‘Lucky U to be Jim’s favourite place to have actually breakfast. That ordered a beer and also a chilli soup to heat his stomach. He can sink 6 beers in an hour’


‘We acting a pack of hash and listened come Sgt Pepper’ … Jim Morrison of the Doors in 1967. Photograph: Bobby Klein
‘We acting a load of hash and listened come Sgt Pepper’ … Jim Morrison the the Doors in 1967. Photograph: Bobby Klein

I was the very first official photographer the the Doors, and this shot was taken at an early stage on. It was 1967 and also we to be heading to Venice coast to take part publicity shots however got hungry, for this reason Jim recommended protecting against off at happy U Cafe, his favourite location in Los Angeles come grab breakfast. It was a tiny Mexican restaurant owned by a Chinese man, quite much simply a counter with no tables. Jim ordered a beer and a menudo – a beef and chilli soup – to heat his stomach. It wasn’t unusual to check out him sink six beers in one hour.

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I’ve always enjoyed shooting people when castle eating because it creates an intimacy. So I obtained behind the counter and started snapping away. Jim was beautiful. He looked favor Michelangelo’s David. He was checking me out: “Who the hell is this guy?” he didn’t experience fools, and also this was beforehand in our relationship. Yes sir an soot in his eyes: the was totally serious about being viewed as a credible poet.

In the car back home, Jim and also the remainder of the band heard rest on through – your debut solitary – ~ above the radio for the very first time and everyone cheered. They obtained an inkling of what it would be like to have a hit.

Jim to be irreverent and mischievous. One time us were shoot outside and also he suddenly disappeared. That came back with this cheeky smile and I take it his picture. Just later, as soon as I obtained the photos developed, did ns realise what he had actually been doing: he’d surprise behind a tree, gained himself aroused and, through his trousers, was pointing his erection right at my camera.

His girlfriend Pam come over, claiming Jim had pushed her into the closet and set it on fireJim and also I were around the very same age, and also we clicked intellectually. He and his girl friend Pam Courson moved right into a ar next door to where my wife and I stayed in Laurel Canyon. Ns remember one evening we spent together, smoking cigarettes a load of hash and also listening to a vinyl import of Sgt Pepper. The was a great night.

One night, Pam came over late, explain Jim had tried to kill her. She stated he had actually pushed her right into the closet and collection it on fire when he uncovered out she had been sleeping with this phony prince who had supplied her v heroin. Jim hated heroin for this reason was perhaps trying to fear her into going clean. She finished up continuing to be with united state for a few weeks. One night in the beforehand 1990s, I had actually Oliver Stone, Val Kilmer and also Meg Ryan over because that dinner and told castle this story. Oliver finished up placing it into his Doors movie, i m sorry starred Val as Jim.

The critical time I witnessed Jim was in 1971, as soon as the Doors play at the closing party we had actually for the black Rabbit Inn, an necessary restaurant I had launched through Jack Nicholson 4 years earlier. Jack invest $10,000 in it. Jim was really drunk and also having a an excellent time. However he was never ever a slurring, hopeless drunk. It is one point Oliver’s film gained wrong. Jim could easily role on alcohol. He was always stimulating come speak to: a visionary that would predict things that taken place years later.

Jim died in July the year. Later, Paul Rothchild, who was the band’s producer, and also I became close friends. The told me about Jim’s fatality in Paris. He said Jim had actually come house drunk and found part powder on the dresser. That assumed it was cocaine and also snorted a couple lines. Yet it was heroin and he faded actual fast. Pam placed him in the bath to shot to recovery him, however it was also late. With his passing, ours happy hippie days were over.


‘Jim to be a visionary’ … Bobby Klein.

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Bobby Klein’s CV

Born: Los Angeles, California, 1943.

Trained: “I had actually zero training. If i didn’t know exactly how to execute something, ns asked the men at the photography store. I shot on black and also white together I wasn’t sure how to carry out colour.”

Influences: “Henri Cartier-Bresson because that documenting his time and Man ray for his an approach – he’d set up a portrait and all it would certainly take was one click.”

High point: “Working through Igor Stravinsky in 1967. I turned up at his house with my lengthy hair, put on hippie beads. That came down the stair clutching his very own bead necklace and, in a thick Russian accent, said: ‘Stravinsky is a hippie too!’”

Low point: “The at an early stage 1970s, once the record carriers started hiring art directors and it all acquired too corporate.”

Top tip: “Give up on technique and just shoot. Ns photographed Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison – and also I wish I had taken an ext shots. You never realise how important world will become.”