The Miami concert dramatically altered The Doors' world, shaking its foundations thoroughly, and changing everything irreversibly thereafter. Records began to sell badly, right-wing groups demonstrated against The Doors, and promoters cancelled an entire tour. A fiasco, a financial catastrophe, an artistic disaster, but curiously enough, largely preconceived and planned by the ever-mischievous Jim Morrison.
On 28th February 1969, the night before the concert, Jim had seen a performance of 'Paradise Now' by the Living Theatre, at the University of Southern California. In fact, he had been to the two previous nights' performances as well. He loved it. In their play this controversial theatre group reflected ideas that Jim had been having himself, and that he had previously lived out on stage. Moreover, many of his pet obsessions concerning dialogue with the audience, provocation, as well as society's criticism, right down to the completely free form of stage presence, were daringly performed in an expanded version by the Living Theatre, and he had lapped it up.
On 1st March 1969 Jim missed his direct flight from Los Angeles to Miami, where The Doors were booked to play at the Dinner Key Auditorium, an old, stuffy hall near the harbour, constructed of corrugated iron. He sat down in a bar at the airport and drank. As there were no more direct flights, he had to change planes in New Orleans around noon, and had to wait several hours for the connecting flight. He passed his time in a restaurant, where he consumed some more drinks, after which he also missed the connecting flight. Further hours of waiting for the next connecting flight to Miami were spent drinking. Eventually he arrived at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami, just minutes before the beginning of the concert. He was totally drunk. The atmosphere backstage was already at its lowest point. Against an arrangement that had been made, several thousand extra spectators had been squeezed into the venue. On top of this, the promoter had raised the price of the tickets by one dollar on his own authority. And when Bill Siddons, the new manager of The Doors, voiced a desire to cancel the concert with regard to this, he discovered that the lorry that had picked up the band's equipment from the airport had suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. In the meantime inside the hall, which normally only held 7,000 people, 13,000 fans were sweating. The Dinner Key Auditorium had no air conditioning.
"That, to me, was a perfect example of a mass hallucination, because I was up
there on stage with him the whole time, you know, five feet away from him, and
I ..., he never did it, man, he never pulled it out, he never took his pants off. But
some people swore they saw it. And what they were seeing were the snakes and
demons in their own minds that Jim was ... Jim had turned into the snake man,
into the 'Lizard King', and they saw the 'Lizard King' pull it out. They didn't see
Jim Morrison pull it out, 'cos Jim Morrison didn't. What they think they saw is
another story. It was a mass hallucination, man, it was a very, very strange night
in Miami, Florida: hot, sweaty, summer night. The place held eight thousand
people and they'd packed in about twelve to fifteen thousand. No air
conditioning. And Jim was a little drunk that night, and he was really giving a
good rap to the audience. And the music was strange. And people just saw
demons, saw snakes!"
The surviving Doors' recollections of Miami, always choosing their wordscarefully, and sometimes slightly romanticising the evening, all mask the unalterable fact that in reality the concert was pure chaos. Someone in the audience had recorded the concert. This recording, which played an important, but sadly not a crucial role, in the subsequent court case, largely reflected what had happened that night. With this recording, as well as with numerous photographs and witness accounts, the performance in Miami can virtually be reconstructed.
The Doors come on stage. Before the three musicians are even able to begin a song (backstage they agreed on 'Back Door Man'), Jim walks over to the microphone and starts blowing into a harmonica, taking a deep breath through it and producing incomprehensible sounds.
"YEEEEEAAH!", he shouts into the restless audience. "Now listen here, I ain't talking 'bout no revolution and I'm not talkin' about no demonstrations."
Ray Manzarek plays a few chords on the organ. However, Jim isn't being distracted by this. He continues his rap.
"I'm talking about having a good time, I'm talking about having a good time this summer. And you all come out to L.A., you all get out there, we're gonna lie down there in the sand and rub our toes in the ocean, and we're gonna have a good time, are you ready, are you ready, are you ready, are you ready, are you ready, are you ready, are you ready, are you ready, are-are-are-are-areare-ah-ah-ah-ah..."
