Morrison was the son of Admiral George Stephen Morrison and his wife Clara Clark Morrison, both employed by the United States Navy. He would grow to express drastically different views than those taught to him by his strict, conservative parents.</p>
- "The first time I discovered death... me and my mother and father, and my grandmother and grandfather, were driving through the desert at dawn. A truckload of Indians had either hit another car or something- there were Indians scattered all over the highway, bleeding to death. I was just a kid, so I had to stay in the car while my father and grandfather went to check it out. I didn't see nothing- all I saw was funny red paint and people lying around, but I knew something was happening, because I could dig the vibrations of the people around me, and all of a sudden I realized that they didn't know what was happening any more than I did. That was the first time I tasted fear... and I do think, at that moment, the souls of those dead Indians- maybe one or two of them-were just running around, freaking out, and just landed in my soul, and I was like a sponge, ready to sit there and absorb it."
Even before The Doors formed, Morrison lived by the motto (borrowed from philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche) "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom": He indulged in hallucinogenic drugs, drank alcohol in legendary proportions, and indulged in various bacchanalia, sometimes showing up for recording sessions while inebriated (he can be heard hiccuping on the song "Five To One.")
Morrison's performances have influenced many, including Patti Smith. Live shows often possessed shamanistic qualities. To this day, he is widely regarded as the prototypical rock star: surly, sexy and mysterious. The leather pants he was fond of wearing onstage have since become stereotyped rock star apparel.
In the years after the Doors' meteoric rise to fame with their self-titled debut album and its hit single "Light My Fire", however, Morrison's "live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse" lifestyle was catching up with him; he was now a full-fledged alcoholic, and the band was beginning to suffer for it. Morrison's drink and drugs-fueled antics caused rifts with his bandmates and even got them into legal trouble, most notably at a 1969 concert in Miami in which a blind drunk Morrison exposed himself to the audience and simulated fellatio on Krieger as he played.
Jim Morrison died in Paris on July 3, 1971, in his bathtub at the age of 27; many fans and biographers have speculated that the cause of death was a drug overdose, or possibly an assassination by American government authorities. Morrison remarked several times near his death that he was "number 3". Referring to himself as likely to be the third person to die mysteriously after Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. The official report listed "heart attack" as the cause of death. Morrison is buried in the famous Le Père Lachaise Cemetery in eastern Paris: because his fans there are generally perceived as nuisances, leaving litter and graffiti behind them, it has been suggested that a new burial site will have to be found.
Some fans believe that Morrison faked his death in order to escape the spotlight. Conspiracy theorists point out that Morrison's longtime girlfriend, Pamela Courson, initially told the press that Morrison was merely "very tired and resting in a hospital", that very few people had actually seen the corpse prior to its burial, and that Morrison, in the months prior to his 'death', had often talked jokingly with his bandmates about "splitting to Africa". Doors drummer, John Densmore, upon visiting Morrison's grave for the first time, is said to have remarked that it was too short. There have even been recent stories surfacing of Jim Morrison being alive and well, and living the life of a cowboy in the Pacific Northwest; filmmaker and auctioneer Gerald Pitts claims to have discovered Morrison living on a ranch in 1998. One can go to this site Jim Morrison A Living Legendand judge for oneself. To further fuel the mystery, in 2002 Manzarek published "The Poet in Exile." This novel relocates a thinly veiled Morrison, Gauguin-like, to the Seychelles islands in a spiritual journey of discovery and understanding.
Stories of his resurrection started almost immediately after his death when the Bank of America allegedly had dealings with a Jim Morrison. In 1975, "The Bank Of America of Louisiana" was published by Zeppelin Publishing Co (supposedly owned by William Casselbury – a Jim Morrison nom-de-plume). The opening words are:
- "This is the Story of The reappearance on earth of a dead Hollywood rock star as super hippy, disguised as a mild-mannered Louisiana banker. This book is based on fact, however, there is no warranty that this book is entirely as published herein totally factual, as certain things had to be changed such as names, because if I did not, I would find myself back into the courts. This is a novel novel, that is a phrase in which two words pronounced the same, is used first as an adjective and secondly as a noun. For purposes of judicial review this is a fiction."
- Jim Morrison
The website Doors claims the author is WE Casselburry – or that Morrison is Casselberry (there is a Casselberry mentioned but authorship of the book is Morrison).
"I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps "Oh look at that!" Then – whoosh, and I'm gone... and they'll never see anything like it ever again, and they won't be able to forget me – ever." – Jim MorrisonCourson died in Hollywood on April 25, 1974.
Books allegedly authored by Jim Morrison
- Light My Fire (1978, First Edition 1975). ISBN 0–915628–07–4.
- American Prayer (1983). ISBN 0–915628–46–5.
- Bank of America of Louisiana (1983). ISBN 0–915628–00–7.
- IBM Oil: Asylum in a Danish Embassy behind the Iron Curtain (1985). ISBN 0–915628–35-X.
- CIA Psychic (1986). ISBN 0–915628–01–5.
- Eyes: Poetry of Jim Morrison 1967–1971 (1986). ISBN 0–915628–40–6.
- Sparkerpolice Guidebook: How to Play Sparkerpolice (1986). ISBN 0–915628–17–1.