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Tony Grist

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Jim [Apr. 14th, 2008|10:38 am]
Tony Grist
Ever since I nearly choked to death on my own vomit (what a rock 'n' roll way to go) I've been sleeping semi-upright on a hill of pillows. It seems to be working. 

But because this leaves my upper body exposed I've taken to wearing a tee shirt.  The tee shirt I had on last night was a gift from Joe. It has a picture of Jim Morrison stripped to the waist, looking edibly gorgeous with the legend An American Poet above his head. 

Well, I couldn't wear it on the street, now could I? People might think I meant it.

I have a history with the Doors. Graham Leader- who is now a film producer and lives (I think) in New York- introduced me to them. We were a couple of rich kids having an educational glaze put over us at a university in Switzerland, only we stopped going to classes and instead we'd hang out in his bedroom and listen to his miniscule record collection: Dylan, the Doors, Miles Davis, Miles Davis, the Doors, Dylan. In Paris there was a revolution in full swing and we were going to join in and do our bit just as soon as an opportunity presented itself. 

For a long time the Doors were my idea of rebel music. When I was courting Ailz I used to play them very loud in the car. "Father, I want to kill you. Mother I want to......"  Ailz  was fond of me so she never said- until long afterwards- how sad that was. Joe remembers those days.

Unfortunately by the time he came to give me the shirt I was no longer a fan, having finally (at the age of 47 or thereabouts) acquired a sense of humour. He wasn't to know this; parents are, after all, incapable of personal development. 

I'm not saying the Doors are rubbish. That swirly, haunted carousel sound they make is lovely. It's just Morrison- the poete maudit stuff, the attitudinising, the absence of irony. Poor little sod, he took himself so seriously.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2008-04-14 02:58 pm (UTC)
He was young, though. If he'd survived to age a bit and still been that earnest, it would have been sad. Or perhaps he'd have developed a sense of humour as time went on.

There are bands I like more than I like the Doors, but my favourite song of all time is 'Riders On The Storm'. Objectively, it's pretentious twaddle. Subjectively, the hairs down my spine stand on end every time I hear that intro.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2008-04-14 03:07 pm (UTC)
ooh, yeah, me too. I can remember sitting in my attic bedroom with the headphones on, in the dark, listening to that song. I guess I took myself rather seriously, too.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-14 03:15 pm (UTC)
I prefer the jaunty ones- like "People are Strange"

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[User Picture]From: upasaka
2008-04-14 03:00 pm (UTC)
Ray Manzarek's keyboard playing was what really made the band, IMHO, but then I'm inclined to think that the keyboard players are always the most important thing... or at least the most interesting thing...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-14 03:17 pm (UTC)
I agree. It's Manzarek who ought to be on the T shirts- only he was a ugly, geeky dude with acne scars.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2008-04-14 03:06 pm (UTC)
I never EVER got him. I read his biography (No One in Here Gets Out Alive). Mostly, yes, I think he took himself seriously and was trying to live up to what he 'thought' he should be acting like. (I also used to practically 'inhabit' 16 Magazine, and they wrote about how Sensitive and Serious he was, and how wonderful it would be to be his Girlfriend. Not likely, I guess.

But in his younger days, before he got bloated, he certainly was 'edibly gorgeous', just as you say.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-14 03:21 pm (UTC)
He may have been pleasant to be around when he wasn't drunk or stoned.

I read that biography too. It's odd, there are some people - Peter Sellers, for instance- whom I can forgive anything. Morrison isn't one of them.
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[User Picture]From: rosamicula
2008-04-14 03:06 pm (UTC)
I once offended a group of his (young, American,earnest)acolytes who were moping round his tomb in Pere Lachaise and adorning it with flowers and bits of poetry, by suggesting they'd have a lot more fun if they dug him up and smoked him.

I feel much teh same way as you about him. Don't get me started on bloody Led Zeppelin. Often as a teenager I'd find myself in the arms with a self-consciously 'intellectual' boy and think 'Why can't we just shag? Why do I have to listen to your awful record collection first?' Ailz has my sympathies:-)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-14 03:24 pm (UTC)
Alternatively they could have gone and paid their respects to Chopin, Balzac, Delacroix, Wilde, Piaf......

I never got into Led Zeppelin- just as well probably.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2008-04-14 03:20 pm (UTC)
I must have missed the One Where You Almost Died. OMG! Glad you didn't do the rock n roll thang.

Most rock bands in those days took themselves too seriously. I used to ponder the meaning of Genesis lyrics... but at least Zep, the Doors, Genesis etc. were consummate musicians.

The song I remember going "wow" to (and without the help of illicit substances) was Cat Stevens' "My Lady de Banneville" played very loud, in a very dark brown room, with a bunch of friends, drinking very black coffee.

Dazed and Confused by Zep has horrible, horrible snog memories for me. As does "Nights in White Satin". eeewwww
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2008-04-14 03:31 pm (UTC)
"My Lady D'Arbanville" was written about the woman he was dating (Patty D'Arbanville?) and the fact that the relationship was over...

She has had well-publicized relationships with singer Cat Stevens (ca. 1968-1970) and actor Don Johnson (ca. 1981-1986), with whom she has a son, Jesse Wayne Johnson (born on December 7, 1982).

because my head is FULL of that kind of trivia, there's no room for 'real' stuff.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-14 03:56 pm (UTC)
I had a bad case of reflux. I don't really think I was close to death, but it was a nasty experience.

By and large the sixties bands weren't as pretentious as those that came along in the seventies. Morrison and the Doors were forerunners.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-14 03:59 pm (UTC)
Maybe now I've got that off my chest, I'll start listening to them again.
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From: bodhibird
2008-04-14 03:42 pm (UTC)
I have to admit I love the music of the Doors. Manzarek, Krieger, and wossname were fine musicians who played brilliantly off one another, and I like Morrison's robust baritone much better than the usual whiny rock tenor. His lyrics may be mediocre poetry, but they're good rock lyrics.

Can't argue with you about Morrison, though. Sadly, his most devoted fans seem determined to maintain the pose.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-14 04:05 pm (UTC)
Maybe if he hadn't been so beautiful....


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From: bodhibird
2008-04-14 04:19 pm (UTC)
... He was very beautiful, yes. *sigh*
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[User Picture]From: suemars
2008-04-14 06:49 pm (UTC)
i think we all took ourselves way too seriously back then, now as i age, i have to laugh at all the stuff my teen grands say and do. i saw the doors in concert in philly, right before he died. it was wonderful, he was so sexy. those were the days.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-14 06:58 pm (UTC)
I should imagine that was quite a show!
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[User Picture]From: happydog
2008-04-15 05:28 am (UTC)
you are so right. It's why I can't listen to the Doors any more, it reminds me of being a mope, and my time in mopery, taking myself seriously. The older I get the more I appreciate people like Kevin Ayers, who was almost as handsome and equally depraved, but never, ever took himself seriously at all. Maybe to his detriment, in the long run, but still.
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[User Picture]From: richenda
2008-04-15 04:45 pm (UTC)
>>>>Ever since I nearly choked to death on my own vomit (what a rock 'n' roll way to go) I've been sleeping semi-upright on a hill of pillows. It seems to be working.


Terrifying, isn't it? have you tried drinking a mug of hot (as hot as you can take it) water about an hour before bed? I found it helped - but it might depend how good your water is
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-15 07:46 pm (UTC)
I sometimes have a cup of tea last thing. Not quite the same thing, I suppose.
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