When Jimi Hendrix Got Kidnapped, and Didn’t Even Know It


In 1969, Jimi Hendrix was held hostage for two days during his so-called “lost weekend.” After his rescue, he was completely unaware that he had been abducted in the first place.

There are many things in life that are uncertain: Are we in the last wave of the pandemic, or will the variants lap the alphabet? Will all of your hard work pay off with a big promotion or are you busting your butt in vain? Does he love me or does he not?

But one life condition that one would think holds no uncertainty whatsoever is whether or not you have been the victim of a kidnapping. It’s an unfortunate, often tragic situation that most of us thankfully have no experience with. But even without having endured a kidnapping, it seems like a pretty simple concept: someone takes you from somewhere against your will and refuses to allow you to exercise your freedom of movement.

It’s hard to imagine you wouldn’t know it was happening. That is, unless you were Jimi Hendrix.






Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


The Battle Of Pelusium

By Alan Graham

The 2nd-century CE writer Polyaenus describes Cambyses II’s approach in his Strategems, which he wrote in the hopes of helping Marcus Aurelius and Verus in their campaigns. Polyaenus recounts how the Egyptians were successfully holding back the Persian advance when Cambyses II suddenly switched tactics. The Persian king, knowing the veneration the Egyptians held for cats, had the image of Bastet painted on his soldiers’ shields and, further, “ranged before his front line dogs, sheep, cats, ibises and whatever other animals the Egyptians hold dear” (Polyaenus VII.9). The Egyptians under Psametik III, seeing their own beloved goddess on the shields of enemies, and fearing to fight lest they injure the animals being driven before the enemy, surrendered their position and took flight in a rout.

Many were massacred on the field, and Herodotus reports seeing their bones still in the sand many years later; he even commented on the difference between the Persian and the Egyptian skulls. Those Egyptians not killed at Pelusium fled to the safety of Memphis with the Persian army in pursuit. Memphis was besieged and fell after a relatively short interval. Psametik III was taken prisoner and was treated fairly well by Cambyses II until he tried to raise a revolt and was executed.

Thus ended the sovereignty of Egypt as it was annexed by Persia and, henceforth, changed hands a number of times before finally ending up as a province of Rome. It is said that Cambyses II, after the battle, hurled cats into the faces of the defeated Egyptians in scorn that they would surrender their country and their freedom fearing for the safety of common animals.








Posted in Clarion Rock, Current Issue | Leave a comment


To my great surprise, I have something to report that will make you pleased.

If you are like me, and have zero skills when it comes to computers and IPhones, then worry no longer because the great company known as Apple is our saving grace.

Recently I have been confounded by  tech issues with my phone, after trying many times online to correct the situation I was left mumbling to myself and questioning if it was worth the effort to continue.

Then along came young Jacob Andrews an Apple employee at the Fashion Valley store in San Diego.

His demeanor is pleasant and professional, his work ethic is super efficient in his attendance to your every need.

He did what others could not come near to doing, as I struggled with some sort of software issue and  which had puzzled many other technicians before him.

I left feeling elated and now I feel confident that in the future, I will never have to worry about any of my devices because I will simply make an appointment and request him, and if he is not available, I will wait until he is.

The store manager Chad Long and his top team leader were also A # one in my book.

Take my advice buy only Apple products if you want the best after market support tech help, it is the finest on earth barring none.


Al Graham Editor/Owner Coronado Clarion.




Posted in Clarion Rock, Winter 2022 | Leave a comment



Une semaine avant d’être retrouvé mort dans sa baignoire à Paris, Jim Morrison nous présentait un Ghost Rock Opera dans lequel le mime mondialement connu Marcel Marseau interprétait un duo avec la célèbre rock star. Les deux icônes étaient vêtues de cuir noir de la tête aux pieds, de chemises blanches de paysans mexicains et de ceintures concho argentées.

La représentation de Ghost a eu lieu à la comédie française de renommée mondiale.
C’était la première et la dernière fois que quelqu’un, n’importe où, entendait la vraie voix de Marceau qui faisait monter les larmes aux yeux des hommes adultes.

La voix de Marcel était si belle et résonnante que son auditoire était envoûté. Il a commencé avec Indian Summer alors que Jim Morrison était assis dans un fauteuil en vevet rouge à regarder.

Quand il a terminé, le public a perdu le contrôle, une quasi-émeute s’est ensuivie et la police a été appelée pour contrôler les clients déments.

Le directeur du théâtre a annoncé qu’à moins que la foule ne diminue, la représentation serait annulée sans remboursement.

Le calme est revenu et le Ghost RocK Opera a continué.

Le duo dynamique a fait exploser les murs et le plafond avec L A Woman, déclenchant à nouveau une autre explosion, mais lorsque la police est intervenue pour réprimer l’émeute, le public a sauté dans les maux et a dansé le macarbre. La police et le gérant se sont joints à la folle mêlée.

La représentation a duré deux heures et s’est terminée par une rediffusion lugubre de The End laissant tout le public en larmes.

Jim Morrison a été retrouvé mort une semaine plus tard et sa mort était suspecte. Aucune autopsie n’a été pratiquée et le sien a été rapidement inhumé au cimetière Per lachaise dans une section appelée Poets Corner.

Entouré de ses contemporains, Jim Morrison attire des millions de fans dévoués du monde entier qui le fréquentent avec loyauté et profond respect.

Marcel Marceau a été invité à faire l’éloge mais a refusé.


Bien sûr, c’est une parodie, mais je me demande combien de Français seraient dupés par une farce de la fin du poisson d’avril.



One week before he was found dead in his bathtub in Paris, Jim Morrison presented us with a Ghost Rock Opera in which the world famous mime Marcel Marseau performed a duo with the famous rock star. Both icons were dressed in head to toe black leather, white Mexican peasant shirts and silver concho belts.

The Ghost performance took place at the world famous Comedy Francaise.
It was the first and last time anyone, anywhere, heard the actual voice of Marceau which brought tears to the eyes of grown men.

Marcel’s voice was so beautiful and resonant that his audience was spellbound. He opened with Indian Summer as Jim Morrison sat in a red vevet armchair watching.

When he finished the audience lost control, a near riot ensued and the police were called in to control the demented patrons.

The theater manager announced that unless the crowd abated the performance would be cancelled without a refund.

Calm was restored and the Ghost RocK Opera continued.

The dynamic duo blasted the walls and ceiling with L A Woman, again igniting another outburst but when the police moved to quell the riot the audience sprang into the ailses and did the dance macarbre. The police and the manager joined the mad mellee.

The performance last for two hours ending with a mournful redition of The End leaving the entire audience weeping.

Jim Morrison was found dead a week later and his death was supicious. No autopsy was performed and his was swiftly interred in Per lachaise Cemetary in a section called Poets Corner.

Surrounded by his contempories Jim Morrison attracts millions of dedicted fans from across the globe who attend him with loyalty and deep respect.

Marcel Marceau was ask to give the eulogy but declined.

Of course this is a spoof, but I wonder how many French people would be fooled by a late April Fools day prank.


Posted in Current Issue, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Yesterday I walked into Garage Bona Forchetta Restaurant in Coronado Ca and about 15 seconds later I heard a sweet voice behind me say “Sir, you dropped this on the patio”.

I turned to find a sweet young hostess smiling at me with a little hand held out containing five on hundred dollar bills.

I gratefully took the money and thanked her profusely and in gratitude, I tipped her with two fives and one ten, or so I thought, indeed I had not given her a ten but a 100 dollar bill because she returned again  to inform me that within seconds I had blundered twice.

Stunned by her honesty and pureness I immediately marched her to the managers office to demand that she be further rewarded. “If you do not reward this employee, I will do so myself'”.

Marco the manager was thrilled that his staff was so honest, but told me that he was already in the process of promoting her even before that incident for her conscientiousness.

I further demanded that she be put up for future managerial staff and we all laughed with joy.

I am sure in the future she will become a vital member of Bona Forchetta

I am already a proud booster/promoter of Bona Forchetta for its exquisite and consistently good food and all of the professional staff who all display the very same top drawer table service and manners every single time I go there.

The manager Marco is a pleasant fellow who serves like a proud captain at the helm of this magnificent golden galleon eatery.

I can that assure patrons will never be disappointed by the service and the delicious food, wine and drinks served there.

Al Graham.

Food Critic

Coronado Clarion




Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment

Knight Errant



Shin Matsuo is a high school student and he rides the Amtrak train from Los Angeles to San Diego.

He sits in silence as the passengers mill back and forth along the aisles. That silence is shattered by the grinding of wheels against the rails as the car lurches wildly back and forth over a rough patch on the rails.

Passengers hold on for dear life as a 78 year old man is elasticated across the car slamming his head into a steel post then falls back against the wall spilling his food tray on the floor. 

Shin springs to his feet and secures the fallen senior as he begins to slide down the wall. The old man has been stunned and is now half conscious and disoriented. For the next ten minutes Shin lovingly cares for the senior as if it was his own grandfather, who had fallen down in his own home. Talking to him in a calming and reassuring tone and with all the maturity of an adult many years his senior, he inches the old man back to his seat.

Overwhelmed by the young mans kindness and maturity the man begins to cry bitter sweet tears as he realizes how vulnerable he is riding alone, but how truly caring the student is for his elder an utter stranger.

Shin’s heroic actions rekindles the old mans faith in human kind, who had long since given up on todays callous and self indulgent generation.

Shin did not take a bow, nor did he seek the limelight, he simply slipped off the train as the old man napped with a nasty bump on his temple but with a smile on his lips and dried tears on his cheeks.

Shin is most certainly an old soul who for certain, in the future, will do more on the same like an ancient chivalrous Knight Errant * from long ago.

Full disclosure.
I was that old man on the train, an editor who became the subject of this article, a truly surprising, exhilarating and altogether joyful and uplifting story.
A.R .Graham.
Editor Coronado Clarion.
Knight Errant
The character of the wandering knight existed in romantic literature as it developed during the late 12th century. However, the term “knight-errant” was to come later; its first extant usage occurs in the 14th-century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Knight-errantry tales remained popular with courtly audiences throughout the Late Middle Ages.





Posted in Winter 2022 | 1 Comment

Dr. Debby Jou – “Spreading Art with Heart and Embracing the World with Love”

Dr. Debby Jou is a contemporary artist, educator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who is well known for her charity work and generosity in helping others. She says her goals are to “spread art with heart, and embrace the world with love”. Dr. Jou holds a number of positions in the business community including Chairman of the American Art Bank, CEO of the American Artists Association, President of the American Cultural Chamber of Commerce and the American Academy of Arts, President/CEO of Hollywood Film Group, Chairman of Apollo Entertainment Film Group, CEO of American Art Group (holding company), Founding President of Hope & Diamond Lions Club, and CEO of Hope Center.

Born in Tapei, Taiwan, Dr. Jou is a television and film producer, and has been very successful entrepreneur in the United States. She pioneered an artist bank, U.S. Art Bank, for renting, selling, and leasing artwork to government agencies, legislators, businesses, and art lovers. She is the founder and president of the San Gabriel Lions Club and a charity organization called the Hope Center which provides food and medical assistance directly to those in need. Founded on the principal of “A Loving Heart and Helping Hands”, the organization has a community event called the “Care Fair” which provides free medical services onsite and encourages the community to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

Last year during the pandemic, Dr. Jou personally donated over 110,000 masks and 55 gallons of disinfectant at a time when medical supplies were scarce. She worked with the mayors of San Gabriel, West Covina, and El Monte to deliver anti-epidemic relief supplies to hospitals, medical staff, police, and public servants that included KN95 medical masks, face shields, goggles, gloves, protective clothing, and hand sanitizer. The mayors, hospitals, and community leaders awarded Dr. Debby Jou with certificates of merit to thank her for her generous help during the pandemic.

As a contemporary artist, Dr. Jou enjoys abstract oil painting and has studied the techniques of oil painting in depth. In her own artwork, she strives to bring the intuitiveness and vividness of the European style of oil paintings with their rich colors. She likes to combine the spirituality and aesthetics of traditional art with more contemporary influences of today’s world.

Dr. Jou says that one of the keys to her success is that she uses love to lead people forward and welcome a bright and bright tomorrow. Each year, she co-sponsors a spring festival event called the “The Spring Fulu” in collaboration with U.S. Art Bank and Hope Center. It is a large cultural and charity event that intends to share Chinese culture and exchange with the U.S. and celebrate the national quintessence of the new year.

Dr. Jou has won many awards for her work including the Special Award for Social Contribution, Outstanding Talent Award, Top Ten American Chinese Charity Award, Most Influential Person Award, National Outstanding Leadership Award, Outstanding Talent Award, Top Honorary Manager President Award, Chinese Charity Ambassador Award, Top Ten Potential People Award, Outstanding Educator Award, and Outstanding Youth Representative.

Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


Att: Corey Menotti
Hotel Del Coronado
Dear Corey,
I would like to thank you most kindly for your efforts concerning the compassionate request for a “last wish” to stay at The Hotel Del Coronado.
I was very disappointed to learn that the “Committee” flatly denied us our request without review or explanation.
The attached video report is my summary of the entire event and the appalling and most callous response by General manager Harold Raposo and his lack of compassion.
I will organize a permanent picketing squad to be ever present in front and in back of the Hotel Del Coronado, complete with musical rendition and live  Zoom broadcasts which will commence at the peak of the summer season.
My effort will be to bring to light the grotesque display of arrogance and lack of compassion toward our community, its residents, and indeed the public in general.
This dispassionate dismissal from such an astonishingly privileged company, is the absolute antithesis to the meaning of hospitality and public relations.
With your own experience in the entertainment industry, I feel that you will fully appreciate the over the top production of ‘Protest Performance’ I intend to display in full Pantomime presentation for all to see.
Please forgive the salty language usage which is not the stuff of a man of the cloth, but I am driven to anger and I will fully repent a a later date.
Again I thank you for your utterly professional response and I do hope to meet again under better circumstances.
Rev. A.R.Graham 
Inline image
Posted in Clarion Causes, Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


Frankie Setback And The Ghost Cowboys will appear LIVE at the Biltmore Millennium Hotel Los Angeles  Thursday March 24th  HIGH NOON -4.pm








Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment



When Big Mike Matheney first came to Coronado, I wrote a story about his company Sundance Golf Cart Rentals.

