I spoke to this teenage girl the other day. Very cute and intelligent she was (in that order in my leery sexist reckoning), but in the course of our conversation it emerged that she didn't know who Jim Morrison or the Doors were.
It may seem obvious that somebody who's 16 won't necessarily have come across a band that split up nearly forty years ago. But I was really surprised by it. I don't listen to them much anymore--and I rarely read Jimbo's poetry--but the Doors were one of the defining cultural experiences of my youth. I couldn't quite compute the idea that a band and a writer who helped me become who I am (for what that's worth) might have passed another person by completely. If they were that insignificant to a really cool person, what did it mean for all my assumptions about the validity and importance of my own cultural journey?
After speaking to the girl I went home and fished out my copies of "Morrison Hotel" and "An American Prayer" and played them through several times, while drinking cold beer through my beard like an ageing Jim.
Suddenly I remembered watching the Oliver Stone movie, massively twisted on booze and marijuana in the darkness of a cinema that's no longer there in Wellingborough. I'd seen the movie once by myself, but this time I was with a girlfriend, Selina, a hippie psychotherapist who believed she was immortal because people only chose to die. And I was so hammered I couldn't follow the movie at all. It was just a phantasmagoria of noise and colour like the light shows they used to project behind the Grateful Dead in the first great days of the psychedelic explosion in San Francisco.
I got stoned quite a lot when I was with Selina. So stoned, actually, that the sex between us was terrible. "Jesus, what does it take with you?" I remember her saying in exasperation under the covers in her house in Irthlingborough one night as she furiously jerked off my flaccid member.
The best sex I ever had with Selina, in fact, was the time I masturbated on her toilet using a polaroid of her topless for inspiration. She wasn't even there that day. I'd only come around to water her plants and put out food for her two cats Morgan and Fay.
Jesus, those were the days, eh? Booze, weed, an immortal girlfriend and the Doors. If it gets much better than that, tell me where.