Mrs Morrison's Hotel

The 100% personal official blog for Patricia Kennealy Morrison, author, Celtic priestess, retired rock critic, wife of Jim

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I was, wait, sorry, that's "David Copperfield". Anyway, I was born in Brooklyn, grew up on Long Island, went to school in upstate NY and came straight back to Manhattan to live. Never lived anywhere else. Never wanted to. Got a job as a rock journalist, in the course of which I met and married a rock star (yeah, yeah, conflict of interest, who cares). Became a priestess in a Celtic Pagan tradition, and (based on sheer longevity) one of the most senior Witches around. Began writing my Keltiad series. Wrote a memoir of my time with my beloved consort (Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison). See Favorite Books below for a big announcement...The Rennie Stride Mysteries. "There is no trick or cunning, no art or recipe, by which you can have in your writing that which you do not possess in yourself." ---Walt Whitman (Also @ and

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Au Reservoir

At least for a couple of weeks. I'm changing places of employment, and I haven't yet got my new computer hooked up at home.

Once I do, of course, I'm back. With an announcement of a new self-published series, which I've mentioned in these posts, hopefully tantalizing enough that you people will want to buy it online. Self-publishing is about control, it's about royalties (more for me, less for undeserving publishers), it's about editors loving it but idiotically wondering what table it might go on at Barnes & Noble. This way, it goes on a new website with a click-through to Amazon and B&N. No tables necessary.

I will leave you with a little snippet to tide you over, from the first book...more to come when I get back. The book is called "Ungrateful Dead: Murder at the Fillmore." (Sorry about the paragraphs, I don't know how to make them in blogs.)


Tam Linn, lead singer of the rock group Deadly Lampshade, has a beautiful rich tenor voice, for which he writes songs that show it off to best advantage—a practice which is not always, or even often, to the best advantage of the rest of his band.

He also has a gift for gorgeously singable melody lines that make great hooks for hit singles—but only if he sings them. He is an inventive guitar player—but only in the service of his own songs. Even in this time and place of amazing hair—Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, 1966—he has some of the best around, thick, dark, straight, shoulder-length; and he isn’t above tossing it around like a Civil War whore to pull in chicks.

He is well aware of all of this, and aware also that it doesn’t exactly endear him to a whole lot of people. Especially not to the people that know him best and have to work with him most closely. And he doesn’t particularly care.

It hardly seems to matter. Under their British manager’s tutelage and Tam’s selfish though effective leadership, within a year the Lampshade have evolved from a sloppy Oakland bar band to a hard-playing, brilliantly creative, psychedelic outfit. But in the process of becoming stars, they have lost—some say cynically tossed overboard— much of the political and spiritual consciousness that had been their original stock in trade.

Well, when it comes right down to it, they’re not the only Bay Area rock group to have done the same in the service of their music, steering clear of at least the most overtly political stuff—though nobody is entirely apolitical, in the sense that politics doesn’t deeply affect their music and their persona, their way of being in the world.

Because you can’t be, not in this time and place; it isn’t possible to think and feel and stand apart. Politics is part of the scene, part of what makes the music move and live and thrive—it was from the very first, and it will be until the very last.

Likewise the drugs. Nothing nasty, or not that often anyway, not till later: just pot and acid and mescaline and psilocybin; speed is the worst of it. The reign of terror that heroin and powder cocaine would bring about is still a few years off; if they are used—and they are, even now—they are used in secret, and junkies and speed freaks and cokeheads are looked down on in the drug hierarchy.

Whether the drugs make the music or the music makes the drugs is one of those headachey questions like can God create a rock so big he can’t lift it, or if a really bad band plays suckily in a forest with nobody there to hear them do they still make a sound, and if they do is that sound still sucky or is it just a sound.
Though on further reflection maybe it is the drugs that make questions like that.

But Tam is by far the most enthusiastic substance fan among the Lampshade’s personnel; he can blow a kilo of grass in a few days, a gram of coke in a few whale-sized snorts, a whole blotterful of acid, thousands and thousands of mikes of Owsley’s finest, in a week.

