Jim Morrison died exactly forty years ago in Paris. His last day in this world was July 2 1971. He expired in the early hours of the morning of July 3rd.

It’s a tribute to Morrison’s status as a pop icon that legions of his fans still, forty years later, make the pilgrimage to Paris all year round to visit his gravesite in Père Lachaise cemetery. They undoubtedly will be more numerous than usual on this anniversary of his death. Several Jim Morrison commemoration tours have been organised this weekend, promising to take fans on visits to the various Paris locations associated with Morrison in the last few months of his life.

I must confess that, while there are some Doors songs that I really like, I’ve never been a huge fan. I was too young to appreciate The Doors when they were at the height of their fame in the late 1960s; and by the time I was a teenager in the 1970s, other rock sounds — David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Elton John — had moved pop music in new directions. Still, Morrison’s fame as a pop culture icon endured, thanks not only to the Doors’ music but also, and perhaps mainly, to his physical charisma and sexual energy. His iconic status resonated powerfully in the two decades after his death with the release of two Hollywood movies: first, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now featuring Morrison’s haunting singing in “The End”; and second, Oliver Stone’s biopic of Morrison, The Doors.

I have a strangely personal connection with Jim Morrison’s death. He died on my birthday: July 3rd. Also, twenty years ago I was a young journalist living in Paris and wrote a column for the Montreal Gazette on the twentieth anniversary of his death. I remember visiting his gravesite in Père Lachaise and coming across a small group of diehard fans who were drinking booze and listening to Doors music on a boom box right over the singer’s grave. The gravestone features an inscription in Greek: ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ. Roughly translated, it means “true to his inner demons” or “true to his own spirit”. It’s hard for me to believe that, since that date, another two decades have past. I am twenty years older, Jim Morrison has been in his cold grave for two more decades — and I’m here again writing about the anniversary of his death. This time, not the twentieth anniversary, but the fortieth.

Continue Reading

Retrieved on 18 December 2018 from

Comments (0)

Rated 0 out of 5 based on 0 voters
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Rate this post:
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location

Related Articles