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JIM MORRISON
And His Collaboration With
 T. E. BREITENBACH
THE LOST PAINTING FROM JIM'S LAST PROJECT
 

One of the Letters From Jim

The first letter sent to the artist by Jim Morrison of the Doors, suggesting a theme for the painting.  

                                            10/9/70
Dear Mr. Breitenbach,
        Thank you for your interest. Maybe we can do something.
        Try doing a triptych. The left panel depicting a radiant moon-lit beach and an endless stream of young na ked couples running silently along the water's edge. On the beach, a tiny infant grins at the universe and around its crib stand several ancient, old people.
        The center -- a modern city or metropolis of the future at noon, insane with activity.
        The last panel -- a view through a car windshield at night on a long straight desert highway.
        If you come up with something related to these themes within the next four or five months I'm sure I can use it.
        Thanks again.
                                     Sincerely,
                                     James Morrison

          Those of you who are Jim Morrison fans may be interested in learning about a painting that  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.


A POSTER IS AVAILABLE CLICK HERE

A Limited Edition Book of Poems

One of the autographed private edition books of Morrison's poetry that were sent to the artist. These books were printed in limited editions of 100. You can see them in Oliver Stone's movie, The Doors.

A Limited Edition Book of Poems

The second private-edition
book of poetry.

You can see all the letters in the MORRISON ARCHIVE

Other Breitenbach Paintings:
 

Proverbidioms
Eats
The Temptations of St. Anybody

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Jim Morrison Triptych

THE MORRISON TRIPTYCH
by T. E. Breitenbach

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  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.