WEIRDLAND: February 2020

Thursday, February 27, 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:

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:

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 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

She's a Rainbow, Anita Pallenberg, Pamela Courson and Jim Morrison

Much has been said and written about Anita’s transference from Brian Jones’s to Keith Richards’ corner and yet little has been documented about how she led both relationships. While Keith Richards’ arrest for Anita's heroin possession in Canada during 1977 would cast a dark shadow over their relationship, further torment would come two years later when Anita would find herself embroiled in an almightily seamy situation when a seventeen-year-old boy shot himself in her New York state home. Keith Richards described Pallenberg as a "very strong woman" who was "extremely bright" and "a great beauty". The couple had three children together, one of whom died as an infant, before they finally separated in 1980. Pallenberg sang backing vocals on classic Stones track Sympathy for the Devil and was said to have had a "profound" influence on the band. 

“They were like schoolboys,” Anita would recall from her first interactions with The Rolling Stones. “They looked at me like I was some kind of threat. Mick Jagger really tried to put me down, but there was no way some lippy guy was going to do a number on me. I was always able to squelch him. I found out that if you stand up to Mick, he crumbles.” While enchanted by Anita’s blonde hair, leggy stature and elegant gait, it was her fearless presence– incongruously offset by her pixie features–that truly caught their attention. Some reports have claimed that it was Brian Jones who singled Anita out, saying (in German): “I don’t know who you are, but I need you.” “Brian was very unusual,” reported Anita in 2006. “He was moody and he was physically attractive. He looked like a girl in a funny kind of way. Sexually I like girls as well as men and he had a wonderful curiosity. The other Stones were more like, what shall I say, frightened, Brian was much more ready to go to strange places. Except for Brian, all the Stones at that time were suburban squares.”

“I’ve obviously contemplated marriage,” Brian told some waiting journalists. “Anita is the first girl I’ve met I’ve been serious about.” Behind Anita’s cool exterior, Pattie Boyd observed the dynamics of the Jones/Pallenberg alliance. “She was definitely in control of that relationship. You could see that she could do exactly what she wanted. She actually was a bit scary. To me, she seemed that she had secrets that she would never reveal. I’ve never met a young woman with such incredible confidence.” “The first time he took acid,” Anita would later recall of Jones’s trip, “he saw creatures coming out of the ground, the floors. He was looking in all the cupboards for people, ‘Where are they?’” For those already walking a thin line between reality and fantasy, LSD would serve to join up the dots. The drug confirming and furthermore propelling Anita’s already furious sense of being, she took to LSD with considerable gusto. While for Anita its earth-shattering experience was liberating and informative, for Brian’s fragile sense of self and worth, the torturing visions, demonising voices and unfiltered memory recall would serve to increase his already unbridled paranoia.

Keith Richards' cool detachment masked a shy innocence that only a few would detect. Unlike some members of the band, Richards would nonetheless maintain a fairly modest libido, preferring the attention of one woman to the smorgasbord of sensual delights that were available to pop stars of the moment. Jane Fonda’s interest in Richards would extend well beyond the shoot of Barbarella. Anita would later recall Fonda visiting her and Keith at their London residence, only to be ignored by Richards because he said she reminded him of his aunt. “On tour he desperately missed Anita,” confirmed The Stones' road manager Sam Cutler. “He was never unfaithful to her. I was with him every minute of the day of the 1969 tour and he was never with any other women. He was a one-woman man; a great romantic and a gentleman. Whenever we got to a hotel, he was calling her. He pined for her.” With Keith travelling to the States in preparation for the fifteen-date tour on October, Anita would be left home alone with baby Marlon. The tour separating the couple for the best part of two months, the vacuum left by Keith’s absence was considerable, and a heavier reliance on drugs was perhaps somewhat predictable. It was during this period that Keith would begin work on perhaps his most enduring paean of his love for Anita and Marlon, ‘Wild Horses’.

"I have never put the make on a girl in my life. I just don’t know how to do it. My instincts are always to leave it to the woman. Which is kind of weird, but I can’t pull the come-on bit: “Hey, baby, how you doing?” and all of that. I’m tongue-tied. I suppose every woman I’ve been with, they’ve had to put the make on me. Meanwhile I’m putting the make on in another way—by creating an aura of insufferable tension. So Anita made the first move. She was one of the prime women in the world. She certainly made a man out of me. I loved her spirit, even though she would instigate and turn the screw and manipulate. Anita and I got back to my little pad in St. John’s Wood. And Brian made desperate attempts to get Anita back. There was no chance of that happening. Once Anita makes up her mind, she makes up her mind. It’s said that I stole her. But my take on it is that I rescued her."

Although Anita received a fairly healthy wage from her film and modelling assignments, her spending had far exceeded her income, leaving Keith as the major breadwinner. Walking down the aisle of the Chapelle Sainte-Anne, Mick and Bianca were accompanied by the theme song from the film Love Story, a somehow cheesy soundtrack that elicited loud guffaws from both Anita and Keith. On April 28, 1976, before a concert in Frankfurt, Keith announced that after nine eventful years together, he and Anita were to get married. Ever the iconoclast, Keith would tag the announcement with the information that it was to facilitate a passport for Anita, and yet made it clear from the public statement that he wanted some permanence to their relationship. Keith announced that the union might take place live onstage in front of 18,000 fans during one of the Stones’ run of gigs at Earls Court Arena during the May of 1976. Ultimately, the event never happened–nor, as evidenced from official records, did the marriage ever take place. Finding their third child Tara motionless in his crib, Anita called nearby physicians–to be confronted with the reality that her child had died overnight. On inspection, the little baby–just two and a half months old–had developed respiratory issues and had succumbed to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). 

“Keith was very protective and loving,” recalled Anita later. “He just said, ‘Forget it.’ And everybody else told me the same thing. They all said, ‘Forget it. Look after your other children.’ I am sure that the drugs had something to do with it. And I always felt very, very bad about the whole thing.” Understandably, Keith would be deeply haunted by the tragic episode. In 2011, he would relive the trauma of losing his child. “Leaving a newborn infant son is something I can’t forgive myself for. It’s as though I deserted my post.” Journalist Nick Kent was present for the pitiful reunion in the most upsetting of circumstances. “Anita was crying and seemed to be having difficulty moving,” wrote Kent in The Dark Stuff. “Keith was shepherding her along but he was crying too and looked all of a sudden to be impossibly fragile. They looked like some tragic couple leading each other out of a concentration camp.” The couple settled at Nellcôte in the French Riviera. Celebrated visitors at Nellcôte would include John Lennon and Yoko Ono, William S. Burroughs, aristocratic drug dealer Jean de Breteuil (who romanced Marianne Faithfull and Pamela Courson) plus The Stones’ entourage. 

Entitled ‘All About You’, the song (written in late 1979) would be seen by many as a direct response to his break-up with Anita and the emotional detritus that lay around them. While Richards has been nebulous over the years as to what spawned the lyrics, his lamenting words saying he “may miss you” or he’s “still in love” suggest there was an ongoing love for Anita. “That song is about Anita,” recalled Keith to Loaded magazine in 1997. “I was breaking up with her around that time. I’d said, ‘Look, if we clean up together, we’ll stay together.’ Well, I cleaned myself up. But she didn’t. And I realized that I couldn’t sleep with someone who had a needle beside the bed. I was too fragile at that point. I loved her, but I had to leave her.” Keith’s generosity towards Anita never diminished since their gradual split in the late 1970s. Welded together through their children and grandchildren, the couple would often find time to catch up, the spirit of harmony never once challenged by the separate paths they took. “There is an underlying love that goes beyond all of that. She'll be always in my heart,” Keith reported in 2011 to Rolling Stone magazine. —"She’s a Rainbow: The Extraordinary Life of Anita Pallenberg" (2020) by Simon Wells

The Doors were playing at the Hollywood Bowl on July 5, 1968. Jim was staying across the street from The Doors’ office at the Alta Cienega Motel that day because, Pamela explained to Christopher Jones, “He likes to stay there to work himself up before a performance.” Chris was spending the afternoon at Pamela’s apartment in West Hollywood. There were no phones in the rooms at the Alta Cienega, so Jim was at a pay phone when he called Pamela that afternoon and asked her to come pick him up and take him to the concert. Don’t go pick him up!” Chris suggested her as a dare. Jim called several times, “really pissed off,” according to Jones, but Pamela decided not to go to La Cienaga. Jim knew that Pamela had spent the day with Chris, and when she didn’t come pick him up at the motel, he was just as sure that she would be bringing Chris to the concert. But Jim didn't imagine Pam would find Mick Jagger and would seat on his lap instead. As though to curry her favor, onstage Jim wore an intricately embroidered vest from Pam's boutique Themis. Robby Krieger: "I remember Jim's girlfriend Pam took a liking to Mick Jagger and sat with him for the entire show. I don't know how Jim felt about that (laughs)." Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull skipped the backstage afterward.

