Friday, March 13, 2020

Marilyn Monroe, Edie Sedgwick, Jim Morrison

Marilyn Monroe has been chosen as one of TIME‘s 100 Women of the Year, in a project marking the magazine’s centenary. She has been selected to represent 1954, the year in which she married Joe DiMaggio; entertained US troops in Korea; filmed There’s No Business Like Show Business and The Seven Year Itch; topped the hit parade with ‘I’m Gonna File My Claim’; and then she left it all behind to study acting, and form a production company in New York. The photo shown was taken in 1952 by Frank Powolny, but remains one of the most iconic images of Marilyn. Other featured actresses include Anna May Wong, Lucille Ball and Rita Moreno. Gloria Steinem, the feminist campaigner who wrote a book about Marilyn, is also listed. “In 1954, Marilyn Monroe—already a sex symbol and a movie star—posed on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 52nd Street in New York City, for a scene intended to appear in her 1955 film The Seven Year Itch. The breeze blowing up through a subway grate sent her white dress billowing around her, an image that lingers today like a joyful, animated ghost. Monroe was a stunner, but she was also a brilliant actor and comedian who strove to be taken seriously in a world of men who wanted to see her only as an object of desire. Today, especially in a world after Harvey Weinstein’s downfall, she stands as a woman who fought a system that was rigged against her from the start, even as our hearts broke for her.” Source:

Victor Bockris: Edie Sedgwick left the Factory because she was tired of the NY scene. Andy Warhol wasn't so stingy with money, he was realistic with money. For example, if he knew someone was a drug addict, he wouldn’t hand them 25 dollars, he would tell them they could go to this restaurant and eat for free, just sign the check and he would pay for it, and he indeed, did that, which was the sensible thing to do. But when I worked with him in the seventies, he always paid people more than they asked for. Edie Sedgwick became the first really famous female Warhol Superstar. Edie was something else and the whole thing to another level because of her connection to a family which went back to the Mayflower, and a fantastic androgynous, childlike girl/woman image, with a touch of Marilyn Monroe. She was one of those persons who just burned through the screen.

So Warhol had a real goldmine in Edie and he brought her to the center of attention. He made 11 films of Edie between April/May’65 and December ’65. Andy’s favorite “Girl of the Year”? In ‘The Philosophy of Andy Warhol’ in that chapter called Taxi, Warhol says it was Edie. I think one of the things that Andy shows us, in a sense, is that certain men are often jealous of women because they want to be them. And if Andy could have been any of his Superstars, he would have been Edie. She emanated the glamour of playtime 60s art, celebrity, 'the chick better than anyone' and Andy certainly had an interest in trading places with her. So that’s a relationship that could be emotional/ sexual. At the moment Edie does her last film with Warhol, Gerard Malanga brings the Velvet Underground to The Factory. Malanga came from a very poor background. He never had an apartment the whole time he worked for Andy. The thing is that Gerard was totally heterosexual. He was the Silver Factory’s stud. He did have sex with all those girls who came to the Factory. He often brought them in. He picked them up at parties and spent the night with them. That was all very useful to Andy. At the same time, when you are in a group of mostly gay people, and you’re not gay... the “opposition” is vulnerable. So it weakened Gerard’s position ultimately.

Allegedly, Edie Sedgwick and Jim Morrison canoodled with each other at the Castle in July 1967. Robert Rauschenberg: "She was the total essence of the fragmentation, the explosion, the uncertainty, the madness that we all lived through in the Sixties. Her physicality was so refreshing that she exposed all the dishonesty in the room." Edie had found the instrument of her revenge against her family in a figure whose near non-existence, as a moral force, replied to the all-too-palpable hypocrisy of the Sedgwick clan. "There seemed to be this almost supernatural glow to her that's hard to describe," wrote playwright Robert Heide. "Literally there was an aura emanating from her, a white or blue aura. It's as if Edie was illuminated from within. Her skin was translucent — Marilyn Monroe had that quality." "Edie's presence was magnetic", remembers John Cale of The Velvet Underground who had a six-week affair with her. "Although on her last legs with Andy, she still possessed all the elemental magic, frayed beauty and presence of Marilyn Monroe." When Edie got out of the psychiatric hospital, she hung around with a group of bikers called the Vikings. One of the bikers, Preacher Ewing, remembered her as "a larger than life in her capacity to hit the depths. I used to call her Princess, because that's what she thought she was. She'd say condescending that her parents were so fantastically upper-class." 

Terrence McKenna wrote about his LSD experiences in "The Invisible Landscape" (1975) a book that mixes psychedelics, shamanism, molecular biology, and the implications of the neuro-consciousness frontier (how the composition of psychedelic compounds like mescaline, psilocybin, and ibogaine share a relation with the neuro-receptors in our brains). Between May 1, 1966, and April 30, 1967, the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control had seized approximately 1.6 million LSD acid doses and banned the use of LSD. Thorazine was the traditional antidote for a bad LSD trip. The psychiatric medician Oscar Janiger was other important pioneer of the collective difusion of LSD, although Leary was the most famous acid guru. Janiger had administered over three thousand LSD doses between 1954-1962 to volunteers and Hollywood personalities as Cary Grant, Jack Nicholson, Rita Moreno, André Previn, etc. In 1962, Janiger was investigated by the FBI and forced to abandon his suministre. Aldous Huxley, Janiger's friend, was initiated with peyote in 1930 by Alesteir Crowley. Psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond had given Huxley mescalina. Huxley's psychedelic incursions were reflected upon his philosophical essays as "The Doors of Perception" and "Heaven and Hell". In 1963, sick with throat cancer in his deathbed, Huxley begged to be inyected LSD for pain relief. Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey and Jim Morrison had been some of the noted volunteers to try LSD since 1959 at the college campus. Scientists studied their reactions and the military applied these knowledge for secret mentral control operations as described in the film "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962), starred by Frank Sinatra. 

Acid can cause long-lasting or even permanent changes in a user’s psychology, and personality. Jim Morrison was one of the people that took a lot of doses. He would take four or five hits at a time. His personality indeed changed. When attending to the FSU, Jim Morrison's buddy Andy Anderson had founded a rock band named The Prowlers. Anderson recalled: "Jim was just a nice guy, shy, and not made for playing in a rock band." Jim Morrison now had a huge stash of Owsley Stanley’s “White Lightning” acid that looked like aspirin tablets, the cleanest LSD in 1966-67. In those early days of LSD and other mind-altering drugs, there was a series of tests on experimental drugs being conducted by the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Center. Of course the tests were strictly monitored, and students were allowed to sign up for only one of them because of the potential dangers of abuse. Morrison was among the first to sign up, and even using a series of aliases he signed up for every test. 

