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Authors: Greil Marcus

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BOOK: The Doors
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In 2003 it's more than twenty years since the journalist Jerry Hopkins and the Doors insider Danny Sugerman, in their enormous best-seller
No One Here Gets Out Alive: The Biography of Jim Morrison
, cynically hinted that despite their title Jim Morrison wasn't dead after all: that, like Elvis, he'd faked his death to escape the pressures of fame, not to mention the
real possibility of prison, where anything could happen, but that he'd be back, that one day—
11
It's been twenty years since the one-time Sixties generational historian James Howard Kunstler, picking up Hopkins's and Sugerman's cue, published his equally cynical novel
The Life of Byron Jaynes
, where at the end the Jim Morrison character shows up naked on a motorcycle. It's been twenty years since Jim Morrison lookalike Michael Paré, playing the long presumed dead singer Eddie Wilson, shows up at the end of the film
Eddie and the Cruisers,
in the midst of an Eddie and the Cruisers revival, to see his younger self in a bank of TV screens in the window of an electronics store, only to walk away alone, his
shoulders hunched, a lovely, satisfied look on his face. If Val Kilmer's old mirror man is going to show up anywhere, isn't it more likely, isn't it more right, that it'd be as a half-crazy Nature Boy in a dystopian future Los Angeles ruled by Third World gangsters than as Byron Jaynes's Joe Doaks in New England or Eddie Wilson's Mr. No Name in New Jersey? “A crack in the mud at the bottom of a sun-dried lake I count more beautiful than any human being, you know what I mean?” says Kilmer's animal man, sounding as if he's quoting from a book of Jim Morrison's poetry, as Bob Dylan's Jack Fate looks on impassively. “Know what you mean,” Dylan says. “Kinda like a curse on being born.” “You got that right,” says Kilmer. “That's 'cause we live in fear. 'Cause we know we're going to die.” He picks up a rabbit. “Animals don't know
they're going to die,” Morrison says, stumbling over his words, his thoughts backing up in his head, with “The End” and “People Are Strange” and “L.A. Woman” and even “Alabama Song” backing up too, all of it coming out in the mindless voice of someone who regardless of who might be standing in front of him is always talking to himself, or God. “Holds us back, knowledge of death. I say, amazing grace indeed,” he says, as he raises his knife.
 
The Doors
, directed by Oliver Stone, written by Randall Jahnson and Stone (1991).
Masked and Anonymous
, directed by Larry Charles, written by Sergei Petrov (Bob Dylan) and Rene Fontaine (Larry Charles) (2003).
Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman,
No One Here Gets Out Alive: The Biography of Jim Morrison
(New York: Plexus, 1980).
James Howard Kunstler,
The Life of Byron Jaynes
(New York: Norton, 1983).
P. F. Kluge,
Eddie and the Cruisers
(New York: Viking, 1980).
Eddie and the Cruisers
, directed by Martin Davison, written by Davidson and Arlene Davidson (1983).
Acknowledgments
This book was fun to write, and part of the reason why is that, over the years, writing about the Doors and others here and there, I was lucky to find people who were fun to work with: Lisa Bralts-Kelly at
Cake
in Minneapolis, Danny Alexander at Johnson County Community College, Nancy Duckworth, Jon Carroll, and Bill Broyles at
New West
/
California
, Doug Simmons at the
Village Voice
, David Frankel and Ingrid Sis-chy at
Artforum
, Graham Fuller at
Interview
, Bill Wyman at
Salon
, Steve Perry and Melissa Maerz at
City Pages
in Minneapolis, Mark Francis at the Centre Pompidou, Michel Braudeau at
la Nouvelle Revue Française
, the staff of the Seattle and Portland Arts and Lectures series, Hal Foster at Princeton, Vendela Vida and Andrew Leland at the
Believer
, Eric Weisbard at the Experience Music Project, and Melissa Harris at
Aperture
. I owe thanks to Ben Fong-Torres and Jerry Hopkins, for their invaluable work on the Doors and their
friendship over many years, and as well to Kathi Goldmark, Joel Selvin, Dave Marsh, Michael Sragow, Tosh Berman, Kristine McKenna, Erik Bernstein, and Tabitha King.
