Remaining Doors Pay Homage
To Jim Morrison On 60th Birthday
Angela Dolandmon, Associated Press, December 8, 2003
- Jim Morrison's former band mates burned candles, a rose and
a poem at his grave in Paris on Monday, a tribute to the "Light
My Fire" singer and cult figure on what would have been
his 60th birthday.
"We're trying to evoke the spirit of Jim," Robby Krieger,
former guitarist for The Doors, told dozens of fans kept behind
police barriers. Many held white candles and old album covers.
Had the hard-living singer survived to turn 60, he would have
been "happy, laughing, joking, a good man," Ray Manzarek,
The Doors' keyboardist, told The Associated Press. The two were
in Paris for concerts with their new band, The Doors 21st Century.
Morrison's tomb was covered with votive candles, flowers, beer
cans, photos and a silvery "Happy Birthday" banner.
Security agents patrolled the shady, cobblestoned Pere Lachaise
After burning the poem and rose left behind by fans, Manzarek
and Krieger asked reporters to leave for a moment of silent
John Densmore, drummer for The Doors, did not attend. He filed
a lawsuit against Manzarek and Krieger in February for breach
of contract for touring without him under the name of a band
that includes the words "The Doors."
Another lawsuit was filed by Morrison's parents and in-laws
in May, accusing Manzarek and Krieger of tarnishing the former
group's reputation by continuing to make new music and tour.
Morrison was found dead in the bathtub of his Paris apartment
on July 3, 1971, at age 27. French police said he died of a
heart attack, though his regular use of drugs and alcohol was
likely a factor.
One fan at the graveside, Martin Skotniczny, a 23-year-old Polish
art student, hitchhiked for 30 hours to get to Paris for the
"Jim's music and poetry changed my life," said Skotniczny,
who wears his hair shaggy and shoulder-length like Morrison's
was. "He showed me a different side, a darker side, of
my own mind."
Other notables buried at Pere Lachaise include writers Oscar
Wilde and Marcel Proust, painter Eugene Delacroix and singer
Morrison's grave, which has a sober gray headstone marked James
Douglas Morrison, attracts the most attention, and a full-time
security guard watches over it. That doesn't prevent Morrison
fans from leaving behind graffiti, some of it referencing his
One fan scrawled on a nearby mausoleum: "This is not the