As a continuation of our three part series into a macabre look at the world of death and rock-n-roll inspired by Eric and I's trip to the Hall of Fame, we will visit the death of Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain, along with a quick mention of the grisly group they both belonged to known as the "27 club".
|Death Certificate of Jim Morrison of The Doors|
Jim Morrison was a visionary, a poet, and an artist. He was best known as the front man of The Doors, which were formed in 1965 and named after a book related to "opening doors" through the use of Mescaline, a naturally occurring psychedelic drug (of course). Their music is still well known, loved, and played to this day with songs such as Light My Fire, People Are Strange (my personal favorite), and Break On Through (To The Other Side), the last of which got them banned from performing on the Ed Sullivan ever again after not changing the lyrics to a line which alluded to drug use (Ed had a show producer tell the band that they will never do The Ed Sullivan Show again. Morrison reportedly said to the producer "Hey man. We just did the Sullivan Show!" Awesome comeback if I may say so myself). As the band's fame grew, so did Morrison's drug abuse, including LSD and Alcohol. He started showing up to recording sessions drunk and was late for live shows. His relationship with his girlfriend, Pamela Courson, also got more aggressive with loud arguments, frequent separations, and infidelity on both parts (mind you, it was a open relationship, but Morrison liked to sleep with groupies and actually had a pagan handfasting ceremony with another woman in 1970, but it wasn't legally binding). In 1969, Morrison had tried to start a riot at one of their shows and was arrested afterwards for indecent exposure and convicted of it in 1970 (although other band members insist he never showed himself that night). His last recording session was considered "Drunken Gibberish" by the band's keyboardist Ray Manzarek and can be heard on the bootleg The Lost Paris Tapes. On July 3, 1971, Pamela found Morrison dead in the bathtub of their apartment in Paris, France. Because foul play was never suspected, an autopsy was never performed, but the cause of death is believed to be a heroine overdose (according to one account, Morrison snorted the heroine, believing it to be cocaine). Lots of other reports surrounding his death came to life afterwards, such as circumstances of Morrison's death being covered up (Pamela tried to hide the drug use and claimed he didn't take drugs that night). Morrison's funeral was a pitiful one according to a Madame Colinette, who witnessed the service, with several guests saying very little, throwing a flower down quickly, and rushing to leave the service like it didn't matter or they had better things to do. It's utterly depressing and sad to think that someone who gave so much to music went out with such a pitiful funeral service. Conspiracy theorists to this day believe he never actually died and could still be seen today...like Elvis...I don't think so.
|Death certificate of Kurt Cobain of Nirvana|
Both of these singers and Brian Jones from the previous article belong to a macabre group of artists known as the "27 club". This group is so called because all of the artists in it died tragically at the young age of 27. Members include greats such as Jimi Hendricks, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Brain Jones, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, Dave Alexander, and most recently Amy Winehouse. It seems as though it's true what they say...the good die young.
The final part of this three part post will be up this weekend and it will be a bit of a surprise who is featured and their connection to the macabre history of Rock-n-Roll.