Video Rewind: Jim Morrison’s final show with The Doors

Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, posed for "The Young Lion" (aka "The American Poet") session at Joel Brodsky’s studio in New York City, New York on September 18, 1967. Photo by Joel Brodsky.
Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, posed for "The Young Lion" (aka "The American Poet") session at Joel Brodsky’s studio in New York City, New York on September 18, 1967. Photo by Joel Brodsky.
THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY RYAN BRAY AND PUBLISHED BY CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND ON DECEMBER 13, 2013.

This week marks the anniversary of the last show The Doors ever played with their charming and enigmatic frontman Jim Morrison. While there’s plenty of Door fans who have been born and grown up in a world without Morrison, it doesn’t change the fact that the whole thing still feels oddly surreal. It’s no doubt because in that four-plus decades, the Lizard King’s rock and roll mythos has only grown in size and scope. When you’ve perfected, and in a lot of ways defined, the art of being an ageless musical deity, time is your best friend.

Stories of Morrison’s frequent drug use, fleeting affairs with throngs of women, the prodigious drinking, and his, um, penchant for over-sharing are larger-than-life tales embedded into the greater pop culture lexicon. Every time someone speaks up and rolls out their own Jim Morrison fable, it continues to take. There’s no rolling of the eyes or feigned interest; it’s just another chapter in the Morrison legacy that we all can’t wait to consume.

With that in mind, “Turn Out The Lights,” a documentary recapping The Doors’ last performance with Morrison at The Warehouse in New Orleans on December 12th, 1970, is fairly captivating. (Even if it’s nothing most fans haven’t already encountered.) Featuring testimony from staffers at The Warehouse and fans who were in attendance, all interspersed with archival footage from the show, the documentary paints a bleak portrait of the rock icon staggering his way to the end of a tumultuous road. This isn’t Jim Morrison, the suave and sexy poster child of 1960s psychedelia; it’s the bearded Jim Morrison, puke bucket by his side, passing out in the middle of “Light My Fire.”

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