Pop Machine: Doors wide open

Jim Morrison lit his fire with fat and food

A freshly exhumed 1969 interview, indicates there was a time when Jim Morrison less resembled the sculpted image we have been fed through cover art, magazine shoots, posters, and etc. for decades.

Running four minutes and 18 seconds long, the Doors frontman’s interview with director/journalist Howard Smith has been treated with an animated video. It comes as part of a lost interview series from PBS called Blank on Blank.

(article continues after video)

Morrison kicks off the interview by asking Smith and an unidentified sit-in, “Are you hungry? … Maybe we could order out for some sandwiches or some chicken delight or something,” and, met with responses that are less than enabling than he might have preferred, goes on to point out how, “well, it’s lunchtime,” then going on to grill Smith and his partner to ensure they were being authentic in their turning down of his implications.

In what was undoubtedly an effort to mine some quotes out of the banter, Smith points out, “You’ve put on a lot of weight; are you eating a lot?”

Rather than indulging Smith’s articulation of what is now only a shadow of today’s gaze of skinny culture, Morrison lightly probes the fat-shaming culture of the western world, saying, “That’s something that really bothers me. What’s wrong with being fat?”

He goes on to say “fat is beautiful.”

Morrison gets talking about his college days and how he felt cheated out of his money if he didn’t eat big. He says that while attending school, he grew to be about 185 pounds.

“I felt like a large mammal. A big beast,” Morrison says. “When I’d move through the corridors or across the lawn, I just felt like I could knock anybody out of my way, you know. I was solid, man. It’s terrible to be thin and wispy because, you know, you could get knocked over by a strong wind or something. Fat is beautiful.”

When Smith asks Morrison how much he weighs, to the delight of body image warriors everywhere, Morrison responds, “I don’t know to tell you the truth, I guess somewhere in the neighbourhood of about 150.”

It appears the doors of perception were wider than we expected.

(article originally published by The Ontarion on April 4, 2013)

This entry was posted in Burden of Salt and tagged , , , , on by .

About Tom Beedham

Tom Beedham is a Canadian writer and photographer whose work focuses on independent culture, experimental art, DIY communities, and their relationship to the mainstream. He has reported on a spectrum of creatives ranging from emerging acts to the definitive voices of cultural movements. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. He has contributed features to Exclaim!, NOW, A.Side (formerly AUX), Chart Attack, and VICE publications Noisey and THUMP, and has appeared as a correspondent on Daily VICE. Tom is also a co-organizer and curator of the inter-arts series Long Winter, for which he has overseen the publication of an online blog and print newspaper-style community publication, and, in collaboration with Lucy Satzewich, implemented harm reduction strategies for safer event spaces. From 2006-2012, he was Editor-in-Chief of Halton, ON -based youth magazine The Undercroft and served as an outreach worker for parent organization Peer Outreach Support Services and Education (POSSE) Project. He was also a DIY concert organizer in his hometown Georgetown, ON in the mid-2000s.

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