Jim Morrison London's Roundhouse 1968 c, Ethan Russell.

Jim Morrison at London’s Roundhouse 1968

by Ethan Russell

“Jim Morrison, seemed the perfect subject for the Granada show. He had a reputation as an angry young man, and some called him the “American Mick Jagger.”

As the show began, Morrison came out dressed in his normal costume (WARDROBE) of black leather trousers and jacket and white shirt. He seemed to me somewhat puffy-faced. It was as if he was pouting. Combined with his high cheekbones and long hair, it was the high-fashion look of a photographer’s model. He walked slowly (a very studied slowly it seemed to me), to the microphone. He grasped it in both hands and leaned his weight upon it, looking down. When he sang, he put his lips directly to the mike and mouthed the lyric in such a way that it seemed that if he wasn’t careful he might inadvertently swallow it. He hardly moved. When he was not singing, he hung his head down, drooping. He seemed to be trying to manifest an incredible tension that to me simply wasn’t there. When in the middle of “When the Music’s Over” and the song reaches a crescendo, Morrison throws his head back and yells, “WE WANT THE WORLD AND WE WANT IT [pause] NOW!” It is the clear, intended rallying point of the set, the moment audiences cheer wildly But London was not New York or anywhere in America, and here the audience reacted mildly. Who knows how that felt. “It’s too bright in here,” Morrison said, squinting into the lights. “I want those lights off,” and he pointed out at the lights, which were, of course, necessary for the filming. The lights stayed on. The music stopped.”

From ETHAN RUSSELL: AN AMERICAN STORY available here.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie Walker September 2, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Here’s another comment from Katie. I didn’t log in to Disqus first.

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Anonymous September 2, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Got it

Sent from my iPad

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