After the show, Pamela brought Chris backstage, while she went to see Jim in the dressing room. As soon as Chris entered the dressing room, Jim reached for Pamela and sat her down on his lap. “He just sat there grinning at me, defiantly, with Pam on his lap,” says Jones. “Pam was looking at me kind of nervous. But Jim knew about us at that point, and he was trying to get it up on me. I just left the backstage.” The Doors embarked on a tour of the States in November, and still Pamela hadn’t come home. She was in London with Chris Jones. Their breakups before had always been minor ones, quickly healed, but this was stretching out for weeks, and Jim felt he had to take action. Without telling anyone where he was going, he left for London to get Pamela back. “Jim left town and didn’t show any of us the respect to tell us that he was leaving, how long he would be gone, when he was coming home—he just disappeared,” says Bill Siddons. The Doors left to tour Europe less than two months later, and Pamela came along, choosing mostly to stay in London while the band toured. Ray and Dorothy Manzarek were impressed by the domestic bliss the couple seemed to have fallen into their furnished flat on Eton Square.

Many of Jim Morrison's statements are clearly not to be taken at face value, he often meant the opposite of it, and they were sarcastic. What else do you say to a shallow audience? It has always bothered me that neither the media nor those who want to make money off of Jim Morrison ever acknowledge that he obviously had mental health problems with severe depression being the most obvious problem. Krieger's father was a psychologist and noticed Jim could not attend the band's first rehearsal because he had gotten drunk and thrown in jail. That was a red flag. Manzarek had his personal assistant/gopher Danny Sugerman be the one to actually put his name on No One Here Gets Out Alive. "With his crooked smile, agile mind, and great gift for gab, Ray surprised me at our first meeting by placing a typed manuscript in front of me: a copy of No One Here Gets Out Alive, the Morrison bio by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman, still some months away from publication," explained Chris Morris. Manzarek was going to get that Buick money, one way or the other. This kid's short, unhappy life became a morbid cottage industry with every book being nothing more than an uglier rehashing of 'Jimmy Dearest', with Jim simply being a drunk asshole as the only narrative, even though Jim was a choirboy compared to other more respected and "beloved" figures in rock. —by RidderontheStorm1969

Cheri Siddons echoes The Doors's manager Bill Siddons’s sentiments. “It was never The Doors. I mean the crowd was always screaming, ‘Jim! Jim! And he looked at me once and said, ‘Cheri what do they want from me? They don’t know me, they don’t know who I am. What do they want?’ I mean that was the crux of it to me, right there. Jim was the antithesis of Mick Jagger. Everyone was sucking more, everyone wanted more, I don’t really know what it was. Maybe because Jim was deeper—it could’ve been a lot of reasons. But I think somewhere in the middle of it, he didn’t want to play anymore and yet this whole cog wheel was going around him.” “Jim was kind of being worshipped into a box,” confirms Bill Siddons, “and he was really victimized by it. ‘Okay, you’re the crazy Jim Morrison! You’ve got to jump off the stage and reappear in a cloud of smoke!’ And the audience was hungry and wanted their show, goddamn it! But he was taunting the audience, going ‘What are you here for? Is this what you came to see? I mean, what do you want from me?’ It was a bunch of teenagers that wanted to party, and here was this tormented artist who was kind of doing his Van Gogh impression. Jim created a monster that got out of control and started to eat him away.”  —"Angels Dance, Angels Die: The Tragic Romance of Pamela and Jim Morrison" (2010) by Patricia Butler

Because Morrison had a tendency not to talk about his relationships, it was difficult to gauge how things were going on with Pamela. “She was a constant force in his life, but they were volatile,” explains Siddons. “They’d taken a house on Verbena Drive and were attempting to live a domesticated life, but that only lasted a few months. That’s why Jim was living at the Alta Cienega Motel.” Morrison had a knack, like Dylan, to pen lyrics which tie to elemental themes. He also tracked down some of the eternal chords and rhythms of how our culture breathes inside the continuum of the West. The Road which chases the setting Sun. The same way someone can find those echoes in Whitman, Crane, Williams, Frost, Dylan etc. Morrison was less consistent then those seers, but when his pick found the proper vein the traces of the ever circling West Hawk can be traced back home. That is a legacy, regardless of its lack of consistency, that won’t be forgotten. 

Patricia Kennealy: "Oliver Stone, who is, of course, Satan, raped both me and Jim on screen. Oliver had the chance to make the Citizen Kane of Sixties movies, the Lawrence of Arabia of that amazing era—Jim is the only rock star about whom such a movie could have been made—and he blew it. Here was this guy who has absolutely everything going for him: He’s brilliant, gorgeous, he’s a creative genius, he has dramatic love relationships—and he lives his far too brief life in the most unbelievable pain, doing his best to destroy himself, and he dies doomed and alone at 27. Why?? The answer to that could have made a compelling piece of cinema. So does Oliver Stone make a heartbreaking piece of art from all this? No! He makes a lying vicious mean-spirited piece of unmitigated garbage. What I will never forgive him for is that you don’t care that the Jim character is dead at the end of the movie; nowhere in that evil damned piece of slander is the viewer made to care about Jim and what becomes of him. That’s not an artist at work, that’s just Oliver fucking Stone doing business as usual, and that is why I say that had he been present when I first saw the movie at a screening, I would have ripped his throat out. What Oliver did to me was terrible. But what he did to Jim was criminal. I hasten to add: I was never pretty like Pamela, but in my days with Jim I was 117 pounds when I was thin and 125 when I was fat; either way, at almost 5’9″ that’s far from chubby." Source:

-NME (July 2019): Do you see a connection between The Doors and Natural Born Killers?

-Oliver Stone: "Yeah, I think of it as a line. Filming Natural Born Killers was like being free again. I think The Doors is like Natural Born Killers. It’s in that line of film where with imagery we freed ourselves and allowed free associations.  Jim Morrison was much more advanced than I was. I was 21 and still learning about the world. I was in Vietnam and I considered myself an explorer. I looked up to him. When I came back in ’69 and ’70, I was in New York and he was on his trip. But I sent him a script. That was an interesting story. I sent him the script of Break, which was my first script which I wrote when I came back, about Vietnam. It was very psychedelic. I thought Jim could play the soldier. He could play the character of me. It was quite a wild script. I didn’t hear back, of course. I’m used to that, I’ve been rejected before. Jim was all out for nothing, almost suicidal. He was serious. I think you see it in the movie, he takes no prisoners. ‘Do you love me?’ ‘Would you die for me?’ It’s crazy stuff. He was finished with the band. I do think Paris was the beginning of a new stage but it got derailed. I think part of that, this is my opinion only, I can’t prove it, but I do feel that Pamela Courson had a drug problem. My feeling is that he was trying to help her, and kept up with her, and I think he overdid it. We weren’t allowed to depict her addiction, because her parents didn’t want to have any of that, but you can see in the film that she’s high.” Source:

The fact that Max Fink (Jim's lawyer) disliked Pam maybe was due to her refusing his advances which could have created tremendous resentment for a rich Beverly Hills lawyer. Fink probably made a pass at Pam, trying to make her mistress, so she eventually would leave Jim. Others, like Jean de Bretueil had already failed previously at separating her from Jim. Fink tried to persudade Jim to break up with Pam after she had run away to Paris with Bretueil. But Jim thought it was more of a drug-related relationship than a romantic relationship. Fink asked Jim to reconsider his stormy relationship with Pam. Jim bluntly said to Fink that Pam was her woman and he wouldn't tolerate one more cross word from Fink, especially since Jim had heard (through Diane Gardiner) of the seduction game Fink had attempted on Pam behind Jim's back. Fink, as last ditch, pondered if an unstable Pam could charge Jim with abuse during the trial. Jim got red and furious against Fink, assuring him: "I would never strike my woman." Miranda Babitz agreed: "Jim suffered from clinical depression. He was not agressive. She threw plates, crockery, and frying pans at him, but he just laughed. When they went out at night, Pam hit Jim in the face with her tiny fist if he was getting too close to another chick. The only scratches that I saw in Jim's face I think were related to their passion nights."

"Sometimes, after a real passionate night, Pam would get up a bit soured, but showing a big smile. They dropped acid together and then got B shots at UCLA Medical Center to help them come down." Quoting Margaret Fink: "Jim seemed to despise his mother. She used to call me up and she just wanted to know if her son was still alive. When I asked Jim about his mother, his face became contorted in anger. 'If that bitch calls again, tell her I am dead. She just wants my money." Max Fink also quotes Jim saying him during the trial he had done the Miami incident on purpose: "Jim thought it was a good way to pay homage to his parents in Florida." Jim confessed Max his doubts about his bandmates, quoting  Fink: "Jim told me he felt that they were secretly enjoying his predicament, that there was a smugness now in their attitude towards him." Fink controversially exposed his suspicious in a conversation with his wife Margaret: "I think Pamela was in part responsible for Jim's death. I can’t even state for a fact whether it was deliberate or accidental." According to Eva Gardonyi, after Jim's death: "Pamela was obviously using heroin and she was sort of showing it to me for effect. She was doing this Bonnie and Clyde sort of thing. She was desperately missing Jim and there was something majorly off with her head. I feel she was mentally unbalanced." —"Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together" (2014) by Frank Lisciandro

The Fear (poem by Jim Morrison): Eternal consciousness/in the Void/makes trial jail seem almost friendly/Further and further, I shall push the masses/Where is the solution?/The Trip, The Escape/Can I do it?/Can I manage?/Why do I drink?/So that I can write poetry./Sometimes when it’s all spun out/and all that is ugly recedes into a deep sleep/There is an awakening/and all that remains is true.

