I hated his self-destruction … He was a kamikaze who went out at 27 — what can I say? Quite a lot, it transpires. Morrison was a man who was spectacularly good at being a rock star — a lithe figure in leather trousers, prophesying about death, sex and magic on some of the biggest hits of the s — Light My Fire, Break on Through and Hello, I Love You. But he was catastrophically bad at the rest of life. Like many alcoholics, he could be reckless, selfish and mercurial. He had lobbied to get Morrison off the road before his death, and even quit the band at one point.
So what if we have one less album? It was another era. Kamikaze drunk. Of course he would be sober. He was smart. Densmore, 75, is a defiant survivor of the music scene he helped build. Next month, a documentary about another of his bandmates, the keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who died in , will be released. People certainly thought he was. It is not usual to spend years in court trying to stop yourself from earning millions of dollars to prove a point about the value of artistic integrity over the pursuit of money. He wrote a book about the case, published in , and donated the profits to the Occupy movement.
I guess he was taking painkillers and brown powder, too. I mean, it sounds horrible, but at least you rode the train all the way to the end — you never checked out early. Densmore grew up in the west LA suburbs. College put him on to jazz, and he worshipped at the altar of Coltrane and Davis. He was 21 when he met Morrison, who was tall, bookish and handsome. We were street scientists exploring the mind. I experimented with cocaine during the 70s and 80s. Ugh … drug. I hate that word. I was shocked when heroin became popular.
Even Jim knew heroin was a serious drug. Heroin tried to make you forget everything. It scared me. So I stayed away. Compared with his bandmates, Densmore was a square. At times, he was envious of the attention Morrison got — particularly from women. His brother had several stints in a psychiatric hospital. He describes going to visit him, finding him heavily sedated, and wondering how sleeping for 17 hours a day could possibly help his schizophrenia — a point that will be familiar even now to anyone who has had to endure acute mental illness.
His brother killed himself in He was also called Jim; he also died at the age of And I apologised. I said I was sorry. Densmore made more music after the Doors split in , and then turned his hand to acting and dance. But it was grief, it is clear, that drove him to the written word. I got Cs in English at school. I hated it.
I like connecting new synapses. Like Jim Morrison did. But I want to set an example. At the time, Densmore did nothing because he was worried that if anyone found out about Morrison, the band — and his own career — would be over. What does he make of this now?
I just felt like I needed to get out of there. Please take it down a few notches here. How does it make him feel? They were just sort of kissing, and then she left. Later in the interview, we go back to this point. It will go from his time learning to play the tabla with Ravi Shankar to his adoration for Patti Smith to the time he met Bob Marley.
He is proud he has found another career after music. Find out more at thedoorsfilm. In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on or email jo samaritans. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 Other international helplines can be found at www. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics The Doors. Pop and rock Jim Morrison features. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Loading comments… Trouble loading?