Jimbo’s ghost isn’t the spookiest thing about Morrison

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      It isn’t mentioned in No One Here Gets Out Alive, but one of the stranger facts in Jim Morrison’s life – and by “stranger” we mean jaw-droppingly bizarre – is that Mr. Mojo Risin' Sr. (ie. his dad, George Stephen Morrison) was the admiral in charge of the U.S. fleet at the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, when the so-called Gulf of Tonkin incident allowed the US to escalate the Vietnam War.

      To put it another way, not too long before Jim was knocking on the doors of perception, his old man was hauling open the gates of Hell. Which is pretty fucking crazy when you think about it. It’s like Shakespeare had scripted the first draft of America’s culture wars.

      The occasional appearance of his ghost aside, writer Alex Constantine suggests that there was another kind of spook circling the Lizard King in the years before his death. In his essential (if utterly depressing) book, The Covert War Against Rock – which argues that the music industry was infested from the ”˜60s onwards with covert intelligence agents - Constantine compiles the evidence that Morrison was the target of an assassination plot; an idea that his bandmates didn't dismiss in a 1983 BBC interview.

      “It’s conceivable,” said Ray Manzarek.

      “And there was an FBI file on Morrison that we got a hold of,” continued Robbie Krieger, “so the government was aware of the Doors.”

      Indeed, Constantine notes that by his mid twenties, perpetual FBI harassment had left Morrison with an ulcer. Others might argue that a daily diet of Jack Daniels had something to do with it, but Manzarek adds another compelling note in James Riordan’s and Jerry Prochnicky’s Break on Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison.

      “Narks to the left, vice squad to the right, into the valley of death rode the four,” Manzarek is quoted as saying. “They wanted to stop Morrison. They wanted to show him that he couldn’t get away with it.”

      Constantine raises one other odd fact relating to Morrison’s biographer Danny Sugarman (who died in 2005, after the book was published). He writes, “Sugarman is married to indicted Contragate co-conspirator Fawn Hall, Oliver North’s secretary at the National Security Council, who shredded an 18-inch file of documents linking the Reagan administration to the diversion of funds from Iran arms sales to the Nicaraguan contras on November 21, 1986, and quipped before a Congressional committee, ”˜Sometimes you have to go above the law.’"

      Constantine adds that Sugarman "has concealed evidence that would shed light on Morrison’s death.”



      Ed Moise

      May 28, 2011 at 4:09pm

      The reason No One Gets Out of Here Alive did not mention Jim Morrison's father having been in command of the American fleet in the famous Tonkin Gulf incident of 1964 is that the story is not true.

      Admiral George Morrison was Captain of the aircraft carrier Bon Homme Richard, and commander of the task group associated with that carrier. But he and his task group were not in or near the Gulf of Tonkin, and they had no involvement in that incident. It was the task groups centered on the carriers Ticonderoga and Constellation that were close enough to the Gulf of Tonkin to be able to get involved.

      Ed Moise