Jim Morrison gets four-city tribute in India

New Delhi, July 4 (Calcutta Tube) ‘Your our child, screamin’ wild… An ancient lunatic reigns. In the trees of the night,’ DJ David Masilamani aka Black Jack quotes from rock legend Jim Morrison’s track ‘Wild Child’ as he begins his Morrison tribute tour covering four cities to mark the iconic rock musician’s 49th death anniversary.

‘The lyrics capture the soul of the maverick musical genius who was a musician, songwriter poet and filmmaker – all in one,’ the Hyderabad-based DJ said.

The tribute tour opens at Cafe Morrison in the capital Sunday and travels to Visakhapatnam, Pune and Bangalore over a fortnight.

Masilamani, one of the country’s oldest DJ and founder of India’s first Internet radio, Myopusradio.com, describes the concerts as ‘his date with The Door’s lead vocalist’ who died young at 27 on July 3, 1971.

‘It is all our date,’ he adds in his open invite to fans on Facebook.

Records cite that Morrison died of drink and drug overdose in a rented apartment in Paris while friends in the world of music maintain that ‘it was a certain kind of nihilism and self-destruction that hurtled him on the path of doom’.

Morrison, who ranked 47 on the ‘Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Times’, achieved cult status after his death when the bulk of his body of works came to light.

The rock musician wanted to be accepted as a serious artist. Music apart, he published poetry anthologies such as ‘An American Prayer (1970)’ and ‘The Lord and The New Creatures’.

His lyrics reflected the issues of his time – drug culture, anti-war movement and avant-garde art.

Morrison was born Dec 8, 1943 in Florida, the eldest of three siblings, to a navy man George Stephen Morrison and Clara Clark.

He spent his childhood hopping cities as his parents moved across the continent.

In 1965, after graduating, Morrison led a Bohemian lifestyle in Venice beach, where he jammed with fellow student Ray Manzarek. Shortly thereafter, drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Kreiger joined the fold.

The band took its name from Aldous Huxley’s ‘Doors of Perception’ – a reference to unlocking of mental doors of perception through psychedelic drug use.

Morrison and The Doors achieved recognition after signing with Elektra Records in 1967. Their single, ‘Light My Fire’, inched up the charts as number one on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.

By the time Morrison and his band released their second album ‘Strange Days’, the group was a hit in US with their nostalgic mix of blues and rock-tinged psychedelic music.

Morrison met his long-time partner Pamela Courson before stardom. Pamela encouraged him to develop poetry. Courson inherited Morrison’s estate upon his death in 1971.

‘When You’re Strange’ , a new documentary on The Door’s cult hero directed Tom DiCillo and narrated by Johnny Depp, says, ‘Morrison’s alcoholism led to his untimely demise’.

The documentary quotes The Door drummer John Densmore that ‘though the band’s experiments with drugs inspired their early music, they were not what led to Jim’s downfall’.

‘First of all, drugs is a very complicated subject- we did early experiments with psychedelics, which were actually legal at that time,’ Densmore said.

‘Jim got into legal drugs…cigarettes and alcohol kill most people,’ he said.

The documentary uses unseen footages of the musician and the band. The movie reveals, ‘away from the spotlight Jim was a tortured soul, battling alcohol addiction and, hard as it is to believe, when the band first began to play he was almost crippled by stage fright.’

‘Morrison, however, was not ignorant about the consequences of fame,’ DJ Masilamani said.

The musician once admitted that, ‘We are more interested in the dark side of life, the evil thing, the night time.’

And composed the prophetic lines: ‘This is the end, beautiful friend, it hurts to set you free, but you’ll never follow me…’

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