Level 16 - Colossus
The bizarre and exotic lifestyle of James Douglas Morrison all began on 8 December 1943 in Melbourne, Florida. Jim was the child of Steve and Clara Morrison who went on to have two more children, a sister named Anne and a brother named Andy. Morrison's father, Steve, was an Admiral in the US Navy and due to the ever-changing locations his work demanded, the Morrisons constantly moved from house to house and state to state. They resided in Melbourne, FL, Albuquerque, NM, Los Altos and Claremont, CA as well as Washington DC to name a few.
Morrison was a rebellious child to an extent. He felt he was being pushed into a direction by his parents he did not want to go. Morrison struggled with this until he embraced an independent and live for myself philosophy. This way of thought guided Morrison through life in both good and bad times. This mentality became publicly visible some years later. It was a combination of ideas like these plus many other childhood experiences which created the writer as well as the topics of writing covered by Morrison. Morrison's parents used a type of punishment known as dress-them-down which involved no physical violence but instead used verbal abuse until tear followed.
It was high school where Morrison's writing began its early course. In his spare time Morrison poured his racing mind into the pages of notebooks, stuffing them one by one. The passion of writing was fueled by the world inside his mind in addition to the ideas from books which congested the walls of his room. The authors of these books included Kerouac, Rimbaud, Blake, Camus, Balzac, Joyce, and Baudelaire. Several of Morrison's classmates claim that Morrison would wave his arm around in a room full of books asking them to choose any one of their choice and to start randomly reading and before the paragraph was complete, Morrison would both identify the title and author. In the classroom Morrison's participation was the appropriate level for an unmotivated eccentric student with an IQ of 149. His English class, however, was an exception. According to one of his professors, "Jim read as much and probably more than any other student in the class. His work was excellent. But everything he read was so completely offbeat."
In college, Morrison's writing went even further due to a deeper an more mature mental perspective, sometimes with the help of LSD or other mind-altering substances. Morrison was a living example of a hedonist. He lived on a whim, doing what he wanted whenever he wanted to. Morrison attended St. Petersburg Junior College in the fall of 1961 while living with his grandparents, Paul and Caroline Morrison. Here, Morrison enrolled in general education classes and led a fairly dull life with the exception of a trip to California to see his parents. He and a former house mate, Bryan Gates, hitchhiked across the country paying special attention to location Jack Kerouac mentioned in his book, "On the Road Again." After two years at Florida State University, Morrison enrolled in the motion picture department of UCLA. Morrison was taught by prestigious professors such as Jean Renoir, Joseph Von Sternberg and Stanley Kramer. The combination of the subject matter, the facility, lifestyle and social scene made Morrison feel great because he felt he had found a grove. It was here where Morrison developed friendships which cultured his intellectual eccentricism. A classmate of Morrison's was Ray Manczarek. Later on Morrison and Ray founded the Doors. Incidentally, this was the period when Morrison met his longtime girlfriend, Pam Courson.
Morrison graduated from UCLA with his degree in theater arts which caused the alteration of his focus from academics to poetry. Poetry had always been a part of his life possessing much of his passion and now he had more time to spend with it. After the formation of the Doors, many of the band's lyrics came directly from Morrison's poetry notebooks. The next decade of Morrison's life was that of a rock star. The Doors achieved fame at a moderately fast pace. Their first album was a hit, sending many of their songs to the top of the charts. The public fixation of the band and especially Morrison which accompanied the hits sent the Doors on the road playing gigs all over the nation as well as Mexico and Europe. Morrison's life was hard at this point. He had a hard time coping with the image the media and fans had given him compared to the person he really was. In reality, Morrison was a self kept man who often filled the role of loner.
Morrison and the Doors wore themselves out and when they lost their sellable equity, they were all ready for it. Especially Morrison who moved to Paris with Pam. This was both an act of isolation and freedom from the congesting lifestyle of commitments the Doors once knew. Living in Paris gave Morrison a chance to spend time with Pam, experience the foreign culture, sit at sidewalk cafes and visit the homes of his literary heroes. On the day of 3 July 1971 a police report documenting Morrison's death was issued. There are many stories and accounts which try to explain what really happened. Some involve his death and some suggest that he is still alive. The loopholes in the story were conceived when Pam delayed a call to the police. Upon arrival, Pam told the police that Morrison did not use drugs. Taking this into account, the police stated that Morrison died of "natural causes." However, according to Pam, Morrison took some heroin which he believed to be cocaine. The heroine was Pam's, and Morrison was strongly opposed to the use of it. Morrison found it in the apartment and asked Pam what it was. Out of fear, she told Jim it was cocaine which he frequently used. The heroine and the alcohol in his system created a knockout punch, leaving him dead in a warm bath in their Paris apartment.
Jim Morrison started out as an offensive and weird child with a lot of pain in his heart. He did not fit in and he dealt with it. These qualities all contributed to the overall creation of the legend who became known as the Lizard King.