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December 8, 2020

20 Amazing Color Portrait Photos of Jim Morrison From the Late 1960s

Jim Morrison was born James Douglas Morrison on December 8, 1943, in Melbourne, Florida. He was the charismatic singer and songwriter for the 1960 rock group the Doors. Known for his drinking, drug use and outrageous stage behavior, in 1971 Morrison left the Doors to write poetry and moved to Paris, where he presumably died of heart failure at the age of 27 in 1971.


In the summer of 1965, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the UCLA film school, Morrison led a bohemian lifestyle in Venice Beach. Living on the rooftop of a building inhabited by his old UCLA cinematography friend, Dennis Jacobs, he wrote the lyrics of many of the early songs the Doors would later perform live and record on albums, such as “Moonlight Drive” and “Hello, I Love You.” According to Manzarek, he lived on canned beans and LSD for several months.

Morrison and fellow UCLA student Ray Manzarek were the first two members of the Doors, forming the group during that summer. They had met months earlier as cinematography students. The story claims that Manzarek was lying on the beach at Venice one day, where he accidentally encountered Morrison. He was impressed with Morrison’s poetic lyrics, claiming that they were “rock group” material. Subsequently, guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore joined. Krieger auditioned at Densmore’s recommendation and was then added to the lineup. All three musicians shared a common interest in the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s meditation practices at the time, attending scheduled classes, but Morrison was not involved in these series of classes.

Combining Morrison’s darkly poetic lyrics and outlandish stage presence with the band’s unique and eclectic brand of psychedelic music, the Doors released a flurry of albums and songs over the next several years. In 1967 they released their sophomore album, Strange Days, which featured the Top 40 hits “Love Me Two Times” and “People are Strange” as well as “When the Music’s Over.” Months later, in 1968, they released a third album, Waiting for the Sun, highlighted by “Hello, I Love You” (which also hit No. 1), “Love Street” and “Five to One.” They went on to record three more records over the next three years: The Soft Parade (1969), Morrison Hotel (1970) and L.A. Woman (1971).

Throughout the band’s brief tenure atop the music world, Morrison’s private life and public persona were spiraling rapidly out of control. His alcoholism and drug addictions worsened, leading to violent and profane outbursts at concerts that provoked the ire of cops and club owners across the country.




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