The key to heroism is a concern for other people in need—a concern to defend a moral cause, knowing there is a personal risk, done without expectation of reward. By that definition, then, altruism is heroism light—it doesn’t always involve a serious risk. Compassion is a virtue that may lead to heroism, but we don’t know that it does. We’re just now starting to scientifically distinguish heroism from these other concepts and zero in on what makes a hero. What M.C. Escher’s illustrations tell us is that the world is filled with angels and devils, goodness and badness, and these dark and light aspects of human nature are our basic yin and yang. George Bernard Shaw captured this point in the preface to his great play “Major Barbara”: “Every reasonable man and woman is a potential scoundrel and a potential good citizen. What a man is depends upon his character. What he does, it depends on upon his circumstances.” Another conclusion from my research is that few people do evil and fewer act heroically. Between these extremes in the bell curve of humanity are the masses—the general population who do nothing—those who refuse the call to action and, by doing nothing, often implicitly support the perpetrators of evil. So on this bell curve of humanity, villains and heroes are the outliers. Heroic acts are prosocial actions that involve extreme sacrifice and risk. Our research suggests that one group refrains from praising heroic acts—heroes themselves. Source:

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Saint Valentine, Rock and Roll Valentines

Ian Bonhôte, who landed two BAFTA nominations for his acclaimed Alexander McQueen documentary McQueen, has now been lined up to direct Faithfull, with Bohemian Rhapsody star Lucy Boynton already tapped for the lead role. Production is set to start this fall. “I am delighted that my story is finally being made with my dream team of Lucy, Julia and Ian,” said Faithfull. Set in London in the mid-1960s, Faithfull will chronicle the star's roller-coaster journey from being discovered as a convent schoolgirl of 17, finding fame as a pop idol, living through hedonistic times and a tumultuous romance with Mick Jagger that inspired some of their greatest songs. 

Her decline took her to the edge, but through her determination not to be known as just a footnote in rock and roll history, she fought her way back, going on to make 21 albums, including the classic Broken English and more recent Negative Capability. "I fell in love with this project the second I read it, so I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of telling Marianne’s story both as an actor and, for the first time, as an executive producer, especially alongside this creative team," said Boynton. "I can’t wait to really get started." Casting is currently underway for the role of Mick Jagger with casting director Sarah Crowe, BAFTA-nominated for The Personal History of David Copperfield, on board. Source:

Marianne Faithfull told an interviewer her former boyfriend accidentally killed iconic rock singer Jim Morrison of The Doors 49 years ago. Morrison was found dead aged 27 in July 1971 in the bathroom of his Paris apartment, and no autopsy was performed. Faithfull told Mojo magazine that her then-boyfriend Jean de Breteuil, known as the heroin dealer to the stars, had accidentally killed Morrison by giving him hard drugs that were too strong. The couple had travelled to Paris, and on their arrival de Breteuil said he had to visit Morrison's apartment. Faithfull stayed behind at their hotel. "I could intuitively feel trouble," Faithfull told the magazine. "I thought, I'll take a few Tuinal (barbiturates) and I won't be there. And he went to see Jim Morrison and killed him. I mean I'm sure it was an accident. The smack (heroin) was too strong? And he died... everybody connected to the death of this poor guy is dead now. Except me." De Breteuil himself was found dead in Morocco some weeks after Morrison's death. Marianne Faithfull: “He was scared for his life. Jim Morrison had OD’d, and he had provided the smack. Jean saw himself as dealer to the stars. Now he was just a small time heroin dealer in big legal trouble.” Source:

Sunset Strip’s chroniclers generally agree that the spring of 1966 was the high point of the whole scene. Love was at the Whisky; Iron Butterfly at the Galaxy. Rhinoceros was at Thee Experience. The Doors at the London Fog. Musician Jimmy Greenspoon remembers, “Late night, after the shows, we’d hang out at Cantor’s Deli on Fairfax—every freak and band in town, Zappa’s people, the Byrds, the Seeds, the Turtles, Buffalo Springfield, Kaleidoscope, the Daily Flash, the Sons of Adam. If Phil Spector or Brian Wilson came in, they’d get a standing ovation. Jim Morrison stood out in all this because he was so fucking handsome. Even then Jim was already attracting the budding dark poet chicks, the little lost waifs with big eyes and secret smiles.” About a month into the Doors’ gig as house band at the London Fog, an extremely beautiful and alluring redheaded girl walked into the Fog late one night, and sat down to listen to the band. Her name was Pamela Courson. She was nineteen years old, and it was here that she became, inextricably, part of Jim Morrison’s legend. 

