About the Artist Studio/Castle Tour Painting Gallery Musicals The Jim Morrison Collaboration
And His Collaboration With
T. E. BREITENBACH
THE LOST PAINTING FROM JIM'S LAST PROJECT
The first letter sent to the artist by Jim Morrison of the Doors, suggesting a theme for the painting.
Those of you who are Jim Morrison
fans may be interested in learning about a
T. E. Breitenbach did with Jim Morrison of the
Doors, during the winter of 1970-71.
In his high school years, T. E. Breitenbach played all of the Doors' tunes in his rock and roll band. (He played lead guitar and still has his Fender Jaguar guitar.) He admired the colorful, surrealistic lyrics of Jim Morrison, and wrote to tell him so, offering at the same time to paint an album cover. Jim Morrison replied favorably and sent his ideas for the painting, along with two autographed, private-editions of his poetry, The New Creatures and An American Prayer.
Breitenbach set to work immediately, painting it in his college dorm room, and drawing on images from the books for the center panel. Morrison was pleased with the results and asked if he could use the painting on the cover of an album of poetry he was working on.
The final contact with Morrison was a note from his secretary Katherine Lisciandro, indicating that Mr. Morrison had taken up residence in Paris for a while. He died there, July 3, 1971 at age 27.
The project Jim Morrison was working on was the An American Prayer album, released well after his death. Unfortunately, his intention to use the painting was not known by the record's producers.
Around 1979, Breitenbach showed the painting to Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone Magazine. Wenner forwarded the information to Morrison biographer Jerry Hopkins who explained the meaning of the painting: The left panel represents a recurring dream that Jim Morrison had. The center panel reflects his interest in chaos and madness. The right panel refers to an incident in his childhood, when he and his father came upon a road accident in the desert. It was the first time he experienced fear. This is also referred to in the Doors' song Peace Frog, "Indians scattered on dawn's highway bleeding."
Breitenbach later turned an idea from Morrison's poem The Lords into an illustrated fantasy novel, Grumparar's the New Creatures: An Adventure and Field Guide.
You can see all the letters in the MORRISON ARCHIVE
Copyright 1970, 1971 T.E.Breitenbach. All rights reserved. You may not print, copy, or save this image.
The story of this painting, along with full-color photos of the painting and all the memorabilia was recently published in Rui Silva's book You Make Me Real.