Photographer: Tony Attew. Model : me
Following my last post about the Lizard King I found myself in a Doors craze and listened to their songs after a very longtime, as my musical tastes have greatly evolved since my teens - but yes, The Celebration of the Lizard with its haunting drums and its psychedelic lyrics is still my favourite. Just hearing it brought back so many memories! I was shopping in Sainsbury's last Sunday while listening to it through my earphones and for a moment, as Morrison intoned 'Run with me' I really did not know where I was.
Still in this Doors craze, I went online looking for some more information and stumbled on some vitriolic comments about Patricia Kennealy-Morrison. Patricia who? I remembered the film and the whole story about her and Morrison being married through a Celtic handfasting ceremony at her apartment in NYC, a ceremony that, if I recall correctly, she performed herself. That did it. I just had to read more about it and so I checked out her blog which has been dormant for two years now and of course I had to get hold of her book, and read the various reviews/rebuttals - numerous!
Finally, the book arrived this morning. I have mixed feelings, even though I have only skimmed through it. I may have spent my money unwisely.
|Photographer: Tony Attew|
I am not joining the considerable number of people who have engaged in Kennealy-Morrison bashing, and still do, after so many, many years. She comes across as an intelligent woman who desperately wants to be seen as different from other groupies, stressing that Jim Morrison loved her and perhaps he did, perhaps he did not. We were not there with her and Jim, so we can't say as the supporters of "Jim and Pam forever" do that he never felt anything for her. "Jim and Pam forever" is another fiction, anyway. We are talking about people in the 1960s, in their twenties, who would happily have sex with each other with no sense of guilt or shame, often as a way to connect 'at a deeper level' and often after massive consumption of substances. He was a rock god, so his allure was a given. At least half of the female population on the planet was in love with him, can you blame Patricia Kennealy for being bowled over?.
As for Jim Morrison: being in a long term (and volatile) intimate relationship with someone as a couple, does not mean that one cannot feel attracted to someone else, not just sexually, but at all levels. Whether you act on this or not is a matter of choice but I would say that for some people commitment does not rest on the idea of exclusivity and certainly in the world of rock and roll in the late 1960s the concept of exclusivity had very little currency. Nor can one say that a love affair of ten days/two weeks cannot be as true and intense as one that is carried over into a relationship of several years. To these people that believe love can be quantified and put on a scale whereby a union that lasts twenty years is evidence of greater love and thus superior to one that lasts twenty days, I ask the simple question: have you ever, really, fallen in love? I have never had a love affair with a rock star, but I know that some of the men I have deeply loved were not men I could have lived with, so we parted ways, often very early on in the relationship, but this does not mean there were no genuine feelings.
|Lizard. Google images|
Love triangles do exist and there is no need to regard them as shameful nor should we engage in blame finding. We live in a society that privileges monogamy and forces it as the norm. But relationships and the way people feel about each other cannot be pigeon holed that easily.
With this in mind, I can read Patricia Kennealy-Morrison's account of what being with Jim Morrison meant to her without being judgemental of her and her subsequent choices.
And to all those who maintain she ought to have moved on, I can only say this: you and I were not with the Lizard King ever so we don't know what it was like. It's an encounter that marked her for life, but it's not for any of us to pass judgement.