Robby Krieger gets in tune with Jim's rhythmic screams and plays the intro riff to 'Back Door Man'. Ray Manzarek and John Densmore react instantly, and join in the song.
"FUCK! LOUDER! C'mon, man, GET IT LOUDER! C'mon, GET IT UP, BABY! LOUDER! YEAH! YEAH!", Jim screams over the riff. Eventually he tunes into the song.
"YEEEAH, I'm a back door man.
Robby tears into a solo.
"YEEEEEEEAAAH! YEEEEEEEEEEEEAAH! SUCK ME BABY! YOU GOTTA AAUUUGGGGGHHHHHHH! AAUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH FUCK! YEEEEEAAH! RIGHT, YEAH!"
Jim screams and groans into the restless audience. The music becomes restrained. Jim reacts.
"Urgh. Hey, hey, hey. Play softer, babe, get it way down, softer, sweetheart, get it way down low. Soft, soft, soft, soft, soft, sock it to me, c'mon softer."
John beats powerfully on his drums a few times, which normally signals the intro to 'Five To One', but Robby and Ray don't take the bait.
"Hey listen, I'm lonely! I need some love, you all. C'mon. I need some good time lovin', sweetheart, love me, c'mon. I can't... I can't take it without no good love, love. I want some love, lova'lova'lova'lova'-love! Love me sweet, c'mon. Ain't nobody gonna love my ass? C'mon."
The audience laughs. Jim continues in an ironic tone.
"I need ya! There's so many of you out there. Nobody's gonna love me sweetheart, c'mon! I need it, I need it, I need it, I need ya, I need ya, need ya, need ya, need ya, need ya, hah! AAALRIGHT! Hey, there's a bunch of people way back there that I didn't even notice! Hey, how about about 50 or 60 of you people come up here and love my ass, c'mon, yeeahhh, I love ya. C'mon!"
There is growing unrest amongst the audience. The musicians are still trying to play the intro to 'Five To One', but Jim's rap doesn't leave them any space.
"Yeeeeeeeeahhh, la-la-la-la. Yeeeeeeeeahhhh, la-la-la-la. Heeeeeeeeyyyeeeaah, la-la-la-la. Yeeeeeeeeeeaahhhhhhhh, la-la-la-la. Nobody gonna come up here and love me, huh? C'mon!"
John beats an accent on his drums again. Finally, Robby and Ray tune in and play the intro riff of 'Five To One'. A girl climbs on stage.
"Alright for you, baby!"
Jim wants to grab the girl, but the security guards are holding her and carry her away. Jim clings to the microphone and comments on the incident.
"That's too bad. I'll get somebody else! YEAH!"
He pauses. The volume of the intro riff of FIVE TO ONE increases. Jim messily and distortedly sings the first verse.
"Five to one, baby,
Krieger's solo follows. He plays awkwardly, can't seem to concentrate. Jim's voice rises both in volume and power.
"The old get old and the young get stronger,
Robby's main solo follows. Flowing, screeching loud notes tear over John's heavy drum beats. After the solo Jim lets out a shrill animal scream.
The Doors musically introduce the 'ballroom' phase of the song, but Jim suddenly starts swearing at the audience, something that will have penetrating consequences.
"YOU'RE ALL A BUNCH OF FUCKING IDIOTS!"
People are shouting, whistling and shouting back. An incredible noise arises.
"LETTIN' PEOPLE TELL YOU WHAT YOU'RE GONNA DO! LETTIN' PEOPLE PUSH YOU AROUND! HOW LONG DO YOU THINK IT'S GONNA LAST? HOW LONG ARE YOU GONNA LET IT GO ON? HOW LONG ARE YOU GONNA LET 'EM PUSH YOU AROUND? HOW LONG? MAYBE YOU LIKE IT! MAYBE YOU LIKE BEING PUSHED AROUND! MAYBE YOU LOVE IT! MAYBE YOU LOVE GETTING YOUR FACE STUCK IN THE SHIT, COME ON! "
John's drum beats become heavier. Unwaveringly he plays on. Robby pauses, Ray plays his bass line. The audience goes wild. Some people scream, others laugh. Jim reacts instantly.
