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Jim Morrison,alcohol and his hang overs?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by braveheart, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. braveheart

    braveheart Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 15, 2018
    here,there and everywhere
    When a guy like Jim drinks large amounts of alcohol almost everyday...does he still have a hung over?
  2. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    I think the massive amounts of lsd were negating any alcohol effects.
    Fendereedo and Oxidao like this.
  3. voskarp

    voskarp Tele-Holic

    Feb 12, 2017
    Uppsala, Sweden
  4. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

    Nov 14, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    As a child of two alcoholics, my observation was that continuous drinking does not result in a hangover until (if) you stop drinking, which most alcoholics do not do. Some alcoholics (or drunks, not the same thing) have the luxury of sleeping through the first stages of sobering up. I saw the Doors live at the height of their powers -- right after the first album -- and it was really eye-opening to see how quickly Morrison became a sloppy, incapacitated drunk, too impaired to access and control his astounding creative and performance powers.
    lammie200, Mr powers, uriah1 and 3 others like this.
  5. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

    Mar 21, 2015
    Not any more.
    He's dead.
  6. offsideref

    offsideref Tele-Meister

    Jun 16, 2019
    When you drink alcohol, the alcohol that gets into your bloodstream is broken down by your liver. Your liver manages this by using an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase. (Even if you don’t drink alcohol, a small quantity of alcohol is produced by your body naturally, and so your liver has a small amount of alcohol dehydrogenase ready to deal with it.) However, in response to any alcohol you consume, a positive feedback system makes your liver produce more of the enzyme. If you drink alcohol frequently, your liver will make large amounts of the enzyme pretty much all the time, to detoxify your blood to the best of its ability, and your hangovers, if you have them at all, will be less severe. A hangover is basically your body’s response to ingesting too much toxic chemicals for it to easily deal with.

    It doesn’t work so well, if you don’t drink frequently (because there’s no feedback telling your liver to produce more of the enzyme), but then decide to drink a lot, all in one go.

    Incidentally, for reasons of genetics, Japanese people generally produce lower levels of alcohol dehydrogenase than occidental people. It’s not all bad news, because they can get tipsy from drinking fewer drinks. (And the positive feedback > increased enzyme production applies, just the same).

    So, it may be that Jim Morrison experienced fewer, or less ghastly, hangovers than you might expect, unless, in one sitting, he drank so much that his alcohol dehydrogenase level was temporarily depleted.

    I imagine he simultaneously ingested other chemicals, from time to time, in response to which his liver would have had to use other enzymes to break those down as well, assuming that the chemicals in question were capable of being broken down at all.
  7. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 3, 2018
    A hangover is your body responding to the fact that alcohol metabolites are poison. That part doesnt change, your body just gets used to dealing with it. Personally i dont get the attraction to morrison, seemed like a standard troubled drunk with very little in the way of actual talent.
    lmjmitchell likes this.
  8. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 15, 2017
    Harvest, Alabama
    I wrote this bit a few years ago, and posted on the Gibson Forums not long thereafter.
    A bit of fiction about having met Jim Morrison in Paris in 1970.

    Considering I would have been eleven years old at the time, it's a pretty funny piece.

    I had a conversation with Jim Morrison years ago in Paris. Maybe I can shed some light on this subject:

    It was a chance meeting down in a cafe off the Rue de L’Unbathed, late summer 1970 I think.

    I was sitting at a small table by myself, smoking Gauloises and trying to drink-off a small hangover I had going with a glass of Cabernet Swinevienon.

    It wasn’t helping, as I recalled, so I began working on the whole bottle. (Nothing rinses those rough little sweaters off your teeth like a dry French red wine.)

    I was just picking a fleck of cork off of my tongue when a deep voice rumbled off to my left.

    “Don’t you hate it when that happens?” I turned and peered into the shade of the cafe awning. Seated at a table next to the brick wall was a long haired fellow with a substantial beard and aviator sunglasses.

    I recognized him instantly, even with the facial hair and shades.

    “Not really,” I responded as I contemplated the bit of cork under the morning sun, “Sometimes this is the only roughage I get all day.”

    The fellow invited me over to his table, so I grabbed the bottle and vaulted the iron rail to join him. He shook my hand and introduced himself as Jimmy.

