Jim Morrison

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When I stand before thee at the day's end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing.
Rabindranath Tagore
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People are strange when you're a stranger...

James Douglas Morrison (8 December 1943 - 3 July 1971) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, poet, and a founding member of The Doors.

Sourced

  • You know the day destroys the night,
    Night divides the day,
    Tried to run —
    Tried to hide —
    Break on through to the other side!
  • We chased our pleasures here,
    Dug our treasures there,
    But can you still recall
    The time we cried?
    Break on through to the other side.
    • "Break on Through (To The Other Side)" from The Doors
  • It hurts to set you free, but you’ll never follow me.
    • "The End" from The Doors (1967)
  • People are strange when you're a stranger
    Faces look ugly when you're alone

    Women seem wicked when you're unwanted
    Streets are uneven when you're down.
At first flash of eden, we race down to the sea. Standing there on freedom’s shore. Waiting for the sun...
  • When you're strange
    Faces come out of the rain
    When you're strange
    No one remembers your name
    When you're strange.
    • "People Are Strange" on the album Strange Days (1967)
  • Five to one, baby
    One in five
    No one here gets out alive
    , now
    You get yours, baby
    I'll get mine
    Gonna make it, baby
    If we try.
  • The old get older
    And the young get stronger
    May take a week
    And it may take longer
    They got the guns
    But we got the numbers
    Gonna win, yeah
    We're takin' over
    Come on!
    • "Five to One" on the album Waiting for the Sun (1968)
  • At first flash of Eden, We race down to the sea.
    Standing there on Freedom's shore.
    Waiting for the sun...
  • This is the strangest life I’ve ever known.
    • "Waiting for the Sun" on the album Morrison Hotel (1970)
  • Killer on the road
    His brain is squirming like a toad.
    • "Riders on the Storm" from the album L.A. Woman (1971).
  • Listen to this, and I'll tell you 'bout the heartache
    I'll tell you 'bout the heartache and the loss of God.
  • I'll tell you this —
    No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.
    • "The Wasp (Texas Radio And The Big Beat)" on the albums L. A. Woman (1971) and An American Prayer (1978)
  • Mute nostril agony.
    • "Horse Latitudes"
  • Don't let me die in an automobile
    I wanna lie in an open field
    Want the snakes to suck my skin
    Want the worms to be my friends
    Want the birds to eat my eyes
    As here I lie
    The clouds fly by
    • "The End; Live in New York" (1970)

The Lords: Notes on Vision (1969)

The Lords have secret entrances and they know disguises. But they give themselves away in minor ways. Too much glint of light in the eye. A wrong gesture. Too long and curious a glance...
  • Yoga powers.
    To make oneself invisible or small.
    To become gigantic and reach to the farthest things.
    To change the course of nature.
    To place oneself anywhere in space or time.
    To summon the dead.
    To exalt senses and perceive inaccessible images, of events on other worlds,
    in one's deepest inner mind, or in the minds of others.
  • (Windows work two ways, mirrors one way.)
    You never walk through mirrors or swim through windows.
  • The world becomes an apparently infinite,
    yet possibly finite, card game.
    Image combinations,
    permutations,
    comprise the world game.
  • Cinema has evolved in two paths. One is spectacle. Like the phantasmagoria, its goal is the creation of a total substitute sensory world. The other is peep show, which claims for its realm both the erotic and the untampered observance of real life, and imitates the keyhole or voyeur's window without need of color, noise, grandeur.
  • The subject says "I see first lots of things which dance — then everything becomes gradually connected".
  • Few would defend a small view of Alchemy as "Mother of Chemistry", and confuse its true goal with those external metal arts. Alchemy is an erotic science, involved in buried aspects of reality, aimed at purifying and transforming all being and matter. Not to suggest that material operations are ever abandoned. The adept holds to both the mystical and physical work.
  • They can picture love affairs of chemicals and stars, a romance of stones, or the fertility of fire. Strange, fertile correspondences the alchemists sensed in unlikely orders of being. Between men and planets, plants and gestures, words and weather.
  • Cinema returns us to anima, religion of matter, which gives each thing its special divinity and sees gods in all things and beings. Cinema, heir of alchemy, last of an erotic science.
  • The Lords. Events take place beyond our knowledge or control. Our lives are lived for us. We can only try to enslave others. But gradually, special perceptions are being developed. The idea of the "Lords" is beginning to form in some minds. We should enlist them into bands of perceivers to tour the labyrinth during their mysterious nocturnal appearances. The Lords have secret entrances and they know disguises. But they give themselves away in minor ways. Too much glint of light in the eye. A wrong gesture. Too long and curious a glance.

