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, August 25, 2009

On Hiatus

I'm taking a break from here and LJ and FB and MySpace...

I'm wasting way too much time online and I HAVE to seriously concentrate on the current book and I have a paying freelance project that's going to take up most of September and into October.

I'll drop in from time to time, hopefully.

See you later...

Hate Reign O'er Them

From the NYTimes Magazine:

An interesting discussion. Having had more than my fair share of anonymous bile directed my way, I can certainly relate to the issue.

Just because you happen to be a public figure should NOT mean it's open season on you for every hating, mentally deficient, deeply disturbed wacko who walks the earth (with knuckles grazing the ground).

It's easy for people to say Oh, grow a tougher skin, don't take it personally, but, you know, that's really hard to do when the attcks are ABSOLUTELY aimed at you personally. If you haven't experienced this kind of thing yourself, STFU. You know not whereof you speak.

Civil discourse may never have been a possibility on the Internet from the start, as opportunities for malice and toxicity are afforded these days to an extent never dreamed by the poison-pen letter writers of old.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Haggis For Brains

I am very disturbed indeed about the release of the Lockerbie bomber by the Scottish government. It seems utterly incomprehensible that they would spring a convicted mass murderer on "compassionate grounds" when he showed not a scrap of compassion in his murderous actions and if not caught would certainly have continued them.

And I wonder what the Scots were thinking. And I wonder if there isn't more to this than meets the eye: a deal for Libyan oil? A means of covering up irregularities in the arrest or trial? I just can't see any POSSIBLE reason why a richly deserved life sentence should have been tossed aside after a mere eight years and the terrorist pig returned home to be allowed to die in the bosom of his family.

Now I see Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond is claiming that many affected families who are not American are just fine with this decision. Which, frankly, sounds far less plausible than the Loch Ness Monster (in whom I totally believe, by the way).
People who lost loved ones and their homes when the plane fell out of the sky think it's okay that the terrorist goes free? I just don't buy it...

When did a life sentence for mass murder become a "Rot in jail forever until you become terminally ill with cancer and then we'll send you home to die with your family because we're so compassionate and we don't want you to suffer needlessly" sentence? I am ashamed of my Scottish roots, connections and admiration.

And if he ISN'T dead of cancer in three months as promised, I hope somebody takes him out harshly and painfully, then wraps him in a bacon shroud and lets him explain himself to Allah, god of peace.

Yeah. Right.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back to the Garden

I see where Woodstock is all over the news this week. Forty years, but sometimes it seems like...eighty. Or four hundred. I don’t think anyone who wasn’t there for it, or at least alive and tuned in to it, can really understand what it was all about. Hell, I was there myself, in a privileged capacity (rock critic) even, and I’m still not sure I do.

Timing, as usual, was everything, and my college roommate Susie Donoghue (who also wrote for my magazine Jazz & Pop and later became managing editor of Rock) and I majorly lucked out all the way. We missed the epic traffic jams (because we knew the back roads from driving back and forth to school years earlier). We had a place to stay off-site (some college friends in a nearby village put us up in their big old house in their two clean,comfortable guestrooms and fed us lavishly and listened to our horror stories). We had a Mustang and a press sticker which got us in and out. We had performers’ passes that admitted us into the musicians’ pavilion, where there was food and drink and drugs in plenty and even not entirely disgusting places to go pee, and let us hang out on the actual stage itself.

I wouldn’t say we enjoyed ourselves, even being the privileged rock princesses that we were. It was too intense for that. And after all, crazed with sugar lust on Saturday night, I did almost pull a hunting knife on Joan Baez for the last dish of ice cream left in the caterer’s freezer. (She graciously ceded it to me, making me feel apologies, Joanie, however belated!)

Peter Townshend (or perhaps it was Roger Daltrey) says he always knows when people were really at Woodstock and when they’re just wannabes claiming they were. Because everybody who was there says how mediocre the music was, and everybody who wasn’t says oooh wow outtasight how amazing the music was.
And he is absolutely correct in his assessment. Autohype is a powerful thing, especially in retrospect.

I didn’t get to hear a lot of the music right up close in front, sticking to the pavilion as I did. Oh, I HEARD everything, you could hear it for ten miles around. It was like a background-noise soundtrack, or Niagara Falls roaring along. When it was happening at all. And you really can’t hear the music all that well when you’re right there onstage with it.
So I wasn’t always paying intense critical attention, and when I did, the music always seemed substandard, not their best work—though under the circumstances any music at all was a miracle. But I guess if you were a kid from the boonies who’d never heard those bands live before, it was a total trip.

It wasn’t part of my job to immerse myself in the zeitgeist: I was a reporter, I was there to report. I had to maintain a certain distance, cast a cold eye on the proceedings. I won’t get into it here too much: if you want the whole desperate (and rather amusing, if I do say so myself) story, go read my book “Strange Days.”

