Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 5, No. 2, 2006
  Current Issue  
  Back Issues  
Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Mark Goldfarb
  Contributing Editors
Bernard Dubé
Diane Gordon
Robert Rotondo
Dan Stefik
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
  Music Editors
Emanuel Pordes
Serge Gamache
  Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Emanuel Pordes
  Past Contributors
  Noam Chomsky
Mark Kingwell
Naomi Klein
Arundhati Roy
Evelyn Lau
Stephen Lewis
Robert Fisk
David Solway
Michael Moore
Julius Grey
Irshad Manji
Richard Rodriguez
Pico Iyer
Edward Said
Jean Baudrillard
Bill Moyers
Barbara Ehrenreich
Leon Wieseltier
Charles Lewis
John Lavery
Tariq Ali
Michael Albert
Rochelle Gurstein
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

jim morrison



Polyglotinous Serge Gamache is an accomplished solo guitarist. He plays regularly in the Laurentians in Quebec.

Jim preferred nothingness to hell.

This is the end, beautiful friend the end.
It hurts to set you free,
But you'll never follow me.
The end of laughter and soft lies.
The end of nights we tried to die.

Stephen Davis’s biography Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend examines the singer/poet’s descent (or ascent) into mind-altering drugs and alcohol as well as his promiscuity and ambiguous -- walk on the wild side -- sexuality.

America’s counterculture provided the background for the emergence of The Doors in 1966: armed virgins trudging through the jungles of Viet Nam (provoking in Morrison nightmarish visions and recurrent dreams) and the spirit of protest that bouyed the beat movement, the ferment of which morphed into the unique droning sound that became synonymous with Doors music and the rise of their charismatic lead singer who embodied, like no one else in his time, the Dionysian principle. But as the book argues, you ignore the laws of nature at your own peril: Jim Morrison (1943-1971) was turned into a god by both adoring fans and media and rocketed to dizzying heights where he lost his balance and never recovered.

Davis’ book quenches our thirst for titillation and sensationalism by turning us into veritable peeping toms as we accompany the Lizard through his wild antics and debauchery. And it doesn't take long to figure out that Jim Morrison is more about the man than the band, thus depriving us of juicy details about by whom and how their enduring music was created.


Being straight and sober have rarely been a poet and visionary’s predominant qualities, especially when under the influence of Rimbaud and Nietzsche, which helps explain Morrison’s love-hate relationship with death and chaos. Morisson was a modern sacrificial lamb bearing the burden of being and the relative insignificance of our lives. Unstable in his life and unpredictable on stage, he sent The Doors' career spiralling downward. His band mates, who were gifted improvisers and Coltrane aficionados, became wary of their leader’s volatility and with or without him would have liked to milk the cow for as long as the records sold. But the chemistry underlying their success was the reason why it couldn’t work that way -- a Catch 22 stuck in a melting pot of genius and torment.

An interesting non-correlation with today’s popular artists put forward by the author of the book dwells on the fact that Morrison didn’t care much for material possessions. Despite his wealth, he never owned a house, often preferred to crash in run down hotels or on friends’ couches, and was known to lavish his friends and girlfriend with gifts and money. After Strange Days (1967), their second album, Morrison grew increasingly resentful of his stardom and the way he was perceived by his adoring public. And while he wasn’t completely indifferent and insensitive to the adulation, he had long grown beyond ‘light my fire’ and yearned to be recognized as a poet. If one concedes that his image and rock star status were a hindrance to his goals beyond, his exceptional sensitivity and (higher) awareness of these captive categories pushed him farther on to the self-destructive path.

Whether Morrison’s premature demise was brought about by a heroin overdose as intimated by Davis, or increasing deterioration of his body due to hard-core alcoholism and all around self-inflicted abuse is irrelevant to the non-voyeur, for what prevails and lingers to this day is the artist-poet who wrote constantly and breathed poetry which he served with integrity, breaching the fragile hymen of time and ephemeral mass adulation.


E-Tango: Web Design and lowest rates for web hosting
Care + Net Computer Services
Couleur JAZZ 91.9
MCC Marchande d'Art at:
Armand Vaillancourt: sculptor
Available Ad Space
Valid HTML 4.01!
Privacy Statement Contact Info
Copyright 2002 Robert J. Lewis