Today marks the 50th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death on July 3, 1971. The singer is a member of the 27 Club, having died at just 27-years-old alongside a number of his contemporaries musicians. These include Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
Morrison was the lead singer of the rock band The Doors and he was living in Paris, France when he died suddenly.
While he had an alcohol dependency, his cause of death remains disputed to this day since no autopsy was performed as it wasn’t required by French law.
After recording The Doors’ sixth album LA Woman, Morrison told the rest of the band he wanted to go to Paris.
In March 1971, his girlfriend Pamela Courson rented an apartment for him at 17-19 Rue Beautreillis in Le Marais.
Morrison lost some of the weight he’d recently gained and shaved his beard in the weeks that followed.
While in letters to friends, The Doors singer described going on long solo walks through Paris.
But then on July 3, 1971 – exactly 50 years ago today – Morrison was discovered dead by Courson, in the flat’s bathtub around 6am.
The official cause of death was heart failure but, as said, no autopsy was performed.
Interestingly, Marianne Faithfull has claimed her ex-boyfriend, drug dealer Jean de Breiteuil, who died in 1972, was responsible for The Doors singer’s death.
She said she and Jean had dropped off some heroin at Morrison’s apartment just hours before his death and the drug proved strong enough to kill him.
Marianne told MOJO in 2014: “I mean I’m sure it was an accident. Poor b*****d. The smack was too strong? Yeah. And he died.”
Morrison died exactly two years to the day after Brian Jones and around nine months after Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
While three years later, Courson died of a heroin overdose and she was just 27 too.
Morrison was buried in Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris in the week after he died, with just a few mourners in attendance.
The Doors singer was incorrectly listed in the cemetery’s records under Douglas James Morrison, instead of James Douglas Morrison.
While his death wasn’t announced to the world, including to his parents, until after the service had taken place.
Author: George Simpson
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