A Young, Clean Cut Jim Morrison Appears in a 1962 Florida State University Promo Film

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.

Morrison mug_shot

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.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

See Jimi Hendrix’s First TV Appear­ance, and His Last as a Back­ing Musi­cian (1965)

A Young Frank Zap­pa Plays the Bicy­cle on The Steve Allen Show (1963)

Jim­my Page, 13, Plays Gui­tar on BBC Tal­ent Show (1957)

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Fol­low him @jdmagness

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