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Conversation With Jim Morrison

Ben Fong-Torres Interview With Jim Morrison 1971

From the CD liner notes by Ben Fong-Torres: Working for Rolling Stone, I used to pop into Hollywood on a regular basis. Sometimes I stayed at the apartment of a rock publicist friend, Diane. One of her neighbors was Pamela Courson – Jim Morrison’s old lady. One February afternoon in 1971, Jim came around, looking for Pamela. She wasn’t there, so he decided to hang out & wait.

When Diane introduced us, I asked for an interview. He and I hit it off right away and got into doing this parody of a TV talk show. I played Dick Cavett; he was a rock star.

He told a couple of jokes so risque that they would have gotten Cavett canned, and then, with my cheap cassette recorder running, we settled into a pretty serious chat about the Doors and the blues; the future of rock, and his own future.

Despite his reputation as a wild man; despite his busts for obscenity and for exposing himself on stage, Morrison had struck me, in published interviews, as a smart, thoughtful guy. Maybe he wasn’t quite the poet and artiste he fancied himself to be, but at least he was playing with the conventions of rock, performance, and theater. He was at home on the edge.

Jim was planning to move to Paris within weeks, and this turned out to be his last interview before his departure in March. In July, I was in Hollywood again – visiting with his friends and associates, and writing his obituary.