Eve Babitz: Being in bed with Jim was like being in bed with Michelangelo’s David, only with blue eyes. He knew in his worst blackouts to put my diaphragm in and take my contact lenses out. His skin was so white, his muscles were so pure, he was so innocent. He used to suggest, “Let’s go to Ships and eat blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup.“ My friend Judy Raphael, who went to film school, remembers Jim as this pudgy guy with a marine haircut who worked in the library at UCLA. Jim had lost thirty pounds in the summer of ’65, from taking drugs and hanging out on the Venice boardwalk, creating his life anew. But I thought The Doors were embarrassing, like their name. It was so corny naming yourself after something Aldous Huxley wrote. Even Jim’s voice was embarrassing, sounding so sudden and personal... It was Morrison’s girlfriend, Pamela Courson who was rock ’n’ roll. Pamela collected Luger guns, took heroin, and was fearless in every situation. She was emotionally shockproof. Pamela looked sunny and sweet so it was hard to believe her purse was stuffed with Thorazine. Pamela had control over Jim in real life. And Jim made his audiences suffer for that.

Raeanne Bartlett: Eve and Mirandi Babitz don't seem to be fans of Pamela. Frankly, Eve Babitz, in general, seems like a deeply self-absorbed, callous person. Very intelligent, glib, great with words, but a devourer of souls and excess. I think Eve is not an especially nice person, and enjoys dishing out insults when she can. She doesn't sound like she respects many people at all, and her younger sister is an extension. Pamela was truly one-of-a-kind, and she deserves to be memorialized in a thorough, open-minded, and fair way. Salli Stevenson: It was Mirandi Babitz who said Pamela dyed her hair a dark red from her original strawberry blonde, not me. I just repeated what Mirandi said. Patricia Kennealy was the one who called Pamela a "total junkie." Pamela did heroin according to Mirandi Babitz by snorting it or smoking it. I only met Pamela once in 1967. Jim and I were close friends. Have I exaggerated my personal friendship with Jim? No. Anyway, this girl sent me a photo of a message scrawled on the walls from Jim & Pam's Laurel Canyon's home. Apparently, parts of the home are intact, including the secret shower where this message is. She went to check out the house as a potential buy and she says that there are letters from Jim and Pam to one another hid throughout the home. 

"Ready to go?" Jim asked, his expression unreadable. Pamela looked up at him, and her heart skipped a beat. His expression was blank, but there was something in his eyes that reminded her of a brewing storm. "Uh, yeah." She shook her head. "Just a minute." She turned to look at The Factory's silver walls as she stood up, and noticed that Gerard Malanga was looking at Jim with a smug expression. Jim grabbed her wrist and began to drag her to the elevator. Pamela didn't know whether or not she was imagining the tightness in his grip, or the tension in the air. The drug haze hadn't completely worn off yet, and everything still felt a bit hazy. It wasn't until they stepped outside and the cool air hit her face that she snapped out of it and pulled her arm back. "Jim, you're hurting me!" she cried. "What the fuck, Pam?" Jim spat, turning to face her. "What the fuck was that?" "What, you mean making out with Gerard? So what? You were doing the same thing with Nico!" "It's not the same," he mumbled, his gaze suddenly downcast. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?," protested Pam. Jim sighed, "None of them matter. Not Nico, not any girl I fool around with. I don't care about them, Pamela. The only woman I will ever care about is you." Love Cannot Save You (2019) by Queen of the Highway

-Frank Lisciandro: Jim liked the feeling of losing control, so he liked losing the ethical Jim Morrison?

-Eva Gardonyi: I don’t think he ever lost the ethical Jim Morrison. He lost the well-mannered Jim Morrison, but the ethical, no, he didn’t become an unethical asshole when he was drunk. He might have been an asshole sometimes, but he did it out of some kind of social outrage. When somebody bucked him with their hypocrisy long enough to make him react, because he clearly would see hypocrisy and he was like Don Quixote fighting against hypocrisy. I never yelled with Jim, not for a second. Even when we lived together I never saw him out of line. A couple of times when he was drinking heavily he had a hard time making love, but overall I had a very satisfactory love life with him.

-Frank: Did you find Jim and Pam a strange couple to be together?

-Eva: No, no, she always gave him quite a lot of attention and admiration and he also showed a great deal of kindness and loving behavior toward her really, very sweet. Sometimes she had been a bit vengeful, she went to spend his money as fast as she could. But he was grateful for having her because it was a reminder of something that was very precious for him. Jim wanted Pamela and me to be friends because he felt that I had a levelheadedness and Pamela sort of reacted well with me. And just so I looked after her, I tried. I liked Pamela, she was a really golden child for me. When Pamela called herself “Pamela Morrison” he did not object. I asked Jim if they were actually married and he said, “Why? What difference does it make?” So I don’t think he would have given his name to anybody else but Pamela. —"Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together" (2014) by Frank Lisciandro

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Evolution of IQ limits, Brave New World

Grégoire Canlorbe: Is there a link between an intellectual decline to the dysgenic fertility following the Industrial Revolution?

Gerhard Meisenberg: As Theodosius Dobzhansky famously said, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” Your diagnosis is correct that we now see an end of the Flynn effect and sometimes a reversal, an anti-Flynn effect, at least in Europe. For the United States we are not sure, and intelligence is rising in most developing countries. Why the Flynn effects are ending in the most advanced countries is not clear. My guess is that IQ has maxed out simply because we have reached our biological limits. We cannot turn everyone into a genius, just as we cannot teach algebra to a chimp. But the implication is that once intelligence starts declining, we get a downward spiral. The rise of the West, now in reverse. What is important is that dysgenics is not limited to the West. We see it in all modern nations including the advanced ones in Asia. Declining intelligence means that the changes that are made are more likely for the worse than for the better. It will show as poor decision-making and toxic ideologies. What the alt right and the lunatic left have in common is the rejection of science and reason, of the Enlightenment values. The claim that races don’t exist in a genetic sense is bogus. If it were true, we would be unable to determine racial origins from DNA. The total count of the trait-increasing genetic variants, or alleles, is the polygenic score. I understand “progress” as an upward spiral where higher intelligence and economic development reinforce each other — and civilizational collapse as the same process running in reverse.

Being mentally retarded is the natural state of the human mind. High intelligence is pathological. As a biologist, I would argue that any IQ above 80 is pathological because populations with IQ above 80 invariably adopt contraceptive habits which drive the population toward sub-replacement or extinction. Under backward, low-IQ conditions, natural selection favors higher intelligence, and under advanced, high-IQ conditions it favors lower intelligence. In Europe, useful traits like intelligence and self-control were favored by individual selection, not group selection. A dearth of geniuses today is expected because there has been selection for lower intelligence since the demographic transition. The brighter and more open-minded adopted effective contraception first. Later, they made up antinatalist ideologies that kept bright women from having children. As a result there was a slow erosion of the genetic potential, but this was more than offset by strong Flynn effects. Geniuses disappear when the Flynn effect reaches its limits while the genetic potential continues declining, not only in the modern West but everywhere. Present-day humans are not what I mean by an intelligent species. The difference between ordinary animals and an intelligent species is that only intelligent life forms control of their own evolution. They engineer their own mutations based on predicted effects. Natural selection is barbaric because it discards sentient beings, not only embryos.

