Biographic by Steve McGarry for July 02, 2006
Thirty-five years after the death of 27-year-old frontman Jim Morrison. The music of The Doors is more in demand than ever. The band recently declined a $15 million offer to lease the track "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" for a car commercial. Jim Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida, on December 8, 1943. The son of a U.S. Navy admiral, he graduated from UCLA film school and teamed up with fellow student Ray Manzarek to form The Doors, recruiting drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robbie Krieger. They quickly became one of the hottest bands in Los Angeles, within a couple of years they topped the U.S. charts with the million-selling single "Light My Fire" a feat they repeated with the 1968 smash "Hello, I Love You" Yet even as the band scaled the heights of rock superstardom, Jim's life was sliding into chaos. His wild behavior, both on and off stage, led to a number of brushes with the law. In 1970 he was sentenced to eight months in jail. Remaining free on appeal, a bloated, bearded Jim relocated to France. On July 3, 1971, he was found dead in the bathtub of his Paris apartment following a heart attack. His family having disowned him, he was buried in Perie-Lachaise cemetery, where his grave soon became a graffiti-covered shrine. Although the group disbanded soon after his death, the legend lives on. The 1991 Oliver Stone biopic, "The Doors" with Val Kilmer playing Jim spawned a top 10 album in 1993, The band was inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame. In recent years, Manzarek and Krieger have collaborated with the likes of drummer Stewart Copeland and The Cult's Ian Astbury to tour and perform the band's classic songs.