POP MUSIC: ROCK, COUNTRY, R&B;, RAP, LATIN, JAZZ : 2021: A Jim Morrison Spaced-Out Odyssey
Attention, Doors fans.
As the 25th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death approaches, a rich collection of unpublished writings by the Lizard King is being prepared for release.
The catch: It won’t be published for another 25 years.
Patricia Kennealy-Morrison, the former rock journalist who “married” the Doors singer in a 1970 pagan ceremony, has compiled “Fireheart: The True ‘Lost Writings’ of James Douglas Morrison,” an annotated volume of letters, poems and songs-in-progress that Morrison gave her during their three-year relationship.
Why is she waiting until 2021?
The original reason was that she believed the copyright on the material would be in force until 50 years after Morrison’s death. (Letters are the property of the recipient, but the content belongs to the writer, and Morrison’s writings were left to his estate.)
Kennealy-Morrison, 49, later learned that unpublished materials written before current laws went into effect in 1978 all enter the public domain in 2003, but decided to hold to her original plan to mark the 50th anniversary of Morrison’s July 3, 1971 death in Paris.
She also admits that she needs more time to prepare herself for the publication of these personal documents.
“At 75, if I’m still around, I might find it extremely embarrassing--or kind of cool to be seen as a latter-day, rip-roaring Edwardian babe,” she says.
Kennealy-Morrison (who legally added the “Morrison” to her name in 1979) is officially announcing her plans in an afterword to her upcoming “The Hedge of Mist,” the sixth novel in her popular “Keltiad” science fiction/fantasy series, which will be in stores next month.
She hopes that the materials will shed new light on aspects of Morrison’s character she believes have been obscured by his legend.
“Even people who have claimed to be his friend have wronged him deeply, often showing him as a gross, clownish, even sadistic buffoon,” she says. “ ‘Fireheart’ will reveal him as the loving, tender, playful soul he truly was. Sure, he was larger than life, but he was human, too.”
Among the more dramatic elements:
* While official Doors history downplays Kennealy-Morrison’s relationship with the singer, here Morrison repeatedly refers to her as his wife.
* In a letter dated just months before his death, he wrote that during his trip abroad he intended to break off his relationship with longtime companion Pamela Courson (who died two years after Morrison) and marry Kennealy-Morrison in a “legal” ceremony. Later letters from Paris become increasingly downcast and disgusted with himself for his inability to break from Courson.
* Lyrics for 10 songs for a planned solo album, including two dark odes to Los Angeles, “Plague Years” and “Black Sun,” aren’t up to the quality of his best work, but they reflect an autobiographical tone that he seemed to intend for the album.