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

Bureau of Prisons/Getty Images)
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Bureau of Prisons/Getty Images)

Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll - even if Jim Morrison didn’t invent the hedonistic holy trinity, Mr. Mojo Risin, his self-made anagram, certainly lived the mantra. Morrison was every bit the rock star he personified on stage, even in air.

In November of 1969, The Doors’ presiding personality and his friend, actor Tom Baker, enjoyed a couple drinks too many during their flight’s delay; as the plane ascended thousands of miles high into the air, the two began to beleaguer flight attendants, to the extent that the plane’s captain threatened to “turn [the plane] around and have them arrested," according to Power 102.9.

Thankfully for the other passengers onboard, the plane landed as planned in Phoenix, and when it did, Morrison and Baker walked right into the FBI, awaiting to take the troubled two into custody. They were charged with “interference with the flight of an aircraft,” a charge intended to target and prevent hijackers, and sometimes godless rock stars. 

While these charges were eventually dropped, Morrison's daredevil tendencies and habitual love for turbulence continued to land the Lizard King in hot waters. His mythos lives on in The Complete Lost Interview Series - Featuring Jim Morrison, in which he describes to journalists his jarring experiences in court rather calmly; it’s almost as if the man is reciting his own poetry. 

When asked, “Has it definitely been decided that you’re going to jail?”

"It was a very interesting trial,” Morrison conceded. “I had never seen the judicial system in action - the progress of a trial from the first day to the last. It was fascinating, very educational. I wouldn’t have chosen to go through the experience, but while it was happening, [it was] all I could do.”

"Were you scared?”

"I was facing three years and eight months in jail,” Morrison replied. “I just didn’t let myself think about it, what the outcome would be.” “I don’t know, maybe I’ll write the story of the trial someday, it wouldn’t be a very amusing play, but it would be a good journalistic exercise…” 

He was further questioned, “If you spend eight months in jail, what’s going to happen to the group?

"You would have to ask them,” Morrison contested, continuing, “but because all three of them are excellent musicians, I would hope that they would go on and create an instrumental sound of their own that didn’t depend on lyrics, which aren’t that necessary in music.”

The rest of the interview compilation was a fascinating collection of questions like, "How did fame affect your family?" and "How do you think you'll die?" and of course, Morrison's tongue-in-cheek array of answers. 

Listen to the complete interview series here.  

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