Time.news – Su Jim Morrisonsinger-songwriter and poet, charismatic leader of the rock group ‘Doors‘, a legendary artist of a generation, who died at just 27 years old in Paris on 3 July 1971, much has been written. Maybe all there was to write. It is therefore difficult to think that there is still something new to publish. Or maybe not. That’s what he asked himself Federico Traversa writer and co-founder of Chinaski Edizioni, independent Genoese publishing house, author of several books related to the world of rock and a true Jim Morrison enthusiast.
In reality a book that talks about the one who was nicknamed ‘Lizard King’ in Italy has never been published – and for years not even republished in the world – the one written in 1973 (and then updated in 1991) by the Parisian music critic Hervé Muller, friend of Jim Morrison, who investigated his death and made a discovery that allows us to rewrite the dynamics of his death. Muller had serious psychiatric problems so he did not want his book republished.
After his death in 2021, his sister decided to print the volume again and Traversa did not miss the opportunity to purchase the rights for Chinaski Edizioni. And so ‘Jim Morrison finally arrives in bookstores in Italy, last days in Paris‘ by Hervé Muller (Ed. Il Castello, translator Michelle Zarro: 160 pages – Price: 19 euros) dedicated to the last days of the ‘Doors’ frontman.
According to the official reconstruction, Jim Morrison died on July 3, 1971 from cardiac arrest, but according to the Parisian rock critic and friend of the protagonist, things didn’t go that way. This investigation, carried out a few weeks after his death, starting from the witnesses who shared the last days of his life with him in the French capital, aims to shed light on this mysterious and ambiguous affair.
The research sifts through the police reports, the reports and the testimonies of his girlfriend Pamela. Statements from friends Agnes Varda e Alain Ronayof the radio host Jean-Bernard Hebey and the DJ Cameron Watson. Even the confidences of the singer Marianne Faithfull, who was in Paris at the time. Digging into the underground with the information taken for granted by the drug dealers of the clubs they frequented in those days, Muller concludes that Morrison died of an overdose in the bathrooms of the Rock’n’Roll Circus nightclub.
Subsequently transported home and placed in the famous bathtub. Not a mystery, not a crime report, but a heartfelt story of “those days in Paris” which almost become a “state of mind” for a figure of Morrison’s caliber. The title of the book – even in the French version – refers to the last days in Paris, but in reality this is only a small part of this biography, even if the most interesting from a historiographical point of view.
In reality Muller writes a beautiful and original biography – the original title in 1973 is, in fact, ‘Jim Morrison, au-dela’ des Doors’ (Jim Morrison, beyond the ‘Doors’) – in which in the final part he talks about the journey in Paris of the singer which was supposed to be a new chapter in his life, a moment to dedicate himself to writing and limit excesses. A step towards the desired anonymity by distancing oneself from the ‘Doors’ and more generally from showbiz.
In the book Muller retraces the life of Jim Morrison thanks to the stories of those who really knew him beyond the international idol he had become, despite himself. The indiscretions of the ‘Doors’ bandmates Manzarek, Densmore and Krieger, intersect with the statements of his friend Frank Lisciandro and the manager Bill Siddons. However, it is the rumors about the controversial figure of the ‘cosmic companion’ Pamela Courson that close the circle.
The abuse of alcohol and drugs, the provocation, the uncontrolled anarchism clash with the figure of a 27 year old boy who suffered a lot for not being truly recognized as a poet. These days in Paris are the pinnacle of an emotional journey. Morrison confesses to the author that he wanted to escape those demons that he himself had created, and of which he had lost control. Everyday life is marked by constant drinking, occasional jam sessions and heated discussions on cinema and literature. An unstable balance between myth and reality.
In France where he was looking for himself, home of his beloved poets Baudelaire and Rimbaud, his last days are suspended between dreamy plans for the future and a fit of nihilistic self-destruction. A perhaps announced end of a boy who became a myth because, the author writes at the end of the book, “if he touched subsequent generations so deeply for decades it is precisely because he expresses and represents timeless and universal feelings and values” , he concludes.
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