The 1960's

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The 1960's

The 1960's were turbulent years in America, and Jim Morrison created an image of himself that stretched the boundaries of popular culture and entertainment. He was the first musician to truly live the creed of the moment, " sex drugs and rock and roll." Morrison's complicated lyrics, wild behavior, and personal charisma attracted many fans that worshipped him as a rock and roll icon. Morrision left them with a lot of great music and some very bad memories. Like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, he destroyed himself in the process of becoming a star.

Morrison's childhood gave little indication of the road he would follow. He was born on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida (Hopkins 30). Morrison's father was in the Navy so he moved around frequently. Jim started high school in Alameda, California. With his best friend, Ford Fud, he engaged in typical teenage pranks and problems. His sophomore year, Jim moved to Alexandria, Virginia where he attended a segregated, upper middle class school. In school Jim was constantly calling attention to himself. Once he chased an imaginary bee around the classroom (Hopkins 39). He was never content to be normal or average. Jim also had a huge fascination with literature and poetry, and his IQ was listed as 149 in school records.

After finishing school Jim attended the college of UCLA where he studied film. He shortly droped out and moved to Venice beach. He cut off all ties with his family. In 1965, he met Pamela Courson, a pretty California eighteen-year-old. Jim called her his cosmic soul mate. Though their relationship was as strange as the other parts of Morrison's life, they stayed together until his death (Jones 30). In Venice, Morrison lived on the roof of an apartment for three months. He was heavy into the use of LSD and marijuana. He also used this time to write most of his poems that would later form the basis of his songs.

Morrison's entry into the music scene was purely accidental. Ray Manzarek, a musician friend, read some of his poems and said it was "the best rock and roll lyrics he'd ever heard" (Jones 40). Manzarek suggested that they form a band and make a million dollars. Jim said that is exactly what he had in mind except that money wasn't important. He wanted to " go up like a roman candle, make a bright light and then disappear" (Hopkins 66).

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