And that’s only what people actually see him do: there are tales of much harder stuff, and even not-so-veiled whispers of him dealing that harder stuff on a professional scale, not just those amiable transactions among friends that are on a par with asking someone to pick up a quart of milk for you at the grocery store next time they go to buy milk for themselves. But no one knows for sure.

Strangely enough, the drugs don’t affect Tam’s creative work in the slightest, which almost seems to be missing the point. His output is brilliant, and his voice is amazing, and even drugs can’t improve much on that—or, if you take the other view, can’t hurt it much either.

But one point nobody missed about Tam is that he has pissed off pretty much everyone he ever came into contact with. The only reason most people put up with him at all is because he’s so freakin’ talented, and of course he’s a rock star, and also of course he’s so very very cute. Apart from that, though, Tam Linn, born Tommy Linetti, is a terminal pain in the behind.

So when he is found pretty darn terminal indeed backstage in the Fillmore Auditorium dressing room one spring afternoon, stuffed into one of his band’s amp cases a couple of hours before the Lamps are to headline there, not even his own band is particularly sorry about it. Shocked, yes; annoyed, yes; pissed off that even in death he’s managed to find a way to inconvenience them and screw them over once again, yes yes yes.

But grief-stricken? No. You couldn’t say that about them. You couldn’t say that at all.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Guns Don't Kill People, People With Guns Kill People

I have avoided much of the Virginia Tech coverage, not because it is so horrible and upsetting, which of course it is, but because I do not care to pay that evil depraved lunatic any more attention than he has already gotten. If you pay attention, then he wins, then he gets what he was after. Attention should have been paid long ago: the kind that would have helped him, and where were/are his parents in all this? Hiding in shame? Because they feel he shamed them in the eyes of the world or becase they failed him so completely? I wonder.

Anyway, I wish that the media would likewise dial it down. Yes, it's news, but it also provides yet another feeding frenzy for TV, radio and print. What, Anna Nicole getting boring? Lucky you, media people, to have a massacre to get your fangs into.

I don't stare at car crashes, either, or at people lying injured or whatever in the street (apart from a quick look to make sure they're being cared for). I don't read stories about the killers of recent note, like John Lennon's assassin or the pudgy-faced horror known as Son of Sam and oh dear GOD certainly not the Simpson creature (the one who slaughtered his wife and her friend, not the cartoon character).
I just feel that it's giving them what they want, and I don't want to.

I have nothing but sympathy and sorrow for the children lost at Virginia Tech, and for their families and friends and classmates. Light be with them and healing peace be upon them.

On the other hand, I have nothing but contempt for the State of Virgina and its redneck, NRA-ass-kissing gun laws. And I say this as a person who often feels that everybody should be armed in public, because the criminals and lunatics don't stick to the law and play by the rules, and we're all defenseless against this sort of thing.

I was the captain of the girls' rifle team in college and I've had a few memberships at shooting ranges here in New York, so I'm not unfamiliar with propulsive weaponry. I like guns, I enjoy target shooting, and I'm a very good shot. (I like bows and arrows and swords, too, and I'm good at those as well.)
And I would have NO problem shooting someone who threatened me or the people I love with grievous bodily harm. I figure if they come at you, they're asking for it, and by all means give it to them first. It's the Karma Mirror,'re just the instrument of their learning.

But that's a far cry from the kind of thing Virginia is doing. That state is the biggest supplier of illegally imported guns to New York City. It's so easy to get a gun there, as we have all seen, and just drive back here with it, to keep or to sell. Unbelievably, just hours after the VT rampage, some squirrel-eating halfwit gun celebrator was laughing it up about his gun festival and how he wasn't calling it off for nothin', nohow.

Well, apparently he's singing a different tune today. But just for the moment: his little bulletfest love-in has merely been postponed a few weeks. And his mindset (he even mocked Mayor Bloomberg for the mayor's comments on the gun-lust and lucrative sales that Virginia rejoices in) is, sadly, not unique.

