The Words of Jim Morrison Essay
I am the Lizard King. I can do anything.
A friend is someone who lets you have total freedomto be yourself.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fearhas no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes.
You are free.
We’re like actors, turned loose in this world to wanderin search of a phantom, endlessly searching for a half-formed shadow of our lost reality. When others demandthat we become the people they want us to be, they forceus to destroy the person we really are.
It’s a subtle kindof murder. The most loving parents and relatives committhis murder with smiles on their faces.
I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human withthe soul of a clown, which always forces me to blow it atthe most important moments.
I think the highest and lowest points are the importantones. Anything else is just…in between. I want the freedomto try everything.
I’m kind of hooked to the game of art and literature;my heroes are artists and writers.
If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it’s to deliverpeople from the limited ways in which they see and feel.
I’m a word man. See, there’s this theory about the natureof tragedy, that Aristotle didn’t mean catharsis for theaudience but a purgation of emotions for the actors them-selves. The audience is just a witness to the event takingplace on stage.
When you make your peace with authority, you become anauthority.
Los Angeles is a city looking for a ritual to join itsfragments, and The Doors are looking for such a ritual also.
A kind of electric wedding. We hide ourselves in the musicto reveal ourselves.
We are from the West. The world we suggest should be of anew wild West, a sensuous, evil world, strange and haunting.
The path of the sun.
A hero is someone who rebels or seems to rebel against thefacts of existence and seems to conquer them. Obviously thatcan only work at moments. It can’t be a lasting thing. That’snot saying that people shouldn’t keep trying to rebel againstthe facts of existence. Someday, who knows, we might conquerdeath, disease and war.
Let’s just say I was testing the bounds of reality. I wascurious to see what would happen. That’s all it was: curiosity.
It’s a search, an opening of one door after another. Ourwork, our performing, is a striving for a metamorphosis. Rightnow, we’re more interested in the dark side of life, the evilthing, the night time. But through our music, we’re striving,trying to break through to a cleaner, freer realm. Our musicand personalities as seen in the performance are still in astate of chaos and disorder, with maybe an element of purityjust showing. Lately, when we’ve appeared in concert, it’sstarted to merge.
Think of us as erotic politicians.
The only time I really open up is on stage. I feel spiritualup there. Performing gives me a mask, a place to hide myselfwhere I can reveal myself. I see it as more than performing,going on, doing songs, and leaving. I take everythingpersonally, and don’t really feel I’ve done a complete jobunless we’ve gotten everybody in the theatre on common ground.
I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyonestops, points up and gasps “Oh look at that!” Then- whoosh, andI’m gone…and they’ll never see anything like it ever again…
and they won’t be able to forget me- ever.
I offer images- I conjure memories of freedom that can still bereached- like the Doors, right? But we can only open the doors,we can’t drag people through. I can’t free them unless they want tobe free. Maybe primitive people have less bullshit to let go of,to give up. A person has to be willing to give up everything- notjust wealth. All the bullshit that he’s been taught- all society’sbrainwashing. You have to let go of all that to get to the otherside. Most people aren’t willing to do that.
I’ve had a good time these last three or four years. I’ve meta lot of interesting people and seen things in a short space oftime that I probably would not have run into in twenty years ofliving. I can’t say I regret it. If I had it to do over, I thinkI would have gone for the quiet, undemonstrative artist, ploddingaway in his own garden.
The birth of rock ; roll coincided with my adolescence, mycoming into awareness. It was a real turn-on, although at thetime I could never allow myself to rationally fantasize aboutdoing it myself. I guess all that time I was unconsciouslyaccumulating inclination and listening. So when it finallyhappened, my subconscious had prepared the whole thing.
Initially, I didn’t start out to be a member of a band. I wantedto make films, write plays, books. When I found myself in a band,I wanted to bring some of these ideas into it. We never did muchwith it, though.
People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; theirfeelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, butthat’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. Peopleare taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they dealwith love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up.
People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain issomething to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in theexperience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s whatmatters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you.
Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hidethem, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You shouldstand up for your right to feel your pain.
I think there’s a whole region of images and feelings insideus that rarely are given outlet in daily life. And when theydo come out, they can take perverse forms. It’s the dark side.
Everyone, when he sees it, recognizes the same thing in himself.
It’s a recognition of forces that rarely see the light of day.
The more civilized we get on the surface, the more the otherforces make their plea.
They claim everyone was born, but I don’t recall it. MaybeI was having one of my blackouts.
That’s what real love amounts to- letting a person be what hereally is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. Tokeep their love, you keep pretending- performing. You get tolove your pretence. It’s true, we’re locked in an image, an act-and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image, they growattached to their masks. They love their chains. They forget allabout who they really are. And if you try to remind them, theyhate you for it, they feel like you’re trying to steal their mostprecious possession.
You could say it’s an accident that I was ideally suited forthe work I am doing. It’s the feeling of a bow stringbeing pulled back for 22 years and suddenly being let go…
I like ideas about the breaking away or overthrowing ofestablished order. I am interested in anything about revolt,disorder, chaos, especially activity that seems to have nomeaning. It seems to me to be the road towards freedom -external freedom is a way to bring about internal freedom.
I like people who shake other people up and make themfeel uncomfortable.
I’d hate to think I’d stop having anything to do with music,but I think that in the future, I’ll tend towards an exclusivefilm involvement.
I get an instinctive feeling for the film media. I thinkI’ll do pretty well at it.
I think I was just fed up with the image that had beencreated around me, which I sometimes consciously, most of thetime unconsciously cooperated with. It just got too much for meto really stomach and so I put an end to it in one gloriousevening.
I wasted a lot of time and energy with the Miami trial.
About a year and a half. But I guess it was a valuableexperience because before the trial I had a very unrealisticschoolboy attitude about the American judicial system. Myeyes have been opened up a bit.
The trouble with all these busts is people I know, friends ofmine, think it’s funny and they like to believe it’s true andthey accept it; people who don’t like me like to believe itbecause I’m the reincarnation of everything they consider evil.
I get hung both ways.
I wouldn’t mind dying in a plane crash. It’d be a good wayto go. I don’t want to die in my sleep, or of old age, or OD…
I want to feel what it’s like. I want to taste it, hear it,smell it. Death is only going to happen to you once; I don’twant to miss it.
I’ve always liked reptiles. I used to see the universe asa mammoth snake, and I used to see all the people and objects,landscapes, as little pictures in the facets of their scales.
I think peristaltic motion is the basic life movement.
Swallowing, digestion, the rhythms of sexual intercourse. Wemust not forget that the lizard and the snake are identifiedwith the unconscious, with the forces of evil. There’s some-thing deep in the human memory that reacts very stronglyto reptiles. Even if you’ve never seen one, the snake embodieseverything we fear.
I think that more than writing and music, my greatest talentis that I have an instinctive knack of self-image propagation.
I was very good at manipulating publicity with a few littlephrases like ‘erotic politicians’. Having grown up with TVand mass magazines, I knew instinctively what people wouldcatch on to, so I dropped those little jewels here and there,seemingly very innocently; of course, I was just calling signals.
I guess that’s what I’ve always wanted to do, even more thanbeing in a band, was working in films. I’d like to write anddirect a film of my own. There’s one that’s all in my head, butI have a film which I made, which hasn’t been seen very much.
It’s called HWY.
Each generation wants new symbols, new people, new names.
They want to divorce themselves from their predecessors.
I always liked the things I read. Of course- they were aboutme. But they were concentrating on my progenitive organ toomuch, and weren’t paying attention to the fact that I wasa fairly healthy young male, who also had something more thanthe standard arms, legs, ribs, eyes and so on- had acerebellum, the full equipment. The press always does that.
Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.
Sometimes…I like to think of the history of rock & roll likethe origin of Greek drama. That started out on the threshingfloors during the crucial seasons, and was originally a bandof acolytes dancing and singing. Then, one day, a possessedperson jumped out of the crowd and started imitating a god…
I think people go to rock concerts because they enjoy beingin crowds. It gives them a feeling of power and security ina strange way. They like to rub up against hundreds of otherpeople that are like them. It reinforces their trip. As a per-former then, I’m just a focus for everyone’s attention,because you have to have an excuse to mob together. Otherwiseit becomes a riot.
I like any reaction I can get with my music. Just anythingto get people to think. I mean if you can get a whole roomfull of drunk, stoned people to actually wake up and think,you’re doing something.
Sex is full of lies. The body tries to tell the truth, butit’s usually too battered with rules to be heard. We crippleourselves with lies. Most people have no idea of what they’remissing, our society places a supreme value on control, onhiding what you feel. It mocks primitive culture and pridesitself on the suppression of natural instincts and impulses.
I think we’re the band you love to hate- it’s been that wayfrom the beginning. We’re universally despised, and I kindarelish the whole situation. Why, I don’t know: I think we’reon a monstrous ego-trip, and people resent it…they hateus because we’re so good.
For me, it was never really an act, those so-called perfom-ances. It was a life-and-death thing; an attempt to communicate,to involve many people in a private world of thought. I nolonger feel I can best do this music through concerts. Thebelief isn’t there.
Being onstage, being one of the central figures, I canonly see it from my own viewpoint, but then I suddenly sawthings as they really are, that I am, to a degree, just apuppet, controlled by a lot of forces I understand only vaguely.
I think in art, but especially in films, people are tryingto confirm their own existences.
The most important kind of freedom is to be what you reallyare. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in yoursense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and inexchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scalerevolution until there’s a personal revolution, on andindividual level. It’s got to happen inside first. You cantake away a man’s political freedom and you won’t hurt him-unless you take away his freedom to feel. That can destroyhim. That kind of freedom can’t be granted. Nobody can winit for you.
The first time I discovered death…me and my mother andfather, and my grandmother and grandfather, were driving throughthe desert at dawn. A truckload of Indians had either hitanother car or something- there were Indians scattered all overthe highway, bleeding to death. I was just a kid, so I hadto stay in the car while my father and grandfather went tocheck it out. I didn’t see nothing- all I saw was funny redpaint and people lying around, but I knew something washappening, because I could dig the vibrations of the peoplearound me, and all of a sudden I realized that they didn’tknow what was happening any more than I did. That was thefirst 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 inmy soul, and I was like a sponge, ready to sit there and absorb it.