James Douglas Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer, poet and songwriter who was the lead vocalist of the rock band the Doors. Due to his wild personality, poetic lyrics, distinctive voice, unpredictable and erratic performances, and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his life and early death, Morrison is regarded by music critics and fans as one of the most influential frontmen in rock history. Since his death, his fame has endured as one of popular culture’s top rebellious and oft-displayed icons, representing the generation gap and youth counterculture.
Together with pianist Ray Manzarek, Morrison founded the Doors in 1965 in Venice, California. The group spent two years in obscurity until shooting to prominence with their number-one single in the United States, “Light My Fire”, taken from their self-titled debut album. Morrison recorded a total of six studio albums with the Doors, all of which sold well and received critical acclaim. Morrison was well known for improvising spoken word poetry passages while the band played live. Manzarek said Morrison “embodied hippie counterculture rebellion”.
Morrison developed an alcohol dependency throughout the band’s career, which at times affected his performances on stage. In 1971, Morrison died unexpectedly in Paris at the age of 27, amid conflicting witness reports. His premature death is often linked with the 27 club. Since no autopsy was performed, the cause of Morrison’s death remains disputed.
Although the Doors recorded two more albums after Morrison died, his death severely affected the band’s fortunes, and they split up two years later. In 2011, a Rolling Stone readers’ pick placed Jim Morrison in fifth position on the magazine’s “Best Lead Singers of All Time”, and in another Rolling Stone list of “The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time”, he was ranked 47th. He was also ranked the 22nd greatest singer in rock by Classic Rock Magazine. In 1993, Morrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the other Doors members. (Wikipedia)
These photos were taken by Hervé Muller at the Bar “Alexander” in Paris in May 1971. In these candid snaps you can see how Jim is in a good mood, eating and drinking with friends in Paris, jokes and tells of his personal projects, he also makes faces at the camera. None of them could ever think that a little later, Jim would be died in his apartment in Paris on July 3, 1971.
Jim Morrison was reportedly found by his girl-friend Pamela Courson in the bathtub of the apartment. The official cause of death was listed as heart failure, although no autopsy was performed, as it was not required by French law. It has also been reported, by several individuals who say they were eyewitnesses, that his death was due to an accidental heroin overdose.
His death came two years to the day after the death of Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones and approximately nine months after the deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin — all of whom died at the age of 27. Three years after his death, Courson also died at the age of 27.