From time to time, I like to answer questions from my fans. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions. Here’s today’s question:
I happen to a big fan of the Doors and Jim Morrison, yet I really know nothing about Jim’s early years or how he fell into the band. Can you enlighten me?
Rider on the Storm
Hmmm. How to explain the legend of Jim Morrison?
Many years ago, there was a tribe of travelers that came to be known as the “Doors.” There are many oral traditions that carry on as to how this band of weary-eyed souls came to be known as the “Doors.” However, only one is held as truth.
The story begins with the tribe’s leader, a man known as Maurice Joseph Rising. It just so happened that this man was the owner of a local hardware store that specialized in porch enclosures, specifically, the installation and repair of screen doors for those porches. Now it’s widely known that Maurice Joseph (his friends came to call him MoJo), was a firm believer that doors held the key to all things in life. When we’re born we enter through a spiritual door, and when we die, we exit through a similar one. The time spent inbetween, however, is time spent searching for the door that will lead us to a level of understanding that might help guide us through this crazy ride called life. He also believed very stongly in the use of double-paned, screen-replaceable, weather-ready outer doors.
Now, it just so happened that Mr. Mojo Rising was also wildly fascinated with the field of meteorology. In fact, he combined his two passions, doors and weather, to create a theory about the “Doors of Precipitation.” His thesis on this basically broke down to: “When it rains, close the door.”
After a short time spent searching for a way to spread his message, Maurice Joseph met a group of musicians who had a desire to touch lives, but no message to spread. As you might imagine, this was a fated match made in heaven. Mr. Rising was instituted as the leader of this tribe.
No sooner did MoJo join this humble feast of friends than they encountered a problem. Following a very late night of theologous discussions around a campfire, they happened to fall asleep on a stretch of beach known as “Jesters’ Crest.” They also weren’t far from a small town known as Morse — a town famous for it’s soft stance on obscenity laws — but that’s neither here nor there. But as it happens, when they awoke, they found that they had fallen victim to the ambitious pranksters for which Jesters’ Crest was named. Our heroes found themselves in the center of an enoromous sand castle that had been erected all around them. They were completely surrounded by seven foot tall walls of sand.
Scared and confused, one of the younger players in the band of traveling musicians began to experience what can only be considered a nervous breakdown. He turned to MoJo Rising to look for guidance, but he was so distraught that his words came out terribly garbled.
It is believed that the young songsmith was trying to say, “The waves maybe will wash away the sand and we’ll be able to swim for Morse or someplace.”
In actuality, the words came out, “Save me before we’re washed away, Jim Morrisonface.”
No sooner were these anxiety-driven words uttered than the four of them froze and looked at each other. It was clear that as the leader of this tribe, Maurice Joseph Rising — Mr. MoJo Rising — was being told by his young accompanyist, speaking in tongues as the medium for a higher power, that he must assume the name of Jim Morrisonface.
Eventually, the “face” was dropped from the last name. To this day, scholars are trying to pinpoint the exact time and cause for this change, but aside from a few scientific theories and other random conjecture, it remains a mystery.
Having once again had fate step in to play a vital role in his evolution, Jim Morrison recognized that he didn’t have time to revel in his new identity. Rather, he had to act quickly in order to preserve his tribe. Once safe, the four of them could travel the world, spreading their message. From whiskey bar to whiskey bar, from L.A. woman to L.A. woman, from normal people to those people that are strange. He knew that he couldn’t let this be the end. His message must reach both angels and sailors. This moment felt like a newborn awakening.
He looked around at the four walls of sand by which they were imprisoned. He took a deep breath and looked around at his fellow tribesmen.
“These walls are sand, they are penetrable,” said the wise sage.
“Yeah, but how do we get over ’em?” asked one of his companions. “It’s not like there’s a back door, man!”
“We must break on through,” said Jim Morrison. “We must break on through — to the other side!”
And with that, he ran at the wall, breaking through the sand as if it was nothing more than, well, sand. The group was free.
As the four men stood on the outside of their sand prison, they took a moment to relish that freedom exists. At that exact moment, a line of cars happened to be passing on the road just above them. El Caminos, tricked out and lowered, rolled by as latin salsa beats floated out on the air, surrounding the four traveling messengers.
So powerful was the line of cars, that the tribe’s leader had no choice but to simply state, “A Spanish caravan.”
The others nodded.
The rest of their history is pretty well documented in a movie called, of all things, “The Doors.”
But that’s how it all began.