Jim Morrison's Parents Sue The Doors

Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, posed at Houdini Estate in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California in 1968. Photo by Paul Ferrara.
Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, posed at Houdini Estate in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California in 1968. Photo by Paul Ferrara.
THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN AND PUBLISHED BY THE SMOKING GUN ON APRIL 24, 2003.

APRIL 24 — The parents of Jim Morrison yesterday sued two of their son's former Doors bandmates, claiming that the musicians, now touring in a reformed version of the famous group, have "maliciously misappropriated" the name and logo of The Doors and are using Morrison's poetry and photos without permission. In a Los Angeles Superior Court complaint, octogenarians George and Clara Morrison allege that Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger have stolen "these valuable property rights" in a bid to promote and market "a new band that they recently organized with two other individuals that have never been associated with the original Doors band" and which plans on launching "a national and international tour in order to wrongfully enrich themselves." Along with Manzarek and Krieger, the Morrisons have named as a defendant Ian Astbury, The Cult's former lead singer and the man now trying to fill Morrison's leather pants.

The lawsuit, a key excerpt from which is below, does not specify damages, but demands that the defendants "disgorge all profits which they have improperly received" from the band's resuscitation. The complaint also seems to take a swipe at the new band's musicianship, noting that the group has "attempted to play songs written and made popular by the original Doors band in a manner which attempts to copy the original distinctive sound of The Doors." The reformed Doors tour has apparently been successful, with the group playing a sold-out show ($70 per ticket) tonight at New York City's Roseland Ballroom (capacity of about 3000).

Joining the Morrisons as plaintiffs in the L.A. lawsuit are Columbus and Pearl Courson, the parents of Pamela Courson, Jim Morrison's late common-law wife. The Morrisons and Coursons share a 25 percent ownership stake in the corporations formed to administer the Doors partnerships. The other 25 percent partners are Manzarek, Krieger, and former Doors drummer John Densmore.

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