"MAYBE YOU LOVE GETTING PUSHED AROUND! YOU LOVE IT, DON'T YOU?! YOU LOVE IT! YOU'RE ALL A BUNCH OF SLAVES! BUNCH OF SLAVES! YOU'RE ALL A BUNCH OF SLAVES! LETTIN' EVERYBODY PUSH YOU AROUND. WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO?! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO?! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO?!"
Several girls in the audience seem to be screeching in fear. It's noticable that people are totally distraught and frightened. Jim starts with the vocals again.
"Your ballroom days are over, baby,
Robby begins an uninspired solo. He is searching for the right notes on his instrument, making mistakes. In the background Jim screams and shouts like an injured animal.
"AAAAAHHHHHH! YYYYYEEEEEEAAHHHH! AAAHHHHHYYEEEAHHHHH! IIIIIIIIAAYYEEEAH! AAAAAAAAIIIIIIIEEEAAAAHH!"
The band pauses. Feedback from the guitar screams out of the amplifier. Robby hits the lower strings.
"Now, come on honey, now you go along home and wait for me sweetheart. I'll be there in just a little while! You see, I gotta go out in this car with these people, ... and get ... FUCKED UP!"
The heavy, archaic rhythm starts again.
"Get together one more time!
The group play on for several seconds, looking for the end of the song, then abruptly stop. Jim uses this split second to continue with his rap.
"HEY, I'M NOT TALKIN' ABOUT NO REVOLUTION!
Robby uses the breathless silence in the audience to play the intro of TOUCH ME. John and Ray join in seconds later. Jim is being distracted by this and sings part of the first verse, but then furiously stops.
"Touch me babe,
At that very second Vince Treanor rushes behind Jim. He had seen that the singer had put his right hand inside his trousers, and with the left hand was now fiddling with the button. Vince grabs Jim by the belt of his dark brown leather trousers and pulls him tightly to himself. Jim furiously shouts into the microphone.
"NO, C'MON, WAIT A MINUTE! WAIT A MINUTE! I'M NOT GONNA GO ON! WAIT A MINUTE! I'M NOT GONNA TAKE THIS SHIT! I'M COPPIN' OUT, NOW WAIT A MINUTE!"
Jim manages to release himself from Vince Treanor's grip.
Masses of people climb on stage. Jim and Vince are being pushed aside. Jim is happy about the fans, who start dancing on the stage, and shouts out his commentaries from the background. Robby and John have in the meantime broken up playing TOUCH ME. Only Ray continues on his organ, but stops after a few seconds while John starts playing a short drum solo. After a few seconds of silence, Robby suddenly produces the guitar intro to 'Love Me Two Times'. Jim sings in an uninspired tone.
"Love me two times, babe, love me twice today,
Ray plays an accurate solo on his organ, while people are still running around the stage. The police try to push them off, but only partly succeed in doing so. Jim clings to the microphone and continues the song.
"Love me one time, babe, do not speak,
Applause rises. Jim nods his head. At least he has mastered one song without any interruption. Meanwhile the police have cleared the stage. In the hope that a slower rhythm might calm people down, The Doors start playing 'When The Music's Over'. Jim slowly gets back to his microphone.
"When the music's over,
Jim continues singing, but now in a deep, drunken slur, totally devoid of emotion.
"Music is your special friend,
Robby Krieger's distorted guitar solo follows. Jim starts howling again, then barks like a dog.
"Yeeeeeeeeeaaah! Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaah! Yeeeeeeee- ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-aaaaaauuuuugh!"
The band are vamping to the tune of 'When The Music's Over', and Morrison suddenly decides to add a note of seriousness to the evening's proceedings.
"Now listen! I used to think the whole thing was a big joke. I used to think it was something to laugh about. And then the last couple of nights I met some people who were doing somethin'! They're tryin' to change the world! And I wanna get on that trip! I wanna change the world. Wanna change it. Yeeeeeeaaaaaahhh - change it."
Longish pause, The Doors continuing to vamp, expecting the worst. Everybody looks to Morrison, waiting for it, and it comes. He suddenly exclaims:
"THE NEXT THING WE'RE GONNA DO IS TAKE OVER ALL THE SCHOOLS!!!"
This sentiment elicits loud applause from the (largely student) audience. Jim continues, warming to the theme.
