Like so many other girls before and after us, my college roommate and I had an obsession with the utter beauty of this man…
We had an enormous black cloth banner-thing with this very picture on it – you’ve probably seen those before if you’ve been around a while – on our wall in our dorm room. It was sort of the rock ‘n roll version of the famous red swimsuit Farrah Faucette poster – it was everywhere. A lot of guys even had one. That was probably mostly because of the music, and that was part of the deal for us too, but mainly it was because we considered Jim Morrison the ultimate paragon of male beauty and we wanted to gaze upon his square-jawed gloriousness morning, noon, and night.
So you can imagine our excitement when walking to the commons to eat one day, we saw that the campus was flooded with fliers printed with a picture of The Lizard King. The only other information on the flier was a date, location, and time. Since the location indicted that this mysterious Morrison-related event was to be held in the auditorium where we were shown old movies and student films and such, we assumed that somebody on campus had maybe made a Doors documentary or something like that. So we gathered up our friends and made arrangements to go. This was during our Janis Joplinly, sorternity era, and our group looked something like this…
That’s right, we looked a little like the cast of Hair. And this was in the early eighties, so we were extra weird. Our little Hair-lookin’ group walked up to the building where the big Doors event was to take place and hung around at the bottom of the long exterior stairway to wait for a couple cast members to catch up. As we stood there, this “straight”, as we used to ridiculously say, in short hair and a suit walked by and said, “y’all here for the program?”. Being the doofus that I am, and not picking up on any clues, like the short hair or the suit, I said, “hell yeah, I’d follow Jim Morrison anywhere”. The straight stopped in his tracks, turned to me with a look of horror and disdain and said, “then you’re following him STRAIGHT TO HELL!”.
At this point, the truth of the situation slowly began to dawn on me. We had been tricked. This was actually some kind of anti-rock ‘n roll thing. Some kind of religious Doors dissin’ activity. The rest of the Hair cast just laughed and some of them turned around and walked away when they realized that there wasn’t going to be a cool documentary or whatever. You know what I did, right? I mean, I couldn’t let that Doors dude damn me to hell without a word in my defense, could I? No. So I ran up the wheelchair ramp, Birkenstocks flapping wildly, baubles and beads jangling, to the Doors dude and said, “how could you say that to me? I was in the church youth choir! I won the Shubert award for being one hundred percent present at all performances and practices! I got first place in the Bible drill two years in a row! Two years in a row! I BELIEVE!” That finally stopped him. He turned and looked at me and said, “not if you listen to that Satanic music, you don’t.”
I think I just lamely mumbled something like, “you’re wrong, jerk”. The Doors dude walked on and my friends caught up with me – they wanted to see what the program was anyway. To tell the truth, I did too – we were all curious. So we sat quietly in the very back and listened to this guy’s presentation on the evils of rock ‘n roll in general and the Doors in particular. He did the reel-to-reel backmasking thing supplemented by a bunch of slides telling us what we were supposed to be hearing. And the answer to your question is – nope. I didn’t hear any of it.
I won’t go into an extensive analysis of the Doors dude’s judgmental remarks, except to say that fortunately, it had no impact on me or my spirituality. Nor did it make me feel bad for being into any kind of music, or for being dressed like an actor in Hair, or for expressing myself joyfully and enthusiastically in any number of ways throughout my life as a free and (relatively) independent woman. All it did was reinforce my belief that it is wrong, unkind, and detrimental to judge others based on their appearance, interests, tastes, or spiritual interpretations.
Being first place (two years in a row!) in Bible drill and memorizing all that scripture has served me well in life, even though in actuality the church youth group I was in as a kid was pretty much just a hotbed of teenage rebellion and hormones. That’s a story for another post, trust me. And now you’ve been duped too. You think you’re getting a post about the Doors, and you wind up having to hear about my spiritual views. Don’t feel bad – I’ve been using this strategy for years – people thinking they’re getting a Jack Black, “School of Rock” style rock-history lesson, when really they wind up learning John Locke’s social contract theory or something. Mmmmwwahahaha.
Now let’s get our Doors on. This is such a great clip and it pretty much sums up the whole Doors vibe, so I’m only doing this one. LA woman’s gonna have to do, in other words. And Mr. Mojo Risin – keep on risin’.
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