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45 Years Ago: Jim Morrison Dies At 27

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It was 45 years ago today (July 3rd, 1971) that Jim Morrison was found dead in the bathtub of his apartment in Paris, France by his longtime companion, Pamela Courson. The local coroner ruled the official cause of death for the 27-year-old Doors frontman as “heart attack induced by respiratory problems.” Morrison was buried in Paris’s Pere Lachaise Cemetery on July 9th of that year.

The rock world has forever been fascinated by the mysterious circumstances surrounding Jim Morrison’s sudden and early demise. Steve Harris, the senior VP at the time of the Doors’ record label Elektra Records revealed what he knows about Morrison’s death: “It was heroin. So they bring Jim home and he’s dead. And they put him in the bathtub and there’s a knock on the door. Pam goes and opens the door. Y’know who it is? Marianne Faithfull. She saw what was going on and she split.”

Out now on DVD and Blu-ray is the Doors’ R-Evolution. The disc features early TV appearances, music films, and commentary from bandmates John Densmore, Robby Krieger, and the late Ray Manzarek. R-Evolution comes on the heels of the band’s recent films — the Grammy Award-winning 2009 documentary When You’re Strange: A Film About The Doors, and 2011’s fan favorite — The Doors: Mr. Mojo Risin’: The Story Of L.A. Woman.

Highlights on the set include early TV appearances on American Bandstand, Malibu U, The Jonathan Winters Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Shebang, and Murray The K In New York. The disc features such rarely seen promo films as “Break On Through,” “The Unknown Soldier,” “Wild Child,” and “The Changeling,” among others.

Also recently released on DVD and Blu-ray is the Doors’ legendary self-produced film, Feast Of Friends. The infamous unfinished movie, which was shelved due to legal issues surrounding the Morrison estate, was only ever seen at a few film festivals and was never officially released. The film was funded by the band and helmed by friend and fellow film graduate Paul Ferrara, with the movie’s footage farmed out to numerous Doors documentaries over the past 45 years. The new DVD/ Blu-ray marks its first sanctioned release.

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