Dysgenics has little immediate impact because the difference it makes in a single generation is small, perhaps one IQ point per generation in the United States and most European countries. Therefore, people don’t notice it, but it is a slow-acting poison that leads to civilizational decline on a time scale of centuries to millennia.  Let’s assume we have 1200 variable genes, each contributes half an IQ point, and all these effects are additive. Now let’s construct two genetically engineered humans, one homozygous for all the high-IQ alleles and the other homozygous for all the low-IQ alleles. What would be the difference between these two genetically engineered humans? It would be 600 IQ points: something like the difference between human and chimp. Every species in the universe that reaches this cognitive threshold has to make some key decisions: Make everyone alike, or have genetically based castes, like in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World? Present-day humans are odd. They don’t have a concept of what kind of species they themselves want to be and how to achieve this. Humans seem to lack meta-cognitive skills of deliberating and deciding what their desires and values should be, nor do they have the ability to control these traits. Human thinking evolved for manipulating the outside world but not itself, the way the eye evolved to see the world but not itself. Modern societies are not sustainable demographically. Virtually all nations with average IQ above 90 are in sub-replacement fertility. Source:

"Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.” French novelist Michel Houellebecq dedicates a chapter of his book Elementary Particles (1998) to proving that Huxley's Brave New World is a utopia rather than a dystopia. "Brave New World is our idea of heaven: genetic manipulation, sexual liberation, the war against aging, the leisure society. This is precisely the world that we have tried—and so far failed—to create.”  It's mostly an utopia - the vast majority of the population is happy and only a few find it unbearable which is still better than what we have today. And even the people who can't be happy in that world can choose to live outside of the society. The only real difference is the fact that our caste system is inheritable (poor become poor etc), while in Brave New World it's randomly decided, and there are special efforts made so that everyone feels happy in their caste. John the Savage may have felt responsible for his mother's death, and in his own rebellion against Brave New World, he wanted to sulk and be miserable just because he thought he should be free to sulk and be miserable. Eventually, the sulking is too much, and he succumbs to the life that is being presented to him in Brave New World (Soma and a sex orgy). When he wakes up the next day, he feels defeated and unwilling to admit that he was indeed wrong, so he kills himself. Source:

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Modern Masculinity, Jim Morrison

Men’s biology hasn’t substantially changed in tens of thousands of years. And for this reason alone the crisis in masculinity we face today can’t be understood or combated through a narrow biological lens. Anthropology can uncover the complicated cultural origins of seemingly biological male behavior and show how certain essentialized beliefs about maleness promoted by scientists are themselves products of the same cultural influences. Scientists can be just as susceptible as nonprofessionals to thinking that particular chromosomes and hormones reveal the secret codes of human maleness. We need to understand that women are central to most men’s very sense of manliness and virility. For most men in the world, most of the time, women are central to what it means to be a man. This means paying attention to the opinions and experiences of women regarding men, and how, for many men, masculinities develop and have little meaning except in relation to women and female identities in all their similar diversity and complexity. Post–World War II conservatism tried to reestablish women’s intrinsic place in the kitchen and home, but it was then broadly opposed in the upheavals of the 1960s and early 1970s. As women in the United States recovered after the 2008 Great Recession, landing more jobs more quickly than men, men’s contributions to families and communities got reexamined, and the image of man-the-breadwinner became blurrier. In periods of significant social ferment, including around gender issues—for example, the 1930s, 1960s, and 2010s in the United States—gender confusion has prevailed, often in dialogue with influential scientific and public opinion.

Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975), by Edward O. Wilson, stands out for what seems an explicit distaste for certain progressive social movements—including feminism that seeks to eliminate the “natural” differences between the sexes—and for directly linking sociobiology with his rejection of the social upheavals of the era. Most people think that if a man has especially aggressive tendencies, the chances are that he also has a higher-than-average level of testosterone circulating in his bloodstream. But if you thought that, you’d be wrong. According to current research, if aggression and testosterone are linked, most of the time aggressive behavior comes first, and it then raises the level of testosterone in one’s body. For most of us most of the time, however, it turns out that testosterone levels by themselves “predict nothing about who is going to be aggressive.” And that fact holds true unless testosterone levels are extremely high or low. Unless they are lower than 20 percent of normal (think castration) or twice the normal amount (think gym rats on steroids), testosterone levels are all but irrelevant at telling you who’s going to pick a fight. Perhaps the most fascinating recent work on testosterone is mostly ignored in the popular media: higher levels of testosterone can also be correlated with higher levels of generosity. Because testosterone may intensify particular preexisting bonding behavior, it turns out that not only aggression but also generosity might fit in the pantheon of a masculine conduct. We can do better, and we need to ask more from modern masculinities. Men are so much more capable and complex than today’s summary judgments on the biology of masculinity would have us believe. ―Are Men Animals?: How Modern Masculinity Sells Men Short (2020) by Matthew Gutmann 

"Gutmann does more than deconstruct simplistic notions of masculinity-he offers us a better vision of what it means to be masculine. He knows we can do better, and create anew a reality where masculinity and humanity comingle instead of conflict. This book is wholly appropriate for this moment in time. Everything men and women do in our society is the product of both biology and culture. As ably explained by Matthew Gutmann, this means that male behavior is hardly immutable. It has more degrees of freedom than often assumed. Can men be less aggressive, less sexual and less dominant? This provocative book argues strongly that the answer is yes. This is a golden moment to begin that conversation."―TM Luhrmann, professor of Anthropology, Stanford University

“Most people love you for who you pretend to be.” – Jim Morrison

Shake dreams from your hair. My pretty child, my sweet one. Choose the day and choose the sign of your day. A vast radiant beach in a cool jeweled moon. And we laugh like soft, mad children. The time has come again. Choose now, they croon. Beneath the moon. Enter again the sweet forest. Enter the hot dream. Everything is broken up and dances. Your milk is my wine. My silk is your shine. 

Everything human is leaving her face. Soon she will disappear into the calm vegetable morass Stay! My Wild Love! Earth Air Fire Water. Mother Father Sons & Daughters. Airplane in the starry night. First fright. Forest follow free. I love thee. Watch how I love thee. —Wilderness (1971) by Jim Morrison

Alan R. Graham (ex-husband of Jim Morrison's sister Anne): Pamela Courson was so very close to Jim from the beginning because of her love for his poetry. She urged him to write and told him he was a real poet before anyone else did. In return for her love and nurture, Morrison let her deep inside of his heart. He needed this kind of love badly. Most people are only familiar with his stage performances. The real Jim Morrison was buried deep below that exterior. Jim was pure wolf. He hung with his own. That is to say, he hung alone. Jim was a lone wolf for sure, but he also hung out with coyotes like Babe Hill. Being pure wolf that he was, he needed a she-wolf to stay with for life, Pamela Susan Courson. Pamela was the muse who inspired many of Jim Morrison's songs and poems like "Love Street," "Queen of the Highway," or "Twentieth Century Fox." 