At that time he did not have an office in town, So, he was forced to advertise with On-The- Ground- Outreach.

He had a workshop in El Cajon and would simply leave one of his vehicles on Orange avenue in different locations with a sign offering his service.

We wanted to help him find a permanent space  in our town, but this effort proved very difficult to do  because there were very few spots available and the rents were very high.

The gas station on third and Orange was a prime location but a greedy owner tried to gauge Mike with an exorbitant rent, So, he turned it down and soldiered on until he found his current location on Isabella ave. Undeterred, he worked hard between both towns and slowly the business started to grow,

Big Mike is a big man and an even bigger heart, with 30 years experience in the used golf ball business,  it was time to start something bigger and better.

In 2010 Mike started tearing golf carts apart and building them back together making them better, faster and street legal. Since then, Mike ended the used golf ball business and focused solely on custom builds. In 2013, he started Coronado Golf Cart Rentals which has been greatly popular with San Diego tourists.

Mike Matheny represents the vey best of  the American entrepreneurial system, because he has prevailed against all odds, and as the songs goes ” The record shows, He took the blows, and did it his way”


God Bless America.

Al Graham.

Editor: Coronado Clarion









Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


The lyrics from “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues written  by: BOB DYLAN* bounced off the walls of Union Station in downtown Los Angeles California, it is 5 am and I am about to ride the rails to San Diego.

I put my luggage down and turned to look at the train schedules as a rough looking street person drove behind my back on a bicycle. When I turned around again my guitar was gone and , I called a security guard and we both went in search of the stolen item. We located the guitar behind on of the columns along with the thief.

I told the thief that he had stolen my guitar and he leapt from his bicycle and menaced me with a lighted Blunt. The security guard admonished me for accusing him claiming “We don’t do that with these people”. The thief became emboldened and laughed as he rode out of the station.

I was upset by the security guards lack of response to my complaint so I asked for her supervisor who was already approaching on a vehicle  went twenty five feet away. He barely stopped and he also admonished me for “Leaving my luggage unattended in a high crime area’ then he rode off.

I continued to engage the security guard and became upset at her lack of care so I asked to speak some one in charge and she called another guard who repeated the same mantra, As we all spoke a loud and angry exchange between two men ensued a few feet away and as the were ready to fight both security guards stood back and watched again doing nothing at all to prevent or restrain in any way. I asked again for a supervisor and the same one on the cart returned and repeated his mantra about (“unattended baggage in a high crime area”).

I stopped two LADP officers and tried to tell them about the incident but the just kept walking away without a word. I then approached some more LAPD and requested a police superviser.

SGT. Eldred Day #30990 appeared and to the report about the two officers Emilio Perez #30727 and Randy Suulhorn # 41783.

By then I was utterly agitated and an emergency ambulance team was called. I was advised by the Paramedics that by heart rate was excessively high I needed to be transported to a hospital.

The lack of response by both LAPD and the security guards was appalling and very frightening. I am 79 yers old and am a heart patient who has eight stents and requires 9 separate medications daily.

When I requested a dose of nitroglycerine I was told that “Protocol”  it required transportation to the hospital if it was administered.  I left the station and returned to San Diego in a distressed state.

I spoke to an Amtrak employee in customer relations in Philadelphia named Grafton Thomas who was most professional and sympathetic I am happy to say.

I am requesting a top to bottom review of LAPD and Fire Department and the security company ay Union Station in Los Angeles.

Full Disclosure.

I am the Editor of The Coronado Clarion Magazine and Chief investigator for World Wide Crime Watch a consumer advocacy group which prevents elder abuse from phone scams an other crimes against the elderly and where an article  will appear in the next edition.


Al Graham Editor Coronado Clarion 2022



*From: Just Like Tom Thump Blues Written by: BOB DYLAN

Up on Housing Project Hill
It’s either fortune or fame
You must pick up one or the other
Though neither of them are to be what they claim
If you’re lookin’ to get silly
You better go back to from where you came
Because the cops don’t need you
And man they expect the same


Posted in Uncategorized, Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


Joey DTLA is a great restaurant to have lunch or dinner if you are in downtown Los Angeles.

A cold beer in an elegant glass, some delicious wings, topped of with hot apple pie and ice cream is my favorite lunch and I am never, ever disappointed.

GM Brendan O’Shea and regional manager Emilee Wallace, will make your dining experience a delight, So, when you visit the downtown location at 700 W Seventh St. ask for them and tell them I sent you.

Al Graham.

Editor: Coronado Clarion.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


Lizard King- Blue Iguana Cigar.

Jim Morrison knew how to thoroughly enjoy smoking a fine cigar, to him it was a sacred ancient ritual, one to be savored and never rushed.

He engaged with many of his heroes in the music industry especially one of his main mentors BB King.

I have made an honorable tribute to him that I know he would have truly appreciated.
Hence the introduction of the Lizard King Blue Iguana Cigar.
Available soon and will be distributed worldwide.



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Owner’s Rep. & GM, Asset Management Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles, Biltmore Tower & Court, Mr Jimmy Wu is one cool dude.

Whenever I am in LA, I stay at his hotel, which I regard as my second home and that is no exaggeration.

Wise eyes and warm hands, these are two phrases which best describe him, for he does not give a formal handshake, instead he extends two hands which emit genuine warmth and abundant energy.

Recently I paid tribute to the staff led by Martijn Sax General Manager at the downtown Los Angeles Millennium Biltmore, by surprising him with an impromptu singing telegram in the great hallway surrounded by the “ten thousand angels” embedded in it’s architecture.

Shortly thereafter, Jimmy presented Martijn with a certificate of excellence for his flawless customer service skills.

From the Doormen, led by Leo Calderon, to the cafe staff and even the lady who cleans my room, no finer and more friendly folk can be found.

After my most recent visit I received the following email from Jimmy..

Dear Alan,

Hope you have arrived home safe.  There is no place safer and comfort more than Home.

Please be mindful that Biltmore hotel is your second home outside San Diego. 

It was indeed great pleasure of officially meeting you in person this morning, although it was too short and brief to have enjoyed coffee, but I already feel and sense full of vibes and energy around you.

Life is too short, we are living in the right moment that leads one to meet right person.   I believe and feel you are the right person, and a purposeful person for me to know.

I would invite you to enjoy Chinese food  with me in town soon.

Have a great and safe long holiday weekend.


Jimmy Wu

Owner’s Rep. & GM, Asset Management

Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles, Biltmore Tower & Court.


Before I met Jimmy, I had been making promotional videos which documented the impeccable service I have experienced from one and all.

To add further delight, Netflix is using the hotel to shoot some movies for the next few months, which all the more adds excitement to the experience.

At any moment, you may spot many famous actors, writers and directors of the great films they produce, which in turn is like being in a movie inside of another movie, (totally cool).

Al Graham.

Editor: Coronado Clarion




Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


Sea anemones are small marine animals with a tubular body and circles of tentacles. Members of the coelenterate phylum, they are different from sea urchins which have a hard shell and long spines. Armed with stinging cells, the tentacles allow the anemone to paralyze small swimming animals which are then pushed into its mouth.

Sea anemones were one of the first creatures to appear on the earth. They are like jellyfish that have remained attached to a surface. Sea anemones are somewhat like coral expect they are bigger and live as live solitary somewhat mobile polyps rather than as part of a fixed colony. Like coral, sea anemones receive energy from single-celled plants within their tissues called zooxanthellae. The plants need nitrogen to survive.

Sea anemones take in oxygen and expel and carbon dioxide. They reproduce by dividing into two pieces (fission), by budding and by eggs. Eggs and sperms are formed in partitions in the body cavity and ejected through the mouth. The eggs are fertilized by sperm in the water. The fertilized egg develops into free-swimming larvae which develops into an anemone. Sometimes a piece of sea anemone can grow into a new animal.



Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


Phil Dietz is a weasel who dumps bad candy into San Diego retail stores and restaurants, and he does so knowing full well that some of his products are inferior.

I spoke with this weasel about it twice and each time he made excuses and apologies but went right on dumping his garbage on unsuspecting store owners and customers alike.

During this awful pandemic, all manner of lowlife and unscrupulous legions prey on an already burdened public without regard for age or gender. Dietz does it without regret or shame and all the while presenting himself as a “hard working family man just trying to make a buck” 

There are severe penalties for price gouging and other devious business practices and this lowlife will soon reap the wind for his snide endeavors.

The Clarion has launched a campaign against him and other scumbags who present themselves as honest brokers, but are nothing short of low down scammers. Using protest flash mobs will appear at their homes and businesses to expose them for what they are.







3334 E COAST HYWAY #155


CA 92625.


949-291-1332 cell.

866-565-5129 Fax.



Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


Association of Belgian Publishers (ADEB) is a non-profit organization that groups together Belgian professional publishers and distributors of French-language publications, whatever the medium. ADEB works as the spokesperson of these professions.

The publishing house Lamiroy creates characters who are well-known but in other fields. Their names, faces are not unknown to you, but you didn’t know they had a book within them waiting to come out…

This new publishing house based in Brussels was founded in June 2013, and has already released around forty books which are distributed and printed in Belgium by the Maison de la Poésie d’Amay (Home of Poetry of Amay).

The catalogue includes various authors and is very eclectic. It integrates works in fields as diverse as philosophy, thrillers, folklore etc…

Maggie – Jacques – Marc – Jenny – Denis Lamiroy

Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


Known to locals as The Cazzy, the area runs from the Dingle to Otterspool and over the last 200 years has undergone huge change. From the 19th century as a beauty spot depicted in poetry, industrialisation, rescued for recreation in the 1980s, a period of neglect and its most recent incarnation as a place once again to breath fresh air and view the magnificent Mersey.

When I was 13 years old I went on a class outing to visit Garston Bottle Works which sat on the shore at the end of the River Mersey.

The beach was always muddy, and I do mean muddy, you sank six inches deep if you walked in it.

After touring the factory, the class dispersed taking a bus back to Liverpool. I decided I would explore the many rusting and decrepit tug boats that had been scuttled and left to decompose like so many rotting whales or shark carcasses. The bulk of them, were used to transport grain, sugar, nuts and flour, to name just a few of the many products stored or used in the grimy foundries that dotted the dock road at the bottom of parliament street in Liverpool 8.

The overwhelming stench of rotted grain, flour and sugar nauseated me, and in short order, I retreated but not without tearing hole in my jacket on a rusted and jagged hull. I walked back stepping in the foot prints I had made earlier and by the time I got to dry land I was three inches taller. I scraped the mud from my shoes but by the time I had finished I had decorated myself from head to toe in thick stinking mud. Had I tried to board a bus I would been ejected with a sneer by any conductor on any bus.

I trudged the five miles home and along the way, I was shunned by all who came within smelling distance.

In 1961  I went to work for a salvaging company dismantling the very same tug boats. As soon as the acetylene torche hit the steel, it released that all too familiar rancid odor many times worse than with my first encounter.

I a few short years I would see the meteoric rise of the Beatles and the explosion of the British rock scene, namely The Mersey Beat.  Soon after that, it was exported to America and the rest of the world. The second British invasion onto American soil albeit this time it was a non-violent one, would bring great change and progress and unity all across the globe.

In a few more years I would meet a beautiful American university student , we would marry, she would bear a son, and we would also leave for America, hot on the heels of  the Beatles and the uniquely British version of Rock n Roll music.

Priory Woods from Southwood Road

Posted in Uncategorized, Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


They are both brilliant writers, one is Eric Neirynck  a prolific  author.

The other is Gorian Delpâture  a Belgian Doors specialist. He wrote the Abécédoors, translated the novel by Ray Manzarek, and regularly writes articles for the Belgian press, radio and television.

It is my great honor to be working with them on the Jim Morrison project, they are both well educated and knowledgeable on all things Doors and Jim Morrison.

There could be no better and a more qualified duo for me to collaborate with.

I am a firm believer in miracles because I see them every day in my work with the people I care for and counsel with.

These two gentlemen were sent by the Angels, to meet with me and to embark on a most exciting mission/adventure.

My God be with us that he will defend us, within us so that he will sustain us, before us that he will lead us, behind us that he will protect us, above us that he will bless and trumpet and strengthen us in body and mind and spirit.

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritu Sancti. Amen:




Posted in Uncategorized, Winter 2022 | Leave a comment

Je me rappelle aussi Jim Morrison French Translation

Je me rappelle aussi Jim Morrison

A.R. Graham.

French Translation by: Gorian Delpature.

Extrait de : Je me souviens aussi de Jim Morrison

Voici un noble cœur qui se brise. Bonne nuit, doux prince ;

Que des nuées d’anges te bercent de leurs chants.

Hamlet, acte V

William Shakespeare 1564-1616

La mort fait de nous des anges et nous donne des ailes

Là où on avait des épaules lisses comme des serres de corbeau. 

Une prière américaine

Jim Morrison 1943-1971


Sage Moonblood Stallone


Selon son avocat, George Braunstein, l’acteur-réalisateur Sage Moonblood Stallone, le fils aîné de Sylvester Stallone et de l’actrice Sasha Czack, a été retrouvé mort par une femme de ménage dans son appartement d’Hollywood le 13 juillet 2012.

