House of the Rising Sun
The crew and interviewers couldn't have been more delightful. We filmed in a tiny place in the West Village called Caffe Vivaldi, an old-school coffeehouse (but only 25 years old, not a centenarian like Jim's and my favorite place, Cafe Reggio...). The interviewer, a lovely woman called Marie, and the director were the only people who spoke English, though the others seemed to understand quite a bit, so there were many bows on all our parts to carry us over the moments. Formal courtesy and etiquette are very important to me, and I love Japanese bowing, which seems to really focus one's attention on the other person or persons. And it was fun to listen to them speak Japanese among themselves, even though all the Japanese I know I learned from reading "Shogun." So I just said 'arigato gozimash'ta' a lot...
I got to talk a lot about Jim and music and the Doors, which made me very happy. Also about the Sixties, and being a woman on the forefront edge of the great wave of rock just starting up, and how I and other women (so few of us there were) managed to surf it without wiping out.
They're going to be talking to a bunch of other people, of course, so I doubt I'll be in it for more than a couple of minutes. They also interviewed my friend the writer Michael Lydon, who was there with me back in the day (check out his book "Flashbacks", about some major Sixties scenes; fantastic writer and thoroughly nice individual; he's a musician, and plays gigs around the Villages here, East and West), and I would guess they'll try to talk to the surviving Doors themselves.
What pleased me most was being able to give credit to the band for being the superlative musicians they are; you don't hear their names mentioned a lot, sadly, when the lists are being made of great rock guitarists or drummers or keyboard players. But they were, and I've always been scrupulous to give them major props where props were due. (Too bad they don't seem able to return the courtesy where I'm concerned---except John---but there it is. I'm certainly not going to diss them out of spite because of it...) But as I say, I don't often get asked about the band's musical importance, both then and now, and it was nice to do what I could to put them in their proper perspective.
But Jim, of course, was the focus of the interview, and it was even nicer to do what I could to help dispel the erroneous and all-pervasive image. And nice that that was what the intent seemed to be, again a huge change from other interviewers.
As I said, lovely people, and I hope it will all translate into a fine and thoughtful documentary.
(And isn't it interesting that I, Patricia Morrison, am the one continually being invited to appear on these programs. Not the desperate and demented harridans who continually rail and screech against me on Doors boards...you'd think this kind of cred would go a long way to settling this stupid idea of how "unimportant" I was in Jim's life... )
It was also most pleasant to be treated as a professional from back in the day, not a rockwife, not a groupie, not just someone who was on the scene but someone who commented on the scene and someone who even helped create the scene.
For the fashionistas: I wore a black shirt with dark leggings, and my hair up. Jewel porn alert: wore Jim's silver and turquoise Navajo squash blossom necklace with a choker of turquoise chunks the size of eggs, and the tiny Victorian diamond heart Jim gave me, double-pearl drop earrings, our claddagh rings, my emerald engagement ring and the silver ring with a crowned lizard on one side and a wolf's head on the other, for us, set with a 20-carat white sapphire, that was my present for Jim being dead 25 years (I felt he owed me a major rock...).
I also allowed them to see some of Jim's private poetry to me; and even recited a little from it. Fair use, people! And nothing that's not posted here or that I haven't shared so previously. Well, maybe one or two things. Especially several lines where he addresses me, in his own handwriting, as his wife. I never get tired of reading those...as well you might imagine.
Anyway, thank you, Marie and Sho and Taku and the rest of your colleagues, for a rewarding and satisfying afternoon. You made it very easy for me...
So afterwards, I treated myself to a nice lobster for dinner (from The Lobster Place on Bleecker Street, already steamed and ready to eat, a little pricey at 15 bucks a pound and I went for a one and a quarter pounder, but a rare indulgence, and I'd worked hard for two hours and thought I deserved it), and some lemonade to go with, and a bunch of purple hyacinths whose fragrance is even now filling the whole room.
Then I watched the "Ugly Betty" and "Grey's Anatomy" season closers, and now I'll work on "California Screamin'" for a bit, since I'm totally wide-awake. And it's the gym tomorrow for sure.
This very day, the 22nd of May, in 1970, Jim called me at Jazz & Pop, in the afternoon, just to chat. He did that often, but for some reason, that day, it just made me explode into a puddle of light and warmth and joy when Laura, the magazine secretary, announced that he was on the phone for me. It was nice to remember that today, and to feel his presence at the interview...and I wasn't the only one who sensed it...