July 3 – The ’27 Club’ Added Another Voice 50 Years Ago

50 years ago today and three years to the day after The Doors released their only American #1 album (Waiting for the Sun), their outlandishly-charismatic front man Jim Morrison was found dead in a tub in his Paris apartment. The “Lizard King” was 27at that point in 1971.

It came less than a year after both Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin also died, also at age 27, leading to the establishment of the macabre “27 Club” (celebs who pass away when 27 years old) in popular culture. Morrison had been living in France with his girlfriend Pamela Courson for several months, apparently trying to shed his wild rock star image and concentrate more on poetry. The cause of death was listed as a heart attack although no autopsy was done. Fittingly for such an outlandish and controversial entertainer, he’s buried in the same cemetery as Oscar Wilde in Paris.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame call The Doors “among the most intense and revolutionary bands of the Sixties” largely due to Jim, whom they consider “a brooding, charismatic frontman in the classic mold of Elvis Presley and Mick Jagger.” Probably true. Parents might not have liked The Beatles back then, but it’s not likely they really found Paul McCartney menacing or a significant threat to their kids. Morrison, like Jagger though with his unrestrained sexuality and dangerous image notched up by a number of arrests scared parents like no one else until Alice Cooper, or perhaps Sid Vicious came along.  Rolling Stone listed Jim as the fifth best lead singer ever in 2011, and list three of their albums among the 500 greatest ever,  proving Robby Krieger of the band was wrong. He recalls thinking “a couple of years (after Jim died) and people are never gonna think about us anymore.”


17 thoughts on “July 3 – The ’27 Club’ Added Another Voice 50 Years Ago

  1. badfinger20 (Max)

    I didn’t know they only had one #1 American album. Jim was out there and I’ve always felt sorry for the rest of the Doors. They never could count on him live without him doing something crazy and getting locked up.

    I still think they should have found another singer. They carried on without a real lead singer and that band needed a front man. I know Jim would have been impossible to replace but I would have loved to see what they would have done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I kinda get what you mean. He was the centre stage of the band though, and any replacement was bound to pale in his shadow. And not every band has a Dave Grohl who can step up out of the ashes.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. badfinger20 (Max)

        Yea it would have been a long shot at best. I saw some clips of them later and Ray singing at the keyboards just didn’t do it.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. It would have been interesting. the three of them were super-talented musicians and they could have found a singer with as good a voice (I mean Queen came close to that and Jim wasn’t quite Freddie mercury vocally), but they wouldn’t have had the same stage presence. Question would be could they still get good songs written?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. badfinger20 (Max)

        There were a lot of singers around at that time….you know they were still young in the 80s…they could have tried then also.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I went through a stage in the 90s where I was really into them andbought a number of their albums. Now I just have the double disc best of. I love Ray’s keyboards but the band was built quite a bit around them, if you don’t like that sound you probably won’t be much on The Doors

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hanspostcard

    I had a dream- like 30 years ago that Jim Morrison showed up at the Grammy Awards- and announced he was back- that he’d been in hiding all those years and was ready for a comeback… it’s been 30 years since the dream and 50 since his death. I don’t think he’s coming back.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. hanspostcard

        maybe he spent the past 50 years recording with some secret band in the heart of Africa- and is ready to unleash it all upon the world….. I see there is a new book out called – The Writings of Jim Morrison’–or something like that… I always thought his so called being a ‘poet’ was a lot of hype. Maybe that’s just me.

        Liked by 1 person

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