Weird History Wild Jim Morrison Stories, From Riots To Arrests  

Michelle Nati
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If any artist embodied the persona of crazy rock star, it was Jim Morrison. The former lead singer of The Doors is remembered not only for his contributions to music, but also for his alcoholism, drug use, and the flashy antics he used to shock and offend audiences. Although he died in 1971, Morrison's appeal as a sensitive poet can still be seen in head shops and college dorm rooms; in fact, it has risen to mythic proportions, overshadowing some of his less stellar qualities.

Lesser-known Jim Morrison facts include his high IQ of 149. His passion for poetry took him to California in the 1960s where he met Ray Manzarek with whom he formed The Doors. Led Zeppelin had a few crazy stories and insane tales about Ozzy Osbourne abound, but fame for Jim Morrison meant more drugs and more alcohol in an attempt to live up to the persona he had created for himself. Dying at a young age may have cemented his icon status, but the Jim Morrison lifestyle seen in these stories likely exceeds even what his myth would have you believe.

He Was Arrested For A Slew Of Public Indecency-Related Offenses After A Show In Miami


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Photo: Dade County Public Safety Department/Wikmedia Commons/PD-FLGOV

In March of 1969, The Doors played the oversold Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami, and Jim Morrison was late taking the stage. "It's a swamp and it's a yuck - a horrible kind of place, a seaplane hangar - and 14,000 people are packed in there, and they're sweaty," keyboard player Ray Manzarek remembered. Intent on showing the audience what psychedelic West Coast shamanism and confrontation [were] all about," Morrison lifted his shirt and asked if the audience wanted to see more. This act, in addition to a lamb on stage, simulated oral sex acts with Robbie Krieger, and Morrison stealing an officer's hat, caused the audience to storm the stage and Morrison to be arrested and charged with indecent exposure. Although it was never proven he actually exposed himself, Morrison died before the case went to trial.

However, it was officially pardoned in 2010. And Manzarek maintains that Morrison never actually committed the act.

Morrison Had A Secret Code To Switch Hotel Rooms (And Girls) With A Friend


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Photo: Elektra Records/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Jim Morrison allegedly looked very similar to his good friend January Jansen, so much so that people sometimes mistook them for one another. According to Jansen, the two men would often get hotel rooms next to each other with an adjoining door. They worked out a code between them that if one got bored with the woman they were with, they would claim to be going for ice and slam the hotel door twice. When the other heard this, they would do the same, and swap rooms and women. Jansen claimed if he wore leather pants that were similar to Morrison's, girls were never able to tell the difference.

He Drunkenly Created Mayhem On A Plane And Was Arrested Upon Landing


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Photo: KRLA Beat/Beat Publications, Inc./Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

In November of 1969, Jim Morrison boarded a flight to Phoenix with his friend Tom Baker. Seated in first class, they both got drunk and started raising a ruckus. Although warned by both the flight attendants and the captain of the plane, neither man stopped his behavior, and they were arrested at the airport gate when they landed in Phoenix.

Morrison was charged with drunk and disorderly conduct and interfering with the flight of an aircraft. However, he was never convicted.

The Cops Caught Him Making Out With A Fan, And A Riot Ensued


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Photo: Elektra Records-Joel Brodsky/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The Doors were about to perform in New Haven, Connecticut, in December of 1967, when Jim Morrison decided to engage in a pre-show make-out session with a fan. The two were in a dressing room shower when police encountered the couple and asked them to leave, not realizing who they were talking to. Morrison angrily refused before being maced in return.

But the show went on, and Morrison took the opportunity to get revenge on the cops from his spot on stage. Calling them "little blue men," he told the audience the story in an obscenity-laden rant and as they began to riot, he was ushered off stage, becoming the first person to ever be arrested in the middle of a performance.