Remembering Jim Morrison and John Lennon on this date

First off, I wish to acknowledge the birthday of Jim Morrison, the late lead singer of the Doors. The Lizard King was born on December 8, 1943. He died in 1971 at the age of 27; if he was still alive today, he would be 70 today. Hard to believe! This question inevitably comes to mind: what would have become of Morrison if he had stayed alive? In terms of popularity, I've always thought that he would likely have faded away if he hadn't burned out. That is, of course, open to debate, and we'll never know the answer for sure. It's really impossible for me to imagine Jim at age 70, because the only way he could have reached that age would have been to do away with his self-destructive tendencies -- and I just can't imagine Morrison without those tendencies! He would have needed to make major changes to his lifestyle and personality, and who can say where that would have led him? Perhaps I'm overthinking it. You might be saying: "Well, what if he could have stayed the way he was and lived to be 70?" Sorry, but in my view, he just couldn't. That's why (like so many other famous rockers) Morrison passed at age 27. And I've certainly never been a believer in the conspiracy theories about Morrison faking his death. Even if he had done so, I cannot imagine him reaching age 70. I hope this doesn't offend, as I mean no disrespect to this great, legendary singer on what would have been his 70th birthday.

Also, this date marks the 33rd anniversary of the death of another rock legend: John Lennon. The co-founder of the Beatles was shot and killed on December 8, 1980, at the age of 40. For a fascinating piece of history, the WFMU blog offers an mp3 of a recording of a dial scan of New York City's FM band from that tragic day:

During one part of this recording, a radio commentator reads a telling Lennon quote which is very relevant on this day, taken from an interview in Playboy given shortly before his death. The interviewer asked Lennon, "You disagree with Neil Young's lyric in 'Rust Never Sleeps'-- 'It's better to burn out than to fade away....'". To which Lennon replied:

"I hate it. It's better to fade away like an old soldier than to burn out. I don't appreciate worship of dead Sid Vicious or of dead James Dean or of dead John Wayne. It's the same thing. Making Sid Vicious a hero, Jim Morrison's garbage to me. I worship the people who survive. Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo. They're saying John Wayne conquered cancer... he whipped it like a man. You know, I'm sorry that he died and all that. I'm sorry for his family, but he didn't whip cancer. It whipped him. I don't want (my son) Sean worshiping John Wayne or Sid Vicious. What do they teach you? Nothing. Death. Sid Vicious died for what? So that we might rock? I mean, it's garbage, you know. If Neil Young admires that sentiment so much, why doesn't he do it? Because he sure as hell faded away and came back many times, like all of us. No, thank you. I'll take the living and the healthy."