"AFTER WE TAKE OVER ALL THE SCHOOLS WE'RE GONNA TAKE OVER ALL THE ..."
His voice trails off.
" ... THE ... YEEEEEEAAAAH!"
He gives up. Jim decides to turn his attention to singing, and comes up with a passable phrase he sometimes adds to the song 'The End'.
"Away, away, away, away in India.
Robby Krieger effortlessly takes over the mournful melody, and turns it into a beautiful, repetitive, Indian sounding lick. Jim senses when to return to the song; it all gels nicely.
"Before I sink into the big sleep
He breaks off abruptly.
"Hey looky here! We're gettin' tired of hanging around!
A girl's outburst has distracted Morrison - he breaks off:
"Huh? What's that? What you say, baby? ... Say huh? ... Say what? ... Say what? ... Say what? ... What's that? ... What's that, honey? Come on, tell me again ... Aw, come on, I can't hear you - now tell me what you're sayin' ... you want me to what?"
The crowd are becoming restless with Jim's flirting, and some people start to boo and scream.
"Huh? ... I can't hear you!"
The Doors vamp on as ever, and Jim gives up on the girl. The audience continue screaming.
"YEEEEEAAAH, right! "
Obviously John Densmore is bored. He tries to disturb the rising tension with some heavy drum beats. Nobody listens but screams out nasty words. Jim answers one of the guys and helps him to get on stage.
"Man says he's no animal ... what are you? What's your name, man? How are you doin'?"
There is incredible unrest in the auditorium. It seems everybody has forgotten this is a concert. There is no music anymore. Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore are silent, save for Ray's bass vamping.
"Has anybody ... anybody out there got a cigarette?", Jim asks. He invites more people to come on stage.
"Hey, I'm gettin' lonely up here. I need some love! Don't know about you man!"
Jim now decides to get playful and do his Lenny Bruce routine.
"Hey, I can't believe all those people sitting way up there, man - why don't you all come down and get with us, man? Come on! ... What ... What are you ... in the fifty cent section or what?! Come on!"
Uproar and laughter follow. A few hundred people move towards the stage and start climbing it. But this is not enough for Jim.
"Come on down here! Come on! .... Closer, man! We need some love!"
Pause. Ray Manzarek continues vamping on his bass pedal. Jim notices nobody coming down from the upper seats and gives up on them. The stage is crowded anyway.
"Well you gonna stay way away."
Another pause. Now Jim thinks it's a good time to get a little autobiographical in his Bruce routine. The audience respond to each of his statements with cheers and whistles.
"You know I was born here in this state - you know that? ... Yeah, I was born right here in Melbourne, Florida in 1943. I think they call it 'Cape Something', I don't know ... yeah, but I, I left for a little while but I came back and I went to a ... a little, uh, junior college in St. Petersburg, you know where that is? ... Then I left there and I went up to a little uh ... college in Tallahassee called 'F.S.U.' ... Then I got smart ... Then I went out to a beautiful state called California! Went out to a little city, name of Los Angeles ...."
Jim Morrison's autobiographical sketch is over, and he decides to return to his favourite mantra.
"Now listen, I'm not talkin' about no revolution, an' I'm not talkin' about no demonstration! I'm talkin' about having fun! I'm talkin' about dancin'! I wanna see you people get up and dance! I wanna see you people dancin' in the street this summer! I wanna see you have some fun. I wanna see you run around. I wanna see you paint the town. I wanna see you ringin' out. I wanna see you shout. I wanna see some fun. I wanna see some fun from everyone."
The whistles from the audience get louder. After a short pause Jim starts singing again.
"Weeeeee are together. We're together. We're together baby. We're together ... Get it up!"
Somebody from the audience screams up at Morrison: "Somebody else gets to this fucking thing, Jim!". Several listeners produce other unintelligable screams. The singer suddenly rounds on them and asks matter-of-factly:
"We want the same thing, don't we?"
Some people scream yes.
"We want the same thing. We want the whole hog, don't we babe?"
Much to the delight of his fellow musicians, Jim finally returns to the song.
"We want the world and we want it ...
