photo manipulation & text by nacrowe
JIM MORRISON of THE DOORS was and will remain a ROCK AND ROLL ICON for the ages. at his peak he was this sort of HYBRID POET / SHAMAN / PROPHET figure that pointed the way to PUNK ROCK decades in advance and tapped into this previously unexploited thread that effectively unleashed the existing DRUG CULTURE and SEXUAL REVOLUTION on an unprepared square, conventional MIDDLE AMERICA mental prison from which he was raised under. ELVIS PRESLEY and THE BEATLES may have hinted at and pointed the way, but JIM MORRISON was culturally the first AVATAR of unbridled DIONYSIAN LUST and UNADULTERATED CHAOS in AMERICAN musical culture. he was the perfect frontman for that period in AMERICA's history that was turmoil at the height of the VIETNAM WAR, CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT and the emergence of the COUNTERCULTURE as a POLITICAL BLOC.
he is identifiably on the short list of his most INFLUENTIAL ROCK AND ROLL singers of all time and his example was picked up on and pushed forward by his legions of later PROTO-PUNK, PUNK ROCK, POST PUNK, HARDCORE and ALTERNATIVE ROCK acolytes including that of most notably IGGY POP (THE STOOGES), ALICE COOPER, PATTI SMITH, DARBY CRASH (THE GERMS), IAN CURTIS (JOY DIVISION), DAVE GAHAN (DEPECHE MODE), KURT COBAIN (NIRVANA), IAN MCCULLOCH (ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN), PERRY FARRELL (JANE'S ADDICTION), ROBERT SMITH (THE CURE), MARK LANEGAN (SCREAMING TREES), IAN ASTBURY (THE CULT), NICK CAVE (THE BIRTHDAY PARTY) and ANTON NEWCOMBE (THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE) among countless others. at this stage more than half a century later, his influence on AMERICAN culture is undeniable and self-evident. his CHARISMATIC, MYSTICAL example is irreparably baked into the very notion of being a ROCK AND ROLL star. what has been reevaluated in scholarly circles in the years since his passing is the literary quality of his POETRY and the relative OUTALNDISHNESS of his LOUTISH behavior. for example JOHN LENNON of THE BEATLES is recognized as one of the great songwriters (if not the greatest) of the 20th century while at the same time treated women poorly and was a TERRIBLE, absentee father to his first son. both things are true. so such are the modern evaluative critical fault lines with JIM MORRISON.
the recent documentary JIM MORRISON: THE WILD CHILD (ENTERTAIN ME PRODUCTIONS, 2019) seems to want it both ways, presenting him at times as both ADONIS and ICARUS. there are only a handful of no-name experts of DUBIOUS quality rendering their opinion and no peers or later acolytes rounding out the critical evaluation. at times it seems they cant decide whether this film is a HAGIOGRAPHY or a critical take down of his legacy. i'm game for it either way, but it just felt HALF-BAKED in the end and i felt at the very least THE LIZARD KING deserved a COGENT argument for or against. the guy was COMPLICATED but not that hard to discern and construct a COHERENT narrative around.
this documentary left me disappointed and i would recommend fans of THE DOORS, CLASSIC ROCK and all things JIM MORRISON to seek information elsewhere as this documentary has all the markings of a CHEAP cash grab. people are STRANGE, indeed.