Artists in Exile: the Doors Singer, Jim Morrison in Paris

by Sam Kemp
(Credit: Far Out/Wikimedia/Anthony DELANOIX/Léonard Cotte)
(Credit: Far Out/Wikimedia/Anthony DELANOIX/Léonard Cotte)

Travel to the Père Lachaise cemetery on the outskirts of Paris, and you will find one of Europe’s great necropolises. Under a canopy of ash, maple and hazel, cobbled pathways cut a bewildering maze through endless rows of grand tombs. Along this path, tourists amble along with fixed brows, searching for one of the famous names that litter this land of the dead. Many will be keeping an eye out for one name in particular: that of Jim Morrison, who was buried here in 1971 after dying from a drugs overdose in his Paris apartment.

Only five people were by his graveside the day they lowered his body into the sun-dappled soil. Today, that same grave is ritually festooned with bottles of Jack Daniels, plastic-packaged flowers bought from nearby supermarkets, and black and white photographs of the musician pouting for the camera, back when his youthful beauty seemed as though it would never fade.


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