An account of the day Jim Morrison took psychedelia a little too far.
The late 1960s were a time of crazy parties, sexual liberation, and a lot of drugs. To this day, the bands that defined this era are still considered rock gods, and their stories of excess are almost as legendary as their music. However, there are some artists who took things a little bit further and were part of events that crossed the line between provocative and potentially illegal. One of these artists is Jim Morrison, front man of The Doors, who seriously pushed the envelope when it comes to live performances at one of the band’s last concerts. What he did on stage that night will be forever remembered as one of the most infamous performances in rock history, and, sadly, the beginning of the end for Morrison, who died two years later at the age of twenty-seven.
On the night of March 1, 1969, around eleven, Morrison stumbled his way onto the stage of the Dinner Key Auditorium in Coconut Grove, Miami. The band was supposed to give a concert to the twelve thousand people who had paid to hear them play that night, but Jim was hammered. Well, he was more hammered than usual. Their flight had been delayed multiple times that day, and Jim had decided that the best way to spend those hours they still had before getting to Miami was to get really drunk. He’d drunk so much that by the time they made it to the Auditorium, Jim couldn’t form coherent thoughts, much less remember the lyrics to his songs.
He would start singing a song and then stop before finishing it. Apparently, he was more interested in talking to the audience than actually performing. His drunken rant included everything from Hitler to challenging the status quo, and he even invited everyone to take their clothes off and have sex with each other. Allegedly, Morrison himself pulled down his pants and flashed everyone for a few seconds (he said he knew that the real reason everyone was there was to see his penis, not hear his music). But even this wasn’t the weirdest or the most controversial moment of the night.
That moment happened a couple of minutes later, when a Coconut Grove local brought a real, live lamb to the stage. As the story goes, Morrison grabbed it and said to the audience that he wanted to have sex with it. The crowd went wild, obviously. Jim Morrison, rock superstar and one of the biggest sex symbols of the time, was saying he wanted to have sex with an animal on stage. Who knows if he actually meant to go through with it, or if it was just another way to play with the audience: the point is he didn’t do it. People who were there that night remember him saying that the lamb was too young, which was great news for the lamb and the 12000 people who would have witnessed something really terrible.
The curious thing about this chapter of rock history is that even though there were thousands of people there and hundreds of photos, none of them can actually confirm any of the crazy stories about that night. Everyone knows about what happened, but there’s no concrete evidence. Also, it doesn’t help that most of the people in the audience was just as drunk (and high) as Morrison, and they don’t really remember everything clearly. And, of course, the fact that Morrison died so young and so tragically ended up casting a spell of mystery and legend to his life, so people are even more fascinated by him and more interested in learning about him, even if there’s no way to know if a story is true.