"I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps "Oh look at that!" Then- whoosh, and I'm gone...and they'll never see anything like it ever again... and they won't be able to forget me- ever."

--Jim Morrison

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Changeling - Jim's Childhood and Early Life

This blog is dedicated to the memory of one of the most loved and misunderstood icons in the history of modern music, Jim Morrison.  Jim was the eccentric and genius lead singer of The Doors.  It is my mission to ensure that Jim is remembered as not only as the musician he publically portrayed himself as but also as the poet he truly was.

Perhaps the single most memorable and iconic figures in American music history, Jim Morrison is nothing less than a legend.  He was one of those artists that people either loved or hated – but his following was ultimately massive and devoted, probably because he had the soul of a poet, and his musical career was more of a means to an end than a true representation of his inner self.  His fame and following gave him a platform to share his artistry with the world, to share the poetry that flowed seemingly without end from his subconscious and to bask in the adoration of millions of fans.  The latter was something he had to work to acquire a taste for, however, as he began his musical career a shy youth battling stage fright so extreme that he couldn’t even face the audience during his performances.

Jim was born on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne Florida to George and Clara Morrison.  He was ultimately the oldest of three children.  Most historians believe that the shaping of his psyche into that of the musician-poet so many of us remembers began early in his childhood when he witnessed the injuries and deaths of a Native American family in a car accident at the tender age of four.  He referenced the incident in multiple songs, poems and interviews throughout the course of his career.

Jim was a Changeling from early on in his life.  He spent most of his childhood traveling extensively and moving from place to place thanks to his father’s naval career, but his personality was as different from the staid and disciplined Admiral Morrison as humanly possible.  According to many accounts he was incredibly intelligent but often got into trouble in school for because of his personality.  He attended many different schools over the course of his childhood, primarily in California, but he ultimately graduated from George Washington High School in Virginia.

Jim’s higher education began at St. Petersburg Jr. College in Florida, but continued on to FSU where he was introduced to the world of film making.  While attending FSU, however, he faced some legal trouble and was arrested.  In 1964 he made the moved back to California – where he had spent a good portion of his childhood – and enrolled in UCLA film school, from where he ultimately graduated.  It was during his tenure at UCLA that he met Ray Manzarek with who would become a founding member of Jim’s most successful project, The Doors.

Ultimately, Jim’s childhood was fraught with angst – as are most of our childhoods – but his old soul and poetic form of extreme intelligence used that angst as a stepping stone toward producing some of the most memorable lyrics that the world has ever known.

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