We extend our gratitude to everyone who donated to the BTE Kickstarter fund. Thanks to your help, we will realize our vision for Before the End: Jim Morrison Comes of Age and share it with you!
THANK YOU TO:
Jill Allyn Stafford
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John R. Maney, Jr.
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Alan A Acker Jr
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Derek M. Walker
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The real Jim
Throughout the making of BTE, I’ve become acquainted with a few people who were good friends with Jim. One, in particular, shared a prime example of why so many choose to “hate Morrison” via knee-jerk reaction.
Circa 1990, Oliver Stone asked Jim’s friend to be a consultant for his then in-the-works biopic, The Doors. Jim’s friend said he was given the script and, upon reading it, marched up to Stone, pointed to it, and asked, “Why are you not telling the truth about Jim’s life?” Stone supposedly laughed and replied, “Because the truth doesn’t sell.” The friend returned the script and walked off the set.
If I had a dollar for everyone I’ve met who’s remarked, regarding Stone’s 1991 film, “Morrison, what a pretentious, narcissistic drunken asshole,” or words to that effect, I wouldn’t need to launch a Kickstarter donation campaign for BTE.
Everyone’s entitled to his or her opinion, but Jim’s friend’s experience illustrates how Morrison has come to be vastly misunderstood. That’s not to say Jim wasn’t capable of being an asshole, but who among us isn’t? In any case, it’s not Jess’s and my intention to deify Jim, but we’re not trying to demonize him, either, as others have successfully done. We’re revealing Jim’s rarely seen humane side, particularly as it pertains to his formative years. But to do so, we need your help.
Jess and I comprise a two-person independent production team. As we don’t possess the money and backing of a big Hollywood studio, we’re reaching out to Jim’s fans to be collaborators with us via Kickstarter. Anything you may donate is GREATLY appreciated! This is your chance not only to help make BTE a reality but, by doing so, to become a part of Jim Morrison’s legacy. You can help offset decades of lies, hype, and bullshit, and show a clearer, fuller picture of who Jim really was as a person. Please see the links below and help spread the word! We now only have 27 days to reach our $50K Kickstarter donation goal! THANK YOU!!
Here’s the official BTE movie preview:
Happy Independence Day
Happy Independence Day, BTE faithful!
Jim Morrison was a true independent, as is our forthcoming documentary film, Before the End: Jim Morrison Comes of Age. By supporting BTE via our Kickstarter campaign, you will become part of Jim’s legacy and help share his human side. There was far more to Morrison than his “Lizard King” persona!
We only have 29 days to meet our Kickstarter funding goal. Any amount you may donate is greatly appreciated! Please spread the word! THANKS!
Here’s the official BTE movie preview:
Donate On Kickstarter
Greetings, BTE faithful:
Today is the 42nd anniversary of Jim’s passing, and we’d like to take a moment to remember him as he truly was, and as he continues to be: alive and vibrant, curious and free. Viva the real Jim Morrison!
July 2013 marks a full year of work on Before the End: Jim Morrison Comes of Age. With that in mind, we’ve officially launched the Kickstarter campaign for our independent documentary film! We’re thrilled to take the next huge leap towards completing BTE, this time with you, Jim’s true fans, by our side as collaborators. We really appreciate you taking the time to check out our Kickstarter page, which features exciting rewards, a short video of yours truly saying hello, and your first glimpse of the initial BTE teaser trailer!
Please donate whatever you can to the BTE cause, and pass on the good word to your friends! We’ve got 30 days to reach our funding goal of $50K, and with your help, together we can finally bring the REAL Jim Morrison to light. The more donations we receive, the bigger our budget, and the better our chances will be to bring you the Morrison documentary you deserve. Come join us and be a part of Before the End: Jim Morrison Comes of Age!
~ Jeff & Jess Finn
Behind Closed Doors
Jim Morrison continues to fascinate, but getting inside Morrison’s brilliant and rebellious head requires, ironically, wrapping one’s mind around the monolith that is big business. [Mix every metaphor, that’s my motto!] And for better or worse, the best place to start remains No One Here Gets Out Alive. As I said to Jerry Hopkins, NOHGOA has taken a lot of shots over the years, but for three decades it’s faithfully served as the blueprint for Jim’s life. If you haven’t yet, read Hopkins’s recent e-book, Behind Closed Doors, which features the intriguing balls-to-the-wall subtitle: The No One Here Gets Out Alive Update the Doors Don’t Want You to Read. BCD offers fascinating insights not only into the surreal germination of Jim’s life and post-life, but also that of NOHGOA itself as a rite of adolescent passage akin to The Catcher in the Rye.