At PublicAffairs I was privileged to work, again, with my editor Clive Priddle, publisher Susan Weinberg, Melissa Raymond, Jessica Campbell, Tessa Shanks, all-seeing production manager Christine Marra, copy-editor and fact-checker Gray Cutler (what errors remain are not hers), Jane Raese and Pete Garceau for their spare and clean designs, indexer Donna Riggs, and, at Faber & Faber, again, with my editor Lee Brack-stone, Helen Francis, Anna Pallai, and Ruth Atkins. Wendy Weil of the Wendy Weil Agency, with Emily Forland and Emma Patterson, and their associates Anthony Goff and Georgia Glover at the David Higham Agency in London, always make life easier.
This book began with nights my wife Jenny and I spent at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco, waiting for the Doors to come on. We took handbills on the way out, and for some reason, over five houses in forty-four years, they never disappeared.
Illustration Credits
p. v: © Larry Miller
p. 11: Illustration by Erik T. Johnson
p. 45: Photo by Peak
p. 74: Photo by Herb Greene, 1965
p. 77: Poster design by Dennis Loren
p. 84: Photo by Tabitha King
p. 85: Photo by George Rodriguez
p. 101: Illustration by Reynold Brown
p. 138: © Tate, London, 2011 and © 2011 Trustees of the Paolozzi Foundation, licensed by DACS/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
p. 140: © Estate of Wallace Berman
p. 188: Jacket cover © 1984 Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc. from
The Zebra-Striped Hearse
by Ross MacDonald. Used by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
Endpapers: © Family Dog 1967—© Rhino Entertainment 2008, artist Victor Moscoso,
www.victormoscoso.com
Index
Albums and songs are credited by recording artist; books by author; art works by artist; films by director and/or referenced principal. Albums and songs not credited are by the Doors.
“Alabama Song (WhiskyBar),”
“All Your Love” (Bluesbreakers)
Allen, Joan
Alloway, Lawrence
Altamont
Ambler, Eric
Arnold, Gina
“Auguries of Innocence” (Blake)
Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco
Babitz, Eve
on Jim Morrison
on Oliver Stone
“Baby Please Don't Go” (Them)
“Baby What You Want Me to Do” (Presley)
“Back Door Man,”
Bad Lieutenant
(Ferrara)
“Bad Romance” (Lady Gaga)
Baker, Chet
Baker, Tom
“Ball and Chain” (Big Brother and the Holding Company)
Band, The
Barks, Carl
Barry, Dave
Batman Forever
(Kilmer)
Beach Boys
Beatles
Begley, Ed
Beiderbecke, Bix
Benjamin, Walter
Berkeley Free Speech Movement
Berman, Wallace
art
iPhone/iTunes commercials and
Berry, Chuck
“No Money Down,”
other songs
“Big Black Train” (Golden Chords)
Big Brother and the Holding Company
Big Fix, The
(Simon)
“Big Two-Hearted River” (Hemingway)
Bill Haley and the Comets
Bishop, Larry
Blade Runner
(Scott)
Blonde on Blonde
(Dylan)
“Blowin' in the Wind” (Dylan)
“Bo Diddley” (Diddley)
Boot Yer Butt!
Botnick, Bruce
“Break on Through (To the Other Side),”
Brecht, Bertolt
Bringing It All Back Home
(Dylan)
Brooks, Harvey
Brooks, Louise
Buffalo Springfield
“Buick ‘59” (Medallions)
Bukowski, Charles
“Bullfrog Blues,”
Busby Berkeley chorus line
Byrds
Cain, James M.
