Jim Morrison's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Photo Credit: Brendee Green © 1969 | Jim Morrison at John Densmore’s birthday party, December 1, 1969.
Photo Credit: Brendee Green © 1969 | Jim Morrison at John Densmore’s birthday party, December 1, 1969.

The private Jim Morrison was the antithesis of his extroverted stage personality. He spoke slowly and quietly with little emotion, often pausing to reflect or collect his thoughts before continuing. Though he was confident, he was not usually egotistical or pretentious. On the contrary, he often was gentle, sensitive, and considerate of others' feelings. Many who knew Morrison will tell you he was a well-mannered "Southern gentleman," someone you would have no problem taking home to meet your mother. It was only onstage, or after having too much to drink, that his voice became deep and loud, his manner vibrant and gruff, and his actions mindless.

Tom Baker was in New York doing I, A Man at The Factory, when he and Warhol stopped in to see The Doors at The Scene. Baker saw a different Jim Morrison onstage. "His performance was a classic one," Baker wrote, "giving off glimpses of all our beautiful tragic/comic American Heroes… one moment I saw Brando's 'wild one,' the next James Dean's rebel, then Chet Baker, and finally Elvis."

LSD was key in providing Morrison with access to the further regions of reality. With fame came more women. Except for Pamela, the majority of the women he was having affairs or one-night stands with were on the bizarre side. Many were alluring and attractive in their own way, but some were just outright weirdos who drew Morrison because of their strangeness: freaked-out go-go dancers who were into demonism, and disgruntled groupies. Morrison attracted the strange and the bizarre like a magnet and he was often surrounded by mystics, perverts, drunkards, and just plain lunatics. He collected people like stray dogs. While he knew they were sponging off of him, he was too kind to drive them away. Sooner or later they'd disappear. Sometimes he would get drunk and go nuts and that would scare them off, other times they got bored with him. Morrison saw these people as kindred spirits, people out on the edge, and he was fascinated by them.

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