Note to readers: At the end of this post is a long excerpt from the book Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon, by Dave McGowan (fake death 11/22/2015). I don’t know what sent me down this course today, except that I got up, made coffee, and instead of the usual reading going on, I decided to find the video that I knew existed claiming that Jim Morrison is still alive. This is no surprise to me, though in our earlier efforts we looked hard for him, with no luck. Here’s the video. It’s about three minutes and the music is very enjoyable.
Oh, by the way, that guy in the video above in the cowboy hat, said to be William James Loyer, is not Jim Morrison. Someone is messing with us. I did my own work on the subject using this photo below. In so doing, even as Loyer is not Morrison, I could not help but think what a beautiful man this guy is/was! No wonder he was selected to be the lead singer for the Doors. Charisma is written all over him.
Morrison is an enigma, no musical interest or ability, but turns up before the Doors were formed with enough music to fill three albums. He could neither read nor write music, played no instrument, and so had no way to get the music out of his head and into the hands of someone who could write it down. As McGowan suggests, he must have hummed it to his band mates, and they did the rest. I think this might be part of the reason performers often fake their death at a young age … they cannot maintain their careers on limited talent. Morrison was obviously handed a stack of songs, given singing lessons, and made an idol. But in the end the lack of real talent was going to out him. He had to exit the scene.
Morrison set us off on a long quest that started by looking for Jim and ended with me claiming that Jim’s girlfriend Pamela Courson ended up becoming Barbara Walters. More about that later, as I read my writing from 2017 on the subject this morning, and think that it holds up very well. (BaBaWaWa, The Final Cut)
Dave McGowan is a good writer, so if by chance you’ve not read Weird Scenes, I highly recommend it. It will hold your interest to the end. But McGowan lacked the chops to do some basic research, like interviewing people. He wrote some very nasty stuff about David Van Cortlandt (Van Rennselaer) Crosby, for instance, and in my view at least owed it to the man to allow him his say before raking him over in public. McGowan also scored very high on the gullibility scale, describing perhaps seventy deaths of young musicians and actors, and only slightly questioning Morrison’s. No others. He bought it all, which is what made me think that McGowan was doing a limited hangout. We ran all of the deaths through the Social Security Death Index, a basic research tool that McGowan must have known about. Dave did not do that. (We found Ricky Nelson and Phil Hartman’s wife Brynn there, and Sharon Tate was there at one time (SSN 452-74-4733, in case you’re into spook markers, that reads 11-11-11-33), and no others that I recall. (Sharon Tate is no longer listed there but was when we did the research.)
McGowan’s book has one photo in it, at the very beginning, said to be Jim Morrison with his father.
It’s fake. The hand in front of Jim’s face is a man hand. It appears too far away to be Admiral Morrison’s, and anyway, if you look closely as we did you’ll realize that Jim’s face has been appended to someone else’s head. The irony of this is that Jim was not of the Morrison family, yet the spooks who invented his persona elected to put him aboard the vessel that was at the center of the Gulf of Tonkin affair. (The back of that head is probably Admiral Morrison’s son Andrew, with Jim’s face pasted on the front.)
Jim just up and disappeared. He was said to be cleaning up, having shaved his beard, and was going for long walks in Paris. Then he turned up dead, a suspected heroin overdose. There was no autopsy. Only two people ever saw the body, one of whom was Pam Courson.
This is supposedly young Jim with his brother and sister. It’s a professional photo, but the person pasting Jim in botched the job, so it looks like he has a toasted muffin for a right ear. The shadows are inconsistent too, but we did this work long ago, and I’ve no intention here of reinventing it. You can examine the photos for yourself at this post.
By far the most exciting results to come out of the Jim Morrison saga for us surrounded Pamela Courson, his girlfriend, pictured to the left. She’s a very beautiful woman, and if her birthday is correct, she is currently 74 years sold. Pamela was said to be part of a string of people in that era dying at age 27, hers of a heroin overdose, as with Him, on April 25, 1974. (Jim’s DOD was 7/3/71, so he is 77 years old if still around.)
Memory is not serving me well, so I don’t know why I stumbled on the resemblance between Courson and Barbara Walters. I do know that I saw more than one Walters in my research, the one to the right here most prominent in my mind. Take a close look. The first thing that jumps out is that the photo does not look like the Barbara Walters we know. Also note something about her that probably spelled the end of her career: She is slumped forward, and her hands are under the table. This is submissive posture. That does not cut it in TV News.
I figured the switch took place in 1976, the original Walters paid off and put to pasture with an iron-clad non-disclosure agreement. Something very interesting happened around that time. A Saturday Night Live cast member, Gilda Radner, picked up on a lisp that no one else could seem to discern. She played the character BaBa WaWa after that, a recurring one on SNL.
I suspect that Radner, very talented so this is no slight, was given the task of running Walters up the flagpole, making her a national figure. The manner in which Radner impersonated Walters literally defined Walters. No longer was the public aware of a mousy newscaster making her appearance as the first woman newscaster on The Today Show. Radner’s caricature sealed in the public mind the face and voice of Barbara Walters.
(And yes, we also looked for Gilda Radner among the living dead. No luck, in fact, and she is not in the Social Security Death Index. I suspect that Mrs. Gene Wilder is out there somewhere.)
Another photo that caught my eye was this one to the left, said to be Walters in her early days. I think we can all agree that that person might be Barbara Walters, but not the Barbara Walters that Pam Courson became.
