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Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, has achieved a bizarre cult status since his death in 1971. Morrison was one of the most popular and controversial figures to emerge during the sixties; described as an 'erotic politician', poet, shaman, Dionysian drunk, his style and influence have grown steadily in the twenty years since his death, so that the real man has gradually disappeared behind the legend. Now, in The Lizard King: The Essential Jim Morrison, Morrison's biographer Jerry Hopkins, co-author of No One Here Gets Out Alive, reassesses Jim's life and provides fresh insights into him as a human being rather than the myth that he has become. But this reassessment is only part of this remarkable book. At its heart is a series of interviews with Jim Morrison by journalists including Hopkins himself, Ben Fong-Torres, John Tobler, Bob Chorush, Salli Stevenson, Richard Goldstein and the late John Carpenter, Morrison shows himself to have been articulate, intelligent and witty. Published uncut, these interviews provide a unique insight into a man who consciously created his own myth, then lived to regret it. Stripping bare the facts from the fantasies of Jim's death in Paris in 1971, and taking a long hard look at what has happened since to the people who he left behind, The Lizard King: The Essential Jim Morrison brings sharply into focus the broken dreams and unreachable ideals of one of the sixties' most enduring icons.
``He was rolling along, drunk much of the time, putting himself out there, pretty much letting life happen to him,'' writes Hopkins of rock star Morrison (1943-1971) in this refreshing addition to the already large shelf of books about The Doors and their lead singer. Neither mythmaker nor debunker, Hopkins ( No One Here Gets Out Alive ) views Morrison as a talented yet disturbed person, easy to dislike but impossible to dismiss. In particular Morrison fans will welcome the most vivid descriptions of the star's death ever published, an unusually sensitive treatment of his first wife, Pam Coruson, and a previously unpublished interview. Hopkins also dispels the rumors about Morrison's possible survival and describes the making of the Oliver Stone film that sparked a resurgence of The Doors' popularity. His polished style and sense of balance, evident throughout, add luster to this well-explored subject. Photos not seen by PW.