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Music

The drug-addled first meeting of Nico and Jim Morrison

@SamWKemp

The relationship between Jim Morrison and Nico was not what you would call Kosher. Opening up about her time with The Doors frontman, Nico once said: “I like my relations to be physical and of the psyche. We hit each other because we were drunk and we enjoyed the sensation.” The intensity of Nico and Morrison’s relationship is the stuff of rock ‘n’ roll titillation, but I doubt many of us would have actually liked to have been around them when they were on one of their downward, drug-induced spirals.

Danny Fields, a publicist who worked with some of the biggest acts of the 1960s and ’70 s didn’t have much choice. In 1967, Fields decided he wanted to set Morrison on the straight and narrow, so he decided to introduce him to the actress, model and the Velvet Underground member at his home in the Hollywood hills. Recalling that tempestuous first meeting, Fields explained: “I thought I’d bring him up there and then he’d fall in love with Nico, and then he’d see the error of his ways and stop seeing all these slimy little groupies and never settle for a woman less beautiful or mystical or exotic than Nico”.

Morrison agreed, and they drove back to Fields’ house in the hills. When they arrived, Nico was standing in the doorway. “He looked at her, she looked at him, and then they both cast their glances downward. And they stared at an imaginary spot on the floor between them. And I tried to start a little chatarooney because I saw this was going nowhere, that this was some sort of thing they were acting out. I came back about an hour later and they were still in the exact same position; they hadn’t moved. This was their way of acknowledging, you know, ‘you’re a beautiful, special, poetic person.'”

Soon enough, Fields and company were handing out drugs. Morrison was clearly in need of some conversational therapy after his long stint staring blankly at a patch of floor, so he and fields went upstairs to smoke vast quantities of hash: “I started making a major speech to him about how ‘I have these things in mind for you’ and ‘life is a rollercoaster and ‘stardom is a trip’. I didn’t know what I was talking about, I was just sounding like every movie I’d ever seen. And he’d just open his palm about every five minutes and ask for another drug: incredible amounts of hash, about six hits of Orange Sunshine. I was scared; I thought he was gonna die. I mean, this was enough drugs for me and everyone I’d met.”

Eventually, Fields decided to leave Morrison to his self-destruction. Then, in the middle of the night, David Newman came running into his room and told him to look out of the window. Bleary-eyed, Fields stumbled to the window and saw Nico, “Sitting in the courtyard, crying and screaming.” Morrison, meanwhile, was standing on the roof completely naked. “He was walking on it, like jumping over the gaps, totally naked. ‘Jesus what if he falls off? I’m gonna lose my job’ – that’s all I could think of.” Fields never found out what had upset Nico, but it’s clear Morrison had something to do with it. Seeing him at the window, she ran to Field’s room and crawled into his bed, tears still streaming down her face. “He’s so evil, he’s so evil,” she told him, to which Fields could only say: “I know Nico, calm down and go to bed. He’s just stoned.”

Despite that distinctly unromantic first meeting, Nico and Morrison decided to start a relationship, an unholy alliance based on mutual drug addiction and alcohol abuse. At the same time, there was an intimacy that Fields spotted when Nico first opened the door to Morrison. “We made love in a gentle way, do you know?” she once recalled. “I thought of Jim Morrison as my brother, so we would grow together. We still do, because he is my soul brother. We exchanged blood. I carry his blood inside me. When he died, and I told people that he wasn’t dead, this was my meaning. We had spiritual journeys together.”

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