We're all familiar with that time traveling theory that says one must not alter the past because it could also change the present and the future. We've seen this premise in countless movies, TV series, and literature that make us wonder if we could be so in control of ourselves to resist the temptation of doing something that could change an episode in our life. This theory, of course, is nothing more than a logical thought based on time and space premises, but actually, if it were true, wouldn't our simple apparition on a determined period alter the future? I mean, just think about that episode of The Simpsons where Homer creates a time travel machine while trying to fix a toaster. He travels to prehistoric times and aware that the slightest move can severely alter the present, he cautiously tries to go back. However, a mosquito starts bothering him so he kills it. Back in the present, he realizes that his innocent action has caused Ned Flanders to become the ruler of the world. I know, my reference is not very elevated, but it's self-explanatory. The idea of playing with the past, altering the events, and trying to envision how that could echo in our present is quite intriguing.
You might have guessed where am I going with this. Imagine a world where Jim Morrison didn't become the icon he still is. What if some events in his life had been different? For starters, and the most obvious one being, what would've happened if his parents hadn't met? There wouldn't be any Jim Morrison as we know him. Probably some other character would've appeared in his place, but it wouldn't be the same. Now, what made Morrison the man he became was an array of circumstances that molded his character and his very inner essence. For instance, if he hadn't witnessed that car accident in his childhood where many Native Americans died, he would've never promoted Indian rights nor adopted that love for nature and people's roots, an essential theme in his music and poems. If his father had never been a naval officer, he probably wouldn't have developed a sense of rebelliousness and defiance towards the strict rules and conventions of conservatism. The list could go on and on, but the outcome would've been the same. Without Jim Morrison, I don't know what would've happened with the world, but at least the music scene would've been way more different. Having said that, here are five bands and musicians that were inspired by The Doors and its lead singer. Lucky for them none of the aforementioned possibilities happened.
Iggy Pop himself has stated that all his music and stage persona was born after watching The Doors perform at the University of Michigan in 1967. Watching Morrison's defiant and careless attitude, dancing and singing in a complete strange voice, not caring about what people thought, inspired him to become, well, Iggy Pop. Moreover, when Morrison passed away, the band thought about Iggy Pop as a possible replacement, but he refused, since he thought Jim was irreplaceable.
It's quite easy to spot the influences of the band in The Cult. For starters, Ian Astbury (frontman of the band) found in the Lizard King the best inspiration to follow in terms of fashion and certain attitudes. They have even stated that they try to follow the mysticism that The Doors portrayed. As a fun fact, Astbury was asked to play the role of Morrison in a biopic, but turned it down.
With music, poetry, and the sixties, Patti Smith really shares many similarities with Morrison. In a press conference for CBS, she explained about her two experiences with the musician. Like Iggy Pop, she attended a performance of The Doors in 1967 and thought that she could totally nail performing. Then she felt embarrassed for even thinking something like that. At the time she was working at a bookstore and had never thought about pursuing a career in music, but clearly that experience planted a seed in her mind.
There are many elements that link Joy Division with The Doors. First, the similarities in the bass foundations (The Doors didn't use bass but did the bass structure with an organ). As one of Ian Curtis' favorite bands of all times, critics have even compared his vocal range with that of Morrison.
Julian Casablancas, The Strokes' frontman, opened an interview he was conducting to Ray Manzarek and Robert Krieger (former members of The Doors), with a statement about their band being the main reason he decided to pursue a career in music. Their style and attitudes towards life became a huge encouragement for Casablancas, as his songs prove evident.
Jim Morrison has become a mythical figure, a hero for young people, and a sign of defiance against totalitarianism. His darkness and mysticism have made people worship and honor him in every possible way. More importantly, he was a figure that left such a strong mark in this world. Even today he continues to inspire and intrigue people throughout the world. If you're one of those, you must check these out: