James Douglas Morrison
Of Scottish and Irish ancestry, Jim Morrison was the son of Admiral George Stephen Morrison and Clara Clark Morrison, who met in Hawaii in 1941 where Steve Morrison, then an ensign, was stationed. James Douglas Morrison was born on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida, two years after his parents met. When he was a child in 1949, during a family road trip in New Mexico, whith his parents and his grandmother, saw a scene of an accident in the desert. Indians were bleeding to death and their souls were running around and finaly get into his body. This event stigmatised his entire life and he made repeated references to it in the imagery in his songs, poems, and interviews. Jim began writing in adolescence. In college, he became very interested in theater, film and cinematography He graduated from George Washington High School (now George Washington Middle School) in Alexandria, Virginia in June 1961. After that he was sent to live with his paternal grandparents in Clearwater, Florida, where he attended classes at St. Petersburg Junior College. He later transferred to University of David (1962-1963)He later transferred to Florida State University (1962-1963), which afforded a favorable tuition but was still too far away for a reasonable commute. Morrison thus moved close to the Florida State University (FSU) campus.In January 1964, urged on by an FSU professor, Morrison headed for Los Angeles, California where he completed his undergraduate degree in UCLA’s film school, the Theater Arts department of the College of Fine Arts in 1965. Jim made two films while attending UCLA. The first one entitled “First Love ” is finally released to the public, unedited at the end of the documentary about the film called “Obscura.” In 1965, after earning a degree in cinematography at UCLA, Morrison led a Bohemian lifestyle in nearby Venice Beach. He wowed fellow UCLA student Ray Manzarek with a reading of his lyrics for “Moonlight Drive” at a chance meeting Venice, Los Angeles, the two then formed The Doors (they first met at UCLA). They were soon joined by drummer John Densmore. Guitarist Robby Krieger auditioned at Densmore’s recommendation, and was immediately added to the lineup. Doors took their name from the title of Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, Huxley’s own title was a quote from William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, in which Blake wrote that “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” The Doors’ sound was a significant innovation, dominated by Morrison’s wispy, sonorous baritone, against the interplay of Manzarek’s keyboards, Krieger’s classically influenced flamenco guitar style and Densmore’s crisp, fluid drumming. The Doors were unique in that there was no bass guitar in the lineup. Manzarek provided bass lines on his newly-released Fender keyboard bass, a small bass-scale version of the famous Fender Rhodes electric piano. Although the group did augment their studio recordings with bass players (including Lonnie Mack), The Doors appeared as a four-piece in concert, apart from occasions when they were joined by special guests such as John Sebastian.Although originally shy in his role as lead vocalist, Morrison emerged as a powerful performer. After playing the London Fog for a time before being sacked, a momentous meeting took place in June 1966 at the famed Whisky-A-Go-Go when The Doors were the opening act for the Irish group Them, whose leader was Van Morrison. According to Ray Manzarek, in his book, Light My Fire, “Jim was transfixed by Van. He studied his every move. He put the eye on him and he absorbed….The last night… saw us all in a monster jam session…Jim Morrison and Van Morrison onstage at the same time! And singing “Gloria.” Morrison and Manzarek’s film school education was put to effective use early on in the band’s career. Decades before music videos became commonplace, Morrison and The Doors produced a promotional film for “Break On Through,” which was to be their first single release. The video featured the four members of the group playing the song on a darkened set with alternating views and close-ups of the performers while Morrison lip-synced the lyrics. Morrison and The Doors continued to make innovative music videos, including “The Unknown Soldier”, “Moonlight Drive”, and “People Are Strange”. During a 1969 concert at The Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami, he was arrested by the Dade County Police department for indecent exposure and was ultimately convicted of indecent exposure and public profanity. Even though Morrison was a well-known singer and lyricist, he encountered difficulty when searching for a publisher for his poetry. He found from music a channel to project his poetry, and add to it a theatrical aspect. Thus improvising and unpredictableness was a part of the band’s show on stage. The mythical Lizard King, Morrison’s alter ego, appeared first in the best-selling record Waiting for the Sun (1968) in a poem that was printed inside the record jacked. I was entitled ‘The Celebration of the Lizard King’. Part of the lyrics were used in ‘Not to Touch the Earth’ and the complete ‘Celebration’ appeared on record Absolutely Live (1970). He self-published two slim volumes in 1969, The Lords / Notes on Vision and The New Creatures. Both works were dedicated to “Pamela Susan” (Courson). These were the only writings to be published during Morrison’s lifetime. “The Lords” consists primarily of brief descriptions of places, people, events and Morrison’s thoughts on cinema. They often read as short, prose paragraphs strung together by what seems to be little more than the pages upon which they appear.”The New Creatures” verses are more poetic in structure, feel and appearance. These two books were later combined into a single volume titled “The Lords and The New Creatures”. Much later, two posthumous volumes of poetry were published, both of them selected and arranged by Morrison’s friend, photographer Frank Lisciandro, and Courson’s parents, who owned the rights to his poetry. The Lost Writings of Jim Morrison Volume 1 is titled “Wilderness”, and, upon its release in 1988, became an instant New York Times best seller. Volume 2, “The American Night”, released in 1990, was also a success. Morrison recorded his own poetry in a professional sound studio on two separate occasions. The first was in March 1969 in Los Angeles and the second was on December 8, 1970, his 27th birthday. The latter recording session was attended by personal friends of Morrison and included a variety of sketch pieces. Some of the tapes from the 1969 session were later used as part of the Doors’ An American Prayer album, released in 1978. The album reached number 54 on the music charts. The poetry recorded from the December 1970 session remains unreleased to this day and is in the possession of the Courson family. Morrison’s best-known but seldom seen cinematic endeavor is HWY, a project begun in 1969. Morrison financed the venture and formed his own production company in order to maintain complete independence in its making. He was assisted by Paul Ferrara, Frank Lisciandro and Babe Hill. More of an art film than a commercial endeavor, Morrison played what is essentially the sole continuing character, a hitchhiker turned killer car thief. This same or very similar character is alluded to in Riders On The Storm. Morrison asked his friend, composer/pianist Fred Myrow, to select the eclectic soundtrack for the film. Morrison met his long-term companion, Pamela Courson, well before he gained any fame or fortune, and she encouraged him to develop his poetry. At times, Courson used Morrison’s name, with his apparent consent. After Courson’s death in 1974, the probate court in California decided that she and Morrison had what qualified as a common law marriage. In March 1971, he and Pamela, moved to Paris with the intention of taking a break from performing and concentrating on his writing. By all accounts he became very depressed whilst in Paris, but he admired the city’s architecture, saying ‘When they built this city, they threw away the blueprint’ in an interview with a Los Angeles journalist in summer 1971. He died on July 3, 1971, at age 27, and was found in his bathtub by Courson. Jim is buried in the famous Père Lachaise cemetery in eastern Paris in a small ceremony
without fanfare, on July 7, 1971. No autopsy was ever performed.
Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida, to future Admiral George Stephen Morrison and Clara Clarke Morrison. Morrison had a sister, Anne Robin, who was born in 1947 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a brother, Andrew Lee Morrison, who was born in 1948 in Los Altos, California. He was of Scottish, Irish, and English ethnic heritage. He reportedly had an I.Q. of 149.
JOHN F. KENNEDY
On November 22, 1963, when he was hardly past his first thousand days in office, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was killed by an assassin’s bullets as his motorcade wound through Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was the youngest man elected President; he was the youngest to die.
Of Irish descent, he was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. Graduating from Harvard in 1940, he entered the Navy. In 1943, when his PT boat was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy, despite grave injuries, led the survivors through perilous waters to safety.
Back from the war, he became a Democratic Congressman from the Boston area, advancing in 1953 to the Senate. He married Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12, 1953. In 1955, while recuperating from a back operation, he wrote Profiles in Courage, which won the Pulitzer Prize in history.
In 1956 Kennedy almost gained the Democratic nomination for Vice President, and four years later was a first-ballot nominee for President. Millions watched his television debates with the Republican candidate, Richard M. Nixon. Winning by a narrow margin in the popular vote, Kennedy became the first Roman Catholic President.
His Inaugural Address offered the memorable injunction: “Ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.” As President, he set out to redeem his campaign pledge to get America moving again. His economic programs launched the country on its longest sustained expansion since World War II; before his death, he laid plans for a massive assault on persisting pockets of privation and poverty.
Responding to ever more urgent demands, he took vigorous action in the cause of equal rights, calling for new civil rights legislation. His vision of America extended to the quality of the national culture and the central role of the arts in a vital society.
He wished America to resume its old mission as the first nation dedicated to the revolution of human rights. With the Alliance for Progress and the Peace Corps, he brought American idealism to the aid of developing nations. But the hard reality of the Communist challenge remained.
Shortly after his inauguration, Kennedy permitted a band of Cuban exiles, already armed and trained, to invade their homeland. The attempt to overthrow the regime of Fidel Castro was a failure. Soon thereafter, the Soviet Union renewed its campaign against West Berlin. Kennedy replied by reinforcing the Berlin garrison and increasing the Nation’s military strength, including new efforts in outer space. Confronted by this reaction, Moscow, after the erection of the Berlin Wall, relaxed its pressure in central Europe.
Instead, the Russians now sought to install nuclear missiles in Cuba. When this was discovered by air reconnaissance in October 1962, Kennedy imposed a quarantine on all offensive weapons bound for Cuba. While the world trembled on the brink of nuclear war, the Russians backed down and agreed to take the missiles away. The American response to the Cuban crisis evidently persuaded Moscow of the futility of nuclear blackmail.
Kennedy now contended that both sides had a vital interest in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and slowing the arms race–a contention which led to the test ban treaty of 1963. The months after the Cuban crisis showed significant progress toward his goal of “a world of law and free choice, banishing the world of war and coercion.” His administration thus saw the beginning of new hope for both the equal rights of
James Marshal Hendrix
James Marshal Hendrix was born in Seattle, Washington, on November 27, 1942; an American of African, European, Cherokee Indian and Mexican descent. An unsettled home environment made Jimi spend much of his early years staying with his grandmother, a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, in Canada. Early on September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix died in London under circumstances which have never been fully explained. He had spent the later part of the evening before at a party and was picked up by girlfriend Monika Dannemann and driven to her flat at the Samarkand Hotel, 22 Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill. According to the estimated time of death, Jimi Hendrix was one of rock’s few true originals. He was one of the most innovative and influential rock guitarists of the late ’60s and perhaps the most important electric guitarist after Charlie Christian. His influence figures prominently in the playing styles of rockers ranging from Robin Trower to Vernon Reid to Stevie Ray Vaughan. A left-hander who took a right-handed Fender Stratocaster and played it upside down, Hendrix pioneered the use of the instrument as an electronic sound sourcehe died shortly afterwards.
Elvis Aaron Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley, in the humblest of circumstances, was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn, leaving Elvis to grow up as an only child. He and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1948, and Elvis graduated from Humes High School there in 1953 His talent, good looks, sensuality, charisma, and good humor endeared him to millions, as did the humility and human kindness he demonstrated throughout his life. Known the world over by his first name, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of twentieth century popular culture. Elvis died at his Memphis home, Graceland, on August 16, 1977.
Lee was born in San Francisco, California, and raised in Hong Kong until his late teens. His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, and sparked the second major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West.