Dec 12, 1970: When Jim Morrison Bombed His Final Doors Show

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The end was near for Jim Morrison, who faced a losing battle with alcoholism as well as outstanding legal charges. The tormented Doors frontman rose to the stage at The Warehouse in New Orleans, but his reign as the Doors' guiding force buckled during their final show with Morrison in 1970.

49 years ago on this day, the Lizard King stumbled onto stage, a shell of the iconic rock star persona he had embodied throughout his career, burdened by his unquenchable thirst for drinking. 

November 1969: The Time Jim Morrison Almost Got Arrested Mid-Flight

Morrison's reliance on alcohol had simultaneously deteriorated his spirit and his sound, transforming the man from a relentless, literate rock star into a bloated performer enacting an ephemeral self-parody. 

His unshakable drinking tendencies made the Doors' lead erratic and unreliable, leading to his multiple arrests throughout the late 60's - one time for exposing himself at a concert in Miami, 1969. 

December 1967: The Night Jim Morrison Was Arrested On Stage

Halfway through their New Orleans show, Morrison failed to remember the lyrics to a song, and recited instead, a long joke that fell short.

While his bandmates began to play "Light My Fire," the troubled vocalist reportedly clung onto the microphone for support, even resting on the drum riser during solos only to miss his last verse. Finally when drummer John Densmore nudged Morrison to get up, Morrison walked over to the mic only to smash it to smithereens, threw the remaining parts onto the floor and awkwardly walked off stage. 

The remaining bandmates ultimately decided that this disastrous show would be the Doors last live performance, especially considering that their outstanding charges from Miami made touring quite difficult. 

In the final months of his life, Morrison would continue to record with the band for their 1971 album L.A. Woman before he retreated to Paris by March in an effort to focus on his poetry. Any lingering chances for a Doors reunion made its final exit when Morrison was found dead in a bathtub on July 3, 1971. 

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