“Flashback Friday, this week brings the story of famous American singer and poet James Douglas ‘Jim’ Morrison. Known widely as the lead vocalist of psychedelic rock band ‘The Doors’, Jim was a charismatic singer and regarded as the most iconic figures of popular rock music history. He is remembered today for his outrageous stage performances and rebellious lifestyle other than his unforgettable songs and lyrics.
Jim Morrison was born on December 8, 1949 in Melbourne, Florida. Jim was a dutiful and intelligent child, a voracious reader and a passionate diarist. Morrison joined University of California at Los Angeles after graduating from high school to study film. It was here at UCLA that he developed an avid interest in poetry.
Ray Manzarek, a former classmate from UCLA and Jim came with an idea of putting together a band for which they recruited Robbie Krieger as the guitarist and John Densomore as the drummer and began calling themselves ‘The Doors’. Elektra Records signed the Doors in 1966-67 for a recording contract. After the modest success of their first single, “Break on Through” it was their second single, “Light My Fire,” which catapulted the band to the forefront of the rock and roll world, reaching No. 1 on music charts. The group became known for its charismatic stage personality and its hypnotic music and Jim gained a reputation for erratic public behaviour.
In a small but inspiring journey, Jim Morrison led a bohemian life and remained infamous for alcohol dependency, drug use, violent temper and infidelity which led him into many troubles and life long depression.
In an attempt to get his life back in order, he took time off The Doors and moved to Paris where he departed at the age of 27, on July 3 1971, allegedly due to heroine overdose. His early death deprived the world of beautiful music and poetry. However, the most legendary and mysterious rockstar of all time, Jim Morrison continues to inspire many disaffected people around the world, who in his words find the expression of their hopes and frustration!
His legacy and popularity can be best testified in the fact that his grave located at Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris is one of the world’s most visited resting place to this day.”
From Fame Music
Jim Morrison aka The Lizard King, is the bad boy and frontman of classic rock and blues rock.
I’m not interested in heavy metal and punk rock, where I’m sure you’ll find guys who got into more trouble and perhaps had even bigger addiction problems. Curt Cobain and Axel Rose come to mind damn fast for me.
But, the heavy reliance and influence of black leather that you saw at least in the 1980s and 1990s especially with the leather jeans, boots, jackets, came from Jim Morrison. Which just to my point about how big a deal The Lizard King is when it comes to rock and roll and not just classic rock and blues rock where he made his biggest impact. But again heavy metal when you’re talking about wardrobe with the leather jeans, boots and jackets. That Jim Morrison made a staple of his wardrobe in the late 1960s, when almost no one else outside biker culture was wearing at all.
I don’t know of a frontman that meant more to his band than Jim Morrison. Not to take anything away from Ray Manzarek especially, who was great on the keyboards and also had a great singing voice. And Robby Krieger was an excellent guitarist and John Densmore could play the drums.
But The Doors are famous because of Jim Morrison, but Morrison wouldn’t have needed The Doors at least the group that was put together to be famous and successful. How many other rock frontman at least from that generation, had the intelligence, the wit, the writing ability and then throw in the style that The Lizard King had.
In an era where frontman looked somewhat preppy except for the long hair and looked like hippies, I mean we are talking about the late 1960s after all, Jim Morrison is wearing a black leather suit, skin-tight black leather jeans, that would be called skinny leathers today. With a black leather suit jacket, an Indian concho belt and black suede and leather boots.
Jim Morrison not just put leather jeans on the map in rock and roll, but leather period. To the point that Elvis Presley starts wearing a black leather suit in the late 60s and early 70s. John Kay, from Steppenwolf has his own Lizard King outfit. With a leather vest, black leather jeans and an Indian belt.
The hard rockers of the 1980s Kiss, Motley Crew, Guns N Roses, as well as heavy metal bands like Skid Row, are all wearing leather jackets and leather jeans. But much more casually than Jim Morrison and wore biker jackets and t-shirts with their leathers.
Morrison, again was a rebel and did his own thing and did it so well that he made it so cool and had others following him. To the point that there are countless Doors cover bands and Jim Morrison covers. With the Jim Morrison figure always in his black leathers and concho belt and at times with the black leather jacket.
But with The Lizard King, it’s not just his leather rock and roll fashion. And the fact that perhaps no other man has ever wore a black leather suit better. Or the fact that thousands of women went to Doors concerts to check the man out every night and to see what he would do on the stage next. But it was also his music and the fact that he and The Doors did their own thing and made their own music and to a certain extent sung about the times the 1960s, but did it their own way.
Morrison, especially didn’t want to fit in some place, but instead create his own place that was even different from his own band members from again how he carried and presented himself on stage. And then see if others would follow him.
The Baby Boom Generation, the 1960s rockers who made it big in that decade, lost three great stars. Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. But I’m not sure as great as Jimi and Janis would’ve been even combined would’ve they’ve meant more to rock and roll than Jim Morrison. The Lizard King was one in a kind and great at simply being himself as an entertainer. And we haven’t seen anyone as good, or similar since.