Jim Morrison, who led The Doors for a brief period of time, had a profound impact on rock music despite his brief life. From a young age, the vocalist shown a strong interest in literature, naming some of his favorites, including Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Vladimir Nabokov, and Franz Kafka, noting how they encouraged him to begin writing. His pal Ray Manzarek saw Morrison’s poetry and lyrics as ideal “rock group” material after graduating from UCLA with a degree in cinema.
The name The Doors of Perception, an allusion to LSD that fit with the singer’s bohemian, drug-fueled lifestyle, was chosen by the two when they founded the Doors. Soon after, the two added John Densmore on drums and Robby Kreiger on guitar, and the quartet started performing live. Morrison rose to fame for his mesmerizing stage persona, which influenced legendary musicians like Iggy Pop.
Morrison acted like a typical rock star and was the first person to be detained on stage. Along with his wild on-stage behavior and hedonistic lifestyle, his leather attire—inspired by Andy Warhol collaborator Gerard Malanga—became a universal representation of what it means to be a rock star. Sadly, Morrison’s erratic behavior resulted in his early passing in 1971 at the age of 27.
Here is some extremely rare video of Morrison from November 1970, just before he left for Paris. Morrison cruises and sightseers in the video, which one YouTube user claims appears to have been taken in various Californian cities, notably Ventura and San Simeon.