Tom Baker (actor in Andy Warhol's "I, A Man" co-starring Nico) recounting his first meeting of Pamela Courson: "Monday, 14, November 1966 - 10 days before Thanksgiving, I was whisked from New York’s wind-chilled winter streets to the subtropical climate of Hollywood. Upon arriving, I went to Laurel Canyon home of a friend. Five minutes later, a young girl came knocking on the door, asking to use the phone. She lived across the street and hers had been cut off. She was dressed in old jeans and a man’s work shirt with her hair piled in curlers, but her beauty was still apparent to me. Her name was Pamela. It was clear to me she was more than just a pretty face. Although she was only 18 years old and did not have a high school diploma, she was bright and quick with a sophisticated knowledge of literature. Hearing she dated Jim Morrison from The Doors created a bit of resentment in me toward Jim, because for sure, I had fallen deeply in love with Pam. Just prior to Jim’s return to Los Angeles, I rented a house nearby. Pam was all set to move in with me until I stipulated she could no longer see Jim. How naive of me. I realized I had underestimated her. And as a result, I lost her love."

“Everyone else I knew was just Orange County, run-of-the-mill people,” Annette Burden says, “but I thought Pamela was absolutely great! She was a wild one and just had a wonderful sense of style and adventure, with this spark that was so exciting and fun.” Annette also remembers being enthralled by Pamela’s acerbic wit. “I adored her wry sense of humor. To me she had the appeal of Dorothy Parker—incredibly quick witted, intelligent, observant, cynical, and oozing disdain.” She laughs at the memory of it. “She sort of talked out of the side of her mouth a little bit, like she was doing an aside. She’d make some really hilarious snide comment and her mouth would hardly move.” In an early review of The Doors for the UCLA Daily Bruin, Bill Kerby wrote of Jim Morrison, “He has more natural disdain, more utter contempt for his surroundings than anyone I have ever known. But when he stands, throttling his microphone, staggering blindly across the stage, electric, on fire, screaming, his is all there, waiting, daring, terrified, and alone.” Robby Krieger: “At first we were good buddies, but then when Jim started drinking a lot I just couldn’t hang out with him anymore. It became much more of just a working relationship. We’d really only see each other if we were doing a concert or rehearsing or recording. Our relationship just wasn’t the same by the end of 1968.”

Paul Rothchild observed that Pamela wouldn’t hesitate to jerk Jim back into line if his behavior became too outrageous. “That was fun for him because very few people were willing to go on the offensive with him. I guess he liked that about her. She just had enough guts to go on the offensive.” “Pamela said something to me in Paris that I never forgot,” says Bill Siddons (during the days following Jim’s death). “She said, ‘There were people who pretended to be close to Jim, but I was the only one who had the nerve to stand up to him.’” Bill immediately recognized the truth in her statement. “All the rest of us just kind of went, ‘Okay Jim, we’ll work around it.’ But Pamela didn’t. Pamela just went, ‘Fuck you, buddy! You’d better do this!’ She screamed and yelled and jumped up and down and didn’t take any guff from him. So inevitably he went back to her.” There has been some controversy over the years caused by Max Fink’s later stating that he never drew up a will for Jim, but Paul Ferrara remembers otherwise. Says Ferrara of Fink's unreliable memory, “I can’t imagine that Max said that he never did this unless he was losing his mind!” Ferrara also doesn’t understand the speculation that Jim would not have excluded others from his estate. “Pam was the all-inclusive person he would leave anything he had to,” says Ferrara. “Nobody else was really warranted giving anything to. I do believe that his will was intended to make Pam happy. And to prove to her that he did love her.”

Ray Manzarek: Oliver Stone had a lot of grudges and a lot of axes to grind. I read the script and I said this is not Jim Morrison. He’s much more intelligent than you make him out to be and I am not going to have anything to do with it. I walked out on the whole production. Oliver Stone’s movie makes Jim out to be an alcoholic weirdo, totally out of control, and you never see the intellectual side of Jim Morrison. You never see the wit, the charm, the elegance. You see a crazed Jim Morrison. Don’t forget the next movie Oliver Stone made after The Doors? Natural Born Killers. He started off with the idea for Natural Born Killers and turned into The Doors movie. Even the film’s co-producer Bill Graham admits: “Oliver definitely leaned on the excessive aspects of Jim and did not show to the same extent the private side of Jim. Unfortunately Oliver’s desire was to show what happens to a man when he lets his Frankenstein take over and I was troubled by that if I’m going to be honest with you.” Patricia Kennealy retold her story in Strange Days - her tone throughout is angry, venomous, and defensive (Morrison had needled her at The Phone Booth about her being a closeted lesbian). But she hedged about some of her bizarre claims by writing that she might have hallucinated the whole thing. She admitted that she was high on marijuana, cocaine, and tranquilizers during the period in question of her affair with Jim. 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

Gen-Xers (and Gen-Yers) were presented with what can be perhaps be considered the most perfect romance of the decade: Natural Born Killers. Mickey and Mallory Knox loved more intensely than any of us could have possibly hoped to. More than anything – and the reason the film struck such a powerful chord with its many fans – NBK was a love story. Mickey and Mallory Knox were not just energetic psychopaths. They were lovers first. They loved so intensely, they transcended morality and decency. They burned hotly and passionately, deliberately hoping that their fire would destroy the world around them. Mickey and Mallory turned our desire for chaos into a coherent adoration. NBK originally ended with Mickey and Mallory's guardian angel Owen declaring himself as being "from the fire" and killing the two in the film's final moments. While this would seem to be the more logical ending from a screenwriting 101 point of view- we've had our fun but these characters are monsters and need to be punished- the revised "happier" ending actually tells a darker and more poignant story. For the real evil here is not the actions of two fictional mass murderers but rather our own tendency to spotlight and glorify the ugliness in the world. Mickey and Mallory are left alive not to give us a happy ending but to tell us that we as a culture are responsible for giving them life in the first place. Source:

Mickey (thinking of Mallory): “At night, I pretend you're lying next to me. I lie in my cell... I imagine kissing you, not making love, just kissing for hours and hours on end. I remember everything about our time. I remember every secret you ever shared. I remember every single time you laughed... and your dancing. Oh my God, your dancing. I lie on my bed and go over every day,  every minute of our happiness. I take it all as it comes, and I live that day again. That way, when I get to our first kiss, they're not just memories. I feel that joy again.” —Natural Born Killers (1991) directed by Oliver Stone   

Friday, March 06, 2020

Deaths of Despair, Jim Morrison & Pam

From economist Anne Case and Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton, Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism (2020) paints a troubling portrait of the American dream in decline. For the white working class, today's America has become a land of broken families and few prospects. Case and Deaton tie the crisis to the weakening position of labor, the growing power of corporations, and, above all, to a rapacious health-care sector. Capitalism, which over two centuries has lifted countless people out of poverty, is now destroying the lives of blue-collar America. 