The group play their familiar parts, and Jim gets back to his usual lyrics. The band seem to be relieved.
"So when the music's over,
'When The Music's Over' duly completed, and with the trembling stage still swamped with people, Morrison unceremoniously lays into the 'Ceremony' intro to 'Light My Fire'.
"Wake up! You can't remember where it was, had this dream stopped? The snake ... was pale gold, glazed and shrunken. ... We were afraid to touch it. The sheets were hot, dead prisons. Nooooowwww ... run to the mirror in the bathroom, look, she's coming in here ... I can't live through each slow century of her moving ..."
Jim pauses and turns to the group, while the audience moves forth and back. Everybody screams.
"... I let my cheek slide down the cool smooth tile ... feel the good cold stinging blood ... the smooth ... hissing ... snakes of raaaaiiiin!"
The band suddenly lance into 'Light My Fire'. Morrison is on the case immediately, but he suddenly sounds very drunk, slurring the words terribly.
"Know that it would be untrue, know that I would be a liar,
Ray plays an accurate solo without mistakes. Everybody hopes that Jim has calmed down, but some more fans climb up on the stage again, stomping on the wooden floor and dancing. The stomping comes through the microphone P.A. and creates a dull rumbling. Robby Krieger takes over the solo and plays the melody of 'Eleanor Rigby'. Jim squats down in front of Robby, his eyes following the movements of Robby's left hand from only inches away, flying across the neck of his guitar. He jumps up again, lights up a cigarette, then snatches the cap off an unsuspecting policeman's head, throwing it into the raging audience. The fans applaud, as the cop snatches Jim's hat with the metal skull on, and likewise lets it sail frisbee-like into the audience. Everybody's laughing. After Robby's solo Jim shares a beer with one of the guys on stage. He returns to the microphone, surrounded by screaming and dancing fans. All instruments stop immediately except Ray's heavy bass.
"YEAH, I WANNA SEE SOME DANCIN'! I WANNA SEE SOME DANCIN!"
Jim pauses for a second.
"YEEEAHHH, I WANNA SEE SOME FUN, WANNA SEE SOME DANCIN'! THERE ARE NO RULES, THERE ARE NO LAWS, DO WHATEVER YOU WANNA DO! DO IT!"
There is an incredible noise in the hall. Jim struggles hard to be heard.
Lewis Martin comes on stage and gives Jim a live lamb. Jim puts it under his right arm.
"I'd fuck her but she's too young!"
The audience howls and whistles.
"Yeeeaahhh! Now listen, anybody that wants to come up here and join us and do some dancin', have some fun, just get on up here! Come on! COME ON!"
Robby interrupts Jim with the intro to the final part of LIGHT MY FIRE. In the meantime countless people have accumulated on stage. Someone takes the lamb off Jim and he clings to the microphone.
"Time to hesitate is thru', no time to wallow in the mire,
After the song's outro the audience erupts. Jim shouts out further comments above the noise.
"ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT! NOW I WANNA SEE SOME ACTION OUT THERE! I WANNA SEE SOME ACTION OUT THERE! I WANNA SEE SOME ACTION OUT THERE! I WANNA SEE SOME ACTION OUT THERE! I WANNA SEE SOME ACTION OUT THERE! I WANNA SEE YOU PEOPLE COME ON UP HERE AND HAVE SOME FUN! NOW COME ON, LET'S GET ON UP HERE! NO LIMITS, NO LAWS, COME ON, COME ON!"
An incredible noise ensues. People shout, screech, howl, applaud, whistle.
"THIS IS YOUR SHOW! ANYTHING YOU WANT GOES! NOW COME ON!"
The audience returns a hundredfold "Yeah!" and storm the stage again. It is perfect chaos.
"ANYTHING YOU WANT! LET'S DO IT! LET'S DO IT! LET'S DO IT!"
One of the promoters pushes through to the microphone and shouts: "Hold it, someone's gonna get hurt! HOLD IT!" Jim takes the microphone out of his hand.
"ALRIGHT! NOW, WE'RE NOT GONNA LEAVE UNTIL WE ALL GET OUR ROCKS OFF!"
