It's hard to find a more polarizing figure in the history of rock music than Jim Morrison. In his short life, he was a gifted singer, lyricist, poet, writer, and film director and the breadth of his talents is matched only in the variety of ways he's been thought of since his untimely death in 1971. There are those who subscribe to the cult of Jim and hang on every word he ever wrote, sang, or spoke, treating him as a prophet. There are Doors fans who think he was a great frontman, singer, and lyricist but who are turned off by his antics. There are Doors fans who love the band in spite of Jim, and there are fans of his who hate the Doors and think they were only successful because of him. For many people, their most enduring and cited reference as to who Jim Morrison was is Oliver Stone's 1991 movie "The Doors." To those Doors fans who know better, and especially the people who knew Jim personally, it's frustrating to no end that the inaccuracies and exaggerations peddled in the movie have been accepted as fact over the past twenty-five years. Luckily, Frank Lisciandro has set out to dispel the myths and to show exactly who Jim Morrison really was by chronicling discussions with people who actually knew him and were close to him.
Author Lisciandro first met Jim Morrison in 1964 at UCLA film school, where both were studying, and he became one of Jim's closest friends until the singer's death in Paris in 1971. The Morrison he knew was not the caricature that has been created in the years since his death, but instead was a smart, shy, conflicted, yet brilliant young man and a warm and generous friend. In Friends Gathered Together, editor Steven Wheeler and Lisciandro have compiled discussions with Jim's close friends and associates that Lisciandro has recorded over the years. The goal was to get fourteen different and accurate perspectives on who Jim Morrison was as a man and to strip away the layers of myth and falsehood that have been built up since he died. Ranging from his high school buddy to people who worked at the Doors' office and the friends outside of the rock music world that Morrison was closest to, this book tells once and for all just who Jim was and, to paraphrase the author's favorite phrase in the book, what he was really like.