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Credit: Elektra Records

Watch a pre-fame Jim Morrison in a 1962 promo film for Florida State University


Jump into the Far Out vault and take a look back at The Doors frontman Jim Morrison like you’ve never seen him before. Long before he became The Lizard King, Morrison was a university student who wanted to be on screen.

You don’t often see your favourite rock star out of their classic ‘uniform’. Icons of music have a tendency to keep their style and persona aligned so as not to ruin their images to their fans. But here and there, some footage will pop up to show pre-fame rock stars clean-cut and properly attired. This footage of The Doors’ Jim Morrison is the creme de la creme.

The footage below comes from Jim Morrison’s days as a student at Florida State University and sees a clean-shaven and non-leather-clad Lizard King feature in a promo film for the university. In the clip, Morrison’s character is rejected by FSU and also meets with an administrator to discuss his imaginary future. A star in the making?

It might seem a little far-fetched to see Jim ‘The Scholar’ considering Morrison’s position as one of the most salacious and antagonistic rock stars os the counterculture movement. But the truth is, as his fans will attest, Morrison was the intellectual heartbeat of the subversive rock and roll scene. He was a fierce writer of poetry and encouraged all those around him to be well-read.

Morrison started his academic career at Florida State in 1962, a place he stayed in for a while before transferring to UCLA to study film. Here, is where Morrison would change the world and start the iconic band The Doors. On the American Legends website, one fellow student shared his view of Morrison the intellectual:

“He hung around with a bohemian crowd: people who liked to wear pants with holes in them. Jim posed as a model for the art department, and they would all sell blood to the Red Cross to get a few bucks. Once, I saw Jim go around the college coffee shop eating scraps off tables. I felt he–and the others–were living an image–the starving young artist.”

This image may be a little far off the truth (he was actually the son of Rear Admiral George Stephen Morrison, commander of the U.S. Naval forces during the contentious sixties). It certainly was Morrison’s own truth. He was determined to live the life that he dreamed of, even up until his tragic death in 1971, he was a staunch reader, a devoted writer, and a friend to the counter-culture movement.

For now, though, take a look back to 1962 when a clean-cut Jim Morrison starred in a promo film for Florida State University.

Source: Open Culture