The New Creatures (1969)

  • I can't believe this is happening
    I can't believe all these people
    are sniffing each other
    & backing away
    teeth grinning
    hair raised, growling, here in
    the slaughtered wind
  • Do you dare
    deny my
    potency
    my kindness
    or forgiveness?
  • Camel caravans bear
    witness guns to Caesar.
    Hordes crawl and seep inside
    the walls. The streets
    flow stone. Life goes
    on absorbing war. Violence
    kills the temple of no sex.
  • Cool pools
    from a tired land
    sink now
    in the peace of evening
    Clouds weaken
    and die.
    The sun, an orange skull,
    whispers quietly, becomes an
    island, & is gone.

    There they are
    watching
    us everything
    will be dark.
    The light changed.
    We were aware
    knee-deep in the fluttering air
    as the ships move on
    trains in their wake.
  • This is it
    no more fun
    the death of all joy
    has come.

An American Prayer (1978)

resident mockery
give us an hour for magic
  • Indians scattered on dawn's highway bleeding
    Ghosts crowd the young child's fragile eggshell mind.

    Me and my mother and father, and a grandmother and a grandfather. were driving through the desert, at dawn, and a truck load of Indian workers had either hit another car, or just — I don't know what happened — but there were Indians scattered all over the highway, bleeding to death.
    So the car pulls up and stops. That was the first time I tasted fear. I musta' been about four — like a child is like a flower, his head is just floating in the breeze, man. The reaction I get now thinking about it, looking back — is that the souls of the ghosts of those dead Indians... maybe one or two of 'em... were just running around freaking out, and just leaped into my soul. And they're still there.
  • Do you know the warm progress under the stars?
    Do you know we exist?
    Have you forgotten the keys to the kingdom?
    Have you been born yet
    & are you alive?
  • Let's reinvent the gods, all the myths of the ages
    Celebrate symbols from deep elder forests
  • O great creator of being
    grant us one more hour to
    perform our art
    and perfect our lives


    The moths & atheists are doubly divine
    & dying
    We live, we die
    and death not ends it
    We live we die and death not ends it
  • I touched her thigh
    and death smiled
  • We have assembled inside this ancient
    & insane theatre
    To propagate our lust for life
    & flee the swarming wisdom
    of the streets
  • resident mockery
    give us an hour for magic
  • I'm sick of dour faces
    Staring at me from the T.V.
    Tower.
    I want roses in
    my garden bower; dig?
  • Death makes angels of us all
    and gives us wings
    where we had shoulders
    smooth as raven's
    claws
  • I will not go
    Prefer a
    feast of Friends
    To the Giant family
  • The program for this evening
    is not new. You have seen
    This entertainment through and through.
    You've seen your birth, your
    life and death; you might recall
    all of the rest — (did you
    have a good world when you
    died?) — enough to base
    a movie on?
  • They're making a joke of our universe
  • Let's swim to the moon, uh huh
    Let's climb through the tide
    Penetrate the evenin'
    that the City sleeps to hide
  • Do you know freedom exists in a school book

Did you know madmen are running our prisions
With'in a jail
With'in a gaol
With'in a white free protestant maelstrom
We're perched headlong on the edge of boredom
We're reaching for death on the end of a candle
We're trying for something that's already found us

  • Always a playground instructor,never a Killer

Interviews

{When asked how the USA should celebrate the Bicentennial}

  • Take an Indian home to lunch.
    • (Avant Garde Magazine, March 1968)

I've felt for a long time, that somehow we're all afflicted these days with the psychology of the voyeur. And not in a strictly clinical or criminal sense. But in our whole emotional and moral stance before the world. And any time we try to break out of that bound of passivity, our actions usually seem awkward and obscene, like an invalid that's forgotten how to walk.

