Would AA Have Saved Jim Morrison?

By Joe Schrank 12/09/11

What would have been the Doors frontman's 68th birthday yesterday was a chance to reflect on the alcoholism that killed him.

Morrison had family history of alcoholism.
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Yesterday would have been Jim Morrison’s 68th birthday. The mystique of The Doors doesn't seem to date: at this very moment, a bunch of American backpackers are getting high at Morrison’s grave in Paris. Any alcoholic worth his diagnosis kind of wants to be Jim, in spite of his tragic early death in 1971. Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek recently spoke to Gibson.com about what killed him: “Alcoholism was in the Morrison family line.” But he doesn't believe AA would have saved Jim: "In those days, AA was for winos; upper class sophisticated Alcoholics really had no place to go. I don’t know if Jim would have made it in a 12 Step program anyway.” Manzarek adds that his friend was “brilliant and so much fun to be with, but there was that demon alcohol.” Julia Negron, former wife of Doors drummer John Densmore, agrees that AA wouldn't have been the answer. She tells The Fix, “I don’t think Jim was enough of a joiner to make it in a club like AA…The God-driven, almost conservative attitudes of the gang at AA would have made him crazy.”

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Joe Schrank is a writer and social worker in NYC. He was one of the founders of TheFix and is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, Gawker, Salon, and Fox News. Intoxicant-free for 18 years, Joe remains a depressed disgruntled alcoholic. You can find Joe on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.