Kevin MacDonald (Individualism and The Western Liberal Tradition): My basic theory here is that it’s not really about despair. I argue there are two things at work here: one is the decline in our culture generally brought about by the 1960s’ counter-cultural revolution affecting health in childhood, marriage, child rearing, and religion. But added to that is a very specific situation involving a corrupt pharmaceutical industry, especially Purdue Pharma owned by the Sackler family, and lax government regulation because of manipulation by the pharmaceutical industry. The increasing trend toward low-investment parenting in the United States largely coincides with the triumph of the psychoanalytic and radical critiques of American culture represented by the cultural success of the counter-cultural movement of the 1960s. The irony (hypocrisy?) is that Erich Fromm and the other members of the Frankfurt School, who strongly identified with a highly collectivist group, advocated radical individualism for the society as a whole. 

In his book Coming Apart Charles Murray notes that for Whites beginning in the 1960s, there has been an increase in crime, lower levels of religiosity, work ethic, and marriage. For the upper-middle class, marriage went from 94% to 84% between 1960 and 2010, but for the White working class it went from 82% to 48%. For the White working class, never-married went from 10% to 25%; and there has been dramatically lower work force participation. Murray attributes this to a loss of “virtue” but he doesn’t discuss the forces behind this massive cultural shift. The steep upward trend in social/family dysfunction begins in the 1960s and continues to climb until around 1990 when it temporarily falls back before reaching new highs. According to Case and Deaton, the increased mortality among the White working class begins in the 1990s. The first cohort to really show increased mortality was the one born in 1950—they were 40 years old in 1990 and thus the first generation to experience the counter-cultural revolution as teenagers. For every cohort after that, the increased mortality from drugs, alcohol, and suicide starts at an earlier age and is steeper—it gets to higher levels faster. I suspect that if the cultural supports that existed up until the late 1950s had remained in place, the White working class would not have succumbed to the opioid epidemic. In this regard it’s interesting that the first generation to show increased mortality was the one that became teenagers in the 1960s. Source:

In Human, All Too Human (1878), Nietzsche elaborates that all human symbolism – even music – is rooted in the ‘imitation of gesture’ at work in Greek tragedy. Nietzsche began writing his tragedy only after breaking off relations with his friends, the psychologist Paul Rée and Lou Andreas-Salomé, the woman they both loved. Nietzsche believed that he had found in Andreas-Salomé the one person who understood his quest for a radical affirmation of life. He made plans with her and Rée to live together in an intellectual society that she called their ‘Unholy Trinity’. However, due primarily to suspicions planted by Nietzsche’s sister Elisabeth, the trio’s plans did not materialise. A despondent Nietzsche wrote to his dear friend Franz Overbeck: ‘Unless I can discover the alchemical trick of turning this – muck into gold, I am lost.’ Nietzsche’s ubiquitous references to dance are ever-present reminders that the work of overcoming oneself – of freeing oneself enough from anger, bitterness and despair. David Lynch said that understanding pain and anxiety can be essential to creating great art, but that actually experiencing pain and anxiety can be toxic to the creative process. Freud’s quest for light echoes the ancient Greek ‘know thyself’. But I am also reminded of an old Talmudic verse, probably dated from the same era as Socrates: ‘If you meet the devil, shine on it the light of knowledge. If it is stone, it evaporates; if it is metal, annihilates.’ What a triumph to the human spirit is the belief that the hardiness, nastiness and ‘stone-ness’ of our nature can be overcome by the ‘light of knowledge’. Source:

Recent years have seen an increasing number of studies on relationship extradyadic behaviors (Silva et al., 2017; Fisher, 2018). Individuals who perceived themselves as being more attractive tended to have a higher sexual desire and higher relationship quality. However, these extradyadic behaviors can have serious consequences, such as low self-esteem, mental problems, loss of trust, decreased personal and sexual confidence, rage, and guilt. A cross-cultural study with a sample of 186 societies found that in every culture, both males and females actively resort to mate-guarding tactics in order to try to control their mate’s extradyadic behaviors. Studies have shown that approximately 22–25% of men and 15–20% of women report having sex with someone other than their spouse while been married. In a study of Mark et al. (2011), 23.2% of men and 19.2% of women indicated that they had engaged in sexual interactions with someone other than their partner. Specifically, women who perceived themselves as being relatively more attractive had a tendency to report a higher sexual desire than those who perceived themselves as being relatively less attractive. This result was not obtained for men. Previous research has shown that women who consider themselves physically attractive show a greater preference for masculinity and symmetry, suggesting that these women may attempt to maximize phenotypic quality in potential partners. What is described as the “human mind” component is the cardinal dimension of the affective human space. This dimension maps states “purely mental and human specific vs. bodily and shared with animals”, which is in line with our interpretation of emotional complexity. Source:

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.” ―Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow. The issue is that "Rock" as we define it, is no longer the driving force of culture that it used to be. It's not cool anymore or even feasible to be an outsider. Rock always thrived on individuality. Instead, Rap and EDM are more tribal. Popular music took a very drastic turn for the worse after the 1996 Telecommunications Act was passed. The effects started being felt big time in 1998, with the FCC allowing the creation of streaming monopolies. Rock didn't stand a chance from that point on. Much easier to market and control pop and rap than Rock. There's still some quality rock music being made (electric guitar rock will never die off entirely) but unlike from the 50's-90's you have to actively search for it - you're not going to hear it otherwise. 

“Do you know we are ruled by TV? Sometimes a moment is enough to forget a lifetime. But other times a lifetime is not enough to forget one moment.” ―Jim Morrison. In Pittsburgh, on May 2, 1970, for the fourth number of the set, the band hammers into Roadhouse Blues, and the drama unfolds when Morrison descends into the bubbling swamp of the tune. He disappears into the maw of the music and keeps going—he sustains it all for a solid minute. 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.” The Sixties come forth as a time and place where people lived 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 if Morrison had passed out, we might have cheered as spectators in the Roman colosseum Morrison imagined himself in. This moment hit not like some defining event in one person’s insignificant life, but as a moment in history. —"The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years" (2013) by Greil Marcus

-Greil Marcus: There’s a hint of undifferentiated loathing and decay in the video for Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the most surprising hit of 1991—and irony may be the currency in the five minutes that pass as the band grinds out its corroding punk chords. Words take a long time to emerge from Cobain’s hoarse throat—but the feeling of humiliation, disintegration, of defeat by some distant malevolence, is what the music says by itself. This is one of the least spectacular and most suggestive videos ever made, and everything about it is slightly off. As the cheerleaders lift their pom-poms, stretching to the roof even more spookily than Cobain expands his fuzztone, they could belong in the ‘50s; the crowd is dressed in an indecipherable motley of styles from the ’70s through the ’80s; the musicians look like ’60s hippies who had to hitchhike for three days to make the gig. Slow motion is used but it seems like real time. Kids snap their heads back and forth to the music but they don’t give off any sense of pleasure. Cobain communicates not abandon and joy but hopelessness and mistrust of his audience. A string comes loose on his guitar, he hangs sound in the air while he fixes it, and you lose all sense of performance. Cobain rails out a blank curse: “A denial! A denial!” Of what? By whom? The moods and talismans of five rock ‘n’ roll decades are in the little play, and as it finishes, implodes, scatters, it seems as good a death as the music could ask for. Sometimes, though, you need to speak without irony—and the irony in “Smells Like Teen Spirit” can’t really filter the corruption in rock. For any attempt to talk about the death of rock must finally be made without irony, even if that ensures that the fool is the only role left to play. For there is no way to talk about the death of rock without facing what, exactly, is being consigned to the scrap heap—without recognizing what is being given up. Source:

