Jim Morrison Memorabilia: The 10 Most Valuable Items

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2015-06-26 10:23:51

The ten most expensive items ever sold relating to the legendary Doors front man

10) ‘Anatomy of Rock’ poem

 

This poem was written by Morrison in the final months of his life, whilst living in Paris with girlfriend Pamela Courson. When Morrison died in July 1971, Courson inherited his fortune and placed all his remaining manuscripts in a metal box marked ‘127 Fascination’, which was then stored in a San Francisco bank vault. When she died three years later of a heroin overdose in Los Angeles, the manuscripts were inherited by her parents (along with Morrison’s estate, leading to a lengthy legal battle with the singer’s parents). This hand-written poem, entitled ‘Anatomy of Rock’, was one of the poems found in the box. It sold at auction through Gotta have Rock and Roll in March 2012 for $20,000. (Image: Gotta have Rock and Roll)

9) Edwardian frock coat

This black Edwardian-style frock coat was bought by Morrison at Granny takes a trip, the London fashion boutique which provided psychedelic fashions to celebrity clients throughout the 1960s. By late 1969 Morrison had gained weight to the point that the jacket no longer fit him, so he gave it to his friend Phil Barnett who kept it in his collection for many years. In May 2008 the coat was sold during a Profiles in History auction for $16,000. (Image: Profiles in History)

8) ‘L.A Woman’ partial lyrics

L.A Woman is the title track of The Doors’ final album released in 1971. The song’s lyrics have been interpreted many ways, including the opening line “Well, I just got into town about an hour ago” which some fans believe was changed whilst recording to “Did a little downer ’bout an hour ago.” This single-page manuscript, dated circa 1970, features the first part of the song written in Morrison’s hand and was sold at Dreweatts in August 2010 for £13,000 ($20,682). (Image: Dreweatts)

7) ‘Fear’ poem

This 39-line poem entitled ‘The Fear’, written by Morrison circa 1970, begins with the line “Eternal consciousness in the void (makes this ordeal seem almost friendly)”. It was unpublished until 1988, when it appeared in the book ‘Wilderness: The Lost Writings of Jim Morrison, Volume I’. The original hand-written manuscript sold at Christie’s in December 2006 for $22,800. (Image: Christie’s)

6) ‘The Celebration Of The Lizard’ poem

Morrison’s poem ‘The Celebration Of The Lizard’ was first printed on the cover of The Doors’ third album ‘Waiting for the Sun’ in 1968. It featured the first mention of ‘The Lizard King’, a fictional character who later became Morrison’s alter ego and finally a nickname for the singer himself. The band occasionally performed the poem backed with music during concerts, and Morrison re-used some of the lines in the later song ‘Not To Touch The Earth’. The original hand-written poem sold at Christie’s in February 1998 for $40,250. (Image: Christie’s)

5) ‘American Night’ poem

This Morrison poem from 1970 was also posthumously published in the 1988 book ‘Wilderness: The Lost Writings of Jim Morrison, Volume I’. Entitled ‘American Night’, it begins “When radio dark night existed + assumed control + we rocked in it's web consumed by static stroked w fear” and deals with many themes Morrison confronted in his songs for The Doors. The original manuscript was sold from the same collection as the ‘Fear’ poem at Christie’s in December 2006 for **$50,400. ***(Image: Christie’s)*

4) ‘Riders on the Storm’ lyrics

This set of lyrics to ‘Riders of the Storm’ was written by Morrison for copyright purposes, and later given to the band’s second manager Danny Sugerman. The track also appears on their final album ‘L.A Woman’, released in 1971 just a few months before Morrison’s death in Paris. Inspired by the country and western song "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend", the song was performed live by the band just once during a concert in New Orleans in 1970, which was also Morrison’s final performance with the band. The page of hand-written lyrics was sold at Profiles in History in December 2013 for $55,000.* (Image: Profiles in History)*

3) ‘L.A Woman’ full lyrics

This three-page manuscript featuring Morrison’s full lyrics to the 1971 song ‘L.A Woman’ appeared at auction in June 2013. It originated from the personal collection of Danny Sugerman, the band’s second manager who began answering fan mail for them at the age of 12 before taking over from their first manager Bill Siddon at the age of just 17. The manuscript was later owned by Red Ronnie, the Italian broadcaster and alternative music radio DJ who built a large collection of music memorabilia. The collection was sold auctioned through Christie’s, where the set of lyrics realized £61,875 ($95,411). (Image: Christie’s)

2) Paris spiral notebook

During Morrison’s time in Paris, he constantly carried around a set of spiral-bound notepads containing poems, unfinished sing lyrics and musings. He began to find it more difficult to write, and sank back into depression and heavy drinking. One evening he dragged two unassuming French buskers into the studio to record with him, and whilst listening to the results at friend Philippe Dalecky’s house he left the bag containing his notebook behind. Dalecky never saw Morrison again, and a couple of weeks later the singer was dead. Years later in 2007 the notebook was auctioned through The Fame Bureau, where it sold for $140,000. (Image: The Fame Bureau)

1) Paris hardback notebook

In 2013 a never-before-seen hardback notebook from Morrison’s final days in Paris appeared at auction. It contained over 100 pages of poems, philosophy and notes, written during the first few months of 1971. It came from the personal collection of Graham Nash, former member of The Hollies and the eponymous Crosby, Stills and Nash, who had acquired it from his former manager Bill Siddons. Siddons was The Doors’ first manager, and flew to Paris following Morrison’s death on July 3. He retrieved the notebook, along with other belongings, and later gave it to his client Nash who placed it inside a custom-made leather clamshell case. The notebook sold at Profiles in History in December 2013 for $200,000. (Image: Profiles in History)

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