On Dec. 8, 2018, Jim Morrison’s 75th birthday will be celebrated, his image and artistic trail is yet to be judged by those that have the critical spirit lucid and impartial enough to avoid the traps of marketing.
If rock music marketing was limited to promoting music as such, perhaps the fortunes of show-business would not have hit the astronomical sums of newspapers and magazines, much of which came from selling the artist to the public, a dangerous game in which most of those who have had to choose between anonymity and instant glory have entered. Getting out of the gear of success and money was not easy for those who tried to escape from the characters they themselves created with the help of advertising.
Jim Morisson was one of those ‘fallen’ artists who have not been able to reach the end of the road to light. His death in 1971, though not unexpected in the case of his last years. Some authors have suggested that if Jim had not died that year 1971, perhaps we would have been dealing with a consecrated poet today. It is unlikely, however, that this talented anarchist who burnt like a living torch, overcoming barriers, conventions, defying death in songs, verses or in his own life, would have ever become a member of literary academies, although his culture and energy would certainly be allowed to write not only volumes of poems, but also plays or avant-garde plays. Morisson produced very little in his short existence, his unique drowning talent being in that killing drug and alcohol cocktail, fatal amalgam of other colleagues of the generation. Attached to the ‘other’ Morrison adored by the audience, he could not stop where the end began, making the final step to glory and death.
When, in 1971, he touched alcoholism in Paris to define a future beyond the fake character, often violent, he had adopted, he had not found the power to free himself from the trap. But this prisoner of the false image was a sensitive, warm and understanding man with those around him who knew him and took advantage of friendship and less of his image. His arrogant and inaccessible character mask had a ‘practical’ purpose to protect a shy and introverted invasion of idolatry and not hypocritical. Unfortunately, the mask devoured his bearer, leaving few chances to his fragile prisoner to get rid of him. For an unstable psychic and unbalanced spirit and alcohol, the way back from the artificial to the authentic could not take place. Fascinated by death, but rather of life lived near death, Morrison has not imagined limits, has not calculated his paths and careers, has not saved his feelings, nor has he accumulated fortune in his short path on the earth.
Although he himself considers himself a poet rather than a musician, he does not mean that by listening to his music and reading his lyrics, cannot be noticed the three-dimensionality of his creations. Morrison was not just a poet singing his lyrics, but an integrating spirit of music, poetry and dramatic art, a dionysiac, as he defined himself. But even beyond these dimensions, Morrison was a manipulator, a modern shaman and a god of the public at the same time. Behind the scandalous mask he wore was a man with a culture far superior to the pop music icons of those days and even today. This excellent connoisseur of French and English poetry, Antonin Artaud and Louis Ferdinand Celine, Nieztche and William Blake, were one and the same character that scandalized an entire Puritan America with its sexually obsessed chills.