Here’s an image from Paris’s Père Lachaise Cemetery of the well-visited grave of Jim Morrison (1943-1971), frontman for the Doors, who was pardoned recently by Florida’s Clemency Board for two misdemeanor convictions arising from charges of indecent exposure and profanity during a concert in Miami in 1969.
The pardon may be irrelevant at this point, but these are boom times for cobblestones leading to Morrison’s grave.
What’s Florida-born Morrison doing buried in Paris anyway? Well, in 1970, while out on bail during the appeal process of the 6-month jail sentence for which he has now been pardoned, Morrison came to Paris intending, perhaps, to make the transformation from rock ‘n roll sex symbol to literary luminary.
He stayed in Paris for part of the summer of 1970 then did some European traveling in the fall and winter and returned to Paris in March 1971, which pretty much sounds like junior year abroad.
Whatever his plans then, they were soon tackled by heightened drug and alcohol abuse. On July 3, 1971 he was found dead in his bathtub at 17 rue Beautreillis in the 4th arrondissement (the Marais), apparently from a mix of drugs and alcohol, though some contend that his body was carried there from a nightclub.
The Greek inscription on his tombstone in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris means “According to his spirit,” more or less meaning “true to his spirit” or, to quote fellow crooner Frank Sinatra, “I did it my way.” Florida has now forgiven him for it. The security and maintenance staff at Père Lachaise Cemetery probably have not.
- Photo and text, GLK