July 3, 2013 – On this date in 1971 Jim Morrison died in Paris.
It’s no secret that the inspiration for the name of my program, ‘City of Night,’ came howling from the throat of Jim Morrison in The Doors’ song ‘L.A. Woman.’
“Are you a lucky little lady in The City of Light?
or just another lost angel…City of Night”
I was fortunate to be able to tour Europe recently by hitching a ride with the L.A. band Gliss, and the last stop was in the true ‘City of Light’—Paris, France. As fate would have it, we were staying just down the street from the Père Lachaise Cemetery, the resting place of dozens of historical luminaries including Chopin, Maria Callas, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Balzac, Modigliani, and our own Jim Morrison. I had to pay a visit.
As I stood at the foot of his grave paying homage, I reflected on the lives of Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek, whom we had also just recently lost. So much of their music was about ‘the other side,’ and now they were there. It was a somber and humbling reflection, only broken when the dark clouds let loose with a low rolling thunder. As if on cue, the approaching rainfall found me without an umbrella. Standing soaking wet under the thunder, smelling the cemetery’s wet dirt and concrete, in my head I could hear Ray’s first keyboard notes from “Riders on the Storm”. An unforgettable moment that could not have been scripted better.
Bless you Jim and Ray. Thanks for the soundtrack.