Posts Tagged With: Jim Morrison



“Time it was and what a time it was…”


~ Paul Simon ~


Digitally enhanced image created from a still photo from a video taken in June 2014.

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“Paris is always a good idea.”


~ Audrey Hepburn ~


Digitally enhanced image created from an original photo of the inside of the entrance to Jim Morrison’s apartment building at 17 Rue Beautreillis taken in Paris in May 2018. The door to the stairwell is on the left, the street entrance to the right.

© 2018 nightpoet all rights reserved

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“Happy Fake Fourth Of July…”


~ nightpoet ~


Digitally enhanced image created from an original photo of a street art work called “Wake Up” by an unknown artist taken in the Rue du Père Teilhard de Chardin in Paris in May 2017.

© 2017 nightpoet all rights reserved

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That’s right, it’s that time again. Time for me to put on Morrison’s Mask and spend an evening conjuring up the spirit of decades gone by. I’ve written here on the blog before about performing, in fact last year at this time on a post called Re-inventing The Myth Of Morrison I wrote the following. Permit me to quote:

If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that I have been performing in a Doors tribute band for many years now. That is always an interesting experience, if for no other reason than, having grown up with their music, I do enjoy performing it. But both I, as the singer, and the other three exceptionally talented musicians in the band, try to strike a balance in our interpretation of the Doors” music. Our main objective is to re-create not only their music accurately but to bring the atmosphere of their live performances back to life. But we make music, not theater, and theater is what all too many of the other Doors cover bands have to offer, and there are many good bands out there. Theater, sadly, is also what the audiences want to see. Since the original is no longer available, a clone will do.,  If you want an act, then don’t come to see us. I don’t ape Morrison. I don’t need to stumble around in a pseudo inebriated state with a tight leather pants hard on (as I’ve seen some Morrison interpreters do) to bring him back to life. Hell, I’m not 25 anymore and have no intention of making a fool of myself.

Now, people tell me all the time that I sound like Morrison, which is ridiculous. I don’t, not at all. What I do have down good though is his phrasing and the ability to weave the spirit of his performances into our renditions of the Doors’ music. When I walk out on stage I have to put on a mask, or perhaps better said, a cloak that I am able to wear in the style and the spirit of what his music and talent embodied. For me it is always an intense and interesting experience. And I would hope for the audience too. At the beginning he was a captivating, mesmerizing performer. As their former manager Bill Siddons put it, “For the first few years he was the ringmaster. Then all of a sudden he was fighting for his life.” Sadly after 1969 Jim became the circus. I can’t be the twenty something Adonis that Jim was when he first started performing, I certainly wouldn’t want to be, but when I perform I can try to become what he perhaps might have been had he lived to be my age and was still performing. Someone who can fill a concert venue with creative energy and spirit, That was the Jim I would rather remember and portray. And I would hope that he’d approve of my efforts just a wee bit…

That said, I’d like to talk a bit about how things have changed since I joined this band some ten years ago. Between 2005 and 2008 we played all over Germany, north, south, east, west, often traveling hundreds of kilometers for a concert. We were usually paid a good fee, given overnight accommodations and meals and drinks were included. Sometimes there was even extra money for our transportation costs (gas, vehicle rental). After the economic downturn in 2008, all that changed. Clubs could no longer afford to or just didn’t want to pay a guaranteed fee (hiring a DJ is cheaper than four guys in a band) and the audiences no longer wanted to pay for live music either. “You guys enjoy playing. So play for free.” Getting people to understand that performing might be fun, but that it is also hard work that one deserves to be compensated for, just wasn’t meeting with much understanding. Driving to a gig, paying for the gas, setting up the equipment, playing for a couple of hours, tearing the equipment back down and getting back home is a lot of work. Now, when we try to book a gig a couple of hours drive away, the venue owner will say, “Sure, no problem, but, we can only pay you 80% of the take at the door.” Great. For us that means renting a vehicle, filling it with gas, traveling hundreds of kilometers and if we have bad luck and something else is going on that weekend or there is an important Fußball (soccer) game on the telly, and just a handful of people show up, chances are that we’ll end up paying money to play. No thanks. We’re not a band of 14 year old teenies drooling to get up on stage and strut our stuff and willing to pay for the privilege or do it for free. Those days are gone forever. Now, with a very few exceptions, we only play within a radius of about 100 kilometers, and more often than not, much closer to home. The times have changed and have become a whole lot leaner for working musicians. And the future doesn’t look that promising either.

So, I’ll put on Morrison’s Mask again tonight, hopefully do him justice, perform a good show and give the audience their money’s worth. No canned music will ever match a live performance. And the pleasure I get from singing, from recreating that 1960’s live atmosphere, will most likely be the best possible compensation I can receive. After all, I’ve never really been in it for the money, not even when the money was good. The plain truth is that I just love to sing. So, show me the way to the next whiskey bar…


Morrison MaskPhoto taken at the Johannisfest in Mainz, Germany in June 2014. Photo courtesy of DePiero and Associates. © 2014.

© 2016 nightpoet all rights reserved





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Happy 72nd Birthday to Jim Morrison. Wherever he may be hiding…



000 père lachaisePhoto of Jim Morrison’s grave taken in the Cimetière du PèreLachaise in Paris in September 2015.


© 2015 nightpoet all rights reserved

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On Friday July 24th 2015 once again I will walk out on the stage at the Feast Of Friends Doors Festival in the former East German city of Magdeburg and slip into the spirit of one James Douglas Morrison and, with the other three musicians, do my damnedest to recreate the soul and the essence of his music. I have been doing this for years, and though I’m not prone to believing in matters spiritual, I’ll know that I’ll feel Jim looking over my shoulder. I always do.