Pam Courson acted out the role of rock star wife to the max, calling herself Mrs. Morrison, wearing a wedding ring, and burning through his money as if he owned a bank. At Orange County, she had been considered smart, cynical, wryly humorous and mysterious. On weekends she sneaked out to catch the surf bands in nearby Balboa. When she was sixteen, her grades nosedived, and she began to get a reputation as a fast girl, a wild child, a beatnik weirdo. She dropped out school and “ran away” to Los Angeles, where she and a girlfriend got a cheap apartment below Sunset in West Hollywood. By the time she and Jim met, Pam already had a track record on the Strip, having worked as a go-go dancer in the clubs. Slender and waiflike, she had an electric, star-quality presence that could kill all conversation when she walked into a room. Pamela had been coveted by many of the musicians on the scene (Arthur Lee among them), and it has long been rumored that Neil Young wrote his epochal rock song “Cinnamon Girl” about her.

Morrison had an affair, and then a long friendship, with Pamela Zarubica, the groupie immortalized by Frank Zappa as 'Suzy Creamcheese'. She was working at the Whisky while studying English Literature at Pepperdine University in Malibu. She later told Jerry Hopkins: “It was wonderful. Period. Jim didn’t know much about what was going on, and neither did I. And he was so fucking puritanical. And he copped to it too. He admitted it!” While the headliners performed and the house was cleared for the next show, Jim would sit with Pamela; if she wasn’t around, he flirted with other girls after the show. Pam once walked in while Jim had his hand up Suzy Creamcheese’s miniskirt, and her friends had to drag Suzy away before a wild-eyed Pamela could attack her. “Twentieth Century Fox” was Jim’s clever and loving portrait of Pamela Courson. Morrison kept a motel room in various places around West Hollywood, but most nights he could be seen hitching up Laurel Canyon Boulevard to sleep with Pamela Courson. Sometimes when The Doors weren’t playing at the Whisky, Jim went to other bars on the Sunset Strip and sat with the house bands. Pam frequently would go with Jim and for a short while she danced in one of the clubs, until Jim insisted she quit dancing. 

By then, they were sharing a small apartment in Laurel Canyon.  Their bond was intractable and would seemingly remain so through multiple cycles of abuse and redemption. On December 8, 1966, Jim celebrated his twenty-third birthday with Pamela Courson at home, in Laurel Canyon. She was wearing a wedding ring now, and had begun to call herself Mrs. Morrison. Jim Morrison and Pamela Courson spent the Christmas holidays together in a motel room in the desert town of Palm Springs. They borrowed a car and went for an early evening ride along Mulholland Drive, which wound westward through the dry Hollywood Hills. Pam, in one of her goofy, dangerous moods, kept trying to grab the steering wheel from Jim and run the car off the road and onto the gravel edges of the steep cliffs, just for kicks. 

During the days they explored the palm-lined secret canyons where the Agua Caliente Indian tribes had lived in oasislike splendor amid the searing heat of the desert. At night, Jim read Ezra Pound’s Cantos  to her by candlelight. When they fought and broke up, Pamela’s other amours didn’t seem to bother Jim, but his sublimated rage came out in other ways—shitty performances, self-negating behavior, and generally abusing himself and almost everyone who depended on him. In October 1970, Jim Morrison drove into a Los Angeles scoured dry by the easterly Santa Ana Winds. “I see your hair is burning,” he wrote. “Hills are filled with fire. If they say I never loved you, you know they are a liar.” In fact, he loved Pamela Courson so much that he went into a deeply morbid tailspin when he learned that she had run off to France with Jean de Breteuil after the count had sold Janis Joplin the heroin that had killed her at the Landmark Motel on October 4, 1970. 

One of Jim's last lovers, Hungarian artist Eva Gardony, said that Morrison always spoke of Pamela with total affection. “She was quick, Pamela. I think she was witty, she was funny; she was neurotic. She had the clarity of a child, with very good intuitions, and an innocence that Jimmy loved in her a great deal. She was easy to burst into laughter, and look at life in a sweet child manner. He said, ‘She was a child when we met, and I feel responsible for her because she never grew up. She has been everything for me, my mom, my sister and my daughter.’ And he forgave her a lot of things. Even though at times she was impossible to be with—because she would be stoned or bad tempered—he would say, ‘She’s a sweet child.’ It was touching he just felt he had to take care of her the rest of his life. They argued, both had their grievances, like ‘You done that to me, and for that I done that to you.' But somehow they always gravitated back to each other after every little escapade.”

“You know it’s funny,” Bill Siddons remarks, “my understanding and my memory is that Pamela was the only one. I mean I knew there were other ones—of course you’d have to be blind not to know there were other ones—but I knew ultimately Pamela was always the only real one.” Sometimes Jim’s other relationships also provided him with sympathetic sounding boards for his troubles with Pamela. After all, what more compassionate and receptive ears could he find than those of the women who saw Pamela as their only stumbling block to bliss? “The only person he ever really talked to me about was Pamela,” says Anne Moore, “and that was mainly when he’d come over after having a fight with her, and he’d be wanting to let off steam and wanted someone to talk to who wasn’t going to give him any hassle.”

Raeanne Bartlett: Pamela stabilized and inspired Jim. I'm sure Pam liked the lifestyle afforded to her by Jim's involvement with The Doors, but she also blamed them for exposing him to so much excess, more women, psychological stress... Jim couldn't be himself when he had a "persona" to maintain. And that persona was killing Jim. That persona started to lash out at Pamela as well. Pamela encouraged Jim’s creative gifts and tried to save him from the toxic rock scene that was swallowing him alive. People seemed to think Jim being in a band meant they were allowed to treat him like an object. During the boom of The Doors, he sometimes lashed out a Pamela, but it's obvious he loved her immensely. Through the bad times and good times, I do think Pam knew she held Jim's heart. Also, she truly was pretty in a way that I don't think fully translates in the few photos we have of her. The Doors handlers didn't like having Pam around, they pushed Jim to remain a sex symbol. I think Jerry Hopkins tried to give Pamela voice and presence in the press, but she was a very guarded and private person, almost pathologically shy with the press.

Kathy Lisciandro: Pamela had a really unique and separate personality from everybody else that was around Jim at the time, and I think she was very smart, and I think she was creative in a way that appealed to Jim. I think those are the things that probably intrigued him the most about her and that kept him and Pamela together. Pamela was a distinct personality in her own right. Socially she didn’t care, and she was shockproof emotionally. Jim respected anybody who had a sense of their own self. And Pamela certainly had that, and Jim really felt a respect for people like that. Was Jim a womanizer? I never felt that way about Jim. Yes, he had a lot of women. I think he really liked women. I’d say at least a dozen, in and out, a relationship of one form or another, but mostly short-term, because Pamela was his long-term relationship. There were some women he dated, you’d think: “Why is he going out with this person?” And then there were some that were very beautiful, some that were very smart, so there was a wide range.

Stephen J. Kalinich (American poet mostly known for his songwriting collaborations with Brian and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys): Jim Morrison was a great guy. He loved Brian Wilson’s music. We were not great friends, but we knew each other, and he was always receptive, kind, and loved it when I recited for him and Pam. I had just signed with the Beach Boys’ Brother Records. I did not yet have a car. I was hitchhiking on Santa Monica Boulevard in the early afternoon, and a little green Bug pulled over and a sweet young woman picked me up. It was Pam Courson. The Doors were not huge yet. They were playing at the Whisky on Sunset almost every night. We started talking and I recited to Pam and we spent a couple of hours together. I thought she was hot cute, but I did not flirt with her out of respect for Jim. She loved the poem and said Jim would love it. She really liked the words to “Leaves of Grass,” my version based on the Walt Whitman poem. Everyone thought it was about marijuana, but it was not. Carl Wilson produced this song. A few days later she called and we got together with Jim. He was very kind, appreciative, and really enjoyed the poems. He loved “The Magic Hand” and “If You Knew.”

-Paul Kantner, co-founder and rhythm guitarist of Jefferson Airplane: Jim talked often about marrying Pam. I am sure when he knew her, she had a certain aura of 'party girl', but that type of gossip unfazed Jim completely. There were bouts of jealousy and gossip that Jim didn't like to hear within the Venice scene. I had a fling with Pam and it was fun and romantic. I don't think she had so many lovers as Val Kilmer (not very gentlemanly) alludes in The Doors DVD commentary. Arthur Lee complained Morrison stole Pamela from him, but they had long broken up. Pam was a very sweet girl, and I don't think she deserved that "party girl" label among the so-called 'insiders'. Fortunately, Jim knew to see through all the bullshit and ignore the spread rumors of musicians who bragged about having Pam before Jim. On one ocassion some executive of The Doors' office referred to Pam as 'groupie', and Jim refuted him: "No, she's not a groupie, she's my girl. We are serious about each other." He was very protective of her. It may be sound so old-fashioned in 2015, but Jim actually told me something to the effect of "I don't mind her past. I live in the present."

