SLS: Light My Fire

fire and ice

Jim continues his Song Lyric Sunday series with today’s theme of the 27 Club ~ artists who died at age 27. My choice is Jim Morrison, who was born in Florida on December 8, 1943 and died in Paris, France on July 3, 1971. Jim was the lead singer of the rock group the Doors and had a flamboyant presence on the stage as well as a wild lifestyle. Morrison moved around quite a bit as a child and ended up in high school in Virginia, where he scored 149 on an IQ test. He was a voracious reader and consumed loads of poetry and philosophy, as well as obscure books about demonology. (Source: Wikipedia.)

In 1964-1965, Jim attended the film program at UCLA and took a class in surrealism. He completed his degree in Fine Arts but refused to attend the graduation ceremony. He indulged in a bohemian lifestyle on a rooftop in Venice, California, writing lyrics and eating beans, as well as experimenting with LSD. Jim was friends with Ray Manzarek, a fellow film student, and they formed the Doors in 1965, taking the name from Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception (supposedly they’d magically open if you used LSD). Guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore subsequently joined the group. The Doors’ first single was released in 1966 and titled “Break on Through (To the Other Side)” and they created a short film to go with it. Great song!

The Doors signed with Elektra Records in 1967, and their new single “Light My Fire” (from their January 1967 debut album The Doors) spent three weeks at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100. When they went on The Ed Sullivan Show, they were asked to change the lyrics in the song from “higher” to “better,” and they said they’d do it but then didn’t. Ed was angry and refused to shake their hands afterward. By the time they released Strange Days (September 1967), the Doors’ popularity had skyrocketed. Later in 1967, in New Haven, CT, Morrison had the “honor” of being the first rock performer to be arrested on stage during a live performance ~ for indecency and public obscenity. Though those charges were dropped, Morrison began to act even crazier, resulting in more arrests and canceled concerts, and culminating in a 6-month prison sentence in Florida.

In March 1971, Jim joined his long-time girlfriend Pamela Courson in Paris, where he took long walks and lost some of the weight he had gained during his wilder days. However, in July, she found him dead in a bathtub. The official cause of death was listed as heart failure, though there were some who believed it was a heroin overdose. RIP Mr. Mojo Risin’.

The song I’m sharing today is “Light My Fire,” though it’s hard for me to pick a Doors’ favorite as I love so much of their work. All four band members are credited with writing this song, though Krieger was the principal writer.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

22 responses to “SLS: Light My Fire

  1. It is so sad to me that such great artist leave us so young. Thank you for your pick of Light My Fire…one of my many favorites of theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked The Doors and the way most of their songs sort of lured me inside their kind of weird, unfresh world in a way other bands couldn’t. My favorite Jim Morrison story was about the Sullivan show. It went, some irate manager of the show walked into their green room (or whatever) after the lyric incident and said they would never be on the Sullivan show again. Morrison cooly replied, man, we just did the Sullivan show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They definitely had a great sound, accompanied by interesting lyrics, which don’t really stand on their own as poetry, but when set to music… damn 🤩🤩🤩

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, the music itself took some interesting twists and turns–as a band, musically, they were very innovative. I’ve said before I never really listen(ed) to lyrics so the songs with simple lyrics seemed to affect me the most.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ❤ this song

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a great song and the entry point for many to the Doors. I think Krieger was an underrated member of the band–everything is always Jim and Ray… I’m glad he gets most of the credit for this song.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Robby Krieger chose fire from the elements of fire, air, earth, and water. He loved the Stones song, ‘Play With Fire’ and that became his inspiration. Nice choice Paula.

    Like

  6. Nicely done and obviously a good choice. Your post had more on Morrison’s bio than mine did, which was totally appropriate, given that the challenge was more about the artist than the song.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. One of my favorites from the Doors! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love that Manzarek handled the bass lines on keyboard in lieu of having a bass player

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Can’t go wrong with this one Paula. A classic ☺️💕

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Was there a film with Val Kilmer playing Jim Morrison? I remember hearing this song so often as a child and loving it, but for some reason Val Kilmer always comes into my mind when I think of Th Doors?

    Liked by 1 person