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Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together Paperback – January 16, 2014
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From the Back Cover
When people discover I was a friend of Jim Morrison, sooner or later they inevitably ask, "What was he really like?" A simple, straightforward reply has become more difficult over the years as sensational and conflicting fictions have obscured the truth about Jim. This book confronts and sweeps away the myths to illuminate an extraordinary man and gifted creative artist. In these pages Jim Morrison is candidly revealed by the people who knew him, who were his pals, colleagues, mentors and lovers. You'll find funny stories, secrets revealed and facts more startling than any of the distortions spread during and after Jim's life. The result is a more detailed rendering, a more humane and accurate portrait. Frank Lisciandro
Quotes from the book:
"You could take away anything you wanted from Jim Morrison, but don't mess with his freedom." [Ron Alan]
"...he didn't own a car, and he didn't own a house and the only belongings that he had were the things that he wore..." [Leon Barnard]
"I admired the ability that he had to cleave to the subject and stick with it. Jim's memory was absolutely acute..." [Michael McClure]
"You never quite knew what he was going to do, which was half of the excitement of a Doors concert." [Rich Linnell]
More than 55 original photos
Conversations with 14 friends
380 pages of honest testimony
About the Author
Frank Lisciandro is a documentary filmmaker and photographer. He attended the UCLA Film School with Jim Morrison and Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek, and later collaborated with Morrison on his two films—Feast of Friends and HWY. A close friend and confidante of Jim, he was the co-producer of the Grammy-nominated album, An American Prayer, which featured Morrison’s spoken word poetry with musical backing by the three surviving Doors. In 1982, he released his first photo book, An Hour for Magic, which featured more than 100 photos and personal anecdotes about his work, travels and friendship with Morrison. In the late Eighties, on behalf of the Morrison Estate, Lisciandro went through the vaults containing Morrison’s personal writings and co-edited two volumes of previously unreleased Morrison poetry for Villard Books: Wilderness (1989) and The American Night (1990). Lisciandro has made more than 25 documentary films and shown his photographs in the USA, Canada, England, France and Italy.
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Top customer reviews
My memories coincide with the Cheri Siddons interview. I just have to quote her saying, "He was one of the most unique and powerful, charismatic, intelligent, wonderful human beings I've ever met." She goes on to explain how intelligent and funny he was, a magnificent human being who was extremely talented. I would have to add to Cheri's statements that Jim had a radiance and inner light that few people have.
He was a very special person as well as down to earth and extremely approachable.
There are some wonderful reviews here and I just cannot saying anything else to top them except thank you, thank you, thank you Steve and Frank!
In the spring and summer of 1990 Lisciandro, a film school friend of Jim Morrison and Ray Manazarek as well as editor for The Doors documentary “Feast of Friends” and collaborator on Morrison’s film “HWY,” endeavored to talk with and interview on the record Jim Morrison’s friends. These are the interviews that comprise “Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together.”
The interviews in “Friends Gathered Together” were also the raw material for Lisciandro’s 1991 book on Morrison “Feast of Friends.” The question has come up how “Friends Gathered Together” differs from Lisciandro’s ‘91 book? The answer is, “Feast of Friends” is only 178 pages while “Friends Gathered Together” is 376 pages. The interviews in “Friends Gathered Together” are the full, unabridged, unexpurgated (slightly edited, by journalist Steven Wheeler) interviews conducted by Lisciandro in 1991.
Many books mention the different aspects of Jim Morrison, but “Friends Gathered Together,” through the differing viewpoints of the interviewees the reader is able to see the habits, temperament, and eccentricities of Jim Morrison. If you want some insight into Morrison’s personality read the interviews with Phil O’Leno and Rich Linnell, if you want to know what the Sunset Strip scene was like in the 60’s read Ron Alan’s interview, if you’re looking for Jim Morrison, the poet, read Michael McClure’s, what was Pam Courson like on coming back from Paris after Morrison’s death read the interview with Cheri Siddons, what was Jim like as a lover, read the interview with Eva Gardonyi. That’s not to say the interviews aren’t multidimensional, you will find elements of all in every interview, and it is through the commonalties in their reports the reader can bring the picture of Jim Morrison into closer focus.
“Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together” is a great reference book for any Doors/Jim Morrison fan. The look into Jim Morrison‘s personality and life is unparalleled. The interviews are annotated with dates of events that the interviewees’ memories are weak on. I’m sure “Jim Morrison: Friends Gathered Together” is a book that will be kept close by and referenced regularly.
Jim Cherry writes The Doors Examiner.
What I especially liked is that there are no interviews with the band members and absolutely no mythology about Jim Morrison. This book is very much appreciated.
These accounts illustrate who this man was -- warts and all. One topic discussed time and time again is his amazing sense of humor -- something that is probably not associated with Jim Morrison. These stories describe a man who is the polar opposite of the lunatic portrayed in the Oliver Stone movie. This book is a must read for someone who wants to try to understand this amazingly talented person and have an insight into what made him tick; from people who were there and who were witness to both Jim Morrison's history and the history of the 60s and early 70s.
It is the best book I've read about Jim Morrison because it contains the words of people who do not have anything to gain by clouding what happened with sensational stories. The conversations feel like those between friends, fondly reminiscing about the past. Every one of these conversations is interesting to read.
Finally, a REAL glimpse into who this talented poet, artist and singer was.
This is not another book based on the sensationalized caricature that was produced for the stage and to sell records. Give this one a.gander if you are itching to know more about Jim Morrison.