-Gilles Yepremian, a friend of Jim and Pam’s while they were living in Paris: “Pamela always looked very shy, she didn’t talk very often and she always wanted Jim’s protection. She looked quite afraid and was always near him. Just look at my photos – when she felt somehow depressed, she went straight behind him. But they also made the impression of a big love story, they really behaved like that. They looked really together and happy.”

-Frank Lisciandro: "Jim’s womanizing is not a myth. Look, Pamela was the main woman in Jim’s life; in many ways, she was the most important person of his life. There was a consistency to their relationship that far, far transcended any other relationship that Jim had with any other woman. And while Jim was also extremely discreet about the women he was with, when he and I were out somewhere I saw how he attracted women. Sometimes he left with a woman, and sometimes he didn’t. Jim and Pam had sort of a “open” relationship, and Pam would go out with other guys too. Throughout it all, however, their relationship endured. They stayed together until Jim died. She was a fixture in Jim’s life and there’s something to be said for that. Through all the ups and downs and other companions they both had, they stayed together. No other woman had anything close to the relationship with Jim that Pam had."

-Robby Krieger: “You could tell that Pam was really the one that Jim wanted to be with. She was his golden girl. He would always come back to her no matter what happened. She was just as crazy as he was so it kind of worked out perfectly.” —The Doors Summer's Gone (2018) by Harvey Kubernik

Patricia Kennealy's claims about her alleged relationship with Morrison have been publicly disputed by former colleagues, friends of Jim Morrison and members of the surviving Doors—without Kennealy taking any meaningful action, legal or otherwise. Kennealy seems to be saying: "You're just gonna have to take my word for all of my completely self-serving, easily disproven statements that I myself will unintentionally contradict later on" - her strategy proves that she is about as bright as a small appliance bulb. And that she thinks the general public is even dumber than she is. Kennealy has become a latter-day Miss Havisham. Despite presenting herself as an expert on Pamela Courson, Kennealy let it slip in 2017 that she only briefly met Pamela "a couple of times". Kennealy is always tripping herself up and contradicting all of her delusion-based statements. Kennealy was hugely pissed off about the line in The Doors movie, "You actually put your dick in this woman, Jim?", which was a reference to her rather dubious sex-appeal! Patricia merely took things she read about Morrison in fan magazines, second-hand gossip she heard about Jim and Pamela and other people's experiences and then she tried to pass all of this off as her own experience or as factual "insider information". Pamela Des Barres said lovely things about Jim and Pam, stating Jim was basically a one-woman man. Des Barres respected that she was just a fling for Jim, and expressed her sadness at seeing him shortly before his departure for Paris, lamenting his visibly deteriorated state. Patricia Kennealy didn't really care about Jim, just about herself. 

Despite her abundant criticism, Patricia became another exploitative mercenary of Morrison's memories, even giving an interview to Playgirl magazine, where she shared intimate details, as Jim Morrison's endowement and how she had a fetish for dressing up in stockings and garter belts. She tried to defend her reasons to expose their private relationship: "What I actually said in the interview in question was, and it’s right there in print for those of you to read who actually know how, Jim liked me to dress up for him in stockings and black lace bra and panties and garter belts — a fairly common, dare I say almost universal male fantasy; Many people who never met Jim, who maybe even never even shared the planet with Jim can mouth boundless obscenities or lie about his sex life or capability, but when I who, actually made love with Jim Morrison, and more than once, briefly mention a harmless occasional fetish that both of us found arousing, or make the simple statement that yes, he was well-endowed, somehow I am guilty of  lèse-majesté or sacrilege? Also, however immodest it may be to gloat, I wanted to counteract some of the bad bedroom press Jim has gotten from women who obviously weren’t woman enough in the first place to inspire him to do his best, but being a lady I won’t brag. Well, not too much: Can you say “multiorgasmic”, girls? I could have been a lot more graphic than I was, but chose not to be." Patricia can rant all she wants, but Janet Erwin and other witnesses make it clear that Morrison didn't felt attracted to Patricia an iota. The reality is that Jim rhapsodized about the first time he made love to Pam, saying to his friend January Jansen: "I have a new girl, and she is wonderful. It's the first time I have ever really made love." Do you know who respected Jim Morrison to the end? Pamela Susan Courson. She never conceded an official interview to the press or wrote any book (which would have actually helped her during her costly litigations against The Doors in 1971). She's actually the only woman in Morrison's life with whom he had a significant relationship who demonstrated to be a real lady. Source:

Sunday, February 09, 2020

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

2020 Spirit Awards Winners: Renée 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:

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