... he died July 3, 1971. In the official account of his death, he was found in a Paris apartment bathtub. He was 27 years-old.
Poet and singer, James Douglas "Jim" Morrison remains one of the most popular and influential singers/writers in rock history and The Doors' remain a staple of classic rock radio stations. Morrison was ranked number 47 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" and is widely regarded as one of the most iconic frontmen in rock music history.
James Douglas Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida in 1943, and was the son of future Admiral George Stephen Morrison. With his father in the United States Navy, Morrison's family moved often. After stints at St. Petersburg Junior College, and Florida State University (FSU) In January 1964, Morrison moved to Los Angeles, California, to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Morrison completed his undergraduate degree at UCLA's film school and the Theater Arts department of the College of Fine Arts in 1965.
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In 1965, after graduating from UCLA, Morrison led a bohemian lifestyle in Venice Beach. Morrison and fellow UCLA student Ray Manzarek were the first two members of The Doors. Shortly thereafter, drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger joined. Krieger auditioned at Densmore's recommendation and was then added to the lineup.
The Doors took their name from the title of Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception (a reference to the "unlocking" of "doors of perception" through psychedelic drug use.)
Although Morrison is credited with writing many of the Doors' songs, Krieger also made significant lyrical contributions, writing or co-writing some of the group's biggest hits, including "Light My Fire," "Love Me Two Times," "Love Her Madly" and "Touch Me."
The Doors achieved national recognition after signing with Elektra Records in 1967. The single "Light My Fire" eventually reached number one on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.
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The Doors appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, a popular Sunday night variety series that had introduced The Beatles and Elvis Presley to the nation. Ed Sullivan requested two songs from The Doors for the show, "People Are Strange," and "Light My Fire."
The censors insisted that they change the lyrics of "Light My Fire" from "Girl we couldn't get much higher" to "Girl we couldn't get much better"; this was reportedly due to what could be perceived as a reference to drugs in the original lyric. Giving assurances of compliance to Sullivan, Morrison then proceeded to sing the song with the original lyrics anyway. He later said that he had simply forgotten to make the change.
This so infuriated Sullivan that he refused to shake their hands after their performance and told Morrison they would never play The Ed Sullivan Show again. Morrison retorted, "Who cares, we already did."