In the new issue of NME there are large lines being both snorted and drawn in the sand – the former happens with Viva Brother in Ibiza, the latter over the thorny subject of one Mr Jim Morrison, his legend and legacy as we mark the 40th anniversary of his death.
Opinion of the late Doors frontman today is about as divided as The Strokes’ current dressing room set-up. Some cling to the notion that he was the artist of a generation and looked considerably better than Johnny Borrell when he took his shirt off, while others brand him an overrated faux-poet who shouldn’t be considered more culturally significant than the Pot Noodles he ranks alongside in the student cliché stakes.
We’ve got two writers to slug it out in the issue – Gavin Haynes bigs up the Lizard King while James Lee argues that describing him as a poet is “like calling someone who picks their nose and eats it an epicurian.”
My personal experiences with The Doors began in the most hideously clichéd of environments; I was introduced to their music quite literally sat beneath a Che Guevara poster in a friend’s room at university while suspect odours wafted from the roll-up he was puffing on. But I have to say, even when the haze of the situation was lifted (we probably headed out to steal a traffic cone or something) I was still impressed with Jim’s meandering prose, and briefly fell in love with their debut album as well as ‘LA Woman’ before moving on to an obsession with Love – their Los Angeles rivals who, for me, held far more mystique and in Arthur Lee boasted a more complex and genuinely off-kilter genius frontman.
But that’s just me. So, what’s your verdict? Jim Morrison: Legend or loser? Poet or prick? Lizard King or repellant reptile? Type, click, and let all be known.