Arguably, there are some artists that for some reason never age in our minds and they forever remain as a vision, frozen in time. One of those artists is James Douglas Morrison a/k/a Jim Morrison a/k/a The Lizard King. Born on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida, Morrison went on to lead a musical revolution in the 1960’s and 1970’s as the epic front man for The Doors. Morrison died on July 3, 1971, in France. He was only 27. Had he survived, The Lizard King would have turned 74 today.
Morrison was clearly a pioneer in music; he was an electric singer and performer who commanded the stage all unto himself and sometimes his performances even incited riots. He was also an intellect (having an IQ of 149), poet, and philosopher although he did not quite fit the typical image of one (al’ a Aristotle). Known for his musings perhaps as much as his music, Morrison’s influence is still prevalent today.
“If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it’s to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.”
Consider this. In 1985, more than a decade after Morrison’s death, one of the biggest-selling greatest hits albums was released: The Best of the Doors. The double album, containing 18 previously released tracks, reached No. 32 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1988 and it spent more than 300 weeks on Billboard Pop Catalog Albums chart. It subsequently earned a diamond award certifying sales of 10 million copies in the United States. A subsequent soundtrack from Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie The Doors similarly placed in the top 10 that year.
Fast forward to today and just last month The Doors re-released their second album (entitled Strange Days) as part of their 50th anniversary celebration of the record. The re-release will place both the original mono and stereo mixes of the set on two CDs, while the original mono mix will be released on vinyl. There will be no bonus tracks or unreleased material, but the package will include new liner notes and additional photos. (The Doors had previously released their debut album on its 50th anniversary of issue).
There is little doubt that as long as there is music that somehow and someway Jim Morrison and The Doors will be a part of that scene. Morrison and The Doors really made that much of an impact in such a short period of time and it is for that reason we wanted to remember The Lizard King on what would have been his 74th birthday. Rock on Mr. Morrison.
Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor