Jim Morrison

Boomer Audit: Jim Morrison Was a Moment in Time, Not an All-Time Legend

The Doors’ 1967 self-titled debut warrants a one-line B- review in Robert Christgau’s long-running Consumer Guide to music, and it ends as follows: “Jim Morrison sounds like an asshole.” Sounds like is a bit generous, don’t you think, Bob? There have been many arguments over Morrison’s high-on-his-own-arty-machismo legacy, and nearly all of them have been between Boomer white men who wrote about rock ‘n’ roll when it was much more of an outsider profession, reserved almost exclusively for semi-scummy dudes. Beyond the potential sexual partners who actually wanted to see the Lizard King’s dick emerge from his leather pants that fateful Florida night in 1969, these critics are the types most inclined to take Morrison’s art seriously. … Read More

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Beyond ‘Just Kids': A Pocket Guide to Patti Smith’s Non-Fiction

New York Times readers might have noted with interest the byline on the paper’s review of Haruki Murakami’s new book — it was written by none other than Patti Smith. This is perhaps not as surprising as it might first appear, because Smith hasn’t been averse to issuing an opinion over the years, and she’s written non-fiction throughout her career, most notably in the 1970s. Her writings have covered a fascinating range of subject matter. If you’re interested in delving further into her criticism, there’s an essential reading list just one click… Read More

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Rock ‘n’ Roll’s “27 Club” Myth Needs to Die

The notion that 27 is some sort of mystical age is one that gets wheeled out every time a rock star dies young — everyone starts whispering solemnly about how someone new has joined the 27 Club, and how dramatic it all is. Blogs put together listicles of “10 Famous Musicians Who Died at 27.” Every so often, someone writes a book about the “tragic history of the 27 Club” or somesuch. And it needs to stop. … Read More

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10 Supposedly Rare Movies You Can Watch on YouTube

Last week, fans of River Phoenix learned that Dark Blood, the unfinished film he was working on at the time of his tragic death, was available in its final form on YouTube. Here’s hoping they watched it quickly — the film has been pulled, ostensibly due to “a copyright claim by Harold Jalving” (the film’s credited sound designer and re-recording mixer), though the Phoenix family reportedly wasn’t wild about the film’s release, either. Whatever the reason, this isn’t the first time a seemingly rare, officially unavailable movie was disseminated via the world’s most ubiquitous video streaming service. After the jump, you’ll find several movies unavailable via legal channels, yet somehow streaming (for now, anyway) on YouTube. … Read More

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The Revealing Childhood and Teenage Letters of Pop Culture Figures

There’s something incredibly intimate about letter writing: the indelible mark on a page, the permanence of ink, and the process of consideration before putting pen to paper. Even a typewritten page feels vastly more personal than one created with a computer. While you’re scrawling a Mother’s Day card to mum or your other significant parental person this weekend, the act may take you back to simpler times during your childhood when you shared your thoughts with a pen and not an iPhone. We’re sure it’s no different for the writers, musicians, and actors we revere. Before they were the names on everyone’s lips, they were sharing their hopes, dreams, and wondering about the world through their childhood and teenage letters. See what insightful missives we uncovered, below. … Read More

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20 Hilarious (And Often Adorable) Photos of Debauched Rock Stars With Cute Kids

Many awesome Stooges-related things have come out of the last week or so, not least the band’s new album (which is actually quite good) and their killer performance at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge. But perhaps most awesome of all is the photo that’s been making the rounds of Iggy clutching two kids in junior versions of his trademark sequined jeans. They look terrified, he looks delighted, and the whole thing is many kinds of awesome. So, in a similar spirit, here’s a selection of other debauched rock stars with cute kids. You’re… Read More

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The Shocking Beards of Generally Clean-Faced Celebs

Now, we’re generally pro-scruff in all its forms, but his week, we stumbled across a photograph of David Bowie rocking a delicate, demure beard, and we were just a little bit shocked. After all, for all the man’s stylistic hijinks, we’ve never seen him with a beard before, and there’s something distinctly strange about it. Some men can transition in and out of beards with no drama, but some faces have become so iconic in their clean-shaven state that a beard is frankly unsettling. Inspired by Bowie, we’ve put together a collection of the most shocking beards that have popped up on the faces of generally bare-faced celebrities (whether in recent memory or in the willful days of their youth), after the jump. Click through to check out these surprising beards, and let us know if we missed your favorite (or if we’ve inspired you to rethink that summer scruff) in the comments. … Read More

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Meet the Famous Residents of Paris' Père Lachaise Cemetery

Editor’s note: This post by Benjamin Waldman was originally featured on Untapped Cities, a Flavorwire partner site. Read more from his ongoing series on the cemeteries of Paris here.

Père Lachaise was established in 1804 and is located at 16, rue du Repos. It was named after Père François de la Chaise, the confessor to Louis XIV, who lived on the site. Unfortunately, the cemetery was not an immediate success. Parisians were wary of being buried in a new cemetery, especially one not consecrated by the church. In order to remedy this situation, the cemetery managed to secure the remains of La Fontaine and Molière and transferred them to the cemetery in 1804. Another public relations move occurred in 1817, when the remains of Pierre Abélard and Héloïse were also transferred to the cemetery. They were interred under a canopy made from fragments of the Abbey of Nogent-sur-Seine. Also of note are the Holocaust memorials, the Mur des Fédérés (Communards’ Wall), the lipstick stained tomb of Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison’s grave. … Read More

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Fascinating Interviews Cultural Icons Conducted with Themselves

In an interview with himself — which you can read more about past the jump — The Doors frontman Jim Morrison noted that the self-interview is the “essence of creativity.” After compiling a series of fascinating conversations that some of the world’s biggest cultural icons had with themselves, we wholeheartedly agree. Does the idea of a self-interview seem too self-absorbed or controlling? Possibly — but we found that the format allowed for a lot of self-deprecating humor, artistic expression, and compelling self-reflection. In each case there seems to be a clear method to the madness. Past the break, watch and read as artists, writers, and musicians share their most personal thoughts on their career, search for answers to difficult questions, and charm us with their eccentricities. Did we miss your favorite self-interview? Feel free to leave your picks in the comments below. … Read More

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The Stories Behind Some of the 20th Century’s Most Iconic Portraits

The portrait, as far as we’re concerned, is one of the most arresting forms of art. Not only does it portray a person, but it can affix a million meanings or emotions to that person, adding to and possibly conflicting whatever baseline emotions their visage stirs up in the viewer. Here, we’ve collected a few of what can best be described as the most iconic portraits of the most iconic figures, from musicians to actors to artists to politicians. Note: we’re not claiming that these are the most iconic figures of the 20th century hands down (although some would definitely make the cut), but rather that these portraits rank among the most powerful and enduring photographic images of the century. Indeed, many of these photographs have transcended their subjects to become iconic in their own rights as images — for instance, even those who have no idea who Che Guevara is would probably recognize his face as captured by Alberto Korda and spray-painted on a t-shirt. Click through to see 10 of the most enduring portraits of pop culture icons taken in the 20th century, and since of course there are many more that could have been included on this list, be sure to chime in with your own suggestions in the comments. … Read More

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