Finally, there actually is some stuff out there suggesting Jim Morrison was a good guy who people didn't really know. I was of the school of thought that Morrison was a talented artist who happened to be a deplorable human being. However, I've done quite a bit of independent research into the matter and gradually found that much of what I had believed as fact was actually untrue. In the course of several discussions in Frank Lisciandro's Friends Gathered Together, numerous myths are shattered, and the true image of Morrison takes shape as a man who was actually quite shy and soft-spoken, generous to a fault, who was very rarely provoked to anger, and a man who cared little for personal possessions. I appreciated his interest in seeing the world from different perspectives by listening to the different people he met throughout his life. In particular, he enjoyed getting a woman's perspective on issues, as Bill Siddons' wife Cheri recalls.

It's a very different portrait of the man when compared to the way he was characterized in the media during his life, never mind the way he's been portrayed since his death. Author Lisciandro first met Jim Morrison in 1964 at UCLA film school, where both were studying, and he became one of Jim's closest friends until the singer's death in Paris in 1971. His goal was to get different and accurate perspectives on who Jim Morrison was as a man and to strip away the layers of myth and falsehoods. Jim Morrison wasn’t a chauvinist, according to his lover Eva Gardony in the chapter “This Affair of Ours” from Friends Gathered Together.  Source:

-Eva Gardony: Jim was a wonderful person to be with because he was so giving. He was giving of his time, of his attention a great deal. He treated me as his intellectual equal. I found him very shy the first time I met him. I find him very self-editing. It was very strange, because, before I met him, I heard the stories about him and I was ready to meet this incredibly out-of-control, crazed man. And when I met him I was surprised how quiet, how observant he was. I just found him very shy; painfully shy. He said he liked me for a long time before. He had a crush on me then, which I didn’t know. I thought he was a maniac depressive, probably undiagnosed.  

-Frank Lisciandro: Coming from your Hungarian culture, what was your impression of Jim onstage?

-Eva Gardony: My impression of Jim onstage was absolute amazement, because I had met this very shy and timid and always smiling Jim with no visible aggression whatsoever. And then I see him onstage performing rock and roll, and his command of his audience was startling. Total transformation as far as I’m concerned. I had heard about his bad reputation and then nothing of the sort came out. Only time when I’d see something of it was when he was onstage. He never talked about this transformation. He was extremely shy about it. He didn’t want to really discuss his onstage act as such, but it was just very interesting to see this amazing strength that he could show on people.

-Frank Lisciandro: Do you think he liked the company of women more than he liked the company of men; in terms of who he would hang out with?

-Eva Gardony: He really liked women but he felt more comfortable with the boys. I mean, obviously, look at you three guys, you always hung out together: Babe, you and Jim.

-Frank Lisciandro: Did Jim ever talk about any of the women he was with?

-Babe Hill: No. Jim was absolutely the most discrete gentleman. I mean, a gentleman, a true southern gentleman. And if we could go out and find all these girls, they’d tell you the same thing.

-Babe Hill: Jim never made excuses for Pamela or tried to explain her attitude. Anyway, I got along with Pam. When Jim went to London and Pam had that little place in Topanga, I went down there and I took care of Sage [Jim and Pam’s dog], and the place for a month or two. And we just got along together famously. She thought everybody was taking advantage of Jim and riding on his coattails and we just hit it off, as if me and Jim didn’t have that kind of relationship. In fact, the night before Pam died [April 25, 1974], she told me on the phone that she wanted to buy a ranch someplace and wanted me “to come up and take care of it.” We were supposed to get together for breakfast that next morning and discuss it, and then the next morning she never showed up. Tom Baker called her house, and her mother answered the phone and said she was dead. And then they had that memorial service for both Jim and Pam after Pam died. So I was going through the line, meeting these people in Pam’s family. And there’s this lady there and it’s Corky’s wife, Penny [Pam’s mother]. I said, “I’m Babe.” And she grabbed me and hugged me and said, “Oh, Babe, Pam loved you so much.’ And that made me feel like a million bucks, man. So, no, we never had any problems, me and Pam. —"Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together" (2014) by Frank Lisciandro

Monday, March 02, 2020

Shocking Stories: Marilyn Monroe, Mamie Van Doren, Jim Morrison, Lou Reed, Mick Jagger

Marilyn Monroe’s turbulent final months before her death in 1962 are to be the subject of a drama series from 101 Studios and UK producer Seven Seas Films, titled The Last Days Of Marilyn Monroe. In what is being pitched as the first “tell-all” authorized by the Marilyn Monroe estate owner Authentic Brands Group, The Mallorca Files scribe Dan Sefton will adapt Keith Badman’s book The Final Years Of Marilyn Monroe: The Shocking True Story. Seven Seas optioned the novel in 2017. It will transport viewers back to a time when Monroe found herself caught between the warring factions of the Mafia, the Kennedy political dynasty and the Hollywood elite. Sefton, who co-founded Seven Seas, said the story will be told with “compassion and sensitivity.” 101 Studios CEO David Glasser added: “Keith Badman has uncovered gems of never before released details, centered around the last few months of her sensationalized life and the accusations made. The series pays homage to the bright star whose life was extinguished too early.” Comparing her busy schedule with that of President John F. Kennedy, Keith Badman concludes that their alleged ‘romance’ was probably no more than a one-night stand. However, he does not underestimate the Hollywood rumour mill, and the likelihood that any explicit association with America’s most famous sex symbol could damage the Kennedys’ reputation in Washington. 

In Anthony Summers’ 1986 biography, Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe, Dr Timothy Leary, guru of the psychedelic era, spoke of having taken LSD with Monroe after they met at a Hollywood party in May 1962. After researching Leary’s life at this time, as well as Marilyn’s, Badman concludes that this probably never happened. ‘The tale about his encounter with screen legend actually grew out of one of his several, highly embellished LSD flashbacks,’ Badman counters, ‘which in turn passed on to his many disciples over the ensuing years.’ Badman then speculates that Leary had confused Marilyn with one of John F. Kennedy’s girlfriends, the artist Mary Meyer who reportedly introduced the president to marijuana. Source:

Mamie Van Doren, known as one of “The Three M’s” alongside blonde goddesses Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, has been keeping busy writing the follow-up to her titillating 1987 memoir “Playing the Field,” where she detailed her adventures and sexual escapades as a star in Hollywood during the ‘50s and ‘60s.

