Break on Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison

Overview

Thirty-five years after his death in Paris at age twenty-seven, Jim Morrison's iconic legend remains as powerful as ever, swathed in the mists of mystery. There have been numerous biographies about the self-proclaimed "Lizard King's" life and career. But none have examined his roots and childhood, the intellectual foundations of his music, his wild days with the Doors, and his enigmatic early death as completely and insightfully as Break On Through.

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Overview

Thirty-five years after his death in Paris at age twenty-seven, Jim Morrison's iconic legend remains as powerful as ever, swathed in the mists of mystery. There have been numerous biographies about the self-proclaimed "Lizard King's" life and career. But none have examined his roots and childhood, the intellectual foundations of his music, his wild days with the Doors, and his enigmatic early death as completely and insightfully as Break On Through.

More than simply a fascinating look at a rock legend whose cult following never stops growing, here is the definitive Morrison biography: his angry relationship with his father; the early tragedies and terrible events responsible for the darkness of his artistic vision; his private life and legal trials, including his infamous Miami obscenity bust; and the truth about his final hours. Based on extensive research and featuring dozens of rarely published photographs, this is the authoritative portrait of the poet, the grim visionary, the haunted man, and his haunting music.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While for the most part covering familiar territory in tedious fan-club style, this tome does present credible new material about the death of its subject, Doors singer Jim Morrison. Photos. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688119157
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 412,517
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.41 (d)

Meet the Author

James Riordan is the author of The Platinum Rainbow. His interviews with and stories about major rock stars have appeared in Rolling Stone and other national magazines, and he was a consultant on Oliver Stone's film The Doors. He lives near Chicago.

Jerry Prochnicky researched the Jim Morrison story for more than twenty years. He lives in Southern California.

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2000

    Best Bio On The Lizard King

    This book is definitly worth reading. I rate it better than ' no one here gets out alive' becasue not only does it cover whats in there it also describes more. It will give meaning into the songs on all the doors albums and most of all manifests Jim's life from child to rock n roll star than to strictly poet and finally to his sad death in paris.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2006

    The Lisard King

    I read the biography of rock legend Jim Morrison. Like most biographies it basically traced Jim¿s life, and the events that took place during his life. From child, to adolescent, to strung-out rock star: it¿s the life and death of Jim Morrison. The most obvious theme is the unconscious mind. Jim Morrison liked to let his ¿Id¿ take over as a psychologist might say. Jim believed that as a young child he had been possessed by Shaman Indian(s). He actually wrote most of the first two albums on a Santa Monica rooftop while deprived of sleep and food and taking an abundant amount of the popular drug of the time LSD. This brings me to the next theme of drug use. From age nineteen until his death Jim Morrison was usually on LSD a.k.a. Acid. The reason it is such a major theme is because the way Jim Morrison was, and the lyrics and words he wrote had to do with how much acid the guy was on. I really liked the detail that James Riordan and Jerry Prochnicky put into this biography. Any question about Jim Morrison is most likely to be in this book. At the same time, the massive amount of detail connects with my dislike. The book is 516 pages long, and the slow reader that I am, that was too long of a book. I also liked the two sections of pictures in the book. They had great captions, and helped the reader visualize Jim Morrison¿s life that much more. My other dislike again was directed around the length. The book¿s chapters were very long, and spread out. Someone should definitely read this book if they enjoy the psychedelic rock of The Doors, or if they have ever wondered about the life of Jim Morrison. The Life and Death of Jim Morrison Break on Through by James Riordan & Jerry Prochnicky would definitely answer any and all of their questions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2000

    THE BEST

    Jim Morrison is the best and he rules and you all know it!! so buy this book and make him happy.. and me!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2000

    what a great book on Mr. Mojo Risin

    this book went into so much detail about Morrison life if you want to know anything about Jim Morrison read this book and you will learn alot i can speak from experice ive read it three time thats how much of a great book it is and its a long book too

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2000

    The Lizard King

    Break on Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison, by James Riordan with the help of Jerry Prochnicky, is a biography on the life of Jim Morrison. It depicts this controversial man's life from his childhood until his death. It contains 544 pages of detailed descriptions of the rise and fall of one of rock music's most influential stars. More importantly, the author did not write a monotonous book of facts. Instead, the author creatively portrayed Morrison, covering all aspects of his life: his childhood, his relationship to his parents, his high school and college years, his decision to become lead singer of The Doors, his abuse of alcohol and drugs, his controversial brushes with the law, his impact on society, and his death. One reason why I liked the book so much was the way that it was divided up into chapters that focused on different periods of Morrison's life. Chapter 1, 'The Morrison Mystique,' talks about Morrison's childhood and relationship with his family. His belief in his destiny of becoming the 'Greatest American Poet' is explained by a childhood trauma of seeing a group of Native American migrant workers killed in a freak truck accident. Parapsychologists believe a traumatic experience occurring at a young age can result in a demonic attachment or fixation, otherwise known as possession. From this point on, the author repeatedly refers to the term, 'Shaman,' which means medicine man, to explain Morrison's spiritual transitions and poetic themes. Morrison constantly sang about dying young, and later did at the age of twenty-seven. Another interesting characteristic of the book is the author's use quotations of Morrison's poetry. After reading about Morrison's desire to study film at UCLA, one reads the quotation, 'Film confers a kind of spurious eternity, Film spectators are quiet vampires' (57). These quotations emphasize the impression that Morrison's ideas have been written down. The addage, 'A picture can be worth 1,000 words,' describes this book because of the author's use of two sections of photographs of Morrison and the people around him. The first set of pictures can be found one fourth of the way through the book and shows photographs of Morrison at a young age, of his father, Steve Morrison, and of his early exploits as the lead singer of The Doors. The next set of pictures shows photographs of his girlfriend, Pamela, of his famous 'Lion' portrait photograph, a couple of concert shots, and of his tombstone in Paris. As a person that loves to talk about music, I found this book to employ the same train of thought that I use when I am analyzing a song. The author's musical background adds to the authenticity of his writing. The author analyzes the poetry and music of The Doors. He writes luminously about every member of The Doors. The author first describes Ray Manzarek (organist and mastermind behind The Door's sound), and how Morrison and Manzarek met at the UCLA film school and decided to put together a band. He then writes about the drummer, John Densmore, and how his unselfish drumming technique of contribution instead of domination helped create the new Door's sound. The fourth member to join the band was Robby Krieger. The lead guitarist's unique flamenco style can be found on such songs as 'Crystal Ship' and 'Spanish Caravel.' Riordan successfully analyzed the music of The Doors by explaining the facts behind the music. The author's creativity is vividly shown when he writes about the controversial death of Jim Morrison. It begins by describing the Door's last performances in Europe. The chapter titled, 'The Last Days,' illustrates the events right before Morrison's death. The book does not end with Morrison's death, however, the band, music in general, and Morrison's fans are represented by the author after Morrison's death. It would be wrong for me to say that James Riordan objectively wrote this biography. This is especially true when writing ab

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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