Bob McPhail 9:30 a.m., Sept. 3
- Community Blog
Making it past 27
The death of Amy Winehouse, a chain smoking crack cocaine user, at the age of 27 on July 23, 2011 reminded Fulano of the long list of rock singers who died at age 27. Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and, now, Amy Winehouse. All 27 when they died. A post mortem on Winehouse was carried out on July 25, but the results were inconclusive and no cause of death could be established.
Had he lived, James Douglas Morrison (December 8, 1943 — July 3, 1971) would be 67 years old today. Jim Morrison's life and Fulano's crossed a couple of times, kind of like those weird temporal congruencies in Forrest Gump.
Way, way back in 1966, Fulano was a kid in Los Angeles, and hung out a lot in the rock clubs on the Sunset Strip: the Whiskey a Go Go, Sea Witch, etc. They're all gone now. Well the Whiskey is still there, but it is not the Whiskey. The real Whiskey closed in 1982 and the premises are just rented out for parties and performances. Also back in 1966, The Doors were a club band playing those clubs. They did not become famous until "Light My Fire" topped the charts in 1967. The clubs were small, and Fulano would sometimes make smalltalk with Morrison on breaks. Nothing special, they were not a famous band back then, Morrison had just graduated from UCLA.
The Doors took their name from the title of Aldous Huxley's "The Doors of Perception." Huxley took his title from a quotation in William Blake's "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell", in which Blake wrote, "If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite." Huxley's, "The Doors of Perception" was about increasing ones perceptions through psychedelic drug use. Morrison always looked stoned, even back then.
Two years later, on September 14, 1968, our paths crossed again in Frankfurt, Germany. The Doors put on a concert at the Kongreshalle and Fulano was in the audience watching. Fulano stumbled upon a video that was recorded while he was in the audience. The sound is crappy, but it sure brings back memories. In the middle of the song, "Light My Fire," there is a long musical interlude. At this concert, during the interlude Morrison just walked off the stage for a long time, maybe 15 minutes, while the band kept repeating the same bars of music. Fulano could see Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist, looking around with a "what the hell?" look on his face.
Jim Morrison died on July 3, 1971. In the official account of his death, he was found in a Paris apartment bathtub. Pursuant to French law, no autopsy was performed because the medical examiner claimed to have found no evidence of foul play. The absence of an official autopsy has left many questions regarding Morrison's cause of death.
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