Remembering Jim Morrison Born on This Day, 1943
08 Dec 2022
On this day in 1943, James Douglas Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida. He would grow up to become one of the most influential frontmen in rock music history, founding The Doors with Ray Manzarek in 1965 and recording a total of six studio albums with the band.
A voracious reader from an early age, Morrison was particularly inspired by the writings of several philosophers and poets, including Nietzsche, Rimbaud, Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Kafka.
Morrison himself began writing during his adolescence. In his twenties, between 1969 and 1970, he self-published his poetry: The Lords / Notes on Vision and The New Creatures, (later combined into a single volume titled The Lords and The New Creatures) and An American Prayer. Morrison also recorded his poetry in sound studios, but these were the only written works published during Morrison's lifetime.
'Jim probably wanted to become like the people that he'd been reading and studying and had been influenced by, but instead he fell into singing by accident.' - Andy Morrison
After graduating from UCLA, it was a chance encounter with fellow film student Ray Manzarek that sparked the idea of forming a band. Manzarek encouraged Morrison to sing some of the songs he had been writing since leaving school. Morrison sang 'Moonlight Drive' and together, they decided that they should form a band. They went on to recruit Robby Krieger and John Densmore and The Doors was complete.
'Jim's words were something special and I think our music matched those words. I don't know any other three guys could have done that.' - Robby Krieger
In a career that spanned less than a decade, their music has become widely regarded as some of the most influential of the twentieth century. Throughout it all, Morrison meticulously recorded his observations, poetry, song ideas and artwork in his notebooks, amassing a huge body of work that cements his legacy today.
That body of work is collected in the book that Morrison had himself planned before his passing, A GUIDE TO THE LABYRINTH
. Today, we are celebrating Jim Morrison's life and creativity, and we are honoured to share his magnum opus with you.
In 1969, Rolling Stone magazine asked Jim Morrison, 'Do you see yourself going more towards print?' He answered: 'That's my greatest hope. That's always been my dream.'
A GUIDE TO THE LABYRINTH
is Genesis's largest publication to date. The epic main volume is 608-pages long, lavishly illustrated, and accompanied by spoken word recordings on vinyl, plus exact replicas of two of Jim Morrison's notebooks. It all amounts to a personal tour of the Jim Morrison archive.
Opening up the Morrison vaults, a large-format main volume presents Jim Morrison's poetry, lyrics, essays and ideas, both typeset and in Morrison's own handwriting throughout. Illustrated with over a hundred rare photographs, drawings, and items of memorabilia, Morrison's commentary narrates the collection, sourced from archival interviews.
Exclusive, new text from his close friends and fellow musicians adds further insight. This signed and numbered, craftsman-bound edition is accompanied by spoken word recordings on a special 7" vinyl pressing, plus two actual-size reproduction notebooks, never-before-seen from the Jim Morrison archives.
A GUIDE TO THE LABYRINTH
is published in an edition of only 2,000 copies worldwide. Each numbered book is individually signed by Morrison's Doors band mates John Densmore and Robby Krieger, and his siblings Anne Morrison and Andy Morrison.