Riddled with a fair number of typos indigenous to the e-publishing world, Behind Closed Doors still features Jerry’s razor-sharp unflinching reportage on the history of The Doors™ and the corporate politics of Rock®. Like a two-headed, yes, snake, it’s a twisted and turning reality I imagine Jim would find to be as horrifying as it is humorous. [Make that more horrifying.] Check out BCD, and tell ‘em BTE sent ya. http://www.amazon.com/Behind-Closed-Doors-ebook/dp/B00CX1XUWO/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369502063&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=jerry+hopkins+update+the+doors
Florida, Day 3
This is Jeff Finn, your roving BTE reporter at large…
Yesterday was Day 3 of BTE/FL Excursion #2. Florida State University has finally been tackled. Along the way, I asked a dozen FSU students if they knew who Jim Morrison was, and all but two said no. On a brighter note, I conducted a fascinating interview with Jim’s professor, the one for whom he wrote the Bosch paper. In my Florida travels, I’ve uncovered a number of Spanish Moss-covered rocks upon which Jim once strode, including his various college dwellings and roommates.
While at FSU, I opened a free newspaper box to retrieve a copy of the Flambeau [school paper], and who should I find hanging out on the front page but a miniature lizard king. He didn’t flinch the entire time I took his photo. If I was the mystical type, I might entertain the notion that he was Jim reincarnated. But sadly, like me, I think he simply was exhausted from the soup-like Tallahassee humidity and too tired to move. So I closed the box and left him to his shade. But before I left, I could’ve sworn I heard him say, “Thanks, Finn. Keep up the good work, fucker.”
Today was Day 4. Drove five hours to St. Petersburg and covered Jim’s junior college. Then it was over to Pinellas Park, where I learned much ado about the late Tom Reese, including some choice information which I’ll soon share. Along the way, I took in the house where Jack [Kerouac] died. Tomorrow, the interviews continue in Clearwater, with friends of JDM from the time he met Mary Werbelow.
Off to Florida… again
“Journey we more into the nightmare…” Off to Florida, for the second time, to explore further Morrison college-era mysteries.
Jim’ Morrison’s epitaph raises a question which has flown under the radar for nearly 42 years. Is it possible he actually faked his death? With BTE, I’m approaching the topic in a clear-minded, respectful manner. While it’s true Jim had the motives [Miami; alcoholism; he'd grown tired of stardom, etc] and means [money; prior extensive international travel] to pull a Houdini, one presumes he is buried in Paris. Still, certain unsettling scenarios continue to gnaw at ostensible fact.
In No One Here Gets Out Alive, the book’s authors, Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman, noted Jim’s supposed idea of pulling a “death stunt” to gain publicity for The Doors’ first album. Hopkins and Sugerman also claimed Jim had personally shared with each of them the notion of “radically” changing careers to become a “suited and neck-tied businessman.” Additionally, they underscored “Mr. Mojo Risin’” as the codename with which Jim planned to contact those in the know once he “split to Africa.”
With 30 years of research into Jim’s life, I long ago concluded that a significant amount of information in NOHGOA was the result of Sugerman having embellished Jim’s story to help sell Hopkins’s admittedly oft-rejected Morrison manuscript. According to Hopkins, Warner Books rejected his solo draft twice before finally biting on Sugerman’s [along with Ray Manzarek as ghostwriter?] revision. Naturally, I can’t be 100% accurate in my deductions. However, throughout the making of BTE, I’ve come across a number of intriguing clues that could serve to reinforce such a seemingly far-fetched scenario as a man permanently checking out without turning in his room key. Stranger things have happened.
“Did you have a good world when you died? Enough to base a movie on?” ~ JDM
During my BTE interviews with two of Morrison’s high school classmates, one a retired judge and the other a retired attorney, each related how Jim divulged to them, circa age 17, his plan to “disappear” and begin an “anonymous” life. This was ten years before his apparent death. Could the adolescent prankster simply have been entertaining Rimbaud-fueled fantasies? Or was the brilliant teenaged Morrison plotting out his life story even then? A number of BTE interviewees have described Jim as an “actor” playing a role he wrote for himself. Of course, that could be said of all human beings, to varying degrees. In any case, without exhuming his Père Lachaise grave, no one can definitively prove anything, and we’re left to speculation. But each of us is entitled to our opinion.
Happy Father’s Day
Jim’s dad has always drawn varied reactions among Jim’s fans, but he also helped bring Jim into this world, and for that he deserves an honorable Father’s Day mention.
One of the best aspects of making this documentary is reuniting people through Jim. Here’s a recent email from Ron Cohen, Jim and Max Schwartz’s UCLA roommate, and friend of Liz Buckner, Max’s UCLA-era girlfriend and star of Jim’s first UCLA short film. Ron kindly approved my posting it here:
“Jeff- Funny you sent that e-mail at the same time Liz and I were discussing her going to NY next week to go to a memorial for Max in Woodstock and to hang out with Jules who was very close with Max….The article was very interesting to read…thanks for sending it…The photos of Jim were nice to see….I didn’t know the guy who took them… The best thing for me is that Liz and I are friends once more after 48 years of not seeing each other…We speak often and it all happened because of you…thanks…..This grand myth of Jim is very interesting to both Liz (Lizard) and me…..hope your film is coming along well… Best Ron.”
Incidentally, Jim’s UCLA nickname for Liz was Lizard.
Here are the links I initially sent to Ron:
If anyone has a recent contact for Robert or Robbie Freeman, the photographer who claimed to have taken the UCLA-era photos of Jim, please contact us. Thanks. In the book The Doors: The Illustrated History, three of those same photos are credited to Ray Manzarek.