-Mamie Van Doren: I like sex better than rock ‘n’ roll. I was the first to do rock ‘n’ roll on the big screen and that definitely exudes a lot of your sex appeal. I got away from all the bad stuff that was going on in Hollywood. This was around the ‘60s when I left. There were a lot of drugs. Marilyn died. Jayne died. A lot of my contemporaries were gone. I just thought it was time to leave Hollywood.

-Fox News: How did you cope with the casting couch?

-Mamie Van Doren: I’m the type of person that if I don’t like someone, I’m not going to bed with them. I don’t care who they are. I missed a couple of good roles because of it. But looking back, I’m glad I didn’t do them. If some guy said to me, "I’ll put you in a movie if you do me"–I just couldn’t do it. And then I became unapproachable. So they didn’t dare. You have to put yourself in a position where you’re unapproachable. I certainly opened a lot of doors during a postwar time when things were very conservative. I was way ahead of my time. I didn’t know what the women’s movement was, but I was there living it.

-Your bio is quite original. While you are honest about your sexual escapades I lost count of how many men you turned down: Howard Hughes, James Dean, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Johnny Carson, Henry Kissinger...

-Mamie Van Doren: Warren Beatty was another. He was kind of a drooler when he kissed me. I wrote my first book in 1987. It was called "Playing the Field." But a lot has happened between 1987 and 2020. So now I’m writing about what it’s like getting older and appreciating life a little more as you go along, as well as getting smarter as you get older. There’s so much to write about. A lot of material just didn’t make it in the first book. My book publisher was very conservative and a lot of stories were taken out. So I’m putting a lot of those stories back in. Source:

Eve Babitz: "Jim Morrison, a film school poet, could be all things to all people, like Marilyn Monroe. Casting anyone to play Jim was just totally ridiculous to me. Oliver Stone was asking everyone in connection with The Doors if Jim Morrison was impotent, and it makes you think Oliver didn’t know much about Jim’s main disease. You’d think he’d at least read up on the symptoms that show up in a person who takes depressants as a cure for depression. Taking Seconal and Tuinal and drinking brandy will bring your sex life to a grinding halt. After his death in Paris, I began running into women who kept Jim alive–as did I–because something about him began seeming great compared to everything else that was going on." —Eve Babitz for Esquire Magazine (March, 1991)

Andy Warhol, in his memoir POPism, remembered: ‘Jim Morrison would stand at the bar drinking screwdrivers all night long, and he’d get really far gone.’ Warhol also pinpointed part of Morrison’s appeal: "The girls were only interested in the guys that didn’t go after them. I saw a lot of girls pass on Warren Beatty, who was so good looking, just because they knew he wanted to fuck them, and they’d go looking for somebody who looked like he didn’t want to, like Jim Morrison." Janet Erwin, a friend of journalist Patricia Kennealy, remembers an occasion when Jim Morrison was cluelessly hit on by a 'poor schlub' who didn't realize that "Morrison was one of the most robustly and notoriously heterosexual men on the planet, the goddam Warren Beatty of rock."

—Patrick Humphries review for Vox magazine (May 1991): Oliver Stone's film is a wet dream for all those that wallow in the mire of the Jim Morrison myth but as a document to offer any understanding of the man, the times, or any insight into that myth it’s worthless. —Jim Cherry: Stephen Davis' biography is derivative and disappointing, relying on previous biographies like No One Here Gets Out Alive. Davis does seem to claim Jim Morrison might have been a bisexual based on the evidence that he sometimes hung out with a literary circle which might have involved some gay/bisexual poet. This, at best, seems ridiculous. Even Ray Manzarek hated Stephen Davis’s book. “Woof! This is a strange story by a weird guy turning Morrison into an Oliver Stone-like stranger again,” Manzarek told me over the phone from Los Angeles. “I don’t know the Jim Morrison he writes about. Why this guy wrote this book I have no idea unless the author is himself bisexual, had a crush on Jim and wanted to get into that supposed bisexual action himself. It’s Freudian. No way was Jim bisexual. I always saw him with women.” Davis' speculation would be worthy if it were backed up with some facts or testimony but all he does is spread gossip without any kind of evidence. Character assasination by innuendo is all this silly book is. Davis is your typical gutless coward who is also a fantasist of the worst ilk. Mick Wall has lost his crown as writer of the stupidest Morrison book ever. (Edmonton Weekly, 2004)

Wild Child - The Doors

Wild child full of grace/Savior of the human race/Your cool face/Natural child, terrible child/Not your mother's or your father's child/Your own child, screaming wild/An ancient lunatic reins/In the trees of the night/With hunger at her heels/Freedom in her eyes/She dances on her knees/Wild child full of grace/Savior of the human race (Song dedicated for Pamela Courson, 1968)

“Most of the time Jim was very calm and he wasn’t drinking very much,” says Alan Ronay during Jim and Pam's stay in Paris. “He wrote practically every day. I really felt that he’d totally reclaimed himself. For the first time, he began talking about having children.” As they had done several times before in the States, the couple obtained another marriage license. Jim had also made the first tentative steps toward bridging the chasm that had so long existed between him and his parents, following Pam's advice. Alain Ronay, Jim’s French-born friend from UCLA, stayed with Jim and Pam in Paris for a few weeks and remembers an evening Jim spent recounting affectionate, funny stories about his family. “The stories were really tender and warm,” says Ronay. “I wish his parents could’ve heard it.”

-Nancy Dixon (from Whittier, California): Pamela Courson was a very creative lady. We had lots of fun together in Laurel Canyon.... it's sad she couldn't overcome her demons. Maybe Pamela had a problem in Paris because she ran out of heroin and Jean de Breteuil was in London temporarily. It seems Jim told a friend of Elisabeth Lariviere (a model nicknamed "Zozo") that he didn't want Pamela scoring, supposedly saying, "Scoring is a man's job." Someone from Orange County recently told me that Pamela didn't care for people who couldn't appreciate her unusual personality and that's why she looked so unreachable. The people who really didn't like Pam were the people that she wasn't going to let in her life. I think it takes a lot of empathy and some advanced perception to understand her. A lot of people could not understand the relationship between Pam and Jim and it made them jealous.

-Lizzie James: I met Jim Morrison for the first time in the winter of 1968. It was a recording session for Waiting For The Sun, their third album. I was a journalist and a moonstruck groupie. I was with a writer who was interviewing Morrison for the New York Times. Jim was coming out of the studio "to get a bite to eat" with Pamela, his lady. My writer friend and I went inside, waiting for Jim to reappear. Soon we were watching him from inside the tracking room while he sang Not To Touch The Earth on the other side of the soundproof glass. "Nothin' left to do but run, run, let's run…." That night, his eyes held light, interest, intensity. His mouth moved in motions of pleased surprise. He argued, criticized, consented, refused, laughed, and suggested. Pamela, the ice queen, in a green velvet coat, waist long red hair, jerking her delicate jaw, followed Jim's movements with her heavy-lashed urchin eyes, providing him cigarettes. 