    “You’re American, right?”, he inquired politely.

    I replied that I was, and we sat in silence for a moment. I had recently affected a beret, and was failing in my attempt to grow a small goatee.

    I explained that I was on a long sabbatical from school, and was summering in Paris. I just wanted to blend-in, I guess.

    “Well, Maurice Chevalier you ain’t,” my new breakfast companion offered.

    “Look, just because you’re living in Paris doesn’t mean you’ve got to try and be un bon Parisian. Look at me, I’m just a redneck, and I never try to pretend otherwise. These Frog’s will respect you more if you’ll just relax and be yourself.”

    I thanked him for his advice, and poured us both a glass of the red.

    “Say, Jimmy, you are Jim Morrison, aren’t you?”, I ventured. “I don’t want to be rude, but I thought Jim Morrison was a sophisticated, eclectic San Francisco poet. Not a redneck by any means.”

    He raised his sunglasses for a moment and peered at me with his eyes, and then looked left and right before he responded. “Alright, you got me there. I WAS Jim Morrison the singer/poet for awhile, but not anymore. I got tired of living a lie.”

    Jimmy topped off his glass and continued, “See, the popular music industry, and even the Haight Ashbury phonies wouldn’t have come to see Jimmy Don Morrison from Melbourne, Florida. I was a Navy brat, and grew up mainly on coastal Florida bases. I only moved to California when I started college.”

    Jimmy paused to take a sip of wine. “ You wanna know where I first met Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead? We were butchering hogs on the same crew at a slaughterhouse outside of Modesto! How do you think he lost that finger? Jerry’s was playing weekends with the Black Mountain Boys at the time, and needed the extra money to get thru the week. I tell you, he’s just a country boy at heart, but that kinda thing isn’t in vogue right now.”

    He reflected on that memory for a moment or two and then spoke again.

    “I am ashamed to admit it, but I was trying to be somebody I wasn’t, kinda like you there Maurice, in order to sell records. But not anymore!” With that, he leaned over, removed my beret, and chucked-it away, and burst into a hearty laugh.

    Quite by accident, the offending headgear landed on a nearby table, and knocked a cup of coffee onto the lap of a beautiful young French lady.

    She stumbled up out of her seat and stormed past our table on her way out.

    “Le PIG!!”, she spat at Jimmy, and then dismissed me with a, “Le Enfante Terrible‘!!!”

    Jimmy Don leaned over and admired her form as she departed. “Quite a handsome toilette‘ on that little Fifi.”

    He smiled and leaned back in chair. “She’ll be back, though. I’ve noticed her scoping me out for days now. I’m going to have her in the sack by lunchtime, or my name is not The Formerly Great Lizard King!”

    “Wow, I’ve got to confess, this is all quite a revelation to me. Country boy, skirt-chaser.....”

    I took a breath to form my next sentence correctly, “I was under the impression that you were a bit of a San Francisco poofter.”

    The wine was not only curing my hangover, but had made me a little bold and overly-familiar.

    “I know, I know, I get that all the time,” he said. “You heard a story about that night in Max’s Kansas City, me going down on Jimi Hendrix, right?”

    I confessed that he had hit the nail on the head, although the pun was lost on me at the time.

    “Well, here’s how that story got started; I had been on a bourbon and barbiturate bender all day. Jimi rang me up at my hotel about an hour before the gig at Max’s was to begin, so we didn’t have enough time to go get some sit-down food.

    Jimi knew a great Barbeque place right around the corner, so we went in there and got some ribs to go.”

    The bearded fellow topped-off his glass and poured the dregs of the wine into my glass before he continued the story, “He and I scarf-down the vittles back stage, and then before you know it, it’s time for him to go on. Jimi straps-on his Stratocaster, wipes his mouth-off with his sleeve, and goes out there and starts to play. I head over to the bar and resume my whiskey drinking, and sit back to enjoy the show.”

    He stopped for a second. “You want to split another bottle? I can order us something better than this paint thinner here.”

    A proper bottle of Bordeaux shows up, and we enjoy a swallow or two of that before Morrison resumes his story.

