Thursday, December 9, 2010

Florida Gets One thing right: Pardoning Jim Morrison

Bravo and kudos to Florida governor Charlie Crist for taking the initiative in getting former rocker Jim Morrison pardoned on a trumped-up lewdness and disobedience charge- from a Miami concert in 1969. (Those interested, can see an excellent portrayal of it in Director Oliver Stone's 'The Doors').

The state board of clemency voted unanimously today- at the recommendation of Gov. Charlie Crist - to grant a posthumous pardon to rock icon Jim Morrison of the Doors, convicted of exposing himself during a 1969 Miami concert.

The pardon was granted over the objection of Angel Lago, a former Miami police officer, who said it sent the wrong message to the nation's youth, and that a pardon was tantamount to accusing officers involved in the incident of perjury. (Given the confusion surrounding the incident, however, this is not the case. Only that these officers may have erred in claiming who did what - since so much confusion abounded)

To Crist's credit he said it was not about retrying the case but about forgiveness.

In 1970, a jury convicted Morrison of indecent exposure and open profanity, though he was cleared of a felony count of lewd and lascivious behavior and public drunkenness. He was sentenced to six months in jail, but died two years later in Paris while the case was under appeal.

Morrison gets kudos and commendations even today for standing up to Ed Sullivan, during the Doors appearance on that show in 1968. Evidently, Sullivan demanded Morrison remove the word "higher" from his hit single 'Light My Fire' because to Sullivan it connoted a "drug connection". ("Girl we couldn't get much higher.... " was the lyric). Ignoring Sullivan, Morrison howled out the word anyway and poor Ed nearly popped a blood vessel.

Afterward, one of Sullivan's honchos approached the rebel rocker and informed him: "Just for that, you will never ever do this show again!"

Jim Morrison calmly eyed the guy and said flatly: "We just did the Sullivan show."

At least Jim can now rest more easily in his grave.

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