At this point someone throws a bag of red paint at the singer. Jim's pants get covered with paint. One of the security guards has had enough, and amongst all the howling from the fans, he shoves Jim off the stage. The other Doors flee when the guy in the audience starts throwing bags of paint at them as well. It takes Morrison almost 10 minutes to break free from the crowd and to disappear behind the stage curtain into his dressing room. Shortly after that he emerges from backstage up at the balcony. For minutes he stares as if in a trance down at the chaos in the hall below him.
Not until an hour later is the hall empty. Pieces of clothing are lying around everywhere, being swept together into a pile 5 foot high. Backstage soon afterwards, everybody's good mood returns. The Doors share a few cans of beer with the cops. The officials laugh, and say that they had had fun. Bill Siddons gives the policeman whose cap had been purloined by Jim a couple of dollars as compensation.
After listening to the 59 minute tape of the Miami concert in my headphones for the second time, my head is ringing. Throughout the whole concert there was incredible unrest. People react to almost every sentence that Jim aggressively and forcefully shouts out. Horrified, I imagine what a chaotic impression the band must have left with the judge and jury in court in Miami when they played this tape in the courtroom. However, even after the most intense listening, the much quoted sentence 'How about if I show you my cock?' can't be made out. Had the three Doors, who in later interviews often mentioned this quote, themselves become victims of the much-mooted 'mass hallucination'? Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore are vehemently of the opinion that Jim hadn't exposed himself, notwithstanding Jim purportedly shouting the quote during LIGHT MY FIRE. The sound quality of the recording is quite good, despite the apparent chaos, and no distinguishable cuts can be heard.
"Imagine the following. There is the judge, prosecuting attorney, the jury, 60%
freaks and older guys in this bourgeois court room. They play this tape. The
first piece is BACK DOOR MAN, and the judge had ordered beforehand that
none of the spectators shout, sing or tap the rhythm with their feet. The next
thing that happens is this eye contact game. Everybody looks at everyone, and
lifelong friendships are made. It was incredible. It was really Kafka-esque. This
music is being played in a court room - music you normally dance or fuck to."
We're not talking about 'music' in the conventional sense, though. The musicians' desperate attempts to try to turn Jim's own version of the Living Theatre into an 'ordinary' concert failed. Apart from Love Me Two Times and Light My Fire, no song was played featuring the complete lyrics. Any attempt to finish the songs to the musicians' satisfaction was put to rest by Jim with his excessive 'spiel'. For many, this night in Miami was the end of The Doors. Backstage Robby Krieger was furious. Ray Manzarek didn't know yet into which category to fit this show, but he had also been affected. John Densmore's theory, that a time bomb had been ticking inside Jim Morrison, and had exploded that night, was probably closer to the truth.
"Nobody had arrested Jim. The worst comment came from a policeman, when
he said: 'Boys, this way you're going to ruin your career. People have come here
to hear some songs, not that preaching'"
In the public eye this time bomb had indeed exploded, in that the whole
remainder of the planned tour, which consisted of a further 20 dates, was
cancelled as a result. A catastrophe for The Doors, and a catastrophe for the
Doors fans, as the group had intended to perform songs from the not yet
released THE SOFT PARADE album. On this tour the band would have
covered the whole of the east coast of the United States, and also two gigs in
Honolulu. The cause of all the cancellations was the warrant released against
Jim Morrison on 5th March 1969. He was accused of 'lewd and lascivious
behavior, indecent exposure, open profanity and drunkeness'. The Doors, who
had split to Jamaica for a short holiday, were surprised and not a little scared
about this. Discontent with the unclear situation, Jim returned to L.A. only a
A degrading court case followed, which would stretch out until pronoucement
of judgement on 30th October 1970.
"The whole thing took place in the southern states of the U.S.A., and this was
Jim's home. Also, I think that we had chosen a bad time. We were used as
scapegoats, so they thought they would have a chance to hit back against all
these young people, the dopers, and all things that had to do with sex,
incidentally. The Doors were there - at the wrong time in the right place. If it
hadn't been us, it would have been someone else. You know, all of this wasn't
about The Doors - they just wanted to make some example at the time."
