Why Jim Morrison Was A Bad Role Model

via Jim Morrison / Youtube

In the world of rock music, charismatic frontmen are a common sight. These individuals, with their enigmatic stage presence and captivating performances, often become idols for aspiring musicians. However, not all role models are created equal. In this article, we explore the story of Julian Casablancas, the renowned lead singer of The Strokes, and his perspective on the legendary Jim Morrison of The Doors. Casablancas’ journey sheds light on the pitfalls of emulating a rock icon and the importance of making positive choices in the face of fame.

The Charisma Conundrum

Julian Casablancas, like many indie-rock frontmen, understands the significance of charisma in leading a band. His live shows with The Strokes are a testament to his ability to effortlessly transition between confident stage presence and genuine audience interaction. For Casablancas, performing is akin to getting lost in a trance, a delicate balance akin to walking a tightrope.

As he eloquently puts it, “There’s an element of performing where I just like to get lost… I would have to focus on not falling off the rope.” Casablancas’ approach allows him the freedom to express himself fully, engaging with the audience and his bandmates without constraints.

The Doors’ Influence

Casablancas’ journey as a musician was significantly influenced by bands like The Doors, known for their layered and complicated songs. He admired Morrison’s vocalization and musical intricacy, which inspired him to incorporate complex guitar parts into his own music. However, the influence didn’t end there.


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The Dark Side of Rock and Roll

Apart from musical inspiration, Casablancas found himself drawn to the fast-paced, partying lifestyle associated with rock bands like The Doors. This lifestyle, often glamorized in the rock and roll culture, presented a dangerous path. Casablancas experienced firsthand the pitfalls of mimicking the clichéd lifestyle propagated by figures like Jim Morrison.

In his own words, “The Doors were terrible role models.” Casablancas acknowledges the misguided perception that to be cool, one must indulge in self-destructive behaviors. He recounts, “Jim Morrison probably worked and read awesome literature and worked on poetry in sobriety for years… and then he partied and acted like a maniac.” This toxic narrative misled many, including Casablancas, who realized the destructive nature of such imitation.

Making Positive Choices

Julian Casablancas’ journey serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the importance of making positive choices in the face of fame and influence. While the allure of rock and roll excesses might be tempting, true artistry lies in authenticity and self-expression. As Casablancas discovered, the path to success is paved with creativity, sobriety, and a commitment to making positive contributions to the world.

In the end, Casablancas chose a different route, one that emphasized creativity and authenticity over self-destruction. His story reminds aspiring musicians and fans alike that true greatness stems from embracing one’s unique voice and staying true to oneself, even in the face of influential yet flawed role models like Jim Morrison and The Doors.