Twenty pages of handwritten poems and lyrics in the last notebook used by the singer Jim Morrison before his death 35 years ago are to be sold at auction.
The notebook, which is expected to make up to £100,000, was left behind in a plastic bag when Morrison borrowed a friend's home studio to make a tape. It has been kept since by the owner of the studio, Philippe Dalecky, whose girlfriend at the time, Elizabeth Lariviere, was a friend of Morrison's lover, Pamela Courson.
He has now decided to sell it at a Cooper Owen's Music Legends sale at the Abbey Road studios in London on 28 July. It is being auctioned with a photograph of the 27-year-old singer which was also in the bag.
Speaking from France yesterday, M. Dalecky, a French music producer now aged 57, said he had not known who Morrison was when they were introduced. "If it was Jimi Hendrix I would have kissed his feet because he was my hero. Later I realised the depth of my ignorance, but our relationship was pretty easy because I was not a fan," he said.
"He was like a shooting star in my life. I saw him about seven, eight, 10 times in about a month and a half. He was not the aggressive drug addict person that has been described many times. He was really cool and collected."
Yet M. Dalecky said that Morrison already looked much older than 27. "His heart was the heart of an old man. He drank too much, he had too many drugs, you could see through the look in his eyes that he was kind of fed up. He lived too fast in a few years."
A sense of that world-weariness was evident in the notebook, M. Dalecky said. "On the penultimate page, it says: 'Umhm/Glorious sexual cool/I'm finally dead' - like a premonition, like he was expecting his death, like he had had enough already."
Jim Morrison had moved to Paris with Pamela Courson to take a break from performing and to concentrate on writing. He was already in the habit of carrying notebooks. And in Paris, throughout the month before his death, he began carrying them in a white plastic shopping bag from the Samaritaine department store, also including personal photographs, a tape of his 1970 birthday poetry reading, cigarettes, pens and articles about the Doors.
When Morrison found it hard to write, he resorted to drink and on one occasion picked up a pair of buskers to record with him in the studio. He did not have the means to listen to the resulting reel-to-reel recording, but Philippe Dalecky had the facilities to make a tape of it.
Morrison was so thrilled with the cassette he left in a hurry. When M. Dalecky noticed the forgotten carrier bag, he called after Morrison half-way down the block. "He looked up and said, 'OK, just keep it,' and that was the last I saw of him," M. Dalecky said. The singer was found dead in his bath on 3 July 1971 from heart failure aggravated by heavy drinking.
Stephen Davis, the author of The Last Days of Jim Morrison, has seen the notebook. "It represents a confident and finished sequence of poems," he said. Some are variants of older poems, such as "The Ancient Ones", "Winter Photography" and "The Hitchhiker".
But there is one previously unknown poem, "Impossible Garden", which refers to "a beautiful savage like me" and "the most insane whore in Christendom", and a new song lyric, "Now You Are In Danger".
Some pages contain just a few jottings with page 17 containing one line: "She'll get over it."
M. Dalecky would like the notebook to go back to the US, but is not sad to be selling. "It's been around me for these 35 years and I think it's time for me to let it go," he said. Louise Cooper, of Cooper Owen, said: "This is one of the most incredible items we have put up for sale. Jim's last days are a mystery to us all and this notebook sheds a little more light on the state of his mind before his tragic death."Reuse content