Last night I watched “When You’re Strange,” a documentary by Tom DiCillo about The Doors, narrated by Johnny Depp. My thoughts: It is a very well done documentary and holy sh*t was Jim Morrison out of his mind.
I grew up listening to The Doors, as my dad was quite a big fan. I vividly remember this album cover being on top of the other albums as we listened to it quite frequently.
I never realized how young Jim Morrison was when he became famous, went out of his mind, and died. To me, his voice felt old, wise, someone well beyond the age of 23.
He spent the years aged 22-27 in a complete drug and alcohol induced haze. Yes, he wrote genius songs. Yes, he put on amazing live performances. Yes, his poetry was brilliant. But was Jim Morrison really alive? And what meaning did those “genius” lyrics really carry? Were they from somewhere deep in his tortured soul? A soul whose family had apparently told him that his “lack of talent” would keep him from succeeding in the music industry? Or if I drop enough acid while drinking fifths of vodka, could I possibly write lyrics to the “fantastic rock-n-roll concert” in my own head.
After seeing the documentary, I’m left with conflicting thoughts. Should I be feeling sorrowful that Jim Morrison died so young before he could do more? The music that means something to me and makes me feel something, did it ever mean anything to him, or was he was so numb and that he didn’t feel anything at all? And finally, do I just say, “screw it all man, The Doors made good music”?
I realize this isn’t a humorous post. But watching that last night got me thinking and I’m curious as to what you all think as well. Does drug fueled music and literature lose validity in your eyes? Does someone need to be in a “conscious” (I’m using that term loosely) state of mind to produce efficacious work? GO.