The Death Chronicles is a new series of articles that will run for 12 months. Each week I will pick two music celebrities who passed away within the month we are in. This week I’d like to feature two who were taken from us on the same day, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones.
Jim Morrison: December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971. On July 3, 1971, we lost one of the most influential rock stars whose music is still haunting new fans to this day. Jim Morrison was many things. He was a poet, a profit, a singer, a songwriter, an actor, a director, a rock god, a sex symbol and a charismatic front man for one of the biggest bands to emerge out of the counter culture of the 1960s, the Doors. Although they managed to release eight records between 1967 and 1971, they are best-known for their first one. Simply titled The Doors, it took the listeners on an existential trip through the mind of Morrison. Robbie Krieger penned the classic "Light My Fire" while Jim laid out more cerebral songs as "Break On Through," "The Crystal Ship," and the infamous "The End." Though nobody outside the studio knew, Morrison interjected profanity throughout the album and even eluded to having sex with his mother. The newly remastered album features Jim singing the songs the way he intended them to be heard. Unfortunately, Jim was dependent on the bottle making his live performances unpredictable and rumor has it that he exposed himself at a concert in Florida and was arrested for indecent exposure. But with millions of dollars, Morrison skipped town and relocated to Paris where he spent his last days with girlfriend Pamela Courson. Though it is still unclear what killed this gifted man, it was most likely a heroine overdose.
Brian Jones: February 28, 1942 – July 3, 1969. Just three years earlier, founding member of the Rolling Stones, Brian Jones drowned in his pool. Jones was known for pushing the limits of rock and roll excess, so drowning seemed an unusual way to die. Although Jones started the band in 1962, he did so to pay homage to the blues musicians from Chicago and get the word out about the music he loved so much. By '69, the Stones were moving in a different, more commercial direction with an emphasis on Keith Richards heavy guitar riffs and following the Beatles 1967 masterpiece Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, the group responded by the lesser known Their Satanic Majesties Request, on which the abandoned the blues all together opting for a more psychedelic sound. They did get back on track with the release of Beggers Banquet, but by that time Jones’ was contributing less and his drug use was spiraling out of control. As the band moved away from the strict confinements of the blues, Jones lost interest. Nobody really knows what happened on the warm summer night on July 3, 1969, but he was found dead in his pool in Hartfield East Sussex. As if the date of these two deaths weren’t strange enough, they both died at the age of 27. Strange days indeed.