“All your love is gone, so sing a lonely song”
Jim Morrison didn’t write that, but he sang the hell out of it. This is a song in which the words are just words, there to fill up space and hold up the melody. Robby Krieger contributed quite a few hit songs, and though he was never much of a lyricist, all his songs are memorable tunes and perfect vehicles for Morrison’s singing. Morrison had a pretty egotistical view of himself as a visionary poetic shaman of some kind, and did his best to live that role to the fullest. In which he was not misguided; he certainly had the poetic gifts and the charismatic personality to pull off the Lizard King persona. But even without the mysticism and literary aspirations, he was built to be a rock and roll singer. All of the mystique and the glamour can’t just revolve around nothing, and it’s all based on a simple foundation – a good looking guy who can carry a tune. As I’ve said before, the great tragedy of Jim Morrison and of many other dead-too-soon talents is the tragedy of unfulfilled potential. We were all robbed of whatever Morrison would have done next, if he hadn’t sacrificed himself to his lifestyle. I think the problem with Morrison was that he was so infatuated with his persona that he forgot about his talent, and chose to live out that image to the fullest, at the expense of his own potential creative evolution. (I also think that Amy Winehouse is a great recent example of a gifted artist who sacrificed their art – and life – in favor of trying to fulfill the expectations created by their image.) That sense of unfulfilled what-if weighs heavily over Morrison’s entire legacy, but it seems that the simplest songs make it most clear – this guy could have gone in any direction he wanted to, and he chose dead.