Today we decided we would go and check out The Doors of Perception, a photographic portrait of The Doors and their charismatic front man, Jim Morrison, photos include those taken by Bobby Klein, Guy Webster and Frank Lisciandro, This event is on at the Proud Gallery in Camden until the 23rd of August.
I have been a great lover of The Doors since the early 90’s. Music for me isn’t just about the music somehow, it is so much more than that, the story behind the song has always been very important to me and let’s face it one of the greatest stories in Rock and Roll is that of one James Douglas Morrison, I am sure I don’t need to recount it here.
I loved his poetic side, his deep seated knowledge of the classics, the fact that he based himself on Dionysius, his love of the written word, especially that of the Beat generation. The whole ethos appeals, I guess when you are young and reckless, that you can live a life like that and live to tell the tale, only age tells us that alas it isn’t so.
Years later I became wonderful friends with another great California Poet, one who is; I am very pleased to say alive and well and still to be found living in La La Land 🙂 one Stephen John Kalinich. A poet of great renowned, who has worked with all the greats, including my fav band of all time ‘The Beach Boys‘. Over the years we have had many conversations about his life and those he has encountered along the way. But why do you mention him here; I hear you ask.. well mainly because years ago Stevie was to be found in the back of various taxis discussing poetry with none other than Jim Morrison and his girlfriend of long standing, Pam. Better still, he is STILL to be found hanging out with a Door or two to this very day. I asked him to recound his tales of Jim and here it is for your delectation… enjoy!
Stephen Kalinich talks Jim Morrision:
Jim Morrison was a guy I loved. He loved Brian Wilson’s music.
We were not great friends but we knew each other and he was always receptive, kind and loved it when I recited for him and Pam.
Pam was his girfriend. She had a little Green VW Bug. it must have been 1966 / 67 or 68.
My memory is not clear. I had just signed with The Beach Boys Brother records.
I did not yet have a car. I was hitchhiking on Santa Monica Blvd, in the early afternoon and a little green Bug pulled over and picked me up and a sweet young girl, young woman picked me up. It was Pam. The Doors were not huge yet. The Myth the legend had not been formed. They were playing at the Whiskey on Sunset almost every night. A few records out and they were hot to me but not like a world wide phenonoma or anthing. We started talking and I recited to her and we spent a couple of hours together. She pulled the car over. I thought she was hot cute, but I did not flirt with her out of respect for Jim who I had not even met yet. She loved the poem and said Jm would love them.
She really liked the words to Leaves Of Grass the one based on the Walt Whitman poem my version of it. Everyone thought it was about marijuana but it was not.
Carl Wilson produced this song. Anyway a few days later she called and we got together with Jim. He was very kind appreciative really enjoyed the poems and the way I did them. He loved The Magic Hand and If You Knew. Anyway I had just signed with The Beach Boys and was getting very busy.
We met a few times and then I started hanging out with Dennis day and night, We went everywhere together restaurants walks we wrote together, slept over at his house many times. So it tapered off with Jim and Pam but we kept in touch.I liked him a lot but like Dennis he had a dark side too but never in front of me. I loved the guy the songs the talent. He was an electric charismatic performer and my early Beach Boy days are full of stories like this.
Last year I performed in a play Wating for Jack with John Densmore and Michael C Ford and I played the poet Jack Micheline and John played Gary Snyder.
I also took a Limo a few years ago with Ray Manzarek and recited a few Galactic Symphoies to him and he loved them. I love the Doors.
More to come …… Stevie