A Day In The Life

Mozart and Morrison
April 26, 2007, 9:42 pm
Filed under: Music

A week or so ago I watched Oliver Stone’s The Doors  for the first time.  Honestly, I didn’t much care for the movie.   I didn’t even finish it.  However, the hour or so of the film that I did watch made me think and, surprisingly enough, my mind began comparing the similarities between Jim Morrison and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. 

Mozart and Morrison both traveled extensively while they were very young.  Morrison’s parents were both in the military so the family moved quite often.  Mozart’s father was one of Europe’s leading musical teachers.  He gave up his career when the young Mozart’s musical genius emerged and he began to tour throughout Europe with his young son and daughter.  Historians report that these tours encompassed thousands of miles.  The hours of travel were tedious for young Wolfgang.  He passed the time by composing music in his mind which he would later write down in its entirety with only a few minor errors.  Wolfgang also imagined complex stories about a magical place he called The Kingdom of Back.  Likewise, Morrison’s imagination flourished while traveling as a young child.  A 1947 trip in New Mexico became a pivotal point in his life.  The family happened upon a traffic accident and seven-year old Jim awoke from a nap in the backseat of the car to witness a scene of death and destruction.  “Souls of dead Indians–maybe one or two of them–were just running around, freaking out, and just landed in my soul, and I was like a sponge, ready to sit there and absorb it.”  Morrison also cited that this incident was the first time he felt fear. 

Mozart and Morrison lived dissolute lives while producing prolific amounts of art.  Morrison was a film student, musician and poet while Mozart wrote compositions in every musical genre that existed at the time.  Both men considered themselves seekers and were enamoured with mysticism.  Morrison’s stunts while under the influence of drugs and alcohol are legendary.  Mozart consumed copious amounts of alcohol and often partied until dawn.   Both men exhibited vulgar and loutish behavior.  The Doors were fired from a gig at Whisky A-Go-Go when Morrison used profanity while performing on stage.  Mozart wrote music with profane lyrics and was eventually “kicked out on his arse” by his employer the Prince-Archbishop Colloredo. 

The deaths of Mozart and Morrison provide even more similarities.  Controversies abound to this day when it comes to how and why both men died.  Heart attack, drug overdose and alcohol poisoning are a few of the theories linked to Morrison’s death.  There is even a question as to whether or not Jim Morrison is actually dead.  Mozart battled illness after illness his entire life, but there are still conflicting theories about his death.  Some historians say Mozart’s health gradually declined before his death while others say his death was sudden and a shock to all who knew him.  There are dozens of theories about what actually killed Mozart.  Influenza, trichinosis and rheumatic fever are a few of the illnesses that are said to have caused his demise. 

Regardless of how either man lived or died, the fact remains that both Mozart and Morrison were musicians and artists of the highest caliber.  Neither man was afraid to explore new territory when it came to their musical endeavors.  They were cutting edge artists for their times.  Their music has been described as violent and sensual.  In a sense, that description quite adequately describes their lives. 


3 Comments so far
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In English Lit Freshman year of College I had to write a paper on Mozart. Interesting man, wild and talented.

You know we have OK Mozart here? Have you ever been?

Comment by Vicki

very interesting!!!! If I were to believe in reincarnation I’d say Mozart was reborn….hmmm…who did Jim Morrison become?

Comment by Karmyn R

I’m wondering why you didn’t finish the movie. It is one of my favorites, as Val Kilmer really does make Morrison come to life. Val also did all his own singing – very tragic movie in the end.

Both were gifted, to say the least.

Comment by Tiggerlane

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