Still, I wonder if there's not something to be said for allowing responsible citizens easier access to well-regulated guns and the right to carry them. A number of states, including Texas, already do this, and armed citizens nationwide reportedly thwarted over a quarter million crimes last year alone. If even just a few of the teachers and students at VT had been carrying, this monster might have been stopped. His aim was to go out in a blaze of glory, so that would have happened anyway, but at least he might not have taken 30-plus people down first.

As for the utter incompetence of the VT security force, I can't even begin to discuss it...that campus should have been shut down as soon as the first shot was fired, and in my opinion the Kampus Kops are largely contributory to the ensuing horror.

Okay, maybe guns for all isn't such a good idea. How about, then, SWORDS? I love this...I can see the subway now, everybody strapped up with rapiers, broadswords, claymores. All in plain view, so no surprises. A deterrent, definitely, I would think. And unlike guns, which any thug can use to effect, swords require a certain amount of skill. And they can be defended against with ease and a really good right-hand parry.

This could work. I think I'll suggest it at the next town meeting.

I certainly don't mean to trivialize what happened in Virginia. Or at Columbine, or Pearl (I know a young woman who was there for it...) or anywhere else where madness and arrogance and murderousness have intersected with innocence and blamelessness. And I certainly don't have any more real solutions to offer than anyone else has. It's easy to say something has to be done. It does. It's just that none of us seems to know exactly what.

And to be honest, I'm only surprised this sort of thing doesn't happen ten times a day. How's that for sad commentary?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Begging His Pardon

I see where the Governor of Florida, one Charlie Crist, has been heard considering the possibility of pardoning James Douglas Morrison for the "crimes" of which he was criminally convicted in 1970.

Huh. Crist and other grubby opportunists are not fit to even say his name. Will WE pardon THEM, that's the real question. And I think you can hear me already: Not in this life or any other. Like a character in one of my Keltiad novels, I do not forgive and I do not forget.

For those of you unfamiliar with the details, Jim was alleged to have exposed himself onstage at Miami's Dinner Key Auditorium during an even rowdier than usual Doors concert. He was not interfered with onstage (as at New Haven in 1967), nor was he busted when he came offstage. In fact, he was allowed to leave Florida unhassled by minions of the law.

Several days later, the then-DA reconsidered and issued a warrant for his arrest; he turned himself in shortly thereafter. The charges were a felony count of lewd and lascivious behavior, and assorted misdemeanors (including the infamous exposure rap).

He went on trial in August 1970 (I was with him for a week of it), and was convicted of all but the felony (I think maybe an inciting to riot misdemeanor might have been tossed, too).
So he did expose himself, according to a jury, but he didn't do it lewdly or lasciviously. This despite the fact that in an audience of over TEN THOUSAND PEOPLE, most of whom had cameras, there was NOT ONE photo of him doing anything of the sort.

The trial, woefully under-reported by even the rock press, was a farce. Presided over by a judge later convicted himself of child molestation, with a prosecuting DA who asked Jim to sign autographs and records for him and his kids, and with a jury of stolid rednecks with a collective IQ not half Jim's own who had no idea they were even breathing.
Community standards were disallowed. Exonerating evidence was denied. All KINDS of blatantly unlawful stuff. I was there! I know! I saw it!

It was a sham trial, a cynical, venal, politically opportunistic bust of the "counterculture" in the person of Jim, and it is my belief to this day that what happened to him in Miami contributed directly to his death.

Jim knew he was convicted even before he set foot in the courtroom. You can read the transcript of his testimony; it's online somewhere.
And what you will see there is Jim showing wit and courage in the face of people who would have liked to see him executed, not merely prosecuted. He talks about how he couldn't have gotten the fly-less pants off if he'd wanted to, how a Doors roadie grabbed him...they even asked him if he was circumcised. (He was, in case you were wondering...) Anything and everything they could ask or do or say to make him look like the idiot and monster they wanted him to look like.

You have no idea what it was like, being there with him, watching him be so brave in the face of doom, knowing every hand was against him, knowing you couldn't do a thing to help him, knowing the creatures who sat in judgment on him and the rest of us weren't morally fit to judge a mud-wrestling match.
(Not to mention the fact that he and I had our own domestic tragedy going on, part of the reason I was with him in Miami, which only exacerbated our pain; you can read about it all at length in my memoir "Strange Days", if you feel so inclined.)