The hardest part of the Courson/Walters transition was the age difference. Walters is said to have been born in 1929, and currently is 91 if still alive. Courson was born in 1946, and is currently 74 years old. That is quite a difference to overcome.
Take a look at this photo to the right and below, of Donald Trump and Walters in 2017. At the time of this video, Walters was said to be 87 years old! Does that look like an 87 year old woman? I’m aware of the power of makeup and illusion, but I make that woman out to be in her sixties or seventies. Not 87.
This is an 87-year-old woman. I know that she is that age because the headline that accompanies her photos says she was accused of a crime involving the death of a grandson at that age. Do you imagine that TV and makeup magic would make the woman on the left look like the one on the right?
Anyway, the Courson/Walters transition was a hard sell. It is a good thing I believe in myself, as I even had a visit in the comments from someone from the Courson family claiming the Pam really did die and to stop defaming her. Fortunately, you cannot defame a dead person, so I was on safe ground.
So what evidence did I gather? First, a striking resemblance between the two.
I did not do many face chops because there were not very many full frontal face shots of Courson. But this was enough to convince me I was on the right path. I was also at that time playing with profiles, and I did find a nice left profile of Courson. The problem with profiles is a standard by which to size the two images, one of Walters and one of Courson. I decided just to align the heads to the same size, as I had good evidence in the face chops that I was on the right path. Here’s what a came up with, a GIF of Walters transforming before my eyes into Courson. If nothing else, look at the nose. [The similarity in the hair, texture and part, speaks to me as well.]
I have noticed in doing this kind of work these past years that people tend to assume the same posture throughout their lives, even the angle of tilted head. You might say it is fortunate that I caught both women at the same angle, but I think it more the good fortune of them being the same woman at different stages of life. Unfortunately, there are no profile shots of Courson where her ear is visible. That too would be added evidence.
I had no idea where I was going with this piece when I sat down to write, and now that I am out of things to say, I have no idea where I am at. I am fully aware that the people I write about, Barbara Walters, Jim Morrison, Gilda Radner, etc., are of a prior age and generations apart. But I can only write what I know, and I have not much interest in the current crop of famous people. It’s part of aging, you see.
Excerpt from Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon, by Dave McGowan, page 128 et seq
At the very beginning of this journey, it was noted that Jim Morrison’s story was not “in any way unique.” That, however is not exactly true. It is certainly true that Morrison’s family background did not differ significantly from that of his musical peers, but in many other significant ways, Jim Morrison was indeed a most unique individual, and quite possibly the unlikeliest rock star ever to stumble across a stage.
Morrison essentially arrived on the scene as a fully developed rock star, complete with a backing band, the stage persona and an impressive collection of songs – enough, in fact, to fill the Doors’ first few albums. How exactly he reinvented himself in such a radical manner remain something of a mystery, since before his sudden incarnation a singer/songwriter, James Douglas Morrison had never shown the slightest interest in music. None whatsoever. He certainly never studied music and could neither read nor write it. By his own account, he never had much of an interest in even listening to music. He told one interviewer that he “never went to concerts – one or two at the most.” And before joining the Doors, he “never did any singing. I never even conceived of it.” Asked near the end of his life if he had ever had any desire to learn to play a musical instrument, Jim responded, “Not really.”
So here we had a guy who had never sang, who had “never even conceived” of the notion that he could open his mouth and make sounds come out, who couldn’t play an instrument and had no interest in learning such as skill, and who had never much listened to music or been anywhere near a band, even just to watch one perform, yet he somehow emerged, virtually overnight, as a fully formed rock star who would quickly become an icon of his generation. Even more bizarrely, legend holds that he brought with them enough original songs to fill the first few Doors’ albums. Morrison did not, you see, do as other singer/songwriters do and pen the songs over the course of the band’s career; instead, he allegedly wrote them all at once, before the band was even formed. As Jim once acknowledged in an interview, he was “not a very prolific songwriter. Most of the songs I’ve written I wrote in the very beginning, about three years ago. I just had a period where I wrote a lot of songs.”
In fact, all of the good songs that Morrison is credited with writing were written during that period – the period during which, according to rock legend, Jim spent most of his time hanging out on the rooftop of the Venice apartment building consuming copious amounts of LSD. This was just before you hook up with fellow student Ray Manzarek to form the Doors. Legend also holds, strangely enough, that the chance meeting occurred on the beach, though it seems far more likely that the pair would’ve actually met at UCLA, were both attended the University’s rather small and close-knit film school.
In any event, the question that naturally arises (though it does not appear to have ever been asked of him) is: How exactly did Jim “The Lizard King” Morrison write that impressive batch of songs? I’m certainly no musician myself but it is my understanding that just about every singer/songwriter across the land composes his or her songs in essentially the same manner: on instrument – usually either a piano or guitar. Some songwriters, I hear, can compose on paper, but that requires a skill set that Jim did not possess. The problem, the course, is that he could not play a musical instrument of any kind. How then did he write the songs?
He would’ve had to have compose them, I’m guessing, in his head. So we are to believe that the few dozen complete songs never heard by anyone and never played by any musician, existed only in Jim Morrison’s acid-addled brain. Anything is possible, I suppose, but even if we accept that premise, we are still left with some nagging questions, including the question of how those songs got out of Jim Morrison’s head. As a general rule of thumb, if a songwriter doesn’t know how to read and write music, he can play the song for someone who does and thereby create the sheet music (which was the case for example with all of the songs that Brian Wilson penned for the Beach Boys. But Jim quite obviously could not play his own songs. So did he, I don’t know, maybe hum them? Will he will a is for insulation on