When James Douglas Morrison had a “break on through on the other side” and became Jim Morison the frontman of “The Doors” it didn’t take long to became one of the most glorified and mystified singers of all time.
An army of fans adored him and the music he wrote, the popular press wrote of his controversial image in a gothic manner; The Village Voice described him as ” The first major male sex symbol since James Dean died, and Marlon Brando got a paunch”, others dubbed him “shaman-serpent king”, “leather tiger”, and “America’s Oedipal nightingale.”
In the mid-60s, The Doors, with their blend of dark psychedelic rock and blues, became one of the most popular rock bands in the United States. Even though Morrison enjoyed immense fame and was critically acclaimed by the entire world, there was one particular person who was not exactly a fan – his father.
George Stephen Morrison was a U.S Navy rear admiral, naval aviator and the commander of the U.S. naval forces in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident of August 1964.
Jim Morrison has been raised a military brat in a typical semi-nomadic existence. Rather than physical corporal punishment, James and his brother Andy were disciplined by the military tradition known as dressing down, which consisted of yelling and berating the children until they were completely out of tears and declared their faults.
As soon as Morrison graduated from UCLA he left home and never looked back, broke off most of the contact with his family and, by the time The Doors ascended to the top of the charts, he falsely claimed that most of his family was dead.
Morrison cut off any communication with his family and in a manner of speaking “killed them” maybe because his father was never supportive of his career choice. One day, when an acquaintance of his father saw Jim on the cover of a record, he hastily brought it to Morrison family. When the young man played the record of the Doors’ self-titled debut, Admiral Morrison was more than indifferent to his son’s singing, and vowed to stop immediately what he saw as a disgrace.
He wrote a letter to his son, urging him “to give up any idea of singing or any connection with a music group because of what I consider to be a complete lack of talent in this direction” So, it was not a “fan letter” indeed.
Fortunately, this disapproval didn’t affect Jim Morrison, who continued writing songs that even kids today listen to.
Ultimately, Morrison’s father did regret his disdainful words and in a letter to the Florida Probation and Parole Commission District Office dated October 2, 1970, acknowledged that Jim shutting off his family was a result of an argument over his appraisal of his son’s musical talents. Admiral Morrison said in the letter that he could blame his son for being reluctant to initiate contact, but nonetheless he was proud of him.