An absolutely true news item: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will seek a pardon for the late Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, who was convicted of exposing himself and using profanity during a chaotic Miami concert in 1969.
Dear Gov. Crist,
I’m writing to you from Rock n’ Roll Heaven, where I’ve been hanging out ever since I nodded off in that bathtub in Paris, way back in ’71.
Listen, man, I heard about the righteous thing you’re trying to do for me — clearing my good name and so forth — and I just want to say:
Come on, Charlie, light my fire!
I only found out about this other day. Jimi, Janis, Elvis and I were sitting around playing Pictionary when Jerry Garcia rolls in with a newspaper and says, “Dude, you won’t believe it! Some super-tanned cat in Florida wants to get your case tossed!”
So I looked at the story, and what you said about me, governor, blew my mind: “He was a young guy who maybe, or maybe not, made a mistake. It strikes me that everyone deserves a second chance.”
Man, I’d love a second chance but, being deceased and all, that’s probably not in the cards. Still, I seriously appreciate where you’re coming from. Forty-one years is long enough. To all those other dudes on the Clemency Board, I just want to say:
The time to hesitate is through. No time to wallow in the mire.
So, what really happened that night at Dinner Key Auditorium? Beats me, brother. I was totally wasted.
Honestly? It wasn’t the Doors at their best. We could rock, man. We could rip the joint.
I do remember the trial, more or less. The jury was mostly geezers, nobody under 40. Some cops stood up and said I flashed the audience. Then some upright souls from the audience got up and said it wasn’t true.
Prosecutors couldn’t find one single photograph that proved I did the dirty deed — this was way before cellphones were invented, thank God.
Did I use some bad words on stage? Hell, yes, Charlie, I probably did.
But it was nothing worse than you hear today on any Chris Rock HBO special (we just got cable up here — unbelievable! Buddy Holly is totally hooked on Entourage).
Anyway, that jury in Miami nailed me, and the judge gave me six months. To them I just want to say:
Mr. Mojo’s rising!
Thanks to you, Charlie.
I decided to appeal my conviction — but not because I was scared of doing time. It was the principle. Unfortunately, I took the big sleep in France before my lawyers got to do their thing, so this charge has been hanging over my head ever since.
Not that I let it bum me out. Hey, there are worse places to be than Rock n’ Roll Heaven. The music here is fantastic. Mellow vibe. Open bar, plenty of munchies.
The other day, Keith Moon (what a trip!) saunters up and says: “Oy, mate, you sure you want to have your record cleared? Spoil the old image, eh?”
And right away I dug where he was coming from — Jim Morrison, model citizen! I mean, seriously. The whole bad-boy thing, leather pants and Lizard King attitude, it helped sell a ton of albums. No doubt about it.
But, hey, if I was still alive I’d be turning 67 next month. And besides, I haven’t seen one lousy dime from my song-writing royalties in, like, forever.
Roy Orbison loaned me the Blu-ray of the Oliver Stone flick and all I could think was: OK, so Val Kilmer got the hair right, but where’s my freaking check?
Not that I’m bitter, Charlie. We’re all riders on the storm.
I read that you recently lost a big election and you’ll be out of work in a couple months. Getting me a pardon would be your last big splash as governor, and don’t think I’m not eternally grateful. And I mean eternally.
Some uptight types are bound to object, saying you’ve got better things to do than worry about some dead doper’s legacy. But a few years ago, the governor of New York pardoned the comedian Lenny Bruce, who is equally as dead as I am and had an even worse potty mouth.
And society didn’t crumble. Or if it did, we never got the word up here.
In closing, you know that it would be untrue, you know that I would be a liar, if I was to say to you, my Google hits couldn’t get much higher.
Thanks, Charlie. See you backstage someday.
Your fan, Jim.