Né le 5 mai 1976, à Los Angeles, Sage avait 36 ans au moment de sa mort. Il avait commencé sa carrière d’acteur à 14 ans dans Rocky V, l’épisode de 1990 de la franchise Rocky, en jouant Rocky Balboa Jr, le fils du personnage éponyme de son père. Le jeune Stallone est apparu avec son père une seconde fois dans le film de 1996, Daylight, et a eu des rôles dans neuf autres films et courts métrages. Son apparition la plus récente était dans un documentaire télévisuel de 2011 sur les films Rocky. 

En plus de sa carrière d’acteur, Stallone était le co-fondateur avec le monteur Bob Murawski de Grindhouse Releasing, qui se spécialise dans les sorties cinéma et vidéo de films de série B restaurés des années 1970 et 80. Le catalogue de la compagnie inclut An American Hippie in Israel, Buveurs de Sang et Cannibal Holocaust. Sa dernière publication était Gone with the Pope en 2010.

Au début des années 80, quand je tentais de vendre le développement de l’histoire de feu mon beau-frère, Jim Morrison, le chanteur des Doors, je me suis retrouvé dans une situation où je suis devenu le tuteur personnel, le confident et le garde du corps du fils de Sylvester Stallone, devenant, pour un temps, aussi proche du jeune Sage – qui a profité d’avoir reçu l’attention entière qui lui manquait dans sa maison très préoccupée à l’époque des « Rocky », mais qui se sentait oppressé par tous les contrôles de sécurité – que de mes propres enfants. Avoir grandi dans le Liverpool cabossé par la guerre m’avait appris l’importance des jeux improvisés, et ensemble Sage et moi nous sommes amusés en jouant avec les éléments qui nous entouraient : plonger dans la piscine, ou faire un bain de boue ? Acheter une nouvelle Maserati, ou aller dans une décharge et collecter des objets – des jantes de pneus et des pare-chocs – avec lesquels créer de l’art et de la musique ? Quand on allait chez Mort à Pacific Palisades pour petit-déjeuner et chanter des chansons des Doors sous les applaudissements des clients, Sage était dans un paradis que la gloire de son père n’avait pas acheté mais qu’il avait obtenu grâce à la richesse trouvée dans la liberté de l’imagination. Sage et Al ont traversé l’univers ensemble, en explorant.

En 1980, je supervisais une équipe de construction lunatique qui travaillait sur beaucoup de projets de célébrités – parmi lesquelles Richard Widmark, Jack Lemmon et la mégastar Sylvester « Rocky Balboa » Stallone. Mes hommes formaient un groupe fort, qui travaillait dur, qui aimait faire la fête et qui descendait sur un chantier comme des pirates en maraude. Parmi ces bons à rien se trouvait le jeune frère de Jim, Andrew Lee Morrison – un charpentier, soudeur et fileur itinérant – et Alan Finlayson, un de mes amis d’enfance qui avait récemment émigré d’Angleterre. Lui et Andy Morrison étaient les jumeaux terribles et ajoutaient beaucoup de sottise et d’insouciance à l’environnement de travail.

Le manoir Stallone était posé au-dessus de Malibu au sommet d’Amalfi Drive, une situation de choix avec une vue superbe sur l’océan Pacifique en dessous. L’équipe de Graham avait été engagée pour construire une annexe à la maison de style Tudor déjà tentaculaire. La famille de Stallone vivait dans une partie de la maison durant les travaux. Un grand passage gardant l’enceinte gémissait sous le flux constant des contractuels, des ouvriers de construction, et des riches et célèbres, qui passait à travers comme le trafic des heures de pointe sur la 405. Récemment, l’acteur venait d’être impliqué dans une dispute majeure sur les profits avec ses coproducteurs, et des menaces de mort avaient été proférées. Un double cordon de sécurité donnait à la propriété une atmosphère de siège, tandis que les amis et les ennemis étaient identiquement et sérieusement fouillés. 

La première couche de sécurité était plutôt faible parce que le personnel était constitué d’amateurs – des acteurs qui se prenaient pour des gangsters, des entraîneurs personnels et quelques-uns qui ressemblaient à des danseurs Chippendale – rivalisant tous pour avoir la chance d’obtenir un rôle dans le prochain film Rocky. La seconde couche était, pour n’importe quel professionnel de la sécurité sérieux, encore plus terrifiante : Stallone avait engagé des officiers patrouilleurs de la L.A.P.D. en congé comme gardes de nuit qui étaient stationnés dans chaque pièce et couloir de la maison. Il semblait qu’après quelques interactions avec Stallone, on disait que c’était un « trou du cul » d’employeur, donc seuls les plus incompétents de la crème de L.A. s’étaient montrés ; et quand ils l’avaient fait, ils étaient fainéants, bêtes et carrément écervelés. Parmi les visiteurs réguliers, il y avait la mère et le père de Stallone, son jeune frère Frankie, Mister T. du prochain Rocky III et le reste du casting, des avocats prisés spécialisés dans le divertissement, de même que des agents équipés de brassées de scripts et de traitements de films à faire lire et, avec un peu de chance, financer et produire par la superstar.

La propriété était une ruche d’activités. Des bruits de scies et de marteaux résonnaient le long des flancs des collines environnantes, normalement sereines. « Oh, mon Dieu ! » La voix alarmée d’une femme retentit. « Sage ! Reviens, Sage ! Oh mon Dieu ! »

Le fils de Stallone, Sage, avait quatre ans et était hors du contrôle de l’armée d’adultes engagés par ses parents pour le surveiller. Il était hyperactif, c’est sûr, mais comme tout petit garçon, il voulait juste courir en liberté et faire le fou. Ce n’était pas possible considérant le degré d’isolement et de confinement atteint par les familles de célébrités à l’époque, avec pour effet que l’enfant était retenu captif dans une véritable prison de haute-sécurité.

Une minuscule silhouette filait au galop à travers la pelouse de devant suivie par une nounou hurlante. A son tour, elle était suivie par Stallone, son épouse Sasha et plusieurs domestiques. Le garçon riait joyeusement en évitant habilement ses poursuivants – en entrant et en sortant des buissons, sous les voitures et les camions, derrière les chenils et dans chaque coin et recoin difficile à atteindre. Il courait dangereusement près des câbles électriques sur le sol et toute la propriété retenait collectivement son souffle. J’attrapai le jeune au moment où il essayait de filer en haut des escaliers qui menaient à l’annexe à moitié terminée. Remonté comme un coucou, le garçon luttait pour se libérer. Ses petits yeux noir charbon brillaient comme des gyrophares au message désespéré et urgent. Aidez-moi à m’échapper !

Je ramenai Sage à la garde de sa nounou, luttant comme un mustang ligoté, et hurlant de toutes ses forces : « Je veux jouer dehors ! Je veux jouer dehors ! » « C’est trop dangereux et tu peux être salement blessé, » expliqua la nounou, mais l’enfant donnait des coups de pieds et grinçait de ses dents de lait en direction de la femme épuisée. La normalité revint dans la propriété, mais moins de trente secondes plus tard, la même clameur s’élevait à nouveau. Sage était libre, et comme Beep-Beep, il avait échappé à sa capture. Toutes les forces assemblées contre le garçon étaient rendues inutiles. Il disparut derrière une énorme plante en pot sur le porche alors qu’une fois de plus la propriété entière se joignait aux recherches. Sage resta caché pendant qu’une foule démente l’appelait. Je regardais avec amusement le petit rebelle pouffer de rire chaque fois qu’un adulte éperdu passait en courant à côté de lui.

Attrapant une poignée de clous, je commençais à les enfoncer dans une poutre épaisse positionnée sur plusieurs chevalets. A chaque coup, il criait : « Yeeap ! Zadonk ! Yakkamoogie ! Ba-Ba-Ba-Boum ! » J’avais à présent l’attention de Sage, et retenant le marteau, je fis signe au garçon de me rejoindre. Le petit gars rayonna de plaisir, et il émergea de son refuge.

Quand l’équipe de recherche repassa, elle fut stoppée abruptement à la vue de Sage tenant un grand marteau à deux mains et criant de toutes ses forces : « Yikka Woopie – Baddamm ! » Prudemment, je guidais mes mains au-dessus de celles de l’enfant, et ensemble nous enfonçâmes les clous de vingt centimètres. Stallone et son épouse furent les derniers à arriver et furent atterrés de voir leur petit bébé balancer un marteau sauvagement et grogner dans un langage primitif.

Sasha photographia la démonstration de cloutage pendant que tous les autres restaient assis à regarder. Sage hurlait extatiquement : « Hé papa, maman, regardez-moi ! » Son public riait devant le minuscule ouvrier de construction qui hurlait de joie à chaque cri d’approbation ou tonnerre d’applaudissements. Le lendemain matin, quand mon équipe arriva, Stallone attendait à l’entrée de devant. Il m’appela sur le côté à mon arrivée, mais avant qu’il n’ait pu dire un mot, Sage bondit de la porte de devant, et en entourant mes genoux, il hurla : « Kabooooom ! ». Le garçon tenta de me faire tomber contre le tas de bois avec beaucoup de force. « Allez, Al ! Allez ! »

A la demande de Stallone, mon travail allait à présent être divisé. Je laissai mon contremaître en charge de la construction, et il m’engagea à mi-temps comme garde du corps, tuteur et copain de jeu de son fils ainé. 

9 juin 1981 : 7h15 du matin – Je garai la luxueuse Maserati Sedan qui avait été utilisée dans Rocky III qui venait d’être terminé et qui était à présent ma voiture de société personnelle en dehors de la propriété lourdement gardée. Stallone était déjà en train de marcher partout, contrôlant les agents de sécurité, les femmes de ménage, les garçons de maison et les ouvriers de construction. Parfaitement bronzé, et nu à l’exception d’une paire de shorts boxer de soie rouge, il hurlait à un peintre : « Je vous ai dit que je voulais de la peinture blanche, pas sombre ! Le blanc reflète le soleil ! Le sombre absorbe et réchauffe la pièce ! »

« Eh bien, je vais repeindre, » dit le peintre.

« Donc, je devrai payer le double ! » se plaignit Stallone. « C’est du vol – carrément du vol. » Il s’éloigna dégoûté.

La grande porte électrique s’ouvrit vers l’intérieur, et Stallone leva les yeux pour me voir passer. « Bonjour, Al. »

« Bonjour, Sly. Comment vous sentez-vous ? »

« Ahh ! Ces putains de gens pensent qu’on est cousu d’or. Je serai ravi quand cette maison sera finie. »

Nous marchâmes ensemble. Deux ouvriers déroulaient une toile 10X20m de Rocky II du célèbre peintre Leroy Neiman. C’était criard, et les ouvriers regardaient nerveusement arriver son sujet. Mais Stallone approuva la ressemblance avec une profonde satisfaction. « Je vais l’accrocher au mur, » remarqua-t-il. « Qu’est-ce que t’en penses ? »

Un des ouvriers laissa tomber son côté de la toile. Stallone se tendit, et trois autres ouvriers coururent pour venir aider l’ouvrier mortifié. A présent, cinq personnes soutenaient la gigantesque image avec inquiétude, chacune convaincue que c’est sa tête qui allait rouler. « C’est un super portrait ! » déclara obséquieusement l’un d’eux. Ses camarades lui firent écho : « Oui ! Oh, oui ! C’est magnifique ! »

Je pardonnai bien vite l’orgueil évident de l’homme, repensant à d’où il venait.

Il avait écrit le scénario de son premier succès Rocky d’une traite, en vingt heures, après avoir vu le combat Muhammad Ali – Chuck Wepner le 24 mars 1975. Le nom Stallone vient de l’Italien stallone, qui signifie « étalon », qu’on utilise comme un surnom pour quelqu’un qui ressemble à un étalon, ou en tant que nom de métier métonymique pour quelqu’un qui élève les chevaux. Mais de ce que je savais, la propre famille de Sly avait occupé le niveau le plus bas de la société à l’origine, ceux qui nettoyaient derrière les chevaux. Pendant des générations, ils avaient été les membres d’une classe avec laquelle il était impensable pour la plupart de s’associer. Il avait de bonnes raisons de se sentir vachement content. Cependant, le film Rocky n’était vraiment qu’une version réchauffée et modernisée de « Marqué par la haine » (le film de boxe classique et définitif jusqu’à ce que Martin Scorsese n’ait fait « Raging Bull ».) Rocky Balboa est Rocky Barbella, l’authentique dur à cuire Rocky Marciano dont la vie a servi de base au film. Stallone a pris l’essence d’un champion et l’a diluée pour l’adapter à son propre personnage superficiel.

Les décapitations étant postposées pour le moment, Stallone continua à marcher avec moi, passant devant une statue de bronze de Rocky I de trois mètres, qui ressemblait à un décor de film de Cecil B. DeMille. Il s’arrêta quand même pour la regarder. C’était un magnifique matin de juin. Nous nous assîmes sur le patio et une servante nous apporta du café et des pâtisseries danoises pendant que nous parlions de Sage en long et en large.

Ma journée commençait à huit heures du matin, quand le garçon de cinq ans sautait de joie à la vue de M. Graham parce que ça signifiait Fun ! Fun ! Fun ! Sage était nerveux et extrêmement intelligent. Intense et insatiable – une force avec laquelle compter -il pouvait épuiser les gens avec la force de trente bambins de maternelle. J’avais travaillé avec des hyperactifs dans le passé, mais ce cas était extrême. Des méthodes inhabituelles étaient recommandées.

Je creusai un énorme trou au milieu de la pelouse de derrière. Sage le remplit joyeusement d’eau, et ensemble nous créâmes le meilleur trou de boue du monde. La servante eut la bêtise de passer à côté quand ce fut fini et elle fut projetée dedans. Sasha se joignit à la fête, apportant son appareil photo comme toujours. Tout comme Seth, le frère deux ans plus âgé de Sage. Tout le monde était boueux et photographié. Le décorateur d’intérieur offrit de tenir l’appareil et, à sa grande horreur, fut aussi recouvert de boue, à l’étonnement de Stallone, qui se tenait à bonne distance pour regarder toutes ces frasques. 

J’agrippai un seau en plastique, une corde et un tournevis. Perçant vingt trous dans le fond et sur les côtés, je liai le tuyau d’arrosage à l’intérieur du seau. Hissant le machin sur les branches de l’un des pins massifs, Sage et moi ouvrîmes l’eau à toute puissance et tout le monde eut droit à une sauvage douche de groupe. Sage prit un grand nombre de douches ce jour-là, suivi par de grands combats de boue, puis plus de douches encore. Stallone restait perplexe devant ce qui se passait dans son jardin. Il quitta le patio, revenant vingt minutes plus tard habillé et prêt pour le bureau. Tandis qu’il se tenait à côté de sa limousine, Sage et moi, à présent bien lavés, lui firent au revoir. Stallone sourit.

« Au revoir, papa ! Au revoir, papa ! » hurla Sage.

« Qu’est-ce que tu as prévu aujourd’hui, Al ? » demanda Stallone.

Je présentai les événements du jour : petit-déjeuner chez Mort, une promenade dans les magnifiques collines entourant la propriété, une visite avec l’agent du FBI qui gardait l’ancienne maison de Ronald Reagan à Pacific Palisades (que nous avions rencontré lors d’une précédente promenade), une course sur la plage, un voyage jusqu’au dépotoir de Santa Monica (où Sage allait pouvoir assouvir sa passion de collecter des enjoliveurs), un film à Westwood, déjeuner, une sieste, et dans l’après-midi, encore de la boue. 

Stallone semblait satisfait à regret et, quand il monta dans sa limousine, Graham lut le titre du livre de poche que Stallone emportait : No One Here Gets Out Alive, la biographie non-officielle de Jim Morrison.

« Que pensez-vous de ce livre ? » demandai-je.

Stallone s’arrêta. « Fascinant. Mal écrit, mais un personnage fascinant. Tu l’as lu ? »

« Du début à la fin, » acquiesçai-je.

« Morrison me rappelle Edgar Alan Poe, » réfléchit Stallone. « J’ai toujours voulu faire un film sur Poe. Morrison ressemble comme lui à un poète tragique. »

« Vous allez faire un film sur Morrison ? »

« Quelqu’un m’a envoyé un traitement la semaine dernière, alors je lis le livre. Je pense que ce serait un film à succès. »

« Au revoir, papa !!! » cria Sage depuis le puit de boue, puis vers moi.

« Viens !! Viens Alan !! »

La limousine emporta Stallone. Je restai sur place à le regarder s’éloigner en pensant : « Une putain d’aventure géante commence, Al !! »

11 juin 1981, 8h05 – J’approchais du manoir Stallone dans la voiture de ma société, intérieur du meilleur cuir doux, le tableau de bord ressemblant au cockpit d’un 747, douze cylindres puissants sous le capot, capable de vitesses extrêmes. Je poussai une cassette dans l’autoradio, allumai l’étonnant égaliseur et conduisis la luisante sedan bleu nuit devant la maison. « Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel… » chantait Morrison.

Sasha fut extatique en écoutant Sage chanter les Doors tandis qu’elle l’aidait à monter dans la voiture. « Come on, baby, light my fire… » Les petits poumons de son fils éclataient presque d’enthousiasme.

Stallone m’attira sur le côté et exprima son plaisir devant les changements qu’il avait observés chez son fils. Les techniques que j’avais utilisées sur des gamins hyperactifs dans le passé fonctionnaient à présent très bien sur cet enfant violent et destructeur. « Il adore cette musique, » dit Stallone, souriant à son fils. « Je suis content que tu l’amènes comme ça je peux l’écouter aussi. » Stallone tenait la biographie de Morrison. Je pouvais voir qu’il avait presque fini l’épais livre de poche.

« J’aimerais jouer ce gars, mais j’ai entendu que les droits ne sont pas disponibles – des problèmes avec la famille. »

« Eh bien, le livre n’a pas été autorisé et personne dans la famille n’était content, » expliquai-je.

Stallone releva la tête avec intérêt. « Le portrait militaire de son père prend toute une page dans le livre. C’est un drôle de paradoxe, » commenta Stallone ; « l’Amiral et l’idole du rock. »

« Ouais, il a été très en colère quand le livre a été publié l’an dernier. Jerry Hopkins, l’auteur, a essayé en vain de faire contribuer quelqu’un de la famille, mais l’Amiral n’aurait pas accepté. Comme une règle non écrite, ça n’a jamais été discuté – comme si ça ne s’était jamais passé. »

Stallone regarda Graham, surpris. « Je n’ai pas lu ça dans le livre. » « Ce n’était pas dans le livre, » dit Graham.

« Oh, ouais. Où as-tu lu ça ? Je dois avoir toutes les infos que je peux sur le personnage. Tu peux m’avoir l’article ? »

« Je ne l’ai pas lu dans un journal. Jim était mon beau-frère. »

« Try to set the night on fire… » Sage termina la chanson en même temps que la voix de Jim. Tout le monde dans la propriété applaudit. Il était temps d’aller prendre le petit-déjeuner.

Revenant à mes moutons, je bouclai sa ceinture dans la voiture. Puis je contrôlai mon arme, mes lunettes et mon rétroviseur où le visage de Stallone luisait comme s’il venait de trouver de l’uranium.

21 juin 1981 : 7h – Le plus long jour de l’année, un vent de Santa Ana avait soufflé toute la nuit et était toujours en action. Au moment où je passai l’entrée principale, Stallone était à 30 mètres, postillonnant sur un des patrouilleurs en congé qu’il avait engagés. « Je ne veux pas me réveiller pendant la nuit et vous trouver sans chaussure, les pieds en l’air, à nettoyer votre arme quand vous êtes supposé protéger ma famille ! ». Le visage de Stallone était haineux. L’officier partit la mine renfrognée.

Stallone approcha de moi, secouant la tête. « C’est le cinquième ce mois-ci. Les flics de L.A. sont effrayants, mec. Je ne vais plus en engager. »

Le vent avait hurlé toute la nuit, la construction en cours ayant contribué aux sinistres lamentations de banshee qui avaient résonné à travers les fenêtres et les murs inachevés. « Je déteste ce vent, mec. Je suis debout depuis deux heures du matin. »

« Ouais. Dieu merci ce sera fini aujourd’hui. »

« C’est ce que dit la météo ? ». Le soulagement brilla sur le visage de Stallone et pendant un instant il ressembla à un enfant sorti de sa chambre. Nous entrâmes dans la cuisine et Stallone nous versa du café.

Les Santa Ana cessèrent soudainement. Les pins massifs du jardin devinrent silencieux. Les yeux de Stallone se calmèrent et rajeunirent. Le visage de Jim Morrison nous fixait depuis la biographie des Doors posée sur la table. Stallone dit en montrant le livre : « Je viens de le finir. »

Nous parlâmes deux heures de la biographie. J’expliquai pourquoi les Morrison avaient été dégoûtés par le portrait de leur fils. Jusqu’à ce moment, je n’avais pas pu m’opposer à Manzarek et Travolta qui rêvaient d’adapter le livre depuis sa publication en 1980. Stallone écouta chacun de mes mots et avala l’appât, l’hameçon, la ligne, la canne et la moitié de mon bras. C’était un cas d’école : est-ce que le chien agitait sa queue, ou est-ce que la queue agitait le chien ? Vous voyez, j’avais mon propre os à ronger. Ray Manzarek, le claviériste des Doors, courait dans toute la ville pour vendre ce livre sur les Doors, en fait une biographie de Jim, à tous ceux qui voudraient bien l’acheter. Je détestais le livre personnellement ; même si beaucoup de choses étaient justes, il était sombre et méchant, ne montrant que la moitié de l’homme. Ce serait un film tragique et, à cause du manque de coopération de la famille Morrison, aucun studio majeur n’allait y toucher. Dernièrement, John Travolta voulait incarner ce Jim Morrison à une dimension, et on pouvait commencer à croire qu’un accord allait être trouvé.

« Tu penses que tu pourrais demander à l’Amiral de coopérer si je trouvais un accord ? » me demandait à présent Stallone.

Graham rit intérieurement. Pince-moi, pensa-t-il.

« Tu as vu mes films, » poursuivit Stallone. « Je peux promettre respect et intégrité. » Il enfonçait mes épaules au fond de sa gorge.

« J’ai entendu que Travolta essayait de signer avec Warner Brothers, » continuai-je à l’appâter.

La haine remplit les yeux de Stallone. « Tu penses que je ne pourrais pas jouer Morrison ? » me défia-t-il.

« Jim était intense et puissant comme vous, » dis-je, riant presque à chaque mot. Stallone brillait comme un phare.

C’était le moment de pêcher le poisson. « Je vais parler à mon beau-père, » lui dis-je.

Stallone me raccompagna jusqu’à la Maserati où nous trouvâmes Sage en train de taper sur le tableau de bord, essayant de mettre la musique. Quand nous partîmes, Stallone cria, essayant à son tour de m’appâter : « N’oublie pas de parler à l’Amiral du truc sur l’intégrité ! »

Le truc sur l’intégrité – quelle éloquence !

Cette nuit-là, je racontai ma journée à ma femme, Anne. Dix ans plus tôt, nous avions entendu à la radio l’annonce de la mort de son grand frère Jim dans une baignoire de Paris. Anne avait pleuré pendant des jours. Personne ne nous a jamais contactés pour nous dire ce qui était arrivé à Jim, en partie parce que la copine de Jim, Pamela, avait menti aux officiels à Paris, en leur disant que Jim n’avait pas de parents connus, cachant sa mort de fait. Trois ans plus tard, à Los Angeles, on retrouvait Pamela morte d’une overdose d’héroïne, emportant les secrets de la mort de Jim avec elle dans sa tombe.

C’était toujours un sujet très sensible, mais c’était aussi ma chance de contre-attaquer, et peut-être de stopper la production Travolta / Warner Brothers. Avec l’aide d’Anne, même Sly pourrait raconter une meilleure histoire sur Jim. « Qui va le jouer ? » demanda Anne.

« Stallone veut le faire, » dis-je en réprimant mon hilarité.

Anne rit bruyamment. Elle était très intelligente et extrêmement bien éduquée, et elle ne put pas s’en empêcher en pensant à Rocky dans le rôle de Jim. L’Amiral était un expert en beaucoup de choses. C’était un des hommes les plus cultivés du monde et un génie des maths. C’était un des plus jeunes amiraux de l’histoire de l’US Navy, et avec trente ans d’expérience à diriger des milliers d’hommes, il avait développé une connaissance astucieuse du comportement humain. Il était affable et amical o l’extérieur, mais rigide et étroit à l’intérieur. Néanmoins, nous nous mîmes d’accord pour lui soumettre l’idée, et c’est moi qui l’appelai. 

« Salut, Amiral. C’est votre beau-fils. »

« Eh bien, salut, Alan. Comment vas-tu, fiston ? Comment va la famille ? Et ton travail avec Sylvester Stallone ? »

Je posai ma question explosive. L’Amiral retomba dans le silence. Je ne parlai pas. Vingt secondes de moment gênant se suspendirent entre nous. C’était la première fois en dix ans que quelqu’un dans la famille osait parler de Jim, et je me sentais comme si je venais d’annoncer à mon beau-père la mort de son fils. Tuer le messager, pensai-je.

« Eh bien, je ne vois pas bien quelle est l’histoire, » jugea l’Amiral.

J’expliquai le triangle composé de Warner Bros, de John Travolta et du mauvais portrait de son fils. Ce à quoi l’Amiral répondit : « Eh bien, je n’ai pas lu le livre, mais on m’a dit que c’est mauvais et que ça ne ferait de toute manière pas un bon film. »

Allez dire ça à Hollywood, pensai-je ; puis je dis à l’Amiral : « C’est pour ça qu’Anna et moi voulons nous impliquer et raconter la vraie histoire. »

« Eh bien, je ne vois pas comment je pourrais associer mon nom à un projet dont vous pourriez perdre le contrôle plus tard pour finir avec un mauvais film. »

« Un projet se basant sur la biographie en sera un très mauvais, de toute manière, » admis-je, réalisant en prononçant ces mots ce à quoi je venais de m’engager.

« Oui, mais je ne veux pas voir mon nom dessus, » répondit l’Amiral en toute confiance. « Je voudrais bien t’aider, fiston, mais je ne fais pas confiance aux gens d’Hollywood. »

« ça vous dérangerait si j’avançais sur une version fictionnelle ? » proposai-je, les premières graines du projet actuel commençant à germer des années avant leur plantation finale.

« Eh bien, comme je dis, je ne vois pas d’histoire. Tu as le droit d’essayer, mais je ne vois pas les gens aller le voir. »

Le lendemain matin, en conduisant le long de la Pacific Coast Highway, j’analysai les commentaires de l’Amiral : « Je ne vois pas d’histoire ici… quel est le sujet… est-ce suffisamment intéressant pour un film… » Des commentaires étranges étant donné que le film à succès sur le Vietnam Apocalypse Now avait utilisé « The End » comme chanson d’ouverture et que la musique des Doors se vendait maintenant plus vite que quand Jim était vivant. Oui, pensai-je, des gens iraient le voir, par millions, tout comme ils achètent encore la musique. C’était extrêmement étrange que l’Amiral ne le voie pas alors que c’était devant ses yeux. Les coffres des Morrison gonflaient. Les caisses enregistreuses sonnaient dans le monde entier et pourtant l’Amiral demandait : « Qui ira voir le film ? ».

Je louchai vers l’océan et griffonnai « L’éthique du travail » sur un carnet de notes.