I did go out of the pavilion from time to time to wander around, of course. But if you were at all sensitive to vibes, it was like being pinned down in East London under the Blitz. Nobody was hostile, quite the contrary; it was just the sheer tonnage of stonedness that pressed down on your head until you wanted to scream. So I mainly stayed in the pavilion, like Achilles sulking in his tent.

But I remember little things: sitting at one of the tables drinking Moët from a bottle that Bob Weir opened for me (living dangerously, but I watched him like a hawk to make sure he didn't dose it) while some of the Dead and Airplane played with my tiny Persian kitten, whom I was carrying around in a big suede shoulderbag I had made for the purpose. I must have been nuts to bring her, but I’d only just gotten her the week before and didn’t want to leave her home alone so soon. She seemed to weather the weekend just fine (after the first day I left her back at the house with friends Ron and Mary), and nobody slipped her acid when I wasn’t looking. Or me either.

I remember standing on the stage and looking out over the crowd, and thinking ‘Man, this is something I would NEVER want to do for a living.’

Trying not to get that damn sticky red mud all over my nice new dark-brown soft deerskin elfboot-style moccasins; finally I gave up and put some old sneakers on instead.

Shopping! I got a lovely fringed purse and some beads and a big tooled leather duffel bag (which I’m giving to Rennie and Turk, respectively, in the Woodstock book, “Who’ll Stop the Slain”).

Thinking how beautiful Grace and Jimi and Roger Daltrey looked in their white fringey outfits, and Janis in her jewel-color tie-dye.

It was a really bad-hair weekend for just about everybody, especially me, whose hair frizzes in the presence of a glass of water. The humidity was pretty much total, and between that, the rain, the wind, the mud and the looooong delays between sets, nobody was looking their best.

As for all the post-event, grandiose claims I’ve been hearing on TV all week (“Ooooh, Woodstock, we could be ourselves, it taught how to be ourselves even more than we’d been being ourselves! We could be freeeeee!” Oh bite me, you freakin' morons!), not so much.

Yeah, yeah, nobody got killed (but just wait for my Rennie Goes to Woodstock book! I’m going to change all that, oh yes I am!). Nobody starved. Nobody got beat up, really. People on bad trips got the help they needed.

But that was pretty much it. As I say, I wasn’t sitting out there in the mud, with no food, unable to move, sleeping on the ground, peeing in the woods (or ickily elsewhere). So my Woodstock experience was rather different from that of the muddy masses. Kind of like Queen Marie Antoinette, really. Let ‘em eat coke.

So I wasn’t thrilled at having to be there, but looking back, I’m glad I was. As some kind of witness for the prosecution, or devil’s advocate, if nothing else.

And I look at my Woodstock performer’s pass, hanging on my refrigerator door, and I am well pleased. We all did our jobs the best we could. And maybe that’s what it was really all about anyway.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

And Out to Fade...

Les Paul, the REAL guitar hero. Great job, Les! Play on!

A Room of One's Own...Or More So

I had The Apartment Dream right before I woke up a while ago. Everybody in NYC probably has had this dream at some point; mine's recurring, though different every time. It's the one where you're in the back of your apartment and suddenly you discover a whole new room, or series of rooms, or a loft, or a whole other apartment, that you never knew was there. And you are so happy!

I usually find a new, modern, loft-style addition somehow tacked on to the back of my East Village Victorian-vintage railroad flat. I've had the dream ever since I first moved here in 1967...
Sometimes it's a huge, empty loft with many rooms (which makes me nervous, as the security doesn't seem up to par and I'm afraid of someone sneaking in through all the vast emptiness I can't bolt or keep an eye on), sometimes it's a sort of extension that leads down to the backyard and an adorable little carriage house... it's always slightly different.

I thought it was strictly a New York thing, a reaction to perennially tight quarters, but people all over seem to have it. Men and women alike.

Today's was a new variant: I had actually moved into a brand-new spiffy high-rise, but didn't like it much 'cause the previous tenant's stuff was still there, and then I discovered a secret door in the back of the bedroom leading to an old-style pre-war flat with pocket doors and high ceilings and antiquey detailing, and was a lot happier...

But you know, if I actually HAD all that space,I'd just fill it up as crammed and cluttered as the place I live in...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Journalism Schooled

Although I'm certainly honestly glad that Laura Ling and Euna Lee, famously "lost" journalists held and sentenced by wacko nation NKorea, are free and home, I have to say I'm really not jazzed with the whole situation from the beginning.

They claim to have been "lost" while driving around and somehow, oh deary me, ended up in NKorea ? So then they're incredibly incompetent.

OR...they tried to sneak in illegally, got caught and promptly started whining for America to ride to the rescue. So then they're not only incompetent but incredibly stupid and arrogant and entitled.

Though I think that 12 years hard labor was WAY out of line, I'm really sick of feckless, reckless Americans thinking that if they break laws in foreign countries (and nasty foreign countries at that), their natural-born American-ness will save them from punishment.

So President Clinton had to go and fetch them back, like a stern dad springing his naughty teenagers from the principal's office. I just hope it doesn't cost us more than a photo op and an ego stroke.