdom with one blow. The Emperor, the father-god could ensure his permanent rule while the dangerous lure of the life impulse, threatening "the fragile order of power," would be perpetually disregarded. The cinema, Morrison argues, has done what Caligula could not do. Infinite perception, according to Blake, unbridled creativity, is only possible through a marriage, a union of opposites and contraries. Only then can a person break out of a narrowed and externally imposed reality towards a reality of boundless and eternal possibilities and thus participating in the concept of infinite Paradise. Evidently, the idea of uniting dualities for purifying ends is also very present in Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy. —"Unravelling Jim Morrison's Poetic Wilderness" by Koben Sprengers (2017)