I remember a nice story that Jac Holzman told during THE DOORS FROM THE INSIDE radio show. About a month after the Miami incident, Pamela Courson had apparently asked Jim the all-decisive question, whether he had done 'it', or not. Pam later told Jac that Jim had said 'yes' to this question, accompanied by his most mischievous smile. When she had asked him the reason why, he had answered: "Honey, I just wanted to see how 'he' looked in the spotlight!"
In the meantime Jim's relationship with Patricia Kennealy had intensified further, so that every time he was in New York, he stayed at her place. Although Patricia resembled Pamela Courson superficiously, to Jim she was the contra-point to his relationship with Pamela. While the latter adored him and gave him unlimited support in basically all activities (as long as they didn't concern The Doors), Patricia offered him intellectual support and nourishment. Back in Los Angeles, Pamela did her best to turn Jim into a home-loving character, in that she cooked for him, and made sure that he didn't drink too much. In New York, however, he was impressed by Patricia, who talked about and dared to criticise his poems and other literary sources. Patricia had initiated him into some of the secrets of the witch cult, in which he had been fascinated ever since, and Jim proposed to marry Patricia in a 'handfasting' ceremony. This makes Patricia the only woman who owns a certificate (which is, however, not legally valid), stating that she was married to Jim Morrison. Although Pamela frequently called herself Mrs Morrison, Jim had never actually lawfully married her, either.
At the court case in Miami, Patricia took part as a spectator.
"The case was a cheap and cynical farce, and was moreover a complete pisstake
of justice. Right from the beginning his stars didn't look good. It was politically
motivated and totally without sense. Certain moralists, like Jackie Gleason,
jumped up from their seats when morals and decency were mentioned, just to
get some cheap publicity, and accused Jim of things that he never did. Jim sat in
the dock and kept scribbling in his scrap books. He never looked up, apart from
glancing at the judge or one of the witnesses every now and then. He never
looked at the jury. He didn't even look at me, although I sat on one side from
him on the press bench. Later I sat down behind the wooden barrier, which
separates the spectator benches from the dock. I sat so close behind him, I could
have touched his back, if I had stretched out my hand. The judge often looked at
me, and probably thought that I was a representative of the radical New York
In the recesses Patricia talked to the youths that were invited as jurors. Without exception, they voiced the opinion that Jim hadn't exposed himself. Patricia had not only come to the court case in Miami as an observer. She was pregnant and wanted to talk to Jim about what to do. In tears, both of them decided for Patricia to have an abortion - a hard decision, which in addition to the farce of the court case, created a deep pain in Jim Morrison's life.
"Jim was terribly scared, and he wasn't embarrassed about showing it to me.
While we were talking about a possible abortion, he cried. We reached the
opinion that the timing wasn't good, and he said that we could have a child
together later at another time. I would have had the child for only one reason,
that it was Jim's child - and I think it was terribly egotistic of me to want a child
just because it was with a certain person, and not because I wished to have a
child. It was the most difficult decision in my life, and the second biggest loss
that I have ever suffered."
Under the pressure of the court case, as well as the burden of the abortion, Jim wrote a message to his fans, which doubtlessly also served as a cheering up to his own psyche, and which was published in several American magazines as a reader's letter:
"It's a matter of demolishing experience, just a question of gathering up all
fragments into one zone of awareness, then pulverizing them sufficiently to
expel from the system through its tiny doors, leaving behind the mind stripped
bare, devastated and stark as ground zero. You got to have the balls to lace your
own network with it; let the risk illuminate your own fluids. Look at these
capillaries! Lit up like emerald peacock feathers! You gotta hook your brain
fibre on the spike of a distant star and let it stretch you at the receding speed of
the primal explosion. All the way, brothers and sisters, to the breaking point,
and pray for a glimpse before the tissue tears. The extension of the human mind,
the structure of technology squats on the surface area of collective
consciousness. Get out from under the antientropic plumbing; become not just
the source of energy but the receiving substance as well. Rediscover
Nobody knows for sure what he was on that day. It's a quite extraordinary and daring list of imperatives is what it is, and shows remarkable poise and eloquence, under the circumstances.
© 1998 Rainer Moddemann, The Doors Quarterly Magazine. This article may not be distributed in any other context or media without the written permission of the copyright owner.