Stallone m’attendait quand j’arrivai. Nous montâmes à l’étage dans le bureau. Stallone ferma la porte. J’expliquai la position de l’Amiral et lui parlai de l’option fictionnelle. Stallone écouta attentivement et, quand j’eus terminé, il demanda : « Tu peux venir avec un script ? » Je souris en tirant mon épaule, mon bras, la canne, la ligne, l’appât, l’hameçon et le plomb de la bouche de Stallone. 

Stallone lança un enregistrement de la chanson de Morrison « End of the Night » en disant « Je reviens tout de suite. » Quand il se dirigea vers la salle de bains, je remarquai une longue pipe blanche en argile sur la table et un sac d’herbe hawaïenne hybride. Stallone revint, s’assit, alluma la pipe et me la présenta. Pendant que nous fumions, l’air de petit garçon apparut sur le visage de Stallone. Cherchant l’approbation, pensai-je, mais pour quoi ? Mon dieu, l’herbe était forte. Je dérivai avec la musique. Puis, sorti de nulle part, Stallone commença à chanter : « Realms of bliss, realms of light, some are born to sweet delight… »

Je me figeai. Mon dieu ! Mon dieu ! Rocky Balboa chantait avec Jim Morrison – chantant des paroles que Morrison avait volées aux « Prémisses d’Innocence » de William Blake – chantant comme Quasimodo l’aurait fait !

« T’en penses quoi ? » demanda Stallone en me montrant l’arrière de sa tête, avec un long postiche de style sixties noué dans ses vrais cheveux. Mes poumons faillirent exploser tandis que je me retenais de rire. Stallone chantait avec Jim. Il avait appris les paroles et il les massacrait.

« Vous pouvez faire Light My Fire ? » m’entendis-je dire.

Jim Morrison intervint depuis la tombe :

« Putain, qu’est-ce que tu fais, Al ? »

« Je bloque Travolta et Manzarek ! », expliquai-je télépathiquement.

« Pas avec lui ! » cria Morrison.

« Calme-toi, » murmurai-je mentalement. « Tu vas réveiller les morts. »

Stallone se déplaçait maintenant dans la pièce. De légères difformités dans sa jambe gauche, son bras et sa mâchoire étaient plus apparentes et prononcées, remarquai-je, avec la perception du trip à l’herbe. Les yeux de Stallone roulaient d’extase tandis qu’il se déplaçait de manière intermittente entre ses personnages. En un clin d’œil, Rocky Balboa était présent. Tout aussi vite Sylvester Stallone apparut, puis le roi Richard II – avec ses difformités et tout. Ce putain de Rocky Balboa et Sylvester Stallone massacraient la musique des Doors aussi sûrement que Rocky Balboa cognait les côtes de cette carcasse avant le grand combat avec Apollo Creed. La chanson se termina, et pas une nanoseconde trop tôt.

« T’en penses quoi ? » demanda Stallone avec une attente infantile ? 

J’entendis Jim respirer dans l’attente au bout d’un long tunnel sombre.

« J’étais en transe », admis-je.

Morrison parla d’une longue distance en s’éloignant : « Il pense que tu veux dire que sa performance t’a mis en transe, Al ! » Son ton d’avertissement impliquait que quelque chose de mauvais allait en sortir.

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If a ragman had a hard day, he would say “I pushed my cart up hill and down dale all day  long and never found even a feather”.

Some days it would rain and yet he still had to go and try to find some rags to pay for the rental of the handcart and the cups and saucers he had purchased to trade for rags.

In the 1940s and early 1950s, Liverpool still had horse-drawn carts carrying coal and other goods. Powerful Clydesdale horses pulled huge wagons, their broad horseshoes like heavy metal plates echoing through the streets. Even as big petrol and diesel lorries replaced beasts of burden, my father continued to use a little pony and cart to ply his trade as one of Liverpool’s many Ragmen.

When the pony went by the wayside, along with the great Clydesdales, my father rented a handcart, and from then on he bore his own burden. “I have traveled up hill and down dale today, and I did not find a feather.” My father often made this statement in hard times, and these were hard times indeed.

One early morning, we entered a tough section of the city referred to as The Holy Land for its many biblical street names: Isaac, Jacob, Moses and David. In a small shed on a tiny back street, my father bought cups, saucers and plates, which he would trade for woolens and rags. Hours later, we stood at the bottom of Northumberland Street.

By this time the cart was full of rags from the day’s collection. As usual, it began to rain without warning, and we were caught in a heavy deluge. Huddled in a doorway, we watched the noisy rain pelt the streets. As quickly as it had started, the rain stopped, and my father moved to pull off the top layers of the rag pile, shaking the water to the ground so as not to get the rest of the load wet. If the rags were even slightly damp, the load was “knocked back” – rejected until it was dry – which meant no wages for that day, sometimes longer, weather permitting.

Northumberland Street was very steep, its slick granite cobblestones proving a challenge even on foot. This day, the freezing rain made the ascent all the more treacherous. Together we pushed the loaded handcart, and as we began to climb I felt its great weight resisting. Just when I thought we might slide backward, my father gathered a great strength from out of nowhere. The cart began moving smoothly; the great burden seemed lighter now. The Ragman had used his “common denominator” – intelligence – to traverse a difficult terrain, and in the process he taught me one of the many survival skills I would need later in life.

The hill was so difficult it took quite a while to get to the top, but my father tackled it as sure-footed as a mountain goat. By using a steady switchback, or zigzag pattern, we reached the top quickly and almost effortlessly. Looking down, we watched others slowly inching their way up behind us, often stopping to rest before resuming.

My father went inside a tenement building. I stood outside protecting the cart – its load and crockery stock would have been pilfered instantly if left unattended – when a scruffy street gang happened by.

Four toughs surrounded the cart and began goading me into a fight. They mocked the fact that I was the son of a lowly Ragman, which both shamed and infuriated me. The leader, a loudmouth with a basin haircut, pushed too hard and soon we were embroiled in a fistfight. My father emerged in time to hear the gang urge their leader to “kick his fukkin’ ‘ed in!” 

Sadly for him, this was not to be, as my mother would later enjoy telling everyone who walked into our house. Like a raging pit bull, I had to be pried off the gang leader. I felt as light as air, the adrenalin rushing as I pounded the bully, chopping his neck with my open hand like an axe. He scrambled away like an animal freed from a trap, his eyes wide and scared.

When I was dragged off him, I held onto his shirt. He wrenched free from my grip but left the scene minus a collar and with his shirt and reputation in tatters.


Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


Spike Milligan was a great irish poet, writer and artist who even he was an active musician, he wrote many good famous poems considered to be within the genre of literary nonsense. His poetry has been described by comedian Stephen Fry as absolutely immortal—greatly in the tradition of Lear.

One of his poems, On the Ning Nang Nong, was voted the UK’s favourite comic poem in 1998 in a nationwide poll, ahead of other nonsense poets including Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear.


Spike suffered greatly from depression but soldiered on often in agony.


Somewhere at some time
They committed themselves to me
And so, I was!
Small, but I WAS!
Tiny, in shape
Lusting to live
I hung in my pulsing cave.
Soon they knew of me
My mother –my father.
I had no say in my being
I lived on trust
And love
Tho’ I couldn’t think
Each part of me was saying
A silent ‘Wait for me
I will bring you love!’
I was taken
Blind, naked, defenseless
By the hand of one
Whose good name
Was graven on a brass plate
in Wimpole Street,
and dropped on the sterile floor
of a foot operated plastic waste
There was no Queens Counsel
To take my brief.
The cot I might have warmed
Stood in Harrod’s shop window.
When my passing was told
My father smiled.
No grief filled my empty space.
My death was celebrated
With tickets to see Danny la Rue
Who was pretending to be a woman
Like my mother was.


Depression And How To Survive It.



Epitaph on Spike Milligan’s gravestone,


“I told youI was ill”

Posted in Uncategorized, Winter 2022 | Leave a comment



Today I spoke with a young man who  is a well respected radio presenter in Liverpool England.

His biography below tells of a jovial and light  hearted fellow eager to stimulate his listeners.

However, beneath the surface he is quite deep, indeed a very serious and highly intelligent man to boot.

Scratch the surface a little and you will find a most compassionate and thoughtful chap.

We spoke of many things, one of which is ever in my thoughts and conversations that of clinical depression. 

For more than thirty years I have been a crisis counselor, and in most cases that subject has been, in one way or another, the basis for most of my work.

In all those years, I have never spoken with someone so young, and with so much knowledge, particularly about his own insights and experience.

We also talked about music, poetry and literature, plus how all of the great artists and luminaries who have, and do, suffer the same. I look forward to interviewing with him in the near future.

I am the author of three books, Before The Beatles Where Famous, which chronicles my life growing up in Liverpool.

A book of verse Poet Rain, and I Remember Jim Morrison Too, the true  account concerning the life and times of  the front man for The Doors Jim Morrison.

I am also very pleased  to say that James is my nephew and that I am a very proud uncle to have such a wonderful lad in my orbit.


“You’ll Never walk Alone.

A. R Graham.

As Travel.Radio grows and evolves we are constantly adding to our talented team of presenters.

Joining us on Monday, May 24, is the fabulous James Owen who will bring some fun and frivolity to the brand new Early Breakfast Show.

A veteran of the travel industry James spent 16 years as a hotel manager before taking to the open road, driving holiday coaches all over Europe and the UK.

He has been involved in radio for more than 20 years in the North West, Midlands and Devon.

James has two claims to fame – his cousin is former Southampton FC captain Franny Benali and his great Uncle Alan was married to Anne Morrison, sister of the Doors front man Jim!

He is a classic car fan and a keen cook. He is also an avid dog lover and dad to a rescue Staffi/Boxer cross called Delia.

James will present the new Early Breakfast Show every weekday from 5-7am and early bird listeners can enjoy some of his regular fun features like Morning Inflight Movies and Around the World in 80 seconds!




Posted in Uncategorized, Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


Born just outside Paris in 1977, at the age of seven Baptiste Ibar immigrated with his family to the U.S. In response to linguistic and environmental difficulties, he started communicating through drawings. While growing up in the confines of NYC’s white suburbs, Baptiste became increasingly fascinated with indigenous people and their art; through his grandfather, a respected French collector, he developed a great knowledge of European paintings and sculptures; and as the son of a physicist, he cultivated genuine respect and curiosity towards the natural world.

After obtaining his BFA in Painting at the renowned Rhode Island School of Design in 2000, Baptiste decided to stay in Providence, inspired by its prolific underground art and music scene. Here, surrounded by a healthy and vibrant artistic community, Ibar found the optimal condition to develop his vision and his work. In 2004 he moved to Brooklyn to join his siblings, but after a few years he decided to renovate a barn in Connecticut and move there to better focus on his art and avoid distractions from the City.

During the fall of 2004, Baptiste got a call from the director Michel Gondry about doing a series of disaster paintings, which he needed for his film “the science of sleep”. Gondry, who intended on doing the disaster paintings himself, realized he had his hands full (being the writer and director of the film) and remembered being fascinated by the paintings of Ibar. After spending some time on Baptiste’s website, Gondry felt a strong connection to the paintings and decided to ask Ibar to join his team of talented artists doing handmade work for the film.

Since the release of the film “The science of sleep” and the Michel Gondry Exhibition at Deitch Projects, which featured the Disasterology Calendar, Baptiste has been busy with one project after the next. He did a large-scale public work commission from an NEA grant for Artspace, New Haven, Titled “Ghost tree” and a solo show at Glenn Horowitz bookseller in East Hampton. He made his European debut in London in 2012 with his show “Before your eyes” Busts, at Viktor Wynd Fine Art in collaboration with Art barter. His paintings are included in private and corporate collections all over the world.

Presently, Ibar is working in a new studio in Biarritz, France.

Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment

English Island Seeks a Landlord-King Who Likes Solitude, Seals and Beer



The island is also where Lambert Simner, the young son of an Oxford merchant, landed in June 1487, claiming to be a legitimate heir to the army of mercenaries and the throne of England. He marched to London, was soon defeated by Henry VII, and rolled up a kitchen servant.

The “King of Pierre” habit was invented, perhaps in the early 19th century, as a reference to Simnel’s claim of fate, Douglas said. “A sort of looking back on the good old days and reinventing some mysterious rituals,” he said. “It’s a little weird.”

In the fall and winter, history lovers and picnics leave the island for birds, seals, and two full-time residents in one of their private homes. “It’s a very quiet place,” Murphy said. “If you don’t have a customer, you have to become Robinson Crusoe and enjoy the facilities you came up with.”

Mr. Calister said some of the landlord’s contract would be negotiated with Congress, including whether the landlord would need to live in Pierre all year round.

“It’s an opportunity for someone who is truly open-minded, loves that style of business, loves the outside world, and loves history,” Calister said. “After all, when we’re all a little older, you think,” I wish I had done it. ” Don’t miss that opportunity. “

Murphy said that work requires at least one person who doesn’t care a lot of time. He described winter as “certainly very harsh,” and storms brought strong winds and rain. “You are virtually stuck on the island alone.”

And once you get there, there are so many ways you can leave. When the tide goes down, you can walk two miles of sand — be careful if you know the way. But when the tide returns, the only means of transportation is a small ferry, which Murphy described as “a rowing boat with a small engine behind.”

Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment



Fifty years after his death, Gorian Delpâture takes us to the most intimate, the most inaccessible place of the artist Jim Morrison: the poet’s psyche. We discover – through a text which is also a literary game sprinkled with quotes from Morrison’s words and extracts from authentic interviews – the inveterate reader of novels and poetry, the disciple of William Blake, the lone wolf. Far from the cliché of a rock singer, Jim Morrison turns out to be an honorable candidate for the Nobel. Gorian Delpâture offers us a moment of contemplation, of inner meditation within this fantastic ball of energy. He makes us live in the heart of the “simple American poet”.

