Dear Jim Morrison: The late great Door would have been 50 today. A self-confessed disciple explains why she just has to throw a party

Today, people all over the world will be celebrating your birthday, the birthday of a dead man they've never met, whom they think they know better than their own relatives and friends.

You would have been 50 years old today. That is, if you hadn't died in dubious circumstances in exile during the night of 3 July 1971. But now you are back to haunt another generation. This is why there will be a birthday party in your honour at my house this week.

When The Doors were the in thing, in 1967 or thereabouts, I was playing in the sand pit and had never heard of them. Most of the people I've invited weren't even born. So what's so special about Jim Morrison and The Doors that we go to pieces when Ray Manzarek's two-tone electric organ starts up?

A 22-year-old insurance salesman I met at an extraordinarily boring party thought his relationship with The Doors a little like a love affair - after a whole year of buying every single book, video, poetry collection and live album on the market, he has now settled into a more steady rhythm of just listening to The Doors once in a while, or, as he put it, 'when I need something'. He'll be at my party. So will a 45-year-old boarding-school matron who plays The Doors to 'retain my sanity after spending the whole day with people who function only on a strictly material level'.

A 12-year-old girl listens to you 'because it helps me with my poetry at school. I don't copy, but it always gives me a new outlook on things.'

And I play Doors tapes on an endless loop when I work and write, for company and for inspiration.

But there's nothing wrong with us. Others have a similar condition. Francis Ford Coppola chose the all-time Doors fan's hymn 'The End' for Apocalypse Now. Oliver Stone's movie about you - a labour of love, if nothing else - nets a few more disciples every time it's shown. In fact, The Doors sell more records today than they ever did. More than two million albums a year, world wide.

Which brings us back to the question - why?

The Doors' music is like any real work of art. It means to each individual exactly what he or she wants it to mean. If we want to rebel, it's all there for us. If we want to be lonely and miserable - you'll be there for us, and your own depth of loneliness and misery will bring us back to our senses. Sex? Then we listen to the band's live version of 'Gloria'. We can kill our parents, break down the fabric of society, discover the meaning of life, save the planet or love endlessly - and you, Jim, will be right by our side.

You were a brilliant man who was unhappy, and had the guts to ask us all for help. That's why I'm throwing the party.

Happy birthday, Jim. We still love you.

(Photograph omitted)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
Sir Chris Hoy won six Olympic golds - in which four events?
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    English Teacher

    £21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a dynamic En...

    SAP Data Migration Lead

    competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Experienced Lead SAP Data Manager Requir...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Graduate Recruitment Resourcers - Banking Technologies

    £18000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Huxley Associates are looking...

    Day In a Page

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform