Forty-one years ago today, Jim Morrison was lowered into a Paris burial plot (on July 9, 1971). The Doors frontman would have been 68 years old if he were alive today, but instead died of a heroin overdose at the tender age of 27.
Where once the Lizard King slithered across the country, spitting his cryptic poetry like a flickering reptile tongue, these days his legions of still-adoring fans treat locations related to his life as ashtrays and/or bar-bathroom urinal troughs.
While it is obvious that The Doors created some very interesting music, it has always bothered me that the majority of Morrison’s work is fairly uninteresting and unoriginal. I appreciate the fact that people like a good-lookin’, hard-livin’ rock star, but it seems like the majority of Morrison’s time (and art) was spent in hedonistic, self-absorbed navel-gazing. Maybe that’s cool to some folks, but inebriation doesn’t immediately equate to spiritual transcendence. In fact, it usually just leads to shitty poetry.
Unless you’re Bukowski.
But there is no escaping (for better or worse) that the man is an American icon. Here’s some locations related to the life and work of Jim Morrison, lead singer of the rock band, The Doors. I’ve tried to group them into US states, and then somewhat chronologically.
- Jim Morrison’s birthplace– Jim Morrison was born at the Brevard Hospital in Melbourne, FL on December 8, 1943.
- Jim Morrison’s grandparents’ home– Morrison lived at this home with his grandparents from 1961-62 while attending school at St. Petersburg Junior College.
- Coconut Grove– Jim Morrison was arrested after a show in Miami on March 1, 1969.
- Morrison Apartments– Jim Morrison lived on the roof of this building in the summer of 1965.
- Jim Morrison mural– Located in Venice Beach, artist Rip Cronk painted this mural in 1991.
- Jim Morrison’s Rothdell residence– Jim used to live at this location in Laurel Canyon with his girlfriend, Pamela. The Doors song, “Love Street” is written about this location.
- Laurel Canyon Store– A store where Jim Morrison used to go to when Frank Zappa, David Crosby, Mama Cass and Joni Mitchell all lived in the neighborhood. They would sit on the porch, play music, and drink (immortalized in the song “Love Street.).
- The Doors Workshop– The home of The Doors that housed their offices and a recording studio. LA Woman was recorded here, and the bathroom is where Jim Morrison recorded his vocals to get a fuller sound. Rumors say it’s haunted with his ghost…spooky.
- The Extension– The site of the former strip club called the Extension, where Jim Morrison used to spend time during The Doors Workshop days.
- Monaco Liquor– This liquor store across from the former Doors Workshop was often visited by the band and associates for supplies.
- The Palms Bar– A West Hollywood staple that The Doors used to frequent, that is now mainly a lesbian bar.
- The California Surplus Mart– Also known as Hollywood’s Unique Boutique, this is where The Doors would buy their jeans and clothing.
- The Phone Booth– Now a flower shop, this location used to be a strip club in the late 60’s and early 70’s that Jim Morrison used to visit in The Doors Workshop period.
- Themis– This building was purchased as a boutique for Jim Morrison’s girlfriend, Pam, to run. Upstairs housed the offices and film editing rooms for Morrison’s film, HWY: An American Pastoral.
- Barney’s Beanery– This LA institution was frequented by The Doors, is where Janis Joplin drank the night before she died, and also where Quentin Tarantino wrote the majority of Pulp Fiction.
- Hollywood Bowl– On July 5, 1968, this outdoor amphitheater was the filming location for The Doors, Live at the Hollywood Bowl.
- The Alta Cienega Motel– Jim Morrison lived in several different rooms in this motel from 1968-1970. His favorite was room #32, which can still be rented today.
- Tropicana Motel– This is the former location of the Tropicana Motel, where The Doors would often have breakfast during The Doors Workshop days.
- Elektra Sound Recorders Studio– This is the studio where The Doors recorded The Soft Parade and Morrison Hotel.
- The Village Studio– Morrison rented this LA on his birthday (December 8, 1970) to record material for his release, An American Prayer.
New Orleans, Louisiana
- The Warehouse– Jim Morrison played his last public show with The Doors on December 12, 1970 at The Warehouse.
- Eagles Auditorium- The Doors played this venue.
- L’Hotel at 13 rue des Beaux-Arts– This hotel is where Jim Morrison and his girlfriend stayed when they first moved to Paris. It is also where Oscar Wilde died.
- Where Jim Morrison died– Morrison died in this apartment on July 5, 1971.
- Jim Morrison’s grave– On July 9, 1971, Jim Morrison was laid to rest in the most well known cemetery in Paris: Cimetière du Père.