Saturday, July 03, 2010


When the music’s over, turn out the lights

39 years ago today, Jim Morrison died in Paris. He was the third top rock musician to die at the same age — 27 — in less than a year (Jimi Hendrix died in London the previous September, and Janis Joplin died in Los Angeles a few weeks after that). Morrison would probably have thought there was something mystic about 27, and would have written a poem about it.

Not to touch the earth
Not to see the sun
Nothing left to do, but run, run, run
Let’s run
Let’s run
House upon the hill
Moon is lying still
Shadows of the trees
Witnessing the wild breeze
C’mon baby run with me
Let’s run

Part beat poet, part musician, part performer, part exhibitionist, part introvert, and all, as he saw it, misunderstood, Jim Morrison was probably the most eccentric, enigmatic, and charismatic rock-music figures of the late 1960s.

Well, your fingers weave quick minarets
Speak in secret alphabets
I light another cigarette
Learn to forget

His death was as enigmatic as his life: there was no autopsy, and the cause of his death has never been known for sure, leading to endless speculation.

I was doing time in the universal mind
I was feeling fine
I was turning keys, I was setting people free
I was doing all right

Jim Morrison’s grave is in Paris’s Père Lachaise Cemetery. His long-time girlfriend, Pamela Courson, who was the one who found him dead, herself died of a heroin overdose in 1974... at the age of 27.

The music is your special friend
Dance on fire as it intends
Music is your only friend
Until the end

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