In the cemetery Père-Lachaise located in the 20th Arrondissement in beautiful, peaceful surroundings lies Jim Morrison; front man and singer of The Doors, poet, lyricist and amateur film-maker. Every year thousands of fans make the pilgrimage to visit Jim Morrison’s grave, who died in 1971 in his apartment in Paris. Some say that the grave is the fourth most popular attraction in Paris.
Jim Morrison achieved cult status in his short life. After completing his studies at the University of Los Angeles in 1965 Morrison lived a bohemian life on the beach in Venice. However, that life was soon to change dramatically; soon after The Doors formed in 1967 and released their first album, international fame came knocking.
Things happened very fast for Jim Morrison and as with most Bohemian 60s bands, drugs formed a part of their way of life, of their music, especially LSD. Many will say that the high consumption of drugs was strongly reflected in their music – the mysticism and psychedelia had a huge impact on the band.
In January 1971 at the height of their success, Morrison, ‘The Lizard King, suddenly left the group and in March 1971 he moved to Paris with his girlfriend Pamela Courson; his plan to concentrate on writing poetry. Shortly afterwards on the 3rd July 1971 Pamela Courson found Morrison dead in his bathtub, in the couple’s apartment at 17 Rue Beautreillis. The official cause of death was a cardiac arrest, however an autopsy was never carried out and there are many fans who doubt this version of events. Some even question if Jim Morrison really is dead.
At his grave in the cemetery Père-Lachaise his presence is strongly felt. The frenzy of fans that visited the grave in the early years after his death, and the devastation they left behind, nearly caused the French Government to ask for his transfer.
Nevertheless it was agreed he stayed and there he still lies; surrounded by other such greats as the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin, German Artist Max Ernst and French novelist Marcel Proust to name but a few. The plot itself is very simple and in no way distinguishes itself as being the grave of such a loved superstar. However, the stone that can be viewed today is the third to be placed, after the first two were stolen.
If you are visiting Paris we highly recommend a trip to Père-Lachaise, it’s a beautiful place, but busy, if you have difficulty locating the plot then we suggest you just follow the flow of visitors.
After a visit to the cemetery we recommend a coffee in one of the many bars near Père-Lachaise. Where memories run deep and many bars still play the brilliant music of The Doors whilst the beloved fans
reminisce. Good company, good coffee, great music, “C’mon baby light my fire”.
If you are planning a trip we recommend a stay in a holiday apartment in Paris; they are more flexible, more economical and offer a home away from home vibe and you can play The Doors CD’s as much as you like