“Let’s Swim to the Moon”

May 29th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

“Before I slip into unconsciousness, I’d like to have another kiss … ” Jim Morrison was obsessed with death and talked, sang, and wrote about it his whole short life right up until he met his very own end on July 3, 1971 in Paris – he was only 27. Jim died peacefully in the bathtub they say of – excess, alcoholism, pneumonia, a heroin overdose (though Jim didn’t like the drug) a heart attack … nobody knows for sure. There are conspiracy theories galore and they’re all over the web including the possibility that his death was a fake (another Elvis thing) but sadly Jim Morrison did in fact die and the sad truth is that those who knew him well were not in the least bit surprised; Jim was coughing and throwing  up blood months before and why there was no autopsy and more importantly why his loved ones didn’t help him get some sort of medical attention is a mystery. Nevertheless, Jim and the Doors died in 1971 despite 2 of the remaining band members – Ray Manzarek  (Magdalena wrote an obit. A couple of weeks ago regarding his death) and Robby Krieger tried to revive The Doors with Stewart Copeland as drummer and well …that’s another story.
Since Magdalena’s blog about the death of the amazing keyboardist/bassist Ray Manzarek, I’ve not been able to pull myself away from listening, reading , and researching all about this incredibly original rock band who not only were way before their time but explored death, chaos, edge, uncertainty, revolution, etc. like no other group before – as some people would say, they were the Yang of Yin, the Beatles talked and sang about love and The Doors threw in our face Vietnam and darkness.

Certainly for me, at the age of 49, there are better, more educated writers who can quench my existential thirst, but The Doors were special – no doubt about it. The members of the band were educated and thoughtful; they actually named the group after Aldous Huxley’s ‘Doors Of Perception’ and were heavily influenced by the poet William Blake and the beat writers: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, etc. and Jim read all of Nietzsche’s work. I liked what critic, Henry Collins, had to say about the singing of Jim Morrison – his voice was controlled, rich, masculine, almost balladeer (believe it or not, Jim loved the crooners i.e. Frank Sinatra) and then that tenderness would morph into this wild, feral and ferocious animal!!!
The band really began with a chance encounter with Ray Mancerek and Jim Morrison meeting at UCLA film school – both were never really that serious about EVER becoming rock stars (Jim always wanted to be a poet and Ray contemplated practicing law) but as we all know… the rest is history.
Well, WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Are/were you a Doors fan? What I enjoyed the most was Morrison’s improvisational style; you never knew what he would do next, he was a dangerous, scary, exciting Adonis. The band was also not your three chord, typical boogie back then, the music was jazzy, bluesy and simultaneously beautiful and very odd.

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One Response to ““Let’s Swim to the Moon””

  1. magdalena Says:

    Actually, from what I’ve read, Ray Manzarek wanted to play basketball but only front and center. When his coach demanded he play a different position, he quit the team. Had this not happened, there would have been no Doors. Thank you Coach Whoever You Are. It always amazes me to contemplate life’s little twists and turns that culminate into an event that forever changes the world, and on a smaller scale our own detours on our life’s journey to lead us to the place we find ourselves far from where we imagined that road would take us. We can dream the possibilities while others simply stumble upon it. Either way, we are who we are. Gas station attendant or rock star. Sometimes we don’t get to choose. In any case, I’m glad the Doors happened.

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