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Jim Morrison Pardon: Did He Or Didn’t He?

Central Press, Getty Images

Jim was posthumously pardoned recently for his indecent exposure charge that he got in 1969 at a show in Miami.  But did he even actually do it?

The other members of The Doors always maintained it was unlikely Morrison did expose himself. During the week of the Miami show he had been in the audience for performances by the radical Living Theater group, which included scenes of nudity, but keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who had the best view of the singer, maintains the following happened:

“We’re in Miami. It’s hot and sweaty. It’s a swamp and it’s a yuck – a horrible kind of place, a seaplane hangar – and 14,000 people are packed in there, and they’re sweaty. And Jim has seen The Living Theater (a theater group that experimented with breaking down the fourth wall and confronting the audience) and he’s going to do his version of The Living Theater. He’s going to show these Florida people what psychedelic West Coast shamanism and confrontation is all about.

“He taunted the audience like a bullfighter holding a cape. I’m going to show you! I’m going to show you my [penis]. Then he took his shirt off and wiggled it around like there was something going on behind it.”

Manzarek recalls that Morrison pushed his white shirt through the flies of his black leather jeans, simulating a penis. “But he definitely didn’t bring out the Ivory Shaft, man. That was some weapon. I’d have known if he’d dangled the shaft.”

via Classic Rock » Blog Archive » Jim Morrison: The Peculiar Case Of The Ivory Shaft.

So, there you have it.  Straight from the horse’s mouth.  (If the horse were a keyboard player).  A tip of my hat to outgoing Florida Governor, Charlie Crist, for making the right call and pardoning Morrison on December 9th, 2010.

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