September - Artist of the Month
James Douglas "Jim" Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was
an American singer, songwriter and poet best remembered as the lead singer of The Doors.
Due to his songwriting, bass voice, wild personality and performances, he is regarded by critics and fans as one of the most iconic and influential frontmen in rock music history. Due to the dramatic circumstances surrounding his life and death, in the latter part of the 20th century, he was one of the popular culture's most rebellious and oft-displayed icons, representing generational gap and youth counterculture.
He was also well known for improvising spoken word poetry passages while the band played live. Morrison was ranked number 47 on Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time", and number 22 on Classic Rock Magazine's "50 Greatest Singers In Rock". Ray Manzarek said that Morrison "embodied hippie counterculture rebellion..."
Morrison was sometimes referred to by other monikers, such as "Lizard King" and "King of Orgasmic Rock".
Morrison developed an alcohol dependency. He died at the age of 27 in Paris, probably of an accidental heroin overdose. No autopsy was performed, and the exact cause of Morrison's death is still disputed. Jim Morrison's grave is located at Père Lachaise cemetery in eastern Paris.
James Douglas Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida, the son of Clara Virginia (née Clarke) and future Rear Admiral George Stephen Morrison. Morrison had a sister, Anne Robin, who was born in 1947 in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and a brother, Andrew Lee Morrison, who was born in 1948 in Los Altos, California. His ancestors were Scottish, Irish, and English.
Morrison read widely and voraciously—being particularly inspired by the writings of philosophers and poets. His senior-year English teacher said, "Jim read as much and probably more than any student in class, but everything he read was so offbeat I had another teacher (who was going to the Library of Congress) check to see if the books Jim was reporting on actually existed. I suspected he was making them up, as they were English books on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century demonology. I’d never heard of them, but they existed, and I’m convinced from the paper he wrote that he read them, and the Library of Congress would’ve been the only source."
Morrison went to live with his paternal grandparents in Clearwater, Florida, where he attended classes at St. Petersburg College (then known as a junior college). In 1962, he transferred to Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee, where he appeared in a school recruitment film.
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