Litkicks Message Board Archive

Mythology of the Lizard King of Jim Morrison

Posted to What Are You Reading?




I found this message by visions on Mindless board, and so I decided to read about the cult of Jim Morrison, because the book is part of my folkloristics studies - well, Jim had read quite a lot about mythologies, was interested in shamanism, and the "Lizard King" was one of his alter egos, kinda chrystallization of "Übermensch". "I am the Lizard King who can do anything," Jim ends his poetic work The Celebration of The Lizard.

He had also studied Frazer's work *The Golden Bough*, which gave him ideas by which he defined the relation between the performing artist and his audience, e.g. in an interview he considered himself a kind of totemic scapegoat towards whom the audience/ community can also direct its negative fantasies; he said: "I see the role of the artist is that of a shaman and a scapegoat. While people reflect their fantasies into him, they become alive. People can destroy their fantasies by destroying him. I obey impulses that everyone has but don't let them be seen. By attacking, punishing me, they feel to get rid of those impulses" (Sugerman, Danny 1983 - The Doors, The Illustrated History, London).

Then follows a thorough description of how Morrison had studied about shamanism, especially a shaman's role as a healer. All this is VERY INTERESTING, but I can't translate the whole book this night, but I wonder why it hasn't yet been translated into English. Its bibliography is large and useful for any Jim Morrison freak.

Here's "visions" aka Anna Maria's message about the book on Morrison:

There's a researcher of folkloristics, Dr. Stig Söderholm in Finland, whose doctoral thesis theme was about Jim Morrison - the book title:

Liskokuninkaan mytologia: rituaali ja rocksankarin kuolema : Jim Morrison -kultin etnografinen tulkinta by Stig Söderholm. (transl. The Mythology of the Lizard King: Ritual and the Death of a Rock Music Hero: An Ethnographic Interpretation of the Jim Morrison Cult) Published by SKS, Finland 1990.

Stig Söderholm was digging rock music too. It's available only in Finnish, and contains lots of pics about his grave as the main stage of the cult. The study has got good reviews and was accepted as required reading for university level studies of present-day folklore.

I wish Picasso will find me message, as she asked on Mindless board, why Jim Morrison was called The Lizard King.

Esperanza