For Jim Morrison's Birthday, How 10 Songs by The Doors Came to Life

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images Jim Morrison of The Doors poses for photo on Jan. 1, 1968 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images Jim Morrison of The Doors poses for photo on Jan. 1, 1968 in Los Angeles, Calif.
THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY LIZA BLAKE AND PUBLISHED BY BILLBOARD ON DECEMBER 8, 2016.

Today we remember legendary Doors frontman Jim Morrison on what would have been his 73rd birthday (Dec. 8). Not only did he pave the way for psychedelic blues/rock music, Morrison was regarded by critics and friends as a respected poet as well as a true artist who believed in the music he performed over his short but impactful four years of leading The Doors.

With seven records released between 1967 and 1971, revisit 10 classic and deep-cut tracks below with tales explaining how each song came to be that capture the iconic sound that led The Doors to become a staple of rock history.

1. "People Are Strange"

What started as a simple walk through the Hollywood Hills eventually turned into inspiration for Morrison. According to The Doors Commentary by Jac Holzman, who discovered the band in 1966, drummer John Densmore ran into Morrison on Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Los Angeles when a poem began to take shape. Morrison began to recite the partial lyrics and Densmore quickly scribbled down what became the chorus: "When you're a stranger, faces come out of the rain/When you're strange, no one remembers your name." The song eventually peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967.

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