Why Did Led Zeppelin Describe Jim Morrison As "Sickening"?

by Sam Kemp
Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

As two of the biggest rock bands on the planet, Led Zeppelin and The Doors were bound to develop a rivalry. During their respective reigns, they cultivated a sort of cross-Atlantic version of The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones feud, with Led Zeppelin being characterised as the soft English boys and The Doors as the hard and fast American muscle band.

Perhaps feeling a little threatened, Led Zeppelin made an effort to attend one of The Doors’ live concerts, but on witnessing this supposedly legendary band, they found themselves astounded by Jim Morrison’s treatment of his fans, describing the frontman as an “embarrassment” in a subsequent interview.

Led Zeppelin and The Doors never toured together, but they did both play the Seattle Pop Festival in July of 1969, at which time Zeppelin were working on their second album and The Doors had just released their fourth album, The Soft Parade. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones decided to check out what all the fuss was about, so made their way to the crowd of fans swirling around the stage: “We got a lot of advance publicity in England about how sexy Jim Morrison was, how virile and whatever,” Page said in 1970, recalling the gig. Expecting to see some raven-haired adonis vaulting around, they were surprised to see “how static he was on stage”.


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