The Last Meal Of Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison and the Doors getting interviewed, 1968 - Michael 1620 / Youtube
Jim Morrison was fatigued and in poor health the day preceding his demise. On July 2, 1971, he went on his afternoon by running errands and drinking with his friend, photographer Alain Ronay.
According to Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend, Ronay observed that the former Doors singer appeared “shaky” on that day and experienced intermittent episodes of body-shaking hiccups as they strolled around Paris’ Le Marais neighborhood.
Morrison and his girlfriend, Pamala Courson, had been residing in Paris since March 1971, both grappling with addiction. After Ronay parted ways with Morrison at a bar, the singer chose to return to his apartment. A few hours later, Courson wasn’t feeling well, prompting Morrison to venture out alone to dine at a nearby Chinese restaurant.
He indulged in a sweet and sour Chinese dish along with numerous beers before heading to watch a movie. Early the following morning, Morrison was discovered lifeless in his bathtub, officially declared to have succumbed to a heart attack – though there was speculation of a potential heroin overdose.
Jim Morrison’s voracious appetites
Morrison had huge appetites, whether it pertained to food or indulging in alcohol and drugs. His affinity for food was discussed in interviews with journalist Howard Smith, featured in PBS’s Blank on Blank animated series.
According to Morrison, he never skipped a cafeteria meal during his college days, and he would rise every morning at 6:30 a.m. to savor a hearty breakfast consisting of “eggs and grits and sausages and toast and milk”.
He particularly relished mashed potatoes and made them a staple for both lunch and dinner, contributing to a significant weight gain during that period. Reflecting on this time, Morrison expressed a sense of vitality, likening himself to a formidable entity, saying, “I felt like a tank, you know? I felt like a large mammal. A big beast.”
In the course of the interview with Smith, Morrison playfully suggested ordering food before diving into their conversation about what Smith had for breakfast.
Morrison’s appetite extended to drugs
In her memoir, Somebody to Love?: A Rock-and-Roll Memoir, Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick, talked about Jim Morrison’s diverse appetites.
Recounting an incident during their joint European tour with the Doors in the Netherlands, Slick vividly describes encounters with fans in the streets of Amsterdam. Recognizing the musicians, fans approached them, expressing gratitude for their music by presenting various drugs as gifts.
Slick recalled the scene, noting that while most of the band members graciously accepted the offerings to enjoy later, Morrison exhibited a different approach. Rather than deferring the indulgence, he chose to sit down on the curb and promptly partake in the substances, whether it be pot, hash, or coke.
Slick expressed her amazement at the eclectic combination of chemicals Morrison was ingesting, especially on the night of a concert. Reflecting on the incident, she marveled at Morrison’s resilience, finding it remarkable that he managed to live as long as he did given the intensity of his lifestyle.
The last meal of a rock legend
In addition to recounting the ill-fated singer’s final supper, historical records also document the locale of his last lunch, even if the exact details of the meal remain unspecified. On the fateful day of Morrison’s demise, he and Ronay paused for lunch at a quaint restaurant amid their errands.
The chosen establishment, Ma Bourgogne, continues to operate today, specializing in Alsatian cuisine. This region is renowned for its hearty fare, characterized by substantial meat dishes, particularly sausages, and an abundance of potatoes.
Given Morrison’s culinary inclinations dating back to his college days, this culinary choice aligns perfectly with his preferences. As recounted in Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre: A Biography of the Doors, Morrison swiftly devoured the meal, triggering another bout of hiccups.
Subsequently, the duo proceeded to Café des Phares for a round of beers. Tragically, just a few hours later, Morrison’s untimely death occurred, prematurely concluding the remarkable life of the 27-year-old singer and poet.