Unsourced

  • A hero is someone who rebels or seems to rebel against the facts of existence and seems to conquer them. Obviously that can only work at moments. It can't be a lasting thing. That's not saying that people shouldn't keep trying to rebel against the facts of existence. Someday, who knows, we might conquer death, disease and war.
  • What that book (Lords and New Creatures) is a lot about is the powerlessness that people have in the face of reality. They have no real control over events or their own lives. Something is controlling them. The closest they ever get is the television set.
  • The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.
  • Adolf Hitler is still alive — I slept with her last night. Come out from behind that false moustache, Adolf, I know you're in there!

(Box Set - Disc #3 : The Future Ain't What It Used To Be)

  • Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.
  • We must not forget that the lizard and the snake are identified with the unconscious and with the forces of evil. There's something deep in human memory that responds strongly to snakes. Even if you've never seen one. I think that a snake just embodies everything that we fear.
  • I think there's a certain moment when you're right in time with your audience and then you both grow out of it, and you just have to realize that it's not that you have outgrown the audience, it's just that the audience and you both are too old for that. That has to go on something else, and let the younger people do that.
  • I enjoy drinking. It loosens people up and stimulates conversation. Somehow it's like gambling; you go out for a night of drinking, and you don't know where you'll end up the next morning. It could be good, it could be a disaster. It's a throw of the dice. The difference between suicide and slow capitulation.
  • I like people who shake other people up and make them feel uncomfortable.
  • I like any reaction I can get with my music. Just anything to get people to think. I mean if you can get a whole room full of drunk, stoned people to actually wake up and think, you're doing something.
  • I offer images — I conjure memories of freedom that can still be reached — like the Doors, right? But we can only open the doors, we can't drag people through. I can't free them unless they want to be free. Maybe primitive people have less bullshit to let go of, to give up. A person has to be willing to give up everything — not just wealth. All the bullshit that he's been taught — all society's brainwashing. You have to let go of all that to get to the other side. Most people aren't willing to do that.
  • I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps "Oh look at that!" Then — whoosh, and I'm gone... and they'll never see anything like it ever again... and they won't be able to forget me — ever.
  • I think I was just fed up with the image that had been created around me, which I sometimes consciously, most of the time unconsciously cooperated with. It just got too much for me to really stomach and so I put an end to it one glorious evening.
  • I think the highest and lowest points are the important ones. Anything else is just... in between. I want the freedom to try everything.
  • I wouldn't mind dying in a plane crash. It'd be a good way to go. I don't want to die in my sleep, or of old age, or OD... I want to feel what it's like. I want to taste it, hear it, smell it. Death is only going to happen to you once; I don't want to miss it.
  • I think there's a whole region of images and feelings inside us that rarely are given outlet in daily life. And when they do come out, they can take perverse forms. It's the dark side. Everyone, when he sees it, recognizes the same thing in himself. It's a recognition of forces that rarely see the light of day. The more civilized we get on the surface, the more the other forces make their plea.
  • If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it's to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.
  • No more money, no more fancy dress, This other kingdom seems by far the best.
  • People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that's bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they're afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they're wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It's all in how you carry it. That's what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you're letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.
  • They claim everyone was born, but I don't recall it. Maybe I was having one of my blackouts.
  • Think of us as erotic politicians.
  • We are from the West. The world we suggest should be of a new wild West, a sensuous, evil world, strange and haunting. The path of the sun.
  • We're like actors, turned loose in this world to wander in search of a phantom, endlessly searching for a half-formed shadow of our lost reality. When others demand that we become the people they want us to be, they force us to destroy the person we really are. It's a subtle kind of murder. The most loving parents and relatives commit this murder with smiles on their faces.
  • When you make peace with authority, you become authority.
  • Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.
  • You are too young to be old...
  • It's The Doors, the name of the band is The Doors. (in response to a DJ announcing to the audience: "Please welcome Jim Morrison and the Doors!")
  • Blake said that the body was the soul's prison unless the five senses are fully developed and open. He considered the senses the 'windows of the soul.' When sex involves all the senses intensely, it can be like a mystical experience.
  • Drugs are a bet with your mind.
  • Film spectators are quiet vampires.
  • Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself-and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to-letting a person be what he really is.
  • Hatred is a very underestimated emotion.
  • I am the lizard king. I can do anything.
  • I believe in a long, prolonged, derangement of the senses in order to obtain the unknown.
  • I think in art, but especially in films, people are trying to confirm their own existences.
  • I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments.
  • Listen, real poetry doesn't say anything; it just ticks off the possibilities. Opens all doors. You can walk through anyone that suits you.
  • Love cannot save you from your own fate.
  • Music inflames temperament.
  • People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death. At the point of death, the pain is over. Yeah, I guess it is a friend.
  • Sex is full of lies. The body tries to tell the truth. But, it's usually too battered with rules to be heard, and bound with pretenses so it can hardly move. We cripple ourselves with lies.
  • Some of the worst mistakes of my life have been haircuts.
  • The appeal of cinema lies in the fear of death.
  • Violence isn't always evil. What's evil is the infatuation with violence.
  • We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict.
  • The first time I discovered death...me and my mother and father, and my grandmother and grandfather, were driving through the desert at dawn. A truckload of Indians had either hit another car or something- there were Indians scattered all over the highway, bleeding to death. I was just a kid, so I had to stay in the car while my father and grandfather went to check it out. I didn't see nothing- all I saw was funny red paint and people lying around, but I knew something was happening, because I could dig the vibrations of the people around me, and all of a sudden I realized that they didn't know what was happening any more than I did. That was the first time I tasted fear...and I do think, at that moment, the souls of those dead Indians- maybe one or two of them-were just running around, freaking out, and just landed in my soul, and I was like a sponge, ready to sit there and absorb it.
  • The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first. You can take away a man's political freedom and you won't hurt him- unless you take away his freedom to feel. That can destroy him. That kind of freedom can't be granted. Nobody can win it for you.
  • Each generation wants new symbols, new people, new names. They want to divorce themselves from their predecessors.
  • I think that more than writing and music, my greatest talent is that I have an instinctive knack of self-image propagation. I was very good at manipulating publicity with a few little phrases like 'erotic politicians'. Having grown up with TV and mass magazines, I knew instinctively what people would catch on to, so I dropped those little jewels here and there, seemingly very innocently; of course, I was just calling signals.
  • I like ideas about the breaking away or overthrowing of established order. I am interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos, especially activity that seems to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road towards freedom - external freedom is a way to bring about internal freedom.
  • Let's just say I was testing the bounds of reality. I was curious to see what would happen. That's all it was: curiosity.
  • The future is uncertain and the end is always near.
  • Each day is a drive thru history.
  • There are things known and there are things unknown and in between are the Doors. [this is NOT a quote from William Blake]
  • Did you know freedom exists in a schoolbook?
  • Mankind still needs a savior such as you!
  • WAKE UP
  • I think the highest and lowest points for a musician are the most important. Everything in between is well... in between.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, money beats soul every time, C'mon! (11/4/69 Takes 13-15)
  • Now listen here, I ain't talking 'bout no revolution and I' not talkin' about no demonstrations.
  • Anything you want, let's do it.

Misattributions

  • You know that it would be untrue
    You know that I would be a liar
    If I was to say to you
    Girl, we couldn't get much higher.
    Come on baby, light my fire —
    Come on baby, light my fire —
    Try to set the night on fire.
    • "Light My Fire" (1967) Because Jim Morrison sang this as a breakthrough hit for The Doors, and he was the groups primary songwriter, this is often mistakenly thought to have been written by him. It was actually written by guitarist Robby Krieger, and so were some other songs including Love Her Madly, You're Lost Little Girl and Touch Me (and some other songs on the Soft Parade album) etc... However the second verse of the song Light My Fire was written by Morrison.
  • There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
    • This was Aldous Huxley, using a term "the doors of perception" which originated with William Blake, but it is sometimes credited to Morrison, because he cited the phrase in interviews as the inspiration for the name "The Doors" without always crediting Huxley as the source...

External links

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