The Day Jim Morrison Moved to Paris

Hulton Archives, Getty Images
Hulton Archives, Getty Images

Jim Morrison's future with the Doors was clouded in uncertainty as 1970 faded into 1971, but all involved knew things couldn't continue the way they'd been going. Seeking a change and hoping to reorient himself emotionally and creatively, he left the U.S. for a sabbatical in Paris on March 11.

As tended to be the case with some of Morrison's more memorable decisions, the timing came at an inconvenient time for the Doors. The band had been ensconced in the studio since late 1970, working in the tracks for what would become their L.A. Woman album — and although sessions had been completed by the spring of 1971, the record was still being mixed when Morrison departed for Paris. While his bandmates might have wished he'd waited for the project to be finished, they knew he was unwell.

"In that photo you can see the impending demise of Jim Morrison," Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek later said of the L.A. Woman cover shoot. "He was sitting down because he was drunk. A psychic would have known that guy is on the way out. There was a great weight on him. He wasn’t the youthful poet I met on the beach at Venice."

Morrison's drinking had indeed gotten out of control during the L.A. Woman sessions — he was said to consume dozens of beers in a day, and was having problems completing lyrics and vocal tracks — and at first, it seemed like Paris might be part of the cure for what ailed him. After meeting up with longtime companion Pamela Courson at an apartment they'd rented in the city, he underwent at least a partial lifestyle change, walking the streets and losing some of the excess weight he'd put on in recent months.

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Retrieved on 06 January 2019 from

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