    “So I’m sitting there watching Hendrix play, and as he gyrates and wails on it, something on his guitar keeps catching my eye. I lean forward and try to focus, which isn’t easy because of all the alcohol and pills in my system, and sure enough, there is a hunk of pork rib clinging to Jimi’s volume knob. He’s up there playing his *** off, and the crowd is grooving on it, but he never washed his hands you see, and his doggone supper is smeared all over his guitar!!”

    Jimmy drums his fingers on the table and fumes for a moment. “I hate that kind of stuff, man. It’s so unprofessional! Jimi picked up a lot of bad habits while playing the Chitlin’ Circuit after his stint in the Army, and that was one of them. He never washed his hands after eating, and his axe was always messy as a result! People are always talking about how ‘fluid and effortless’ Jimi Hendrix’s playing is....., SHOOT! That ain’t fluid, it’s BARBEQUE SAUCE!!”

    I interject, “So, you weren’t going up there to, um, blow him or anything, you were just trying to...”

    Morrison exploded, “I crawled up there to get that messy piece of pork rib off his guitar! I figured if snuck up there quietly, and licked the barbeque off the damn thing real quick, nobody’d hardly notice. I was just trying to do him a favor.”

    He grinned sheepishly and reflected, “I know it sounds stupid, but heck, you do stupid stuff when you’re under the influence. Look at what happened to me in Miami!!”

    “Anyway, after that, the word got out that I got down in front of Jimi Hendrix onstage, and pretty soon the whole world thinks I’m a damned switch-hitter. Why do you think I’m living over here in Paris, for God’s sake. These people don’t care what you do, you can walk around in mime paint and hold up a sign declaring you’re the Queen of Normandy, they don’t give a s#$t.”

    Jimmy Don seemed to lose his steam and sat there swirling his wine glass around for a bit.

    “You know why I left the Doors?”, he suddenly offered, lowering his voice. “Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger were even bigger pigs than Jimi was.”

    This bit of gossip seemed to be a vindication for him.

    “Ray was always spilling his lunch on his keyboard, and then trying to play the damn thing with coleslaw all over the keys. And Robby always had Twinkie filling and stuff stuck on his strings. What slobs! Unprofessional slobs, I tell you, I just couldn’t stand it.”

    He glanced up toward the cafe entrance and suddenly smiled. Standing there was the previously-angry coffee-stained girl. She fidgeted by the awning and stared at him with a meaningful look in her eye.

    “Alright, boy, looks like I’ve got a date.” He threw a few bills down on the table.

    “Thanks for the wine and the company, and um, everything.”

    He paused and put his hand on my shoulder. “Look, why don’t you consider going back to school? I don’t think this is the place for you. I’ve got an old friend who dropped out for awhile, but he went back and finished and even got his teaching certificate. Fella by the name of Leonard Skinner. Teaches and coaches boys athletics down in Florida now. He used to say, ‘Big wheels keep on turnin’. I think that meant, ‘Get on the train, boy, or it’s going to leave you behind’. Or something to that effect. Anyway, think about it. Nice meeting you, Maurice.”

    Morrison walked away, put his arm around the girl, and strolled off down the avenue. I never saw him again.

    A year later he was dead, as was Hendrix. I guess the train left both of them behind.

    Anyway, I went back to the States, finished elementary school, and went on to have a pretty good life.

    I’ve never looked at popular music quite the same way again. To this day, I can never hear a Hendrix song or a Doors tune without getting a little melancholy, and more than a little hungry for some barbequed ribs.

  9. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

    May 25, 2007
    St. Croix, USVI
    I saw the Doors twice. The first time was magical and the second was horribly pitiful. While they started off all right by the second set Morrison was definitely out of it. The fact that he didn’t fall on his butt, to me, was pretty remarkable.
    Everybody else was as tight as he was loose
    offsideref likes this.
  10. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

    May 25, 2007
    St. Croix, USVI
    Cool story. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
    rand z and Sparky2 like this.
  11. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

    Jan 26, 2010
    Toronto, Ontario.
    When a guy like Jim drinks alcohol like that every day, and takes copious amounts of narcotics, he gains a lot of weight, has a heart attack in a bath tub and dies. However, I wonder if Lowell George was thinking of Morrison when he wrote "Fat Man in the Bathtub"?
    offsideref and nojazzhere like this.
  12. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

    Jun 5, 2015
    If this is hungover, he's handling it quite well:

    Though a big drinker, no doubt, it seems the movie "The Doors" is all folks really know about the dude. Here's a bandmates response from when the film came out:

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
  13. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

    Feb 19, 2004
    trumansburg, ny
    Drinking was a common way for a young man to handle the news coverage of Vietnam, back then.

    I know because I was one of those young men.

    Unlike today, they actually showed you what was happening on your TV screen; and it was VERY GRAPHIC.

    The Doors, Hendrix, Janis, The Dead and many others reflected that madness in their music...

    ...and their lives.

    Personally, I loved the Doors.

    Their music and songs.

    And, especially Morrison's voice.

    There was pain and anguish in that voice.

    Yeah, he was a jerk.

    But, David Crosby has said that he knew Morrison.

    He saw the movie.

    And, said that Morrison was not really like Val Kilmer's portrayal of him.

    He said that he was scared and mixed up; but actually very child-like, and a sweet man.

    It's a shame that alcohol (and other stuff) brought him down and made him into something else.

    As a singer and performing guitarist for over 45 years, I still listen to the Doors and Jim's soulful voice for inspiration.

    (Btw, I'm one who believes that Jim might have wanted out and removed himself to that remote island in the Indian Ocean...)
    offsideref, braveheart and nojazzhere like this.
  14. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Nov 16, 2012
    Along with his wife and especially in Paris, it wasn't just the alcohol he was into heroin.

    I don't know if he was alcoholic enough to be so dependent that without it over 24 hours he would start to go into DT's and such.
    Yeah the hangovers aren't just the metabolites, but also the dehydrating effect of alcohol.
    offsideref likes this.
  15. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Friend of Leo's

    May 7, 2016
    Eastern USA
    Not true. Lizard man. Shape shifter.
    He lives in a part of the hollow earth near the south pole, sponsored by Natzi$ who are evading the US navy at a secret base.
    Sometimes he suddenly moves laterally at speeds greater than what seems possible, and can be found in another secret location in South America, visiting Hendrix. And Elvis.
    Where they all enjoy a laugh and conversation while smoking big Cuban cigars.

    Those are facts!
    Gotta be more open minded man!
  16. Mr powers

    Mr powers Tele-Meister

    Jan 28, 2021
    I have sooooo many friends who are controlled by alcohol. It's sad.
    offsideref and SnidelyWhiplash like this.
  17. 1955

    1955 Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 10, 2010
    He was up to two bottles of scotch a day and a couple packs of Marlboros. Quitting alcohol cold turkey would have likely killed him. He was in the full grip for a few years before his death.

    Same batch of China White heroin that got Janis did him in when he snorted it thinking it was Coke, from some reports. He had fallen doing his shenanigans shortly before, and could not even carry firewood a short distance without getting extremely fatigued and winded.

    Even if he had not OD’d on heroin, he wasn’t long for the world. His liver was toast.
    offsideref likes this.
  18. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

    Feb 19, 2004
    trumansburg, ny

    I have a good Canadian buddy (actually, dual citizenship US/Canada) who spends summers on a lake in Quebec Province.

    He fell in with a group of Canadian lake peeps that party heavily with booze and other stuff (not hard drugs).

    He hangs with them but is fearful of, especially, the amount of alcohol they consistently consume.

    Therefore, he limits the amount of time he spends with them.

    They also spend winters in Mexico (retired) and haven invited him down.

    He's going to go... but only for 2 weeks.
    offsideref and Mr powers like this.
  19. esseff

    esseff Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 25, 2014
    East Midlands, UK
    My girlfriend dumped me in 1981 (completely my fault, with post-dated honesty) and I pretty much went from getting a hangover after four or five pints to not getting one at all after twice that amount or drinking most of a bottle of whisky in one session. I had the best part of a year 'walking on the wild side' before I got my act together.
    I rarely get a hangover now but I don't drink a gallon a night anymore and prefer low-alcohol beer or a few glasses of wine to hard spirits. I also know what happened the previous night.
    I've got to admit that I had some 'interesting' times during my burst of stupidity though.
    offsideref and Sparky2 like this.
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