“Here’s a very rare documentary without the annoying subtitles, narrated by Henry Rollins. I recorded it on VHS back in something like 1997, then recorded it onto a recordable DVD-R. The tape it was oiginally on stopped working right after I burned it to DVD. Enjoy it. I know I did.”
The Lizard King, ( which he’ll always be known as, at least with me ) Jim Morrison’s birthday was last Saturday, but he’s The Lizard King so he gets a 4 day birthday celebration from me at least. He would’ve been 75 today had he not died at the age of 27 in 1971 and without his alcoholism and other drug abuse and had he lived a natural life in years he would not only probably still be alive today, but probably still performing. The Rolling Stones, same generation as The Doors are still playing. Aerosmith, same generation as The Doors and in their 70s still playing. Bruce Springsteen, same generation as well, late 60s if not already 70 is still playing. So losing Jim Morrison at 27 was a huge tragedy that still affects his fans and the broader rock industry today.
You would have to be familiar with not just the NFL, but NFL history ( meaning you’re not a Millennial, LOL ) to understand this reference, but Jim Morrison had a Gayle Sayers affect on the rock industry. He was there for such a short period of time, really only 3-4 years as an active performer before he went to Paris for good in 1970 and never came back and died in 1971. Whether he gave himself the nickname The Lizard King or someone else gave him that nickname stuck, he was The Lizard King. He moved like a lizard and you could argue even dressed like one with his snakeskin skin-tight black leather suit, cowboy boots, and concho belt. He also patent skin-tight brown leather jeans which might be more popular than is black leathers, but he didn’t wear as often.
The way Jim Morrison moved and how he dressed when he moved, the way he danced, crashed to the stage he really put on a show all by himself every time he performed on stage and some could argue a sex show performing in his skin-tight leather suit almost every time he was on stage. Leather jeans especially black leathers, are popular in rock & roll today and have been really since the late 1970s and early 80s, because of The Lizard King Jim Morrison. His impact on rock & roll including blues rock, is not just because of his music and writing, but rock & roll fashion. He was the rock & roll leather cowboy whose impact on rock & roll was huge 50 years ago and still felt today and he will always be missed especially with the internet being as big as it is and people always having the ability to research Morrison and check him out.
I think the Crawling King Snake video from The Doors with Jim Morrison perfectly sums up the style and career of Jim Morrison. The man made leather jeans and rock and roll culture and why it looks the way it does today, at least with hard rockers and headbangers. The Lizard King obviously wasn’t a hard rocker or a headbanger, but he put his signature black snake skin leather jeans on the map and made them cool. To the point by the 1980s they were standard for rockers male and female. And probably a big reason why Melissa Etheridge and Joan Jett got into them and why you saw rock and roll bands like Guns N Roses and Kiss get into them and of course the metal bands like Skid Row and Motley Crew.
And that is what you see in this video. The Lizard King moving so smoothly in his snake skin’s and cowboy boots and the concho belt. He combined rock and roll culture and lifestyle, with Western and American-Indian culture with the leather jeans, cowboy boots and concho belt and the leather jacket as well. He put these looks on the map in rock and roll, because of how often he wore this outfit in public and all the images that have come from those appearances. That were famous then and if anything now more popular forty-five years later. And without the Lizard King, rock and roll probably looks a lot different in the 1970s, 80s, 90s and today.
Leather in general wasn’t very popular in America when it came to wardrobes pre-late 1960s or so, except for perhaps biker and to a certain extent Western culture. So Jim Morrison in his full leather suit and then throw in the cowboys boots and the concho belt, that if anything even highlighted his leather jeans even more, especially in front, he was taking a risk. But he had the style, the look, the moves to make it work to the point that he became a rock and roll and perhaps even style icon in America and not just in rock and roll. And all of this is part of legacy that is still alive and well today.
If only The Doors were big even in the early 1970s, but certainly the mid and late 1970s, we would really see how great of a band that they were and how great of a performer Jim Morrison was. But they were big in the late 1960s, but color TV and film was even important and and had a big presence then. But that is a different story of why so much footage of The Doors was in black and white. Even though color TV and film, was prevalent in the late 1960s and how a lot of Americans were able to see their TV and films, if they just had a color TV. Because the music in this concert and show, was very good, but the footage is somewhat blurry. And sort of looks like a card game in a card room with all the players smoking cigars making the footage somewhat smokey. If a colorized version of this concert ever became available like movies from the 1950s and 40s were colorized, I would be one of the first people to buy The Doors Live in London in concert, or record it on demand. Because this is a really good show from them.
Jim Morrison and The Doors, also performed in Toronto, Ontario in 1967. So I guess they were popular at least in the part of Canada. That performance really looked like a hippie fest with the hall being filled with hippie chicks, with very young woman dancing in cages just above The Doors. Jim Morrison didn’t consider himself a hippie and I don’t know if other members of The Doors did either, but they were certainly part of that generation and were part of the times. Break on Through is a classic, classic rock song. And certainly part of the 1960s and represented that decade so well as an anti-establishment decade with so many young adults in America looking for an alternative lifestyle from which they were raised in the 1950s and 1960s. Jim Morrison and The Doors, (at least as I call them) were not a hippie band, but they certainly were an anti-establishment band and a band that represented this decade so well and wanting to deliver a message and lifestyle that simply seemed foreign to most Americans who either remember World War II as kids, or were part of that generation that served.