Excerpted from: I Remember Jim Morrison
Written By: Alan Graham
When we heard that Jim had been found dead in a bathtub in his Paris apartment, we started making inquiries about the circumstances and events leading up to his last moments.
The day after we heard, I called Bill Siddons, the Doors’ manager. Neither he nor the three remaining Doors had tried to contact anyone in the family. Nor did even one of Jim’s many friends make any attempt to get hold of his brother and sister, Andy and Anne.
Bill issued a blanket statement to the press that Jim had died in Paris of heart failure and was buried quietly and secretly so as to avoid a circus- like atmosphere of press coverage. The same terse statement was offered to us and no more.
￼The callousness of this stance is understandable when a school of barracuda is circling your dinghy, but to exclude Anne and Andy – Jim’s blood – was too cruel for words. Siddons was a nice guy, but when he buried Jim secretly, he left us all with a cavern of unanswered questions.
The people around Jim in Paris kept the details of his death a secret until the news broke. Even then, they made no effort to contact any of Jim’s family members.
Pamela Courson had gone to great lengths to cover up Jim’s death and his true identity. Just three days after he died, and the day after he was buried, she immediately returned to Los Angeles to engage the services of a probate attorney so as to lay claim to his estate as his “wife”.
I called Agnes Varda*, who, along with Marianne Faithful** and Jean de Breteuil***, had been involved with the whole affair before and/or after Jim’s corpse was discovered. They were extremely tight-lipped about any of the details. Varda was absolutely rude and rebuffed my inquiries with an unsympathetic and abrupt response as if it was none of my business. I asked her to simply furnish me with some information so that the family could at least know what had happened to Jim.
“Well, they did not care about him when he was alive. Why should I give them any information now?”
In one way, she was right. Morrison had not made his parents proud. In fact, Jim’s radical poetry and music was the antithesis of their values and beliefs. At that moment in history, there was an impossible chasm between Jim and any authority – especially his parents. Jim Morrison was not alone. For this convulsive dynamic was occurring in the lives of millions of other American families across this land.
*Agnes Varda is a French experimental filmmaker and was a close friend to Jim in Paris.
Marianne Faithful is a British singer, songwriter, and actress. Her career has been overshadowed by her constant struggle with heroin abuse.
Jean de Breteuil,“The Count”, a French nobleman and drug dealer, who had a romantic tryst with Pamela during her stay in Paris. It is rumored that he was with Pamela as a lover on the eve of Jim’s demise.
“The Count, like a vampire who moves in darkness dispensing Russian Roulette potions of evil, he, like his victims/clients is powerless to alter course and has long since had the desire to even think of doing otherwise.”
-Al Graham Ghost “Radio Theater”
I KNOW WHO KILLED JIM MORRISON
“I DON’T LIKE LONDON,” admits Marianne Faithfull in the new issue of MOJO magazine. “I come here for promotion and I’m asked the most incredible questions.” The last time she was here one journalist even had the brass neck to ask her “Why exactly did you kill Jim Morrison?”
MOJO magazine’s 250th issue, featuring CSNY, Marianne Faithfull and more, on sale in the UK now.
“I decided to take it very seriously,” she tells MOJO’s Tom Doyle in a relaxed and confessional interview, “and tell him exactly what happened and why I didn’t kill Jim Morrison. But I know who did.”
The story goes back to the summer of 1971, when she travelled to Paris with her then-boyfriend, heroin dealer to the stars Jean de Breiteuil. Upon their arrival Breiteuil told Faithfull that he had to pay a visit to The Doors’ singer’s apartment at 17 Rue Beautreillis. She says she felt a strange sense of foreboding and stayed behind at the couple’s hotel, knocking herself out with downers.
“I could intuitively feel trouble,” she recalls. “I thought, I’ll take a few Tuinal and I won’t be there. And he went to see Jim Morrison and killed him. I mean I’m sure it was an accident. Poor bastard. The smack was too strong? Yeah. And he died. And I didn’t know anything about this. Anyway, everybody connected to the death of this poor guy is dead now. Except me.”
In a fascinating piece that roams freely over her now-50-year career, she recounts how she worked with Nick Cave on her new album, ponders how life might have turned out if she’d become “Mrs Gene Pitney” and reveals how she was “appalled” by the death of Amy Winehouse.
“Amy was very, very wary of me,” she says. “She knew that I knew and she didn’t want me to say anything. There’s a level of narcissism which is all mixed up with self-hatred. I know it well. It’s like a glass wall between you and the world, so that all the love that everybody pours onto you, you don’t feel it. But I can’t think what I could have done apart from take her and [shouts] shake her! ‘You stupid little c**t! Wake up!’”
There’s all that and more in the 250th issue of MOJO magazine, on sale now.
Faithfull’s new studio album Give My Love To London is released on September 29. Produced by Rob Ellis and Dimitri Tikovoi and mixed by Flood, it features collaborators including Adrian Utley (Portishead), Brian Eno, Ed Harcourt and Warren Ellis & Jim Sclavunos (The Bad Seeds). Songwriting contributors and co-conspirators – with Marianne penning the majority of the lyrics – include Nick Cave, Roger Waters, Steve Earle, Tom McRae and Anna Calvi.