It doesn't stop there, either: a couple of years ago, someone came across a Florida State University recruiting film, starring young Jim as a student worried he might not be able to afford college because no one gave him any financial or scholarship advice. He's adorable in it, clearly already himself---his first starring role.

When the film was found, both the university and the then Lt. Governor instantly began capitalizing on it, using it as a selling tool. The screaming irony that Florida tried to put Jim away for six months of hard labor in the Dade County slammer (the ultimate sentence decided on) but now they're only too happy to use him for their purposes seems to have been lost on them. (I sent the Lt. Gov, a very stupid-sounding woman, a Krakatoa of an email, of course...)

So, no, I won't be pardoning the fucking State of Florida for what it did to the man I love (and how that affected my own life---if he hadn't been on trial, things might have worked out very differently for Jim and Patricia Morrison).
In fact, I would very much like to sink it like Atlantis into the blue oceanic hell-depths. And it did not escape my notice that Hurricane Andrew (Jim's brother's name) trashed Dade County the very year my book came out. Coincidence? I think not!

In the end, though a clean slate might be nice, it's largely immaterial whether this politically motivated lube job to clean up Florida's act goes through. That state is itself guiltier than sin of far worse crimes than Jim was ever accused of, so dirty and corrupt and vile even Hercules couldn't clean it out with a handy diverted river. Then or now.

Yeah, Atlantis is looking better and better...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Satuhday-ay Afternoon [/Jefferson Airplane]

Had a lovely time walking around the Villages, East and West, with my sister Regina and my niece Shannon. Regina hadn't been in to the city for quite a while, so she was suitably impressed at the cleaned-up West Side Highway Park and the towers of various pretentious complexes across the river in NJ. We shopped and ate and walked all the way up to the Union Square Greenmarket and back to my place, where we ate some more and I made them take home tons of mathoms. Ha! Better them than me....

It was most pleasant, and I wish it were easier to do it more often. But we will. And shall.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Birfday Five of a Kind

Okay, okay, I forgot! But it's been a little nuts around here the past couple weeks...

To Pauline Rivelli, my former publisher and mentor from Jazz & Pop, dearest Pauline Ravioli...March 29

Mary, March 31, I took care of...

To my brother Kevin...April 13...from the real twisted sister...and his wife Lisa...April 8...

And most of all to my sister, Regina, April 12, my first friend and fellow in crabbiness down the decades...anyone who thinks I'M a world-class crank hasn't met her yet.

Love and cupcakes to all...also fudge...and brownies...and lobster...and fruitbats...and the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch...stopping now...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

You Kiss Your Mama With That Mouth?

I see where Don Imus, that scone-faced, flour-complected, ratty-haired pimpmaggot, has been suspended from his radio show for two weeks for calling the women of the Rutgers University basketball team, on the air, “nappy-headed hos.” He should be fired for it, like the many equally disgusting individuals who have gone before him in the feculent ooze of public racial insults.

When I first heard about what he’d said (I do not listen to such nastiness), I honestly thought I had misheard. Who in their right mind and civilized senses would gratuitously insult, in such vicious language, a group of talented student athletes who had done nothing to provoke it?

What is WRONG with people like this? Apparently they have no censor ’twixt (alleged) brain and lip, to keep stuff like this from being seen by the world at large. It’s human, though not really okay, to think things like this, I have a feeling all of us do every now and again. But most of us know better than to let it out for a walk in the fresh air and sunshine.

So I-mess “apologizes”, three times no less, like Peter denying Jesus. But I get the clear sense he’s just sorry his usual nasty shtick blew up in his face this time, he’s not sorry he actually said what he said and probably even believes he’s being put upon unjustly.

I never understood the Imus love. He’s not funny. He’s never seemed particularly smart or sophisticated. He’s got no discernible talent except for verbally crapping on people when he thinks he can get away with it and sucking up to important ones when he can’t. What. A. Pig.