It is with great pleasure and interest that I read this story which takes the opposite of the impression that the singer had made on me during our recent meeting. It was two years ago, a demonic story that takes place, as it should since the Rolling Stones, in St. Petersburg and not in Bulgakovian Moscow. I had bought tickets at the Lensovet theatre, a place known for its very contemporary productions and little appreciated by a certain segment of the Russian population, like this seller of tickets for the Mariinsky who showed all her contempt – “Lensovet, this is not theatre! – with regard to two tourists who swore they did not want to set foot in a theater again following an evening spent at Lensovet. I had been attracted by the title of the play played, “The Demons”, one of the many theatrical adaptations of the immense Russian literary heritage. Now it happened that there was no mention of Verkhovensky, Stavrogin and his abominable crime, there was no reference to the Dostoyevsky plot! Instead, two couples alternately acted out household scenes. A woman had the whim of lighting cigarettes without smoking them, which had the gift of exasperating her companion who constantly asked her the reason for this mania. She refused to give him one. Couples moved between instruments and microphones. The stage was actually set up for a rock concert. And between each household scene, a rock band played and Jim Morrison took his place in the host body of an actor of prodigious talent, predisposed to rock spiritualism sessions. And from the first appearance, all the spectators and myself, seated in tight rows of conference chairs, “we had a great visitation of energy”. In this theater, the singer fascinated by cinema and literature had come back to life, I saw “an electric shaman on stage”. And we became eager to see the actor-singer come back to life, we were in need. We didn’t care about the marital problems of actors who were very sympathetic. In short, we were on the verge of a trance, and when we left the room, there was a rush to the doors to buy The Doors records. It touched me a lot to know that even there, where the West is lost and dissipated in the mists of the Neva, Jim Morrison had suddenly been able to make a completely unexpected, lively and enjoyable appearance in order to seal our first meeting.

From the same author :

Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


‘Ghost’ orchid that grows in the dark among new plant finds

Hundreds of new species include pink voodoo lily and an ylang-ylang tree named after Leonardo DiCaprio.

A ghost orchid that grows in complete darkness, an insect-trapping tobacco plant and an “exploding firework” flower are among the new species named by scientists in the last year. The species range from a voodoo lily from Cameroon to a rare tooth fungus unearthed near London, UK.

A new tree from the ylang-ylang family is the first to be named in 2022 and is being named after the actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio. He campaigned to revoke a logging concession which threatened the African tree, which features glossy yellow flowers on its trunk.

The highlighted plants are among the 205 new species named in 2021 by scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and their collaborators around the world. All are vital parts of the planet’s biodiversity and some may provide food and medicine.

Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment


When they closed down Coronado’s beloved five and dime store Coro-Mart, the whole town mourned collectively. Gone were those halcyon days soon to be replaced by the clinical drug stores like Walgreens.

For almost three decades, she sat in a state of  decay which worsened every day.

A ray of hope danced before our eyes when we heard that someone was negotiating a deal to refurbish and reopen, but that was soon dashed to the curb when worries arose over safety concerns due to  the structure’s inability to meet earthquake standards.

The agony ensued when the old Bank Of America building was going to be turned into a new ghastly looking Walgreens drug store  and was about to take up residence with a structure that looked like a tacky Las Vegas casino.

When construction began our hearts sank, and when we saw the awful rendering, we shook our heads in sadness. It could not get much worse you say? Get ready for beyond worse.

Construction was impeded, delayed or postponed with myriad setbacks and vague promises of a finish date. Three foremen came and went and delays only increased with each disquieting day. People hated the half-finished building; and when it did finally open, people hated it all the more.

To this day, Coronado citizens have boycotted and will to continue to do so forever.

In 2010, I wrote an article for the Coronado Clarion about Coro-Mart called “Goodbye Cruel World” which lamented it’s agonizing decomposition but still holding on to the dream that one day it would be revived.* 

Now the project is in the hands of one of the finest construction companies anywhere in this country.

I say that because all of the top management executive made their bones in the building industry as teenagers, starting out as apprentice carpenters and climbing the ladder one rung at a time. This is the stuff that is required to become proficient and excel in the crowded construction industry today.

Headed by Rick Backus – Chairman / Chief Executive Officer, and Greg McDonald – President, you would be hard pressed to find a more reputable and dependable construction corporation anywhere.

Even in a Co-vid environment and the regular struggles to proceed, Eleven Western Builders has manage to keep on schedule, a miracle in today’s chaotic landscape.

Hat tip to Von’s management for the revival of our lost and beloved Coro-Mart.

There will be a celebration on opening day that will put us all in bed for a week, but we will have a perpetual smile plastered on our faces for the rest of our lives.

Al. Graham. 


“In the dime stores and bus stations
people talk over situations
read books and repeat quotations
draw conclusions on the wall…”
Love Minus Zero No Limit–Bob Dylan

Coronado’s own Five & Dime store, Coromart, has been closed for many years. Not just the business itself, but the entire concept of the Five & Dime store has fallen by the wayside in most American towns. There are a myriad of knock-offs or 99-cent outlets and the big chain stores like Walmart offer many of the same affordable goods. The 7-Eleven stores bridge that gap in a small way and every liquor store now carries the same.

But a dime back then went a lot farther than 99 cents does today. There are very few items that you can by for one dollar, but back then you could get four pieces of candy for one penny and there were many other items for that price. My brother in-law, Andy, would be so happy that he could buy a six pack of BUCKHORN beer for a whole 99 cents.

There was not a single centimeter of wall space inside Coromart with its twenty-foot ceiling. It was packed to the rafters with gift items and sundries for any and every occasion.

The concept of the variety store originated with the five and ten, nickel and dime, five and dime, or dime store, a store where everything cost either five or ten cents. The originator of the concept may be Woolworth’s, which began in 1878 in Watertown, New York. Other five and tens that existed in the USA included W.T. Grant, J.J. Newberry’s, McCrory’s, Kresge, McLellan’s, and Ben Franklin stores. These stores originally featured merchandise priced at only five cents or ten cents, although later in the twentieth century the price range of merchandise expanded. Inflation eventually dictated that the stores were no longer able to sell any items for five or ten cents, and were then referred to as “variety stores” or more commonly dollar stores. Remember Coro-Days!



RicBackus – Chairman / Chief Executive Officer

Key Personnel


Posted in Winter 2022 | Leave a comment

Little Cashi True Blue.

Mr Bobby Blue was a master toy maker and his daughter Little Cashi True Blue was the apple of her Papa’s eye.

Cashi Blue loves to play basketball and she also loves the color blue.

Not just any old shade of blue, but that of the beautiful blue of the sky.

Her basket ball shoes were very cool and everyone loved them, all except Cashi, because she dreamed of owning a pair made from the breathtaking blue of the sky above.

Every day she would ask her Poppa to make her some “sky blue magic shoes” but he could not reach the sky. Cashi was so sad and no other color could please her.

He bought her a pair of Elmo slippers which were very close to the cherished Blue-sky, but they were not suitable for playing basket ball.

He found some cool hightops but they still did not achieve either.


Eventually Mr Blue could no longer bear the pain of his little Cashi’s  great sadness.

Late one night he made the biggest ladder the world has ever seen, and early the next morning he raised it to the sky and began the long accent.

When  he  reached the firmament, he took out a pair of scissors and cut out two pieces the size of two little shoes for his beloved Cashi.

The next morning she awoke to find a package tied with a sky blue ribbon at the foot of her bed and she jumped up to see what was inside.

Downstairs Bobby Blue was startled when he heard her jumping for joy and yelling “I got my blue sky shoes”, over and over again.

She came rushing downstairs wearing the brilliant blue shoes snd she seemed to float rather than walk or run. “I love my sky blue shoes Poppa, thank you forever and ever and ever”

She won every basketball game and no-one on God’s green earth could catch her or even keep up with her. She laughed and laughed and laughed and she played and played and played every day until the sun went down.

Cashi Blue awoke to greet the day, donning her sky blue magic shoes ran downstairs. When she reached the bottom a loud banging on the front door shook the house. Mr Blue came a-runnin to see what the noise was.

A squad of Grumbly men were outside wanting to get inside, “We are from the Squash Squad, and we are here to investigate the disappearance of two pieces of the sky, just enough to make a pair of shoes for little girl about the age of your daughter here” They all looked at Cashi’s sky blue magic shoes.

Bobby folded like an  paper origami  sculpture and confessed on the spot.

The shoes were confiscated and Bobby was severely reprimanded then the Grumbly men left.

Cashi Blue fell in to deep sadness again, she went up to her room and cried and cried until the Rain Drop Cops called and said “STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW.

The next morning there was an even louder knock on the front door and Mr Blue was ready to confess all over again,

It was not the Squash Squad this time, it was The Yoopish Delivery Truck and they left a package for Cashi Blue. Bobby Blue ran upstairs to show Cashi.

The shoes had been sent by a famous basketball player and her name was Lorna Lightening. Lorna had heard all about the story of the sky blue magic basketball shoes, So, she had a very special pair made from material that looked exactly like the sky, explain that?

Cashi was over the moon and she ran out in the world to play and play and play and play some more in her sky blue magic floating shoooeez.

The End.

Written by: Crazy Grandpa Al



Posted in Autumn 2021 | Leave a comment

My Union Bank Coronado California.

When I say “my Union Bank, I mean that I feel like I am at home with family.

The staff lead by Vice President and branch manager Rudy Maldonado includes Assistant Vice President and  Senior relationship Banker ll Ali Yeke, Michael Brown Assistant Branch Manager/AVP, Elizabeth Dana Gaither, Senior Relationship Banker, Amanda Ruth Donaldson, Branch Service and Sales Officer and Janet Ramirez Mora, Branch Service Specialist.

This team is exceptional in the attendance to the customer, and along with a twenty second century state of the art electronic banking system, makes banking a dream rather than a old fashioned analog system such as the one I spent years in frustration and stress.

I will not mention the name of the crusty old out of touch bank, but is has a B and an A in it.

Today that bank is attended by a skeleton staff, (real skeletons) at least it seems so.

If something goes wrong at the Ready Teller you cannot simply go into the bank and have the issue resolved, because an outside, off site, entity governs it’s function, and they have to be called out for service of any kind.

“We have no control over that machine” a disembodied voice resounded  and echoed from across the spacious wasteland of the bank lobby.

It was a sleepy voice emanating from an half open door to the managers office.

It creeped me out and I will never ever go inside again.

On the other hand the Jetsons, futuristic-like equipment at Union Bank, allows me to make a transaction in less than one minute. Now that is cool.

For an old dog like myself, every second is most precious to me, and I will not waste one billionth of one nano second on the throw-back and moribund systems of yesteryear.

When I walk out of my bank and then have to go into another one to make a

transaction, it feels like time travel, and later on I suffer greatly with Bank-Lag.



Editor: Coronado Clarion







Posted in Autumn 2021 | Leave a comment





I love everything about the Uber platform. It is the absolute essence of the Great American en·tre·pre·neur·i·al spirit.

Every King in his own castle, no bosses, no deadlines, no interference, save for the guiding hand of the miraculous function of the Uber platform.

Like the Captain of a ship, the driver is as as free as a wholly owned and utterly autonomous entity.

Like our magnificent early American pioneers, an Uber driver charts his own course when, where and how they choose to do so.

To my utter surprise and great sadness, I must report that my idyllic vision of Uber was marred by a disquieting and deeply troubling incident.

It began in the early hours of the morning when  I discovered that my driver was parked in the back of my house instead of the front. He insisted that the GPS had directed him there. The delay lead to me almost missing my train to Los Angeles.

We arrived at the station with only 2 minutes before the train was to depart and as I attempted to make a mad dash, I told the driver I would give him a maximum tip and place five stars on his account.

As I began to run, the driver rolled his window down and screamed at me, “Hey you! why did you slam my door”. I apologized saying It was an accident but he jumped out of the car and in the blink of an eye was in my face. He offered a pugilistic stance and was ready to throw down right there and then.

In a much younger day, I would have engaged in my defense and he would have been met with an instant dose of retribution to his affront. However, I am knocking on the eighty year old door of life, So, reason prevailed and I simply walked away shaking my head in disbelief.

The belligerent fellow persisted yelling and wildly gesticulating then ending with ” I will kick your Effing ass”.

I fully expected him to escalate, So, I kept walking briskly away his voice still echoing through terminal hallway.

I contact Uber immediately and was met with a swift apology and an instant refund to my account.

During this devastating civid pandemic environment our population is tense, angry and confused, but this does not mitigate this driver’s over-the-top behavior.

Wether or not I drop the Uber service will depend on the follow up to my complaint by Uber management.

I will make an update to this article in the near future.

Al Graham.

Editor: Coronado Clarion


Update: Dec. 20th 2021.

I received a phone call from a very friendly and highly competent Uber representative. We talked in depth about my bad Uber experience and I was quite pleased that my complaint was thoroughly vetted and the I received a follow up message ending with…

While we have already taken the appropriate actions, we are limited in sharing the investigation outcome of another account due to our Privacy Notice.
As I understand your concerns as it pertains to your comfortability in using the app going forward and not having details of the driver’s account status, I can confirm that we have blocked potential pairings between you and the driver.
Please know that we have also notated the feedback you provided.
If you have further questions or concerns regarding this matter, please let us know.
Sent by Nila B. on Monday, December 20, 2021 at 6:08:57 PM




Posted in Autumn 2021 | Leave a comment


Once again I took the Amtrak train to Los Angeles from San Diego. This trip was a “BAD TRIP”.
It started to go wrong when I met the conductor Kat Williams, one of the most repulsive persons I have ever encountered.
I showed her the article I had written about my wonderful experience on another train two weeks before.
When I tried to talk about how nice another conductor was, she interrupted me saying “She does not follow the rules like me when it comes to wearing masks.
I told her that the other conductor fully explained the Amtrak rules but she abruptly cut me off.
“Your mask should cover your nose too.”
 I tried to tell her I was eating and I forgot to pull it back up.  She sneered and moved on.
A few minutes later she returned and literally bellowed, “Take a bite, pull it up and chew behind the mask.” 
She was now standing uncomfortably close.  Her stomach was so big that she could not button up her shirt and worse, she had body odor that could stop a stopped clock, combined with breathe so foul, I had to suspend breathing until she left.
Later on, I went to the club car to get a beer, I was greeted by “Mark” who was sitting/relaxing with his jacket opened and was without a mask. 
He was hurriedly gulping down some food, and when he saw me enter, he struggled to get his 300 pound carcass upright then rushed back to his station to don his mask.
I offered him a copy of the article I had written, but he snatched it from my hand and threw it down. “Ill read it later.”  He barked, belched and, gagged all in a single breath.
I tried to tell him about my bad experience with Kat, the conductor, and he went off on a rant about how if I punched him in the face today, I would still be able to ride the train tomorrow, but if he reported me for not wearing a mask, I could be banned for life from riding all Amtrak trains.
He then proceeded to trash Amtrak services finishing with his train is the only one that makes money and that the service I experienced was just good luck because the rest of the trains all lost money every day and there were all kinds of delays, an altogether bleak view of Amtrak services in general.
I insisted that my experience was all good and blew his stack.  Ripping open the door he yelled, “You do not want to listen to what  I am saying So, get out of here and with a mocking “Good Byeee” he hurried me out. I asked if I could have a cup for my beer.  He snatched on up and literally tossed it at me.
The next time I ride my MAGIC CARPET to the City of Angels, I will check to see who the attending crew will be, and if it is either one of those wretched Amtrak representatives, I will refuse to entrain and catch the next one.
These two angry bitter and negative employees, would be better suited serving as prison guards or bounty hunters but certainly not in a position of representatives of any company worth their salt.

UPDATE  December 23rd 2021.

I received this email concerning the awful incident aboard the Amtrak train to Los Angeles to San Diego.

While it is an acknowledgement of the incident, it does not go far enough, because I am bound to run into the same vulgar and disrespectful duo and that will be awkward to say the least.

I will not entrain with those two individuals which means I will be delayed and will have to wait for the next train,

So, this incident is not yet resolved and until then, I will continue to write about my experience until I can be assured that the disregard and outright abuse will abate for me, and every other Amtrak customer. 

Dear Mr Graham,

Thank you for your recent email contact.

Amtrak welcomes feedback from customers, as it helps us to focus our efforts to improve service.  We hope that you will accept our sincere apologies for the behavior of our employees on train 580. 

At Amtrak, we recognize that customer service is critical to the Corporation’s success as a transportation carrier.  We expect every Amtrak employee to treat our customers with courtesy and respect and to perform their duties in a professional manner.  We are sorry that your experience was different.

We have entered your concerns into our customer database.  You can rest assured that information has been shared with the responsible managers for review and any necessary corrective action.

Once again, thank you for contacting us and being a loyal Amtrak customer.  We strive at Amtrak to deliver a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience for all our customers. Our guiding principles are to provide a safer, greener, healthier and better-connected passenger rail system.

We look forward to serving you in the future aboard Amtrak.

Toni S.Amtrak Center of Excellence

Case ID: 05902784

Posted in Autumn 2021 | Leave a comment

ROZANNE “ROZI” LOZANO -Elite Wardrobe Stylist, Men’s Clothing

Rozanne “Rozi” Lozano is an Elite Wardrobe Stylist in Men’s Clothing.

She has worked for Nordstrom for  thirty years.

I went there to buy a suit, some shirts, socks, underwear, and a few other items.

Lucky for me that I had the good fortune to find myself in the capable hands of such a professional.

Rozi knows how to assuage the fears and trepidations of a cantankerous, set in his ways, old man like me.

It has been twenty years since I bought a new suit and was so far behind the times that I believed I knew more about what was best for me than she did. I am knocking on the door of  the big 80 and not only has fashion fatigue, that is to say I knew nothing about today’s styles, but I believed I did.

It takes a total professional like Rozi to make a sale to someone as difficult to please as myself, this woman did that and more.

After much struggling to fit me with the right color and style, she found the perfect suit and shirts that I would never have found or picked out on my own. When I stepped out of the fitting room, I was met by a tailor who promptly measured me and would have the alterations finished in a few hours.

I bought two shirts which Rozi also had me try on before leaving and when I returned they had been pressed and looked like that had been freshly laundered.

Like a trip back in time when service was everything, a dying art in today’s hustle and bustle.

During these trying times of shortages and short tempers, Rozi never wavered, she just took the time to wisely gauge a customers needs and this comes from years of experience.

Thank you Rozi, and the entire staff at Nordstrom in Fashion Valley San Diego.

A. R. Graham

Editor: Coronado Clarion.




Posted in Autumn 2021 | Leave a comment

The Coronado Artiste

By Kimberley Graham
Meet Peter Hall, the “Coronado Artiste”.  He is a local artist whose passion is painting watercolors.  Many Coronadans as well as the flocks of tourists who don our shores are familiar with this talented man as he has been a staple to the community for decades.  Besides being a noted watercolorist, Peter Hall, spent many years as a caricaturist at our Ferry Landing, painting whimsical, lifelike portraits of passers-by, community members, their beloved pets, and their children.  In fact, in Mr. Hall’s words, “People come back after years. Sometimes they come back with their kids, whose caricatures I did when they were two or three, and now they are teenagers.  They come back to say hello.”

The Coronado Artiste is a proud man and has been dedicated to his craft all of his life.  He has taught the art of painting, lived in Paris where he painted and studied the great impressionists and watercolorists, also spent much time living on the East Coast where he captured beautiful, realistic interpretations of wildlife, homes, and nature scenes.  The paintings are so realistic, they look as if they are photographs.  To see his life’s collection of works is truly an honor and fills the witness with true credibility for his intense pride.

Peter has struggled with serious health issues over the years, yet he still steadies forward forever persevering for his passion.  We should all be so lucky to enjoy this type of zeal and enthusiasm in life.  Recently, after undergoing surgery, he painted a gorgeous portrait of our beloved Frankie dog.  My “healing dog”, Frankie, went missing a couple of months ago.  We searched high and low for him with a huge poster campaign for a month only to find out that he had been struck by a car and killed a couple of blocks from our home the same day he went missing.  Frankie nursed me through my ordeal with breast cancer never leaving my side while I went through chemotherapy and radiation treatments as well as two surgeries.  Our family promised to never forget him and Peter Hall made that promise a reality in his stunning interpretation.  His attention to detail is pure in his portrayals of people’s pets.  Every hair, whisker, and hue is represented.  We will always be grateful to his generosity of spirit with his gift of our Frankie’s portrait.

Peter Hall’s future plans include paying close attention to his serious work which is watercolors.  He submits his work in local exhibitions and is a noted artist for the San Diego Watercolor Society at Liberty Station, where he tries to exhibit every month.  He does many commissions with a focus on people’s pets.  He likes to refer to this side of his business as “Dogs’ Rule” and much of his watercolor work is focused on flowers as well as nature scenes.  The artist’s paintings of the Hotel Del Coronado are vividly brilliant.

The commissioned work has included watercolors of the Hotel Del Coronado, the ferry boats, the view of downtown San Diego from Coronado, flowers, and nature.  Of course, the pets and caricatures are truly part of his forte.Among the notable artists who have been influential in Mr. Hall’s developed talents include the American watercolorists:  Winslow Homer, Don Kingman, Andrew Wyeth with William Preston being a tremendous influence on his work.

Mr. Hall still does the caricatures by mail.  You can send photographs of yourself and family or pets to:

Peter Hall 1226 9th Street, Apt. 6, Coronado, CA  92118 (619) 762-0590

The best time to reach Mr. Hall is in the evenings as he enjoys spending his days out and about in our lovely kingdom by the sea.  His friendliness is contagious.  Peter likes to sit down at the Ferry Landing where he meets and greets not only our citizens but the array of travelers who marvel at the beauty of our town.

The Coronado Artiste is an institution.  He is truly a part of our community and a self-proclaimed “mayor”.  Beyond doubt, we are lucky to have Peter Hall in our midst.

E.Mail Contact,   peterhallnado@yahoo.com

Posted in Autumn 2021, Premier Issue | 13 Comments

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Jim Morrison Movie


Jim Morrison: Back to the Sixties, Darkly :

Ultimate bad boy’s life story THE DOORS comes to the big screen

Danny Sugerman thought that then-hot disco king John Travolta might make a good Morrison. So he introduced him to the Doors–and he and Manzarek squirreled Travolta around town, taking him to places where the group had hung out. But the other Doors balked. (“John was a nice guy and all that. But he was too nice. He didn’t have Jim’s dangerous edge,” Krieger recalled.) When it became clear that all the rights couldn’t be acquired for Travolta to officially play Morrison, there were talks about Brian De Palma directing Travolta in a fictionalized project, like the thinly disguised Janis Joplin saga, “The Rose.”

Other film makers approached Harari and the Doors–and vice versa. Among them: Jonathan Taplin, Jerry Weintraub, Aaron Russo, Irving Azoff, Michael Mann, Francis Coppola and Martin Scorsese.

As all this was happening, a feature-length Doors documentary was in the works. (It was later abandoned because of efforts to make the feature.)

Morrison’s sister and her husband also announced their intention to make a Morrison movie. But first, stated Anne Morrison Graham and her then-husband, Alan Graham (no relation to Bill Graham), they would stage a rock opera in which seven actors would play various aspects of the Morrison persona. And they planned to make a 90-minute TV documentary.

The rock opera actually happened–at Gazzarri’s on the Sunset Strip, where the Doors had played 16 years earlier. Krieger still laughs about the night that two of the Morrison look-alikes showed up at a club where he was playing and got in a fight with each other.

Though the Grahams have since divorced, Alan Graham remains impassioned about one day making a film about his former brother-in-law. He has a company called Lizard King Productions–so named because of Morrison’s moniker as the Lizard King (from a Doors song). From time to time, Graham sends out announcements of pending projects. Currently in the works: the provocatively titled rock opera, “Who Killed Jim Morrison?”

Harari eventually dropped the option on “No One Here Gets Out Alive,” but he didn’t drop his interest. In 1985, he succeeded in acquiring the rights of the three Doors.

Then Tony Krantz and Tony Ludwig, of Creative Artists Agency, got the idea to bring rock promoter Bill Graham into the project–to deal with the Coursons and the Morrisons.

During the ’60s, the Doors often played Graham’s clubs in San Francisco and New York City. He still remembers their first show at Fillmore West in 1967, in which they were billed with the Jim Kweskin Jugband.

(The Doors were to have other memorable nights at Graham’s clubs–including the time Morrison showed up drunk at Winterland, took to the stage and started throwing the microphone around. At one point, it flew across the room, hit Graham and knocked him down.)

Graham eventually succeeded as a rock ‘n’ roll Henry Kissinger with the estate. “They were not against a movie coming out,” Graham explained. “They’re against the exploitation or the exaggeration of what really went down. After all, those children were reared by those people. The parents want to retain some dignity.

“It’s obvious that this wasn’t exactly Jack Armstrong who was coming through life in that turbulent time. We can’t whitewash Morrison, or Pam. But we want to respect them.”

As it turned out, there was an attempt at a whitewash when the Coursons tried, unsuccessfully, to invoke a clause that would have forbidden any depiction of their daughter using drugs. One stipulation they did get: Pamela Courson-Morrison cannot be depicted as having anything to do with Morrison’s death.

Then there is the contract stipulation involving the Morrisons: With the exception of a pivotal scene involving Jim’s childhood encounter with Indian shamanism, the parents cannot be depicted.

The Coursons and Morrisons also wanted–and got–assurances that the movie would not be an adaptation of “No One Here Gets Out Alive.”

Ironic footnote: eventually, the film makers bought the book’s research materials from co-author Jerry Hopkins. And Sugerman recently came aboard the film, as a consultant.

When all the rights were at last acquired in 1985, Harari put in a call to Oliver Stone’s agent. Would Stone be interested in scripting? On the very day Stone was scheduled to meet with Harari, Stone got the go-ahead to make “Platoon.” The next day he left for the Philippines.

From 1985 until the summer of 1987, the Doors project was at Columbia, under then-chairman Guy McElwaine. But when David Puttnam came to the studio, the project was dropped.

Within 24 hours, Harari got calls from United Artists and Warner Bros. He also got a call from Tony Ludwig, who had left CAA to become the president of Imagine Entertainment.

Posted in Autumn 2021, Clarion Rock | Leave a comment


In 1968 Admiral Morrison was Commander In Chief of Carrier Division Nine fighting the war in Vietnam. Clara Morrison was visiting the far east at the time and sent back gifts to us including a couple of Happi Coats, I gave one (pictured above) to Lee and we both wore them until they fell apart.

If you lived in San Diego back in 1968, and you listened to the radio, you must remember Lee “Baby” Simms, one of the top DJs of the time.

“This is K. Ceeee B. Q. Theeee number one radio station in San Diego, California.”  Lee jumped out of the radio and into your car with you. He was too cool for San Diego and he was almost part of the hit songs he spun.

Once I called in to request a song, and after a little bantering back and forth, we became good friends. I had asked him to play a Beatles tune, and at that time, I was fresh from Liverpool with a thick accent to match. During the course of the conversation, he said, “You sound like Paul McCartney.” I explained the acute differences or nuances in the degrees of Liverpooleese. John, Paul, and George all had the same accent, which was middle class rather than the distinct working-class brogue of Ringo. If you watch the movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” it is a tutorial on the genuinely hilarious expressions used by the lads and the rest of the cast, who in fact to a person all spoke with their real accents rather than an actor trying to sound like one.

