City Paper is not for tourists
On Sunday, Mark Opsasnick spoke at Cameron Perks Coffeehouse about his latest book, The Lizard King Was Here: The Life and Times of Jim Morrison in Alexandria, Virginia, concerning the dead Doorsman’s school days at George Washington High School. Three of Jimbo’s classmates showed up to testify: Randy Maney, Bill Thomas, and Stan Durkee.
Randy called Morrison a “great writer”; Stan called him a “great intellectual.” But among such revelations that Morrison “hated rock ‘n’ roll” as a teen—preferring poetry and Kerouak Kerouac, and opted for thriftwear as opposed to the “Gant shirt” crowd—Bill Thomas related an alarming tale of a Morrison encounter—in 1991.
While taking his son Brian to baseball camp in Arizona, father and son stopped at a cafe in Flagstaff that curiously featured a photo of Morrison in its ad. Mentioning his personal connection to the rock god apparently freaked the waitress out, for she immediately left and surreptitiously made a phone call. Moments later, a hairy, shaggy, bum-like personage slipped quietly into the cafe and sat in the booth behind the Thomas’ with his back to Bill. Son Brian insisted that it was Morrison. Bill resisted turning around, and when he did—the ghost was gone.
Though Bill Thomas offered the tale somewhat reluctantly and with a shrug, as if he didn’t really believe it, he says his son still insists the apparition was Morrison. The story does give hope to those who have kept the Doors on the charts 36 years after the “official” death. (To that end, Rhino has just released yet another best-of collection.)
CORRECTION: Due to an error by poster Dave Nuttycombe, this post originally mispelled the name of Jack Kerouac.