To say that Jim Morrison was the very embodiment of a rock star would not probably be a far cry from the truth. Undoubtedly, he lived his life on the edges, and his unorthodox outlook on life had permeated the Doors‘ lyrics. Not only his lyrics but also his stage performances were quite unconventional. He sang with his back to the crowd and lay down on the stage. He once went so far that he became the first musician to be arrested on stage.
His creativity blessed the Doors, making it one of the most memorable rock and roll bands of all time. Besides the charismatic presence of the Lizard King on stage, his musical talent was also accepted by many, although there were sometimes opposing views. Despite everything, the frontman made his name among the greatest rock and roll figures. However, his entry into the music world was not a planned and deliberate decision at all, as he revealed in an interview.
The Haphazard Beginning Of Jim Morrison’s Musical Journey
At high school, Jim Morrison read what his literature teacher would call offbeat, began writing Rimbaud-influenced poems, and read existential philosophy, all of which would later influence the Doors’ lyrics. After graduating, he joined the film program in L.A., and the French writer Antonin Artaud partly shaped Morrison’s dark poetic insight during those years.
Then, he started living a bohemian life in Venice Beach on a rooftop while some of the Doors material was already beginning to take shape. A life entwined with drugs and poetry later evolved into a different path when Morrison and Ray Manzarek took their first steps in forming the Doors one summer day.
Remembering how he started his musical journey in a 1969 interview with Rolling Stone, Jim Morrison revealed that this was not a conscious, planned decision at all. However, although he hadn’t planned it, this was a career that always awaited him there. The Lizard King said that the birth of rock and roll had coincided with his self-awareness and led him to unconsciously accumulate inclination while listening to the songs of the time. Ultimately, it was his suppressed desire to become a performer.
The late singer said he had always thought he would be a writer or a sociologist. So, he had never fantasized about singing, but as the years passed, his ‘subconscious’ had already prepared everything for him, and he finally got here. He explained that everything was going on in his head even though he had never planned it. He even gave a concert to a huge audience in his mind, and the first few songs he wrote for the Doors were a printout of the notes of that imaginary performance. Once he wrote those songs, he had an impulse to sing them.
“I think I had a suppressed desire to do something like this ever since I heard,” he replied when asked how he became a performer. “Y’see, the birth of rock and roll coincided with my adolescence, my coming into awareness,” he continued. “It was a real turn-on, although, at the time, I could never allow myself to rationally fantasize about ever doing it myself. I guess all that time, I was unconsciously accumulating inclination and listening. So when it finally happened, my subconscious had prepared the whole thing.”
“I didn’t think about it. It was just there,” he revealed, remembering how haphazard yet innate the beginning of his musical journey was. “I never did any singing. I never even conceived it. I thought I was going to be a writer or a sociologist, maybe write plays. I never went to concerts—one or two at most. I saw a few things on TV, but I’d never been a part of it all. But I heard in my head a whole concert situation, with a band and singing and an audience — a large audience. Those first five or six songs I wrote, I was just taking notes at a fantastic rock concert that was going on inside my head. And once I had written the songs, I had to sing them.”
Although Jim Morrison died early, he became a true legend and rock icon. His journey with the Doors, which lasted only 6 years, left unforgettable traces behind him. After recording ‘L.A. Woman,’ he went to Paris. He was with Pamela Courson at the time. Unfortunately, in 1971, he was found dead in a bathtub. Thus ended the Lizard King’s short but wild drive in life.