Birthday (1943)

Jim Morrison and his father on the bridge of the USS Bon Homme Richard ca. 1964

Jim Morrison and his father on the bridge of the USS Bon Homme Richard ca. 1964

1966 was a time when sons began open revolt against their fathers. Could there be a more egregious example than Jim Morrison and his father, Admiral George "Steve" Morrison?

Obviously Morrison was a talented lyricist, and together with his looks and charisma (plus three talented musicians) The Doors' success was a no-brainer in hindsight. And yet I've always thought his most interesting material was culled from his pre-fame days: things he had written well before the band gelled in 1965 and honed their act throughout 1966.

No One Here Gets Out Alive by Jerry HopkinsMorrison's father is interesting in his own right. He doesn't seem at all like the authoritarian caricature that Oliver Stone portrayed in his fawning homage (surpassed in obsequiousness only by the earlier Danny Sugarman book No One Here Gets Out Alive). Don't get me wrong. I still love much of The Doors' music. But as I get older, it's interesting to consider the whole spectacle in a broader context. And it's also disappointing that people still don't take Bruce Harris' message seriously, that Jim Morrison didn't want to be an idol "because he believed all idols were hollow." To Jim Morrison, the whole spectacle was a theater art project.

My backyard neighbor is the son of retired Navy brass and visits his parents down on Coronado Island. He met Admiral Morrison once before he died in 2008: "a good guy" he told me once. According to this San Diego newspaper account, the elder Morrison still biked around the island until the end, inviting friends to "Steve's Happy Hour."

George Morrison visited his son's grave in 1990 and placed an engraved plaque written in Greek which translated recites:

True to his own genius

I wonder if the son, were he still alive, could have eventually forgiven the father for whatever drove him apart. I wonder if the poet-son could have spared even one poetic phrase for his father.

EL POLLO RAYLAN (2010, September 22). El Pollo Real: The End of Jim Morrison. Retrieved September 1, 2013, from
Jim Morrison by Stephan Beauvais

Jim Morrison Project

The Jim Morrison Project is an audio & visual anthology detailing the life of Jim Morrison through his poetry, films, art, spoken word & music with The Doors.

News Clippings

  • 16 Magazine May 1967 5 Errors Contest

    5 Errors Contest

    They're called the Doors, they helped to create the "San Francisco sound" and if you haven't heard their latest Elektra LP (called simply The Doors), you just aren't tuned in! But hold on! What's happened here?!

  • 16 Magazine Morrison Mystery Girl

    Jim Morrison & "The Mystery Girl"

    THE JETLINER gently touched the ground and taxied into the arrival area, its red tail light and wing lights blinking hypnotically. The first-class passenger door opened and the travelers began to file into the area. A tall, lean young man with a long, shimmering mane of light brown hair slowly ambled through the archway…

  • 16 Magazine Sept 1968 Jim Mark Sing About Loves Joy Heartbreak

    Jim & Mark Sing About Love's Joy & Heartbreak

    Lyrics: Hello, I Love You (As recorded by The Doors on Elektra Records.) (© Copyright 1968 by Nipper Music Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Words and Music by The Doors.)

  • 16 Magazine Eliza In Wonderland

    Eliza In Wonderland

    ONCE UPON A TIME in the great big city of New York a very lovely young teenager named Eliza Bergman saw a picture of a very lovely young man named Jim Morrison…


Sign-up for our quarterly newsletter. We promise we won't spam you!