The article “Jim Morrison: Ten Years Gone” was originally published in article form with commentary by Ms. Lizzie James in the 1981 CREEM Magazine Special Edition devoted to the Doors on the tenth anniversary of Jim Morrison’s passing. This is an unedited portion of the interview, this section of the piece is uncorrected, the original being unavailable. Parts of this interview were also published in The Doors Illustrated History. The interview was originally recorded in 1969.
Lizzie: I think fans of The Doors see you as a savior, the leader who’ll set them all free. How do you feel about that?
Jim: It’s absurd. How can I set free anyone who doesn’t have the guts to stand up alone and declare his own freedom? I think it’s a lie – people claim they want to be free – everybody insists that freedom is what they want the most, the most sacred and precious thing a man can possess. But that’s bullshit! People are terrified to be set free – they hold on to their chains. They fight anyone who tries to break those chains. It’s their security… How can they expect me or anyone else to set them free if they don’t really want to be free?
Lizzie: Why do you think people fear freedom?
Jim: I think people resist freedom because they’re afraid of the unknown. But it’s ironic… That unknown was once very well known. It’s where our souls belong…The only solution is to confront them – confront yourself – with the greatest fear imaginable. Expose yourself to your deepest fear. After that, fear has no power, and fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.
Lizzie: What do you mean when you say “freedom”?
Jim: There are different kinds of freedom – there’s a lot of misunderstanding….The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your senses for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first. ….You can take away a man’s political freedom and you won’t hurt him – unless you take away his freedom to feel. That can destroy him.
Lizzie: But how can anyone else have the power to take away from your freedom to feel?