We humans are a funny lot. We seem to find it necessary from time to time to visit places where people have met their timely or untimely ends. People pilgrimage to Dallas Texas and stand around Dealey Plaza as if being there will give the events of JFK’s death more substance. They stand in awed silence at Ground Zero in Manhattan, trying to fathom the horror of that fateful day in September 2001. Fans journey to Graceland and attempt to feel the last vestiges of Elvis’ life before he exited the building forever. And me, I turn up every now and then at number 17 Rue Beautreillis and wonder what really happened on the night of the 3rd of July 1971.

But standing around on the street isn’t going to solve an unsolvable mystery. The best I can do is my annual early morning visit, before the crowds get too large, to Morrison’s gravesite in the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, where I quickly climb over the barriers and place a rose on his grave. I then make a hasty exit because I really dislike the perpetual three-ring circus that goes on at his gravesite. Jim originally went to Paris to find peace and poetry. For the poetry there was too little time left and even death has denied him the peace he sought.

Today I walked over to the Marais district and wandered down the Rue Beautreillis. I did spot an interesting street art portrait that might be Morrison’s face that I hadn’t noticed before above the street sign on the corner. In the next few days I will take the bus out to the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise and once again pay my respects. Having bought the first Doors album in December 1966 when I was 16, and having performed his music over the last twenty-five years, it’s almost like I’m remembering a friend. And I know that when I look out over the audience of Doors’ fans at the Feast Of Friends Festival and begin to sing When The Music’s Over, he’ll be there in the back of my mind, watching…

Two earlier posts about Morrison and the Rue Beautreillis can be found here:



000 Rue Beautreillis 1Yours truly standing in front of 17 Rue Beautreillis, the apartment building where Jim Morrison lived and supposedly died in Paris. Photo taken in May 2015.

000 Rue Beautreillis 2Is that Jim Morrison’s face above the street sign? A subtle memorial to a poet long gone…


© 2015 nightpoet all rights reserved


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When I first visited Morrison’s gravesite in 1991 there was graffiti all over the surrounding graves and even on the monuments on the paths leading to the grave. That has, over the years, been cleaned up, and it seems that people are being more respectful of the neighbouring graves. But the tree that stands almost in front of his grave has not fared as well…

000 Morrison Tree 1The graffiti covered tree at Jim Morrison’s grave in Le cimetière du Père Lachaise.

000 Morrison Tree 2A detailed close up of the graffiti on the tree.

000 Morrison Tree 3A detailed close up of the graffiti on the tree.

000 Morrison Tree 4A detailed close up of the graffiti on the tree.

000 Morrison Tree 5A detailed close up of the graffiti on the tree.

000 Morrison Tree 6A detailed close up of the graffiti on the tree.

All photos taken in Paris in May 2011


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A beautiful blue sky with puffy pink clouds in Paris this evening. Earlier today, wandering between Bastille and Marais I passed by the apartment house at 17 Rue Beautreillis, where Jim Morrison spent his last days and supposedly died in the bathtub of a third floor apartment. As I was passing an elderly couple was opening the double doors and getting ready to drive their car into the court yard. I wondered if perhaps they now lived in the apartment and what it must be like to take a bath in that tub. Since by most accounts it is very debatable that he really died in that tub, my musings would seem to be a moot point. Current speculation centers around him having overdosed in a nightclub called the Rock And Roll Circus and, to avoid a scandal, he was brought discreetly to the apartment and placed in the tub. Since most of the key players are all long dead and gone, the true story of what really happened on that fateful July night will never be known.

And it probably doesn’t really matter. Jim spends his time these days hosting a perpetual circus in the Cimetière du Père Lachaise, where old fans, new fans and kids that weren’t even a sparkle in their father’s eyes when he died come and stare and supposedly pay their respects. Hell, some of their parents probably weren’t even born yet when he died. Along with his mortal remains and of course the timeless music, Jim’s legacy still remains alive today forty three years after he embraced his own truth that, “no one here gets out alive.” Like so many other musicians, artists, writers and poets throughout history, Jim did it short and sweet. And that was perhaps the only way he could have done it. The sky has turned grey and overcast, night is falling and it’s time for me to saunter on back to my apartment through the crooked cobbled streets of Paris.  

000 Morrison AptPhoto of 17 Rue Beautreillis taken in Paris in May 2012.

000 Morrison Grave 2Photo of Jim Morrison’s grave in the Cimetière du Père Lachaise taken in Paris in May 2014.


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Once again it was time for my annual pilgrimage to the never ending circus at Morrison’s grave in the Cimetiere du Père Lachaise. I only stay long enough to take a few photos, pay my respects and place a flower on the grave. I go because I want to honour his poetry, his music and his talent and because I am fortunate enough to be able to channel his creativity and spirit into my performances of his work when our band plays our DOORS tribute concerts. It’s just my small way of saying thank you. But I find the whole circus surrounding his gravesite disgusting. As opposed to when I observed a sixteen year old girl in tears at the gravesite a few years ago, who wasn’t even born yet some 20 years after he died, things have calmed down a bit the last few times I have visited. In my humble opinion a dead poet deserves a bit of silent respect and to rest in peace and not have a continuous freak show taking place. Morrison went to Paris to get away from all the Rock God Dionysus bullshit. I don’t think he’d appreciate the circus…



Photo taken in the Cimetiere du Père Lachaise in Paris in May 2014.


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