In one of the more random music news stories of the past month, the Doors frontman Jim Morrison was posthumously cleared by the state of Florida on 4-decade-old convictions for indecent exposure and profanity, which followed a now-legendary Miami concert. Now — in keeping with the band’s anti-authoritarian legacy — Morrison’s surviving bandmates, Robby Krieger, John Densmore, and Ray Manzarek, have lashed back against the Governor Charlie Crist-led pardon. In a statement to the press, the ex-Doors said:
If the State of Florida and the City of Miami want to make amends for the travesty of Jim Morrison’s arrest and prosecution 40 years after the fact, an apology would be more appropriate –- and expunging the whole sorry matter from the record. And how about a promise to stop letting culture-war hysteria trump our First Amendment rights? Freedom of speech must be held sacred, especially in these reactionary times.
Rock on, boys. But seriously, the best part of this absurdly relevant series of events is that there’s still only a vague consensus about what actually happened at the 1969 concert in question. Even the Doors’ own official statement conceeds: “Accounts vary as to what actually happened onstage that night.” In any event, my personal favorite account was told by Ray Manzarek to NPR in an appropriately “strange,” hilariously dramatic piano-backed take a few years back. The public radio station replayed that interview recently, and I highly suggest you give it a listen below: