Published in Spec Magazine
BY GLORIA STAVERS
People are strange when you’re a stranger –
When you’re strange no one remembers your name.
Somewhere just outside the very busy and very rich city of Hollywood there is an abandoned, decaying old office building. It’s deserted rooms occasionally echo the sounds of passing cars or the flutter of the wings of birds who have chosen to make their nests there. About two years ago a strange and beautiful human being (who looked not unlike a magnificent young lion) wandered into this building.
His name was Jim Morrison. He was a student and a poet. He was a boy just turning into a man. He was alone and he was disillusioned by the hypocrisy and pretense he saw about him in his daily life. He was a deep thinker and a sincere lover of all things living. He had reached a point where he could no longer understand the ways of “civilized” man; man’s wanton destruction not only of his fellow men, but also of Nature’s greatest and most beautiful gift.
What have they done to the earth?
What have they done to our fair sister?
Ravaged, plundered, ripped and bit her;
Tied her with fences and dragged her down…
Jim heard the silent voice within him whispering. There must be more to life, There must be higher heights to climb to, greater depths to tumble to. There must be something else out there. This just can’t be all there is. So, one day he found himself leaving. Just departing – taking off for shores unknown. He did what each of us – in our own way, at one time or another – has to do. He went off by himself. He left what he had been “trained” to call his real life behind. He went out into the unknown; the cold, lonely and – sometimes – cruel world in search of the most important thing and person can ever search for. He went in search of himself.
The time you wait
Subtracts from joy –
Beheads the angels…
With not much more than a blanket and a few cans of food, the young lion settled down in his new adobe. The first several days were a revelation to Jim. His mind began to grow clear. All the trivia that had seemed so super – important back in that “other world” fell down around him like useless scaled, and burning new ideas and thoughts began to grow in their place.
Surrender to the waiting worlds… as I watch you glide;
Let’s swim to the moon, let’s fly through the tide,
We’re falling through wet forests
On our moonlight drive.
The first thing Jim found himself wanting in his new home was not a radio or a pillow or any of the creature comforts. What he wanted more than anything was a pencil and a tablet. When Jim got these two (to him) sacred objects, he hurried back to his nest and there – by the sun’s light in the day and by candlelight at night – he began to pour out all the deep, real and meaningful thoughts that had ever entered and stopped to stay in his incredibly rich and imaginative mind. Out of nowhere, he evoked an imaginary person – a girl, someone to love – and he wrote for her, and he spoke to her, and he felt her presence just as though she were actually by his side.
My eyes have seen you standing in the door…
My eyes have seen you –
Let them photograph your soul…
He wrote on and on – endlessly. He tore up pages, burned others, rewrote others – laughed when he knew it was good and wept when it was bad. And he endured. He did it. He burned like an inextinguishable, fine, pure light through his long nights and days of self-discovery. Then one day it was over.
Tear your web away; saw thru your bars;
Melt your cell today, you are caught in a prison
Of your own devise…
Fly fast away; don’t miss your chance
To swim in mystery –
You are dying in a prison
Of your own devise.
Jim walked out of the abandoned office building. The sun was there, just as it had been before, but somehow it seemed more brilliant; the sounds of life were all still there, but now they seemed clearer. He also heard the grinding noise of the nearby city, but it was of no bother to him – for he had grown beyond all that. He had made his walk along the precipice; he has survived his trial by fire. He had captures and spelled out all the aching and longing known only to able thirst for love, and for some one to be loved by. He’d felt it all, and he had made it all his own forever by putting it down on paper – fragile, forceful, delicate, strong poems of loneliness, fear, longing, love and the fire. He made all these things forever a part of himself, and in return he finally discovered himself – his real self.
Since that time, Jim Morrison has come a long, long way. He was given – along with his fellow musicians, the Doors – popular music its newest, most vibrant, exciting and uncompromising sound. And now he is giving you these poems (which are so very much a part of himself and his real beginning). They are the words that you hear on the Doors’ single record, People are strange, and all through their new Elektra LP, Strange Days. Now when you hear Jim’s music, listen, really listen – for you will be hearing more than the fabulous Doors playing and Jim Morrison singing. You will also be listening to the heartbeat of a strange, mystical, magical and beautiful young man.
The Music is your special friend;
Dance on fire as it intends.
The music is your only friend –
Until the end…
(All lyrics copyright 1967 by Nipper Music, Inc.
All rights reserved.