James Douglas Morrison

December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971

American singer, songwriter and poet, who was the lead vocalist of the rock band the Doors . Due to his wild personality, poetic lyrics, distinctive voice, unpredictable and erratic performances, and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his life and early death, Morrison is regarded by music critics and fans as one of the most iconic and influential frontmen in rock history. Since his death, his fame has endured as one of popular culture’s most rebellious and oft-displayed icons, representing the  generation gap and youth  counterculture.

Together with pianist  Ray Manzarek, Morrison co-founded the Doors during the summer of 1965 in  Venice, California . The band spent two years in obscurity until shooting to prominence with their number-one single in the United States, “Light My Fire”, taken from their self-titled debut album. Morrison recorded a total of six studio albums with the Doors, all of which sold well and received critical acclaim. Morrison was well known for improvising  spoken word  poetry passages while the band played live. Manzarek said Morrison “embodied hippie counterculture rebellion”.

Jim Morrison developed an  alcohol dependency  in the 1960s, which at times affected his performances on stage. He died unexpectedly in Paris at the age of 27, amid conflicting witness reports. No autopsy was performed, and the cause of Morrison’s death remains disputed. Though the Doors recorded two more albums after Morrison died, his death severely affected the band’s fortunes, and they split up in 1973. In 1993, Morrison was inducted into the  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame  as a member of the Doors.

 

Beyond the Music

A Collection of Masterpieces

“No one here gets out alive”

Jim Morrison began writing in earnest during his adolescence. At UCLA he studied the related fields of theater, film, and cinematography. He self-published two separate volumes of his poetry in 1969, titled The Lords / Notes on Vision and The New CreaturesThe Lords consists primarily of brief descriptions of places, people, events and Morrison’s thoughts on cinema. The New Creatures verses are more poetic in structure, feel and appearance. These two books were later combined into a single volume titled The Lords and The New Creatures. These were the only writings published during Morrison’s lifetime.

Legacy

“This is the strangest life I’ve ever known”

Jim Morrison continues to be, one of the most popular and influential singer-songwriters and iconic frontmen in rock history. To this day Morrison is widely regarded as the prototypical rock star: surly, sexy, scandalous, and mysterious. The leather pants he was fond of wearing both onstage and off have since become stereotyped as rock-star apparel. The lead singer of U2, Bono, portrayed an alter-ego called “Fly” which he had developed into a leather-clad egomaniac. He described the character’s outfit as having Morrison’s leather pants.

In 2011, a  Rolling Stone  readers’ pick placed Jim Morrison in fifth place of the magazine’s “Best Lead Singers of All Time”. In another Rolling Stone list “The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time”, he was ranked 47th.He was also ranked number 22 on  Classic Rock magazine’s  “50 Greatest Singers in Rock”. In 1993, Morrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Doors.

Be Inspired