The Tragic Death Of The Doors' Jim Morrison

Fame may make some people rich, but it doesn't make them any more valuable. Doors frontman Jim Morrison didn't reach the apex of his fame until long after he was no longer alive to reap the immense wealth that would have come with it. Morrison's death struck with stunning suddenness, his final moments steeped in enduring mystery. As Rolling Stone recounts, in 1970, the hard-drinking poet perished in a Paris bathtub at the unripe age of 27. The murkiness of the circumstances — the several-day delay in disclosing his demise to the public, the lack of autopsy, and rampant speculation asserting an orchestrated cover-up — rendered the rock star's death suspicious in the minds of many.

Yet it was arguably no more tragic than the deaths of average Joes that happen every day without fanfare. Perhaps in some sense it was less so. Rolling Stone writes that Morrison "died peacefully," and Doors manager Bill Siddon said the singer "had a half-smile on his face" when Morrison's other half, Pamela Courson, discovered his body. The scene sounds almost serene at first. Rather, the tragedy of Morrison's passing and arguably any death lies in the relationships lost and in the hope-sized hole that mars the hearts of those who loved that person. The day the music died for Jim Morrison seemingly marked the beginning of the end for his muse, Pamela Courson, who would also die at the tender age of 27.

One fire, two flames

Per the New European, in 1965, a 19-year-old Pamela Courson met Jim Morrison. "The rebellious daughter of an ex-navy man turned high school principal," she was an art student who inspired the spirited lyrics to multiple Doors songs. "My Wild Love" sings her crazes: "My wild love is crazy/ She screams like a bird/ She moans like a cat." This could also be read as a description of Morrison, who, as Biography describes, was the insubordinate son of a naval aviator. And as the Lincoln Journal Star's Scott Bauer complained, "Morrison's unbelievably grating screaming and moaning [seems to] go on forever on some tracks."

These screaming birds of a feather drank and did drugs together, and Courson encouraged Morrison to focus on his poetry. Fittingly, their deaths would almost sound poetically linked. Morrison bought her a fashion boutique called Themesis . After he died, according to Goldmine Magazine, her boutique went belly up amid financial troubles. Though Morrison named Courson as his only heir, they were never officially married, and she ended up embroiled in court battles over his estate. Forced to say goodbye to Themesis, Courson crashed her vehicle through the window.

Some have alleged that one of Courson's dealers dealt the death blow to Morrison by giving him heroin on which he supposedly overdosed. Courson would ultimately die of a heroin overdose at 27 years old. It seems that when Morrison's fire went out, in truth two flames were extinguished.