Here’s a weird one: weirdo Doors frontman Jim Morrison, native of Florida, the weirdest state in the Union (well, it is!), stars in a promo film for Florida State University. Morrison’s character gets a bummer of a letter informing him that he has been rejected from FSU, and later meets with an administrator who gives him the lowdown. Of course, as one YouTube commenter quips, “when one door closes, The Doors open” (heh). So, fine, Morrison didn’t need Florida State---he lived fast, died young, and left the most famous grave in history.
But as his fans know, the well-read Morrison was no intellectual slouch; he started the Doors while studying film at UCLA, to which he’d transferred from Florida State, where he enrolled in 1962. In addition to getting cast in the promo above, while at FSU Morrison got arrested for a school prank (see his ’63 mugshot at left), made some short films, and did his share of carousing. One fellow student, Gerry McClain, remembers Morrison from his FSU days in an interview with the site American Legends:
He hung around with a bohemian crowd: people who liked to wear pants with holes in them. Jim posed as a model for the art department, and they would all sell blood to the Red Cross to get a few bucks. Once, I saw Jim go around the college coffee shop eating scraps off tables. I felt he--and the others--were living an image--the starving young artist.
But Morrison wasn't exactly a starving artist. He was, in fact, the son of Rear Admiral George Stephen Morrison, commander of the U.S. Naval forces in the incident that sparked the Vietnam War. Weird, right? Watch the elder Morrison and Jim’s sister Anne in interview remembrances of Jim in the video below.
Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Washington, DC. Follow him @jdmagness