n the Village Voice, for instance, one chronicler said Morrison was the “first major male sex symbol since James Dean died and Marlon Brando got a paunch” and another called him at (different times) a “leather tiger,” a “shaman-serpent king” and “America’s Oedipal nightingale.”
In Eye, he was described as a “demonic vision out of a medieval Hellmouth” and the author of a book about the Doors called him “the Sex-death, Acid-Evangelist of Rock, a sort of Hell’s Angel of the groin.” While the Miami Herald tagged him “The King of Orgasmic Rock,” Joyce Haber dubbed him “the swinging Door” and prose-poet Liza Williams said he was a “baby bullfighter” and “the ultimate Barbie doll.”
If writers have been engaged in an inordinate amount of word-weaving, Morrison’s public has gone farther, spinning and spreading outrageous tales as regularly as the Doors have churned out hits.
If you believed them all, Morrison was always drunk and/or stoned; both an angelic choirboy in an unfortunate setting and a satyr seeking a continuing debauch; boorish and inarticulate as well as polite, considered and shy; all the above and none of these. New stories — each wilder than the last — were told each week and over a period of two years Jim Morrison came to represent the perfect Super Star — someone far larger than his work or his life.
In truth, many of the extremes were based on more than fairytale. The week I interviewed him, for example, the Doors were being banned from performing in St. Louis and Honolulu because of exhibitionism and drunkeness charges filed against Morrison following a concert in Miami — yet, it was the same week that Morrison finished writing a screenplay with poet Michael McClure and signed a contract with Simon and Schuster for his own first book of poetry.