Camus
Captain Beefheart
Catch-22
(Heller)
“Cease to Exist” (“Never Learn Not to Love”) (Beach Boys/Manson)
“Celebration of the Lizard,”
Chandler, Raymond
Charles, Ray
Chet Baker Sings
Churchill, Winston
Circle Jerks
Clapton, Eric
Clear Light
Clinton, Bill
Clinton, Hillary
Clutter family murders
“Come on in My Kitchen” (Johnson)
Conner, Bruce
Cooke, Sam
Cortázar, Julio
Costello, Elvis
Courson, Pamela
Crash, Darby
Crawdaddy!
(magazine)
Creedence Clearwater Revisited
Crist, Charlie
Crowley, Aleister
“Crystal Ship, The,”
Cult
Dallas performance (December 1970)
Damiano, Gerard
Dead Man
(movie)
Dean, James
DeLillo, Don
Dennis, Ty
Densmore, John
beginning of The Doors
Doors, The
(movie) and
on Morrison/Doors
reforming the band and (2003)
Riders on the Storm
(book)
Detour
(Ulmer)
Dick Tracy
Diddley, Bo
Dillon, Kevin
DiMartino, Dave
Diski, Jenny
“Do the Clam” (Presley)
Donahue, Tom
Doors, The
art and
death and music
fine art tradition and
myths and
name of band
original band members
popularity
popularity in Europe
reforming the band (2003)
Shaw on mood of songs
songs on radio today
Doors, The
(album)
about
KMPX radio
Morrison on
Doors, The
(Stone/Kilmer)
about
actors playing band members
ads for
description
“End, The” performance at Whisky à Go Go
fire concert
making “Light My Fire,”
reviews
Douglas, K.C.
Dutschke, Rudi
Dyer, Geoff
Dylan, Bob
Ed Sullivan Show, The
Masked and Anonymous
(Charles/Dylan)
“Easy Ride,”
Ed Sullivan Show, The
Eddie and the Cruisers
(Davidson/Paré)
Eichler houses
Electric Prunes
Eliminator
(ZZ Top)
Elvis is Back!
(Presley)
“Emöke” (Å kvorecký)
“End, The,”
Densmore
Doors, The
Doors, The
(Stone)
Krieger
Manzarek
Morrison
Whisky à Go Go, Sunset Strip
“End of the Night,”
Blake and
Densmore
Krieger
Manzarek
Morrison
“Endless Sleep” (Reynolds)
Every Mother's Son
Everything You Know Is Wrong
(Firesign Theatre)
Faber, Manny
Faithfull, Marianne
“Fall on You” (Moby Grape)
Family, The: The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion
(Sanders)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
(Thompson)
Feliciano, Jose
Ferrara, Abel
“Fever,”
Fiedler, Leslie
Fine Disregard, A: What Makes Modern Art Modern
(Varnedoe)
Fingers
(Toback/Keitel)
Firesign Theatre
“Five to One,”
Fogerty, John
Folger, Abigail
“For What It's Worth” (Buffalo Springfield)
Ford, Harrison
Ford, Tennessee Ernie
400 Blows, The
(Truffaut)
“409” (Beach Boys)
Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, The
(Dylan)
Fromme, Squeaky
Frykowski, Voytek
Fukuyama, Francis
Fulsom, Lowell
“Fun, Fun, Fun” (Beach Boys)
Germs
Get Shorty
(Keitel)
Gibbons, Billy
“Gimmie Shelter” (Rolling Stones)
Gingrich, Newt
Ginsberg, Allen
“Gloria”
beginning of The Doors and
Densmore
Doors
Jim Morrison
Krieger
Manzarek
other groups and
Van Morrison
Going After Cacciato
(O'Brien)
Golden Chords
Gopnik, Adam
Gordon, Kim
“Got Me Under Pressure” (ZZ Top)
Graham, Bill
Grateful Dead
Great Jones Street
(DeLillo)
Great Society
Grosz, George
“Guantanamera,”
Guston, Philip
Guthrie, Woody
“Gypsy Woman” (Impressions)
Hamilton, Richard
Haynes, Todd
“Heartbreak Hotel” (Presley)
Heller, Joseph
“HelloLove You,”
demo version
Krieger and
Hemingway, Ernest
BOOK: The Doors
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