And then, and then, oh stop me laughing, pompadoured buffoon Al Sharpton comes into the room all blowharding and preening as the great arbiter of what is or is not a racial insult. Hey, Al, got two words for your community credibility: Tawana. Brawley. You’re a racial insult all by yourself.

And not forgetting the equally egregious Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson, who has stepped into the fray because, I dunno, he needs a publicity fix.

What interests me is why it is apparently okay for black people to use words about themselves, among themselves or out there for all to hear on rap “songs”, words that are derogatory and horrible, or words about white people, even, but white people can’t use those words because that’s “racial” or “white behavior”.

If black “artists” call black women bitches and hos in their “songs”, somehow that’s okay, because it’s all for the money, I guess. And if they then take it a step farther and physically or otherwise mistreat the bitches and hos, that’s okay too, because they have dehumanized their women just the way white slaveowners used to dehumanize black men. Those who will not learn from history…well, fo’ shizzle. (Am I using that correctly? Because I am white, you know...I'd hate to offend rappers.)

You can’t have it both ways, my friends. It’s either wrong for everyone or okay for everyone, though why anyone would want to soil their mouths and minds with muck like that is beyond me. If you want to call trash on yourself, fine, but then don’t be pissing and moaning when people use the trash words of you and continue to treat you like the trash you present yourself as.

Cleanness of speech isn’t “white” or any other color. It’s simply evolved-human-being.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Countess Kathleen

In case you were wondering why I haven’t posted for a while: MDF Kathleen Quinlan came to town and stayed for a whole week, accompanied by her teenage son Tyler and his friend Danny. They stayed in the West Village and they ran me ragged. And I loved every minute of it.

We ate (shrimp risotto at Risotteria, divine, and pizza at Lombardi’s and Two Boots). We shopped (shoes, coats). We paid respects at Ground Zero and St. Paul's Chapel. We walked through Chinatown and Little Italy. We ate some more (Italian food on Mulberry Street, with dessert at Ferrara’s; hamburgers at my fave burger place Burger Heaven on 49th Street; chicken pot pie at my fave East Village place Telephone; cream puffs and éclairs and strawberry tarts from Veniero’s, my fave East Village pastry place).

The boys went and did teenage-boy-on-the-loose in Manhattan stuff, mostly involving clubs they could get into legally and shopping for vintage. Danny (big Doors fan) saw, for the first time in his life, snow fall out of the sky (he was thrilled). On Friday, a gorgeous cold windy blue-sky day with sun and snow showers, KQ and I went to the Cloisters, only my third time ever, and Kathleen’s first. I had the best time, and now they’re all safe home and I miss them.

New Yorkers often need out-of-town guests to make them get up and DO stuff like that. Left to our, okay, MY own devices, easy to say ohhhhhh it’s so faaaaaar to the Cloisters. And it is. A long subway ride and then a one-stop bus hop or a twenty-minute walk through a park.
But when you get there, and you see the towers rising up on top of the hill as if they were born there, and then when you walk around this incredible assemblage of medieval cloisters and halls with amazing stuff inside, the sense of peace and serenity and eternity…you wonder, briefly, why you only make it up there every twenty years or so.

The first time I went to the Cloisters was New Year’s Eve Day 1967. My then-boyfriend Ron and I drove up there in his cool black Volvo, and it was snowing, and when I stood on the battlements I couldn’t see anything but the snow, couldn’t hear anything but the quiet medieval music they were playing. No city sights, no city sounds. Absolutely extraordinary.
The second time was around 1980 or so, I think, and a friend and I took the bus up. Two hours. Never again. A nice visit, but not as memorable as the first.
And now this time. Kathleen says she’s bringing her husband up there next time they come to NYC, and she wouldn’t even buy postcards to show him what it looks like. Wants to surprise him. I think that’s quite the right thing to do.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


This is new, so bear with me...if it works, it's really fun to watch... Laird Hamilton's latest big-wave epic, "All Aboard the Crazy Train."

And if someone could tell me the name of the instrumental symphonic soundtracky music that precedes Pearl Jam's "I Am Mine" (great song!), I would be much obliged.