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Jim Morrison was the charismatic singer and songwriter for the 1960 rock group the Doors until his death in a Paris bathtub at age 27.
Jim Morrison - Death (3:00)
Jim Morrison was the charismatic singer and songwriter for the 1960s rock group the Doors until his death in a Paris bathtub at age 27.
Watch a short video about the final 24 hours of famed singer Jim Morrisons life.
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Because film was a relatively new academic discipline, there were no established authorities, something that greatly appealed to the freewheeling Morrison. "There are no experts, so, theoretically, any student knows almost as much as any professor," he explained about his interest in film. In addition to studying film, he also developed an increasing interest in poetry at UCLA,
devouring the Romantic poetry of William Blake and the contemporary Beat poetry of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac as well as composing his own. Nevertheless, Morrison quickly lost interest in his film studies and would have dropped out of school altogether if not for his fear of being drafted into the Vietnam War. He graduated from UCLA in 1965 only because, in his own words, "I didn't want to go into the army, and I didn't want to work – and that's the damned truth."
Elektra Records signed the Doors in 1966, and in January 1967 the band released its self-titled debut album. The Doors' first single, "Break on Through (To the Other Side)," achieved only modest success and it was their second single, "Light My Fire," which catapulted the band to the forefront of the rock and roll world, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart in June. The Doors, and Morrison especially, became infamous later that year when they performed the song live on The Ed Sullivan Show. Because of its obvious drug reference, Morrison had agreed not to sing the lyric "girl we couldn't get much higher" on the air, but when the cameras rolled he went ahead and sang it anyway – cementing his status as rock and roll's new rebel hero. "Light My Fire" remains The Doors' most popular song, featuring prominently on virtually every major list of the greatest rock songs ever recorded.
Combining Morrison's darkly poetic lyrics and outlandish stage presence with the band's unique and eclectic brand of psychedelic rock music, The Doors released a flurry of hit albums and songs over the next several years. In December 1967, they released their sophomore album, Strange Days, which featured the smash hit "Love Me Two Times" as well as "People are Strange" and "When the Music's Over." Months later, in 1968, they released a third album, Waiting for the Sun, highlighted by "Hello, I Love You," "Love Street" and "Five to One." They went on to record three more popular and groundbreaking albums over the next three years: The Soft Parade (1969), Morrison Hotel (1970) and L.A. Woman (1971).
Throughout the band's brief tenure atop the music world, Morrison's private life and public persona were both spiraling rapidly out of control. His alcoholism and drug addictions worsened, leading to violent and profane onstage outbursts that provoked the ire of cops and club owners across the country.
Morrison spent nearly the entirety of his adult life with a woman named Pamela Courson, and although he briefly married a music journalist named Patricia Kennealy in a Celtic Pagan ceremony in 1970, he left everything to Courson in his will and she was deemed his common law wife after his death.
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The 27 club is a group of artists who died tragically at the young age of 27. They were some of the most talented minds of their generation, and in their short lives each made an enormous impact. Sadly, many led hard-partying lifestyles, abusing drugs and alcohol. These are the musicians and artists who make up the 27 club.
The 27 Club 8 people in this group
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Celebrity Bookings 31 people in this group
Originally called Toast of the Town, The Ed Sullivan Show ran from 1948-1971 on CBS and was an American staple in the 50s and 60s. The American variety show featured the Who's Who of celebritydom over the decades, including Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Tony Bennett, Carol Channing, Lucille Ball, The Jackson 5, and The Doors.
The Ed Sullivan Show Guests 215 people in this group