On this episode of Those Conspiracy Guys we ride the King’s Highway and break on through to tell the story of one of the most enigmatic rock stars of all time and a man known as much for his antics off stage as on, Jim Morrison. Born in 1943 to parents George and Clara, Jim grew up a military brat, being moved from town to town as his father, a naval Admiral, was promoted and moved post during the 40s and 50s. Not settling anywhere and having a disjointed upbringing, it was no wonder Jim Morrison was a dreamer and a prankster.
Jim Morrison was a well read and gifted youth who was on the Dean’s list and delighted in poetry and psychology. He went to study this in Florida after high school but swapped his yearning for universal truth for the California lifestyle by transferring to UCLA to study film. Here his bohemian artist streak was nurtured, as well as his notions of artistic integrity. In this film class he met Ray Manzarek, soon to be keyboard player for The Doors, and they started a band. They gigged all around California and eventually worked their way up the venue hierarchy to be signed by Elektra records, and the phenomenon began with TV appearances and topping the US charts.
With fame came complications for a still very young Jim. His burgeoning alcoholism and new found penchant for psychedelics made routine and systematic control abhorrent. He had a healthy disdain for authority and wanted to test these limits. Experiments with live crowds at Doors shows, run-ins with the police as they toured the country and even some TV and musical experimentation left some people worried for Jim’s sanity. This prolonged derangement of the senses left Jim Morrison in a vulnerable place and his long term girlfriend Pamela Courson was now addicted to heroin. Their turbulent private life started to spill out into the public and something had to give, and eventually did.
Jim died at the tender age of 27 from heart-failure in a Paris apartment. Some say it was a heroin overdose as he and Pam had fled legal trouble in the US to live a life of semi anonymity in France. Jim had allegedly developed this drug habit recently and overdosed in a Paris nightclub and his death scene, some say, was fabricated to save face. Or others say that it was all fabricated and Jim never died at all and that he faked his death, as he often joked he would, and disappeared into obscurity at the height of his fame. Some say he became a ranch hand in Oregon, others claim they have seen some version of Jim Morrison bloated and drunk on the street of LA.
Presented by Gordo, Emmet Quinn and Robert Coyle