The last time I saw Morrison was in April of 1970. We went to a house high in the windings of King Canyon, a house chilled and dust-veiled from a long absence of human presence. "Sex is full of lies," he said. "The body tries to tell the truth, but it's usually too battered with rules to be heard. We cripple ourselves with lies. Sex can be a liberation. But it can also be an entrapment." He had shaved his beard and looked almost like Morrison of early "ride the snake" nights at the Whisky. But there was a certain demon that had left him and not returned. He was more solemn, smiled less readily, moved with low vibrancy, without the coiled, ready-to-spring tension. He seemed almost saintly - calm, thoughtful, resigned.  —Lizzie James for Creem Magazine - A Rock & Roll Tribute to The Doors (Summer 1981)

-Frank Lisciandro: Talking to about 30 of his closest friends, everybody says the same thing about Jim in different ways. Everyone says that he was sensitive and intelligent, that he was generous, that he was reckless. He didn’t care about money, he didn’t care about fame, he was actually like an alien in the American culture. In An Hour for Magic I asked every person the same questions, and one of the questions was, “Did you ever see Jim being violent?” No one had a story where he broke a chair or damaged furniture. Never did he hit anybody else. Never he did start a fight in a bar. Not one of the people I met even knew about a fight in a bar, let alone they had seen one. And some of these people were drinking buddies of his. Babe Hill doesn’t remember any fight in a bar. Jim avoided fights.

-Rainer Moddemann: I remember the story written in No One Here Gets Out Alive about you, Jim and Babe Hill getting into a fight at Barney’s Beanery.

-Frank Lisciandro: It’s not true. Danny Sugerman made it up. Danny and Ray Manzarek made it up. I add Ray, because I know that Ray was one of the people that worked on No One Here Gets Out Alive. Ray should have stopped trying to make Jim the bad boy of rock and a petulant child. I’m not interested in The Doors. I’m interested in The Doors only in that allowed Jim Morrison a certain amount of freedom, and then they took that freedom away from him. They did both things. It’s a very good metaphor for the fact that in our culture, the American culture, commercialism allows you an opportunity, and then it closes the door. Without demands, the band would have had to play clubs. Perfect for Jim, because Jim didn’t care about the money. He didn’t care about adulation. What he cared about was the creation. His focus was on performance. And in our culture you cannot combine the two things. Look at how many writers went to Hollywood and left. You can’t be a great writer in Hollywood because it’s a contradiction. You can’t be a good writer and become a part of a major supergroup. It’s impossible in our culture. Source:

Shelley Albin responded to both the sensitivity she detected in Lou Reed and the larger world that his interests suggested. Her parents showed little interest in where she went to school, believing that she would only be going to get her “Mrs.” degree. “It was a completely different era. You were going to be a secretary or a teacher and that was it. It was never taken seriously that girls should study or be interested in books.” She had hoped to attend Berkeley, an adventurous choice for a Midwestern girl, but her parents vetoed that. A cousin who was an artist recommended Syracuse because of the quality of the school’s art programs. Albin met Reed when she was a freshman and he was a sophomore. “When we met he had the reputation of being kind of a rascal, and you had to be careful around him,” she said. Despite his image-making, Albin did not initially find Reed a fearsome figure. “He was still more of a kid who would play basketball or tennis, and he listened to old fifties stuff,” she said. “That’s what that era was. He’d hang out on street corners with a guitar and play folk music. It wasn’t the same Lou Reed as people think of. It was a sweeter Lou. Lou was basically looking for a replacement for his mother with a little sex thrown in. He was very insecure, and he needed a nurturer.” They would remain in touch even after Reed graduated from Syracuse and returned to New York, and Albin would loom for a long time as a symbolic figure for Reed, the metaphoric embodiment of everything he “had but couldn’t keep,” as he put it in “Pale Blue Eyes,” the gorgeous ballad he wrote about her, though Albin did not have blue eyes.

“I think he toyed with the idea of having a child by then, he brought the issue up in 1964,” Shelley says, but she decided that someone who couldn’t even look after himself was not the fatherly type. Reed, she said finally, was “a romantic. He could be very sweet. He’s probably the only person who ever literally gave me a heart-shaped box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day. But he wasn’t happy unless he made somebody more miserable than he was. That is exactly what he fed off as an artist, as a writer, as a songwriter. Misery made for his best work, whether it came from me or somebody else. So I’d call him a romantic and I’d call him sweet, but I’d also call him an incredible pain in the ass. He wasn’t anybody I wanted to live with and put up with. It wasn’t worth it. It was too much grief.” —"The Dangerous Glitter of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed" (2009) by Dave Thompson 

Cecil Beaton’s famously bitchy diaries describe sitting next to Mick Jagger at dinner, his skin of “chicken-breast white,” “inborn elegance and perfect manners, his small albino-fringed eyes notice everything.” Meeting him again in the next morning’s harsh sunlight for their poolside photo session, Beaton could hardly believe it was the same person: “his face a white podgy, shapeless mess, eyes very small, nose very pink, hair sandy dark. He is sexy yet completely sexless. He could nearly be a eunuch.” The synchronization of the raid with Mick and Keith’s court appearance in Chichester made clear that Britain’s antidrug agencies, such as they were, had declared open season on the Rolling Stones. And this time there was no doubt about police collusion with the press. The original, wise plan had been that Marianne should not attend the trial and should stay well out of the media searchlight until it was over. That first day, as Mick stood in the dock, she had taken her son, Nicholas, to the home of the Small Faces’ Steve Marriott.

Marianne was taking acid with Marriott and the other Faces. Marianne had not been charged with any offense, so her name could not be mentioned in court. Marianne would recall that they’d been liberally dosed with Valium beforehand and were still “very scared... you got the feeling they only had to say one word out of place and they’d have been taken straight back to Brixton Prison.” Moderation was Jagger's watchword, as in everything else except vanity; despite being around heavy drug users all the time, he himself never took a smidgen too much or lost an iota of precious self-control. Even LSD gave up in despair after finding no inner demons with which to unsettle him. Marianne, by contrast, was both naturally addictive and recklessly adventurous. Mick thoroughly disapproved of her growing drug intake and did all he could to discourage it—sometimes with anger, occasionally with heartfelt tears. Marianne was expecting a baby. By then she was actually five months pregnant. She and Mick were agreed in wanting a girl and had already chosen the name Corrina, after the blues song by Taj Mahal. Mick’s immediate response on learning the news was to say they should get married. Marianne suffered a miscarriage, and she felt “devastated and guilty . . . it took me ages before I could even begin to grapple with my feelings about it.” For Mick, the loss of the baby he so much hoped would be a little girl named Corrina can have been no less devastating. His only hint at heartbreak was a seemingly incongruous line in “Memo from Turner”: “the baby’s dead, my lady said.” A couple of weeks after the Stones left Klein and Decca, Marianne left Mick. She waited until he went away on a European tour, then packed a small suitcase and took Nicholas back to her mother’s. Mick pursued her again and pleaded for them to try again, but she managed to stand firm. However, he did not try to take back the cottage at Aldworth that was now her main refuge. —"Mick Jagger" (2012) by Philip Norman