In Paris's Pere-Lachaise cemetery, Jim Morrison's graffiti-scrawled tombstone is a place of pilgrimage for local devotees, adolescent hedonists, and wayward backpackers alike. Found dead in his bathtub at only twenty-seven, having achieved worldwide stardom as lead singer of the Doors, Morrison was quickly immortalized among the rock and roll deities such as Hendrix and Joplin.Read more...
In Paris's Pere-Lachaise cemetery, Jim Morrison's graffiti-scrawled tombstone is a place of pilgrimage for local devotees, adolescent hedonists, and wayward backpackers alike. Found dead in his bathtub at only twenty-seven, having achieved worldwide stardom as lead singer of the Doors, Morrison was quickly immortalized among the rock and roll deities such as Hendrix and Joplin. In death, however, this debauched "rock poet" remained more stubbornly enigmatic than ever.
Who was the "real" Jim Morrison? Nihilist, egoist, shaman: he was a master of self-creation. A mosaic mythology of new-age hippie rhetoric, French poetry, and Nietszchean symbolism obscured a man trapped by the mythology that he had so carefully constructed around himself.
In this colorful and intimate biography, Dylan Jones strips bare the skintight leather suit of Jim Morrison's Lizard King persona, and offers a frank and honest appraisal of a much beloved and often-romanticized countercultural icon. "Mr. Mojo" is littered with little-known anecdotes from fellow stars, spurned lovers, and industry moguls. It is a refreshingly honest portrait of a self-indulgent artist with a penchant for pageantry and public self-destruction."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-06-29
- Reviewer: Staff
In this fast-paced, irreverent biography, British GQ editor Jones grapples with the Lizard King, tracking back from his funeral bed at Père Lachaise to the Manhattan apartment of his partner, writer Patricia Kennealy (they were extralegally married in a Celtic ceremony). Morrison, the son of a high-ranking naval officer, rebelled against the confines of his peripatetic military household, escaping into romantic literature and substance abuse. After leaving UCLA's film school, he drifted into the bohemian undertow of Los Angeles, where a chance meeting with Ray Manzarek led to the formation of the Doors. Clad in skintight leather, Morrison appealed to teenyboppers as well as L.A.'s drug users, and quickly became an international sensation. Ambivalent about his fame but nonetheless enabled by it, Morrison descended into alcoholism and became a charter member of the "27 Club" by way of heroin overdose. Refreshingly, Jones doesn't cater to the exaggerations of the Morrison myth, and his wry analysis provides the lucid center of the book. However, readers looking for a thorough investigation of the moment that produced the Doors or deep insights into the troubled singer will be disappointed; Jones tends toward unsupported generalizations and relies on attitude to make his arguments. This is a fair and extremely readable account of a distant era when Lizard Kings walked the earth and prodigious justifications were provided for their bad behavior. (Dec.)