feel Jim needs to be pardoned for anything”: Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore
respond to outgoing Florida
governor Charlie Crist’s posthumous pardon of the Lizard King.
By Blurt Staff
A message, from The Doors
(go here for our previous coverage of the pardon):
In 1969 the Doors played an infamous concert in Miami, Florida.
Accounts vary as to what actually happened on stage that night.
Whatever took place that night ended with The Doors sharing beers and
laughter in the dressing room with the Miami
police, who acted as security at the venue that evening. No arrests were made.
The next day we flew off to Jamaica
for a few days’ vacation before our planned 20-city tour of America.
That tour never materialized. Four days later, warrants were issued in Miami for the arrest of
Morrison on trumped-up charges of indecency, public obscenity, and general
rock-and-roll revelry. Every city The Doors were booked into canceled their
A circus of fire-and-brimstone “decency” rallies, grand jury
investigations and apocalyptic editorials followed – not to mention allegations
ranging from the unsubstantiated (he exposed himself) to the fantastic (the
Doors were “inciting a riot” but also “hypnotizing” the crowd).
In August, Jim Morrison went on trial in Miami. He was acquitted on all but two
misdemeanor charges and sentenced to six months’ hard labor in Raiford
Penitentiary. He was appealing this conviction when he died in Paris on July 3, 1971. Four decades after the
fact, with Jim an icon for multiple generations – and those who railed against
him now a laughingstock – Florida
has seen fit to issue a pardon.
We don’t feel Jim needs to be pardoned for anything.
His performance in Miami
that night was certainly provocative, and entirely in the insurrectionary
spirit of The Doors’ music and message. The charges against him were largely an
opportunity for grandstanding by ambitious politicians – not to mention an
affront to free speech and a massive waste of time and taxpayer dollars. As Ann
Woolner of the Albany
Times-Union wrote recently, “Morrison’s case bore all the signs of a
political prosecution, a rebuke from the cultural right to punish a symbol of
If the State of Florida and the City of Miami want to make amends
for the travesty of Jim Morrison’s arrest and prosecution forty years after the
fact, an apology would be more appropriate – and expunging the whole sorry
matter from the record. And how about a promise to stop letting culture-war
hysteria trump our First Amendment rights? Freedom of Speech must be held
sacred, especially in these reactionary times.
The Morrison Family