Everybody remembers their “first.” My Jim Morrison and Doors autograph.

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.45.55 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.46.04 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.46.14 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.46.24 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.46.32 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.46.40 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.46.48 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.47.00 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.47.10 AMAn amazing find.

To be perfectly honest, I already had resigned myself to NEVER owning an early Doors autograph. Let alone anything signed by Jim himself.

So go figure.

Here’s a fully signed Doors tour book from 1969. A rare program on it’s own, but this one is signed by the entire band.

Each member signing on his page and Jim signing next to the opening page where the lyrics to “The Wasp. Texas Radio and The Big Beat” are reprinted.

The Doors – Withdrawn 1969 Concert Program

The Doors tour book shown above according to the Doors website was only sold at a few shows, including the notorious Miami concert where Jim Morrison was arrested for exposing himself.  The program features 24 pages of color and black & white photos. According to the Doors authorized website, this program was “To be sold to fans for one dollar starting on March 1, 1969–the opening tour date in Miami, Florida at the Dinner Key Auditorium–remaining copies went into storage after the tour was cancelled following the controversial Miami concert, to be destroyed after Jim Morrison’s death.”

A rare Doors 1968 Concert Tour Poster shown below.

These posters were sold at a limited number of tour dates during their 1968 US tour, as was the scarce but more common program. This example is signed by photographer and Jim Morrison friend Paul Ferrara in the white area of the bass drum.

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The Miami Incident.

The “Miami incident” at the Dinner Key Auditorium in which Jim Morrison was accused of indecent exposure. The subsequent trial and Morrison’s conviction affected the rest of his life, people close to Jim said it weighed on him even after he went to Paris. The Doors as a band was affected, it immediately ended a tour and John Densmore said it was “a million dollars in gigs”, and thereafter the band had to post a $5000 bond on the condition that if anything happened was deemed indecent The Doors would forfeit the bond. Miami has affected the band even down to the recent past, on December 9, 2010, the Florida Board of Clemency pardoned Jim Morrison.

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Miami didn’t exist in a vacuum, Morrison didn’t just get drunk and start shouting slogans and berating his audience, there was a method and a reason for what Jim did in Miami, and looking at events preceding Miami like the “Rock is Dead” session where Jim previews some of the rap that will appear in Miami, “I’m not talking about no revolution!”, it just got lost in the alcoholic haze Jim drank himself into.

Six months prior to playing in Florida, Jim told Doors members, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, and Robby Krieger, that he wanted to quit the band, “that at one time it’s what I wanted to do, but not any longer”. The other members were of course alarmed, they realized the machinery they had engaged in creating records, hit songs, and themselves as a concert attraction couldn‘t be readily stopped. Manzarek in his role as the voice of reason within the band and the person who smoothed things out convinced Morrison to give it six more months. The Doors went to Miami almost exactly six months later.

The second precipitating event was The Living Theatre performances in L.A. the week before the Miami show, and Jim attended every performance and was greatly impressed with their presentation of “Paradise Now!” in which actors confront and challenge the audience blurring the regimented lines of spectator and performer. The actors yelling slogans such as, “I’m not allowed to smoke marijuana!”, “I’m not allowed to take my clothes off!”, “Paradise Now!“, provided Morrison with a blueprint for change that he wanted to effect in Miami. In his onstage rap to the audience Jim made a reference to the Living Theatre, “Hey, listen. I used to think the whole thing was a big joke. I thought it was something to laugh about, and the last couple of nights I met some people who were doin’ something’. They’re trying to change the world and I wanna’ get on that trip. I wanna’ change the world.”

After the Miami concert The Doors had planned a holiday in Jamaica before the rest of the tour, Jim and his girlfriend Pam Courson had rented a house but before leaving for Miami Jim and Pam got into a fight and Jim sent her back home.

Enroute to Miami Jim started drinking and missing flights, by the time he arrived in Miami not only was he drunk, but he was several hours late. The conditions of the concert itself may have contributed to at least the atmosphere of Miami. The Dinner Key Auditorium was an old airplane hanger converted to a concert hall. The Doors had sold out the show and agreed to a flat fee of $25,000 instead of their usual 60% of the tickets sold. When they arrived the band found out the promoter had torn out the seats and sold seven thousand more tickets. By the time Morrison had arrived in the humid evening the audience was surly and in a raucous and confrontational mood itself. Jim Morrison attempted to do The Doors’ version of “Paradise Now!”

The Doors recorded the Miami show as they had started taping shows for a live album. In those recordings you can hear Jim exhorting and hectoring the audience members, telling them “there are no rules, it’s your concert” and they could do whatever they wanted. He challenged them saying, “you’re all a bunch of f**kin idiots!“ and asked them how long they’re going to take it, and calling them slaves and what were they going to do about it. Then he encouraged the audience to take off their clothes and leading by example took off his shirt. Then he started asking the audience what they were there for, did they want to see a good band play or were they there for something else? At which point Morrison started fiddling with his pants, Ray seeing what Jim was trying to do, called to The Doors road manager Vince Treanor to stop him, Treanor came up behind Morrison and hitched up the leather pants so Morrison couldn’t unbutton the front of the pants. After that the scene got chaotic with fans rushing the stage, security people tried to clear the stage by throwing kids off of it, finally the stage collapsed and the band had to abandon it, all the while Jim was in the audience singing, leading a conga line of kids, before disappearing into the rafters of The Dinner Key Auditorium.

Despite all that happened during the show none of the police present tried to arrest Morrison after the show, in fact it has been noted the police had a beer with the band members after the show. It was in the week after, that stories of Jim Morrison exposing himself circulated around Miami, newspapers and TV editorials expressed outrage over the “lewd behavior” and soon the political mood demanded a scapegoat. Five days after the show charges were filed against Morrison for lewd and lascivious behavior (a felony), and misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure (despite the fact that no pictures of Morrison exposing himself have ever been produced), public profanity and public drunkenness.

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