For those who remember all of this, you will also remember that it was all on AM radio. FM  was still a thing of the future, and the recordings were decidedly limited when it came to listening quality.

One day Lee called me up and asked me to call in during the show and impersonate Paul McCartney. The next night, Lee made a big deal about how cool the new Beatles’ album was and that he was going to do a weekend-long Beatles marathon of all their songs. 

Together we pulled it off, he asking questions all about Liverpool, the Cavern club, and of course, the Beatles’ early days, which I not only knew, but as a lad of twelve, I saw the boys preform with a skiffle group called The Quarrymen before they even formed the Beatles.

For weeks and months after the show, people in Coronado were still talking about the time Paul McCartney called into KCBQ radio and spoke with Lee Baby Simms for an hour even waiting between commercials. I remained blissfully silent, and even though I wanted to tell everyone, it was more mysterious and exciting to keep the secret.

Ironically, when I did try to tell people that it was I and not Paul McCartney, they just would not believe me.

It saddens me deeply to report that Lee was diagnosed with stomach cancer and became so despondent that he took his own life.

“Goodnight sweet prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”

From: Hamlet. William Shakespeare. April 1564 ?April 23, 1616.

Radio stations across the nation issued this sad bulletin.

It has been widely reported that radio legend Lee Baby Simms took his own life at his home in Walnut Creek, California on January 28, 2015. He had reportedly been diagnosed with cancer. Simms was 71.

One of the most colorful air personalities during the heyday of American rock and roll radio, Simms worked at 35 stations in 22 cities and found himself on the wrong side of a pink slip at least two dozen times. 



Posted in Autumn 2021, Clarion Rock | Leave a comment



Dateline 1980: Like many of us, I got hip to The Doors after reading, then rereading, No One Here, Gets Out Alive. 1983: My first visit to LA, my hostess seems quite perplexed that the first thing I want to see is a small motel on the corner of La Cienega and Santa Monica. The Alta Cienega. To room #32. I knock and a vaguely actor type of guy in his 20’s answers the door.

“I paid $220 for the week you are the fifth person here in two days, you have two minutes to look around.”

Inside, I found a regular little motel room ordinary in every way except for one thing: James Douglas Morrison chose this place to hang his hat.

In ’83 all the fixtures in the bathroom were original. I walked into the bathroom, firmly grabbing the doorknob, touching the sink, the window, opening my mind’s eye. Yes, this was the place. So much history happened within these walls. No graffiti at all except two small notes behind the wall mounted TV, scribbled in pen by different hands. The first said plainly:

“Jim Morrison lived here from 1968-1971.”

The next missive was a bit more obtuse: “

Jim Morrison is alive and well in South Africa”.

There was one other non regulation non sequitur to be found outside the room’s only window, visible from the street in eight inch print, drawn in pencil:

Jim’s Joint.

Soon after, I did manage to get a paperback of JDM’s The Lords and The New Creatures. From reading those words, I too, became inspired to write poetry of my own and to live the life of a poet by honing my writing skills and generally living life to excess.

And that’s just what I did for the next 10 years or so. Then along comes Wilderness the “lost” poems of JDM. Some of you may ask why I refer to Jim as JDM? I did not ever meet “Jim” through a song or in person, it was the words he left that tell me that Jim wanted to be taken seriously as a writer. He signed his books of poetry, James Douglas Morrison.

Since this is how he wanted to be presented to me, his reader, I honor this. It’s too cumbersome to write out every time so I use JDM, feeling that just saying or writing “Jim” is somehow not appropriate.

So along about 1990, I find myself reading Wilderness. On page 84 I stumbled onto a gem of a poem that makes mention of the green hotel, rm. 32, JDM’s Alta Cienega.

            Iam a guide to the labyrinth
            Come & See me
in the green hotel
I will be there after 9:30

I will show you the girl of the ghetto
I will show you the burning well
I will show you strange people
haunted, beast-like on
verge of evolution

               -Fear the Lords who are
secret among us

And then for me it happened, gradually at first. I began to devour all things related to JDM and the Doors. I had to have every scrap of the puzzle that was The Doors. All the facts and myths, photos, music. Only the tacky collectibles were safe from my appetite. Id’ get a book or two to read and reflect on during the winter months. Many made mention of The Alta Cienega as well as other West Hollywood spots, Barney’s Beanery, The Palms, and The Phone booth.

My curiosity only grew about much of JDM’s life. But the most puzzling thing to me (and the most

The author’s obsession
brings him
to the Alta Cienega

enviable) was his lack of want for material goods. And while he could have lived in a fine home or hotel, why did he choose this little motel? I could speculate for pages, but my underlying belief is he just didn’t want the responsibility of maintaining a home and all that entails. Plus it was right across the street from work, cutting down his commute time.

Basically I feel we all search for some piece of JDM, be it in the music, the poetry, books on his life, posters, photos, autographs, you name it. I am sure that’s what brings everyone to Paris to see where he lived and was buried. I labored hard and long on the decision to go this year.

Flashbacks of a Who concert gone awry I attended years ago to this day make me leery of crowds. I needed a plan. I decided that going to the Alta Cienega would be the thing to do. To get the famous “Jim Morrison Memorial Room.” (This was what the brass plaque on the door to Rm. 32 indicated when I was there the previous month.)

About three weeks prior to the anniversary of JDM’s death I contacted the resident owner/manager Charlie Yang. I had met Charlie briefly the previous visit. When I arrived at the motel then, the door to the famous room was open for cleaning. Video camera in hand I climbed the same stairs I had 18 years ago. The same stairs JDM climbed all the time in his day. The room was very much as I remembered it with one glaring exception, now an entire wall was devoted to graffiti most of which was very sophomoric.

As I was checking in that day a young tourist from the UK was right behind me, inquiring about “that room.” Obviously he was on the trail of JDM much like myself. A brief discussion about JDM ensued. From behind the motel counter stood Charlie Yang, a Taiwanese immigrant in his early 60’s. Charlie has most unusual eyes, blue colored and mismatching like a husky or malamutes. I asked him:

“Do you like Morrison?”

The corners of his mouth tightened slightly before a smile spread to his face and he replied with his native accent:

“Oh Yes, I like Jeeem!”

Charlie had told me then that until recently a photo of “Jeeem” had been in the room but was recently stolen.

“Not a problem I assured him, I’ll be sending you a new one.”

That night I slept in Rm.14, but I reasoned there was a chance JDM had slept in many of the rooms there, checking in and out many times. That night I was determined to go walk and drink where the man had done so, so many years before.

First stop: The Palms. Located in the same spot all these years, it is a narrow long bar lined with mirrors. The only thing that has changed in all these years seems to be the bar’s clientele. It took me a drink, then another to head toward the patio out back. For perhaps two minutes I labored under the misconception that there was a high percentage of women there.

Then, while negotiating between some chairs, I was briefly harangued by a lesbian. Suddenly I realized that there was a high percentage of women there, me being the only man. To cut to the chase, West Hollywood is a very gay area these days. Gone are the topless bars and pool halls of JDM’s time. Now frozen yogurt stands and tanning parlors lie in their wake. Still I met a new friend named Vicky and we proceeded to walk down Santa Monica to the famous Barney’s Beanery.

As we walked by a small two-story building near the corner of La Cienega, now Benvenuto’s Ristorante, I paused to a light a smoke and peered toward the former Doors office.

At Barney’s I told Vicky why she had found me at a dyke bar in West Hollywood. She seemed interested that such a man’s man had frequented the popular “dyke bar”. I suggested the bar had only turned gay since JDM had left LA. I joked too, that many women had probably jumped the fence after JDM’s untimely demise.

More drinks and back to my room, I had an early flight. It was then that I decided I needed to go back on the thirtieth anniversary of JDM’s death.

Once home, I began to assemble the necessary items for my return. I obtained a copy of my favorite JDM picture and had it matted and framed. Next I did the same to the poem previously mentioned. Then I assembled all the poetry books I had of JDM’s; various photo books on the Doors and, of course, every tick of Doors music in the house. A red votive candle, enough beer and brown liquor to stagger 20 men or women and various sundry items.

My best friend, Linda, shares a birthday with JDM, mine is on Pamela’s (22 December). She shares my passion for all things Morrison and agreed to make the journey with me.

I had reservations for the 2nd and 3rd. From my home in New Mexico, it is about a fourteen-hour drive to LA. On the 30th of June we set off toward LA, more specifically JDM’s LA. Twelve hours and change we were driving up La Cienega. Almost everything we did was centered on The Doors and JDM and West Hollywood. Now in the early morning hours a full two days ahead of schedule, we arrived.

A quick drink at Barney’s then we headed to the motel. Charlie’s wife, Mrs. Yang, checked us in. Giddy and grinning we fell asleep in an upstairs room that night. The next morning Charlie told us we could move into Rm. 32 a day early. Gone was the brass plaque that hung so proudly only weeks before. Replaced by another sign that read “House of Jim Morrison 1968-1970.” Nearby Room 31 was labeled accordingly “Friend Of Jim Morrison.”

Not only did Charlie like Jeeem he also seemed to like Jeeem’s friends! Babe Hill, January Jansen and Michael McClure all spoke of staying in an adjacent room at times. Odds are good that one of them actually used that room. So I thought it appropriate. I brought lots of everything. Pictures of JDM to give out, poems printed on parchment. I figured there would surely be lots of well-wishers on such a momentous day.

Over the next three days I got to know the area very well and cornered Charlie Yang as often as possible. Many of the questions I posed to him were in regard to the building and surrounding area. Charlie it seems had purchased the motel just after JDM checked out.

As it seems the “Green Hotel” still is green. The trim has always been green. The main body of the building has varied from sand to beige was painted it’s present only slightly darker version in 1994. Around this time the motel underwent further restoration to include new bathroom fixtures and shower doors, carpet etc.

I set off on many walks in all directions eyeing the skyline and making mental calculations as to what buildings may or may not have been visible 30 plus years ago. To walk out the rear of the motel is surely the shortest route to Monaco Liquors as well as the Doors office. This is assuming there has always been a set of stairs from the alley to Monaco’s. A safe bet since the retaining wall there and parking area surely date to the time of the building. Naturally the preferred route to Barney’s and The Phone Booth would have been through the front.

According to many locals I talked to, this was not considered a bad motel in the day. More or less standard fare. And, at $10, not the bottom of what was available. There are no phones in any of the rooms. Not to worry though should you receive a call or are needed by the desk, there is a buzzer in the room. Painted over, still on the wall in room 32 is a small button that in turn would buzz the front desk.  Down the steps you go to the phone located in the tiny lobby. Outgoing calls are placed at one of two pay phones located near the foot of the stairs. This was a phone booth in the era of JDM.

Sunset strip is a good walk but just up the top of a steep hill as one exit left out the motel entrance. To the right is now the remainder of the Garden District once known as Restaurant

Was Pamela
displeased by the Doors’
demands on Jim?

Row. Just across Santa Monica heading south, one today, finds The Clear Thoughts Building. (947 N. La Cienega) Once the home of Themis, Pamela’s boutique. JDM also rented office space up above where he headquartered editing of the films Feast of Friendsand HWY. I expected a grand building with such a grand name. You can expect early American strip mall.  

Closer still to The Alta Cienega is the former home of Elektra Recording at 962 La Cienega. Going further down the block reveals many old restaurants and antique stores and Barney’s Beanery.

From Barney’s continue to the East on Santa Monica to Sweetzer Ave. turning right onto Norton Ave. There at 8216 1/2 is the last address of JDM in the USA. An unassuming white stucco building, JDM’s publicist, Diane Gardiner, lived downstairs at 8216. This small area of West Hollywood was JDM’s universe for a time. From the locations of Pamela’s home and business and given the size of LA, it is safe to assume that while she may have disliked the business of the Doors and it’s demands on her man, she did position herself very strategically.

While in LA we were often wondering what was going on in Paris. Searching the daily papers for news there was none save for a small article that appeared in the July 2nd edition of the LA Times, which predicted a turn out of 100,000 fans in Paris.

Our days fell into a somewhat of a regular routine. Up at the crack of noon, then off to lunch usually at Barney’s. Our totals are not added yet but I think we spent $600 there in four days. Too bad JDM carried a MasterCard instead of a Visa because I thought of the perfect commercial. Motel Bill: $260, Bar tab at historic rock and roll hotspot: $600, listing your address on one hour photo as 1005 N. La Cienega #32, Priceless… Well, you get the picture.

Curiously enough during our stay not a single fan showed up at the motel. We had the privacy JDM may have enjoyed in the era. As the folks in Paris were awaking to some over priced ouefs (eggs to the rest of us), served up by a rude French waiter, on the morning of July 3rd, almost thirty years to the minute that the fire brigade of the 4th arrondissement was arriving at 17 rue Beautreillis, I was testing my theory that if you drink enough Jim Beam you can sing like Jim Morrison. Karaoke at Barney’s.

I was doubtful I’d even get called. There were some regulars who were quite good. After about five Jim Beams the ringers were done and some bad singers followed. I couldn’t do much worse. I had chose to sing LA WOMAN, a song I lament was never performed live by JDM. The time was 12:25 am 3 July 2001, with the time change almost exactly thirty years to the minute.

Faced with a few seconds of dead air and a live mic I started in with “bring out your dead, bring out your dead,” then started singing, back to the audience in sweet memory of “our injured leader.” I’m not sure I was any good. I’m not sure the crowd knew the significance of the day or hour but I am sure I really felt JDM’s presence with me there.

The day of the 3rd we headed off to Griffith Park Observatory and then to Venice Beach for the afternoon. JDM spoke of Venice in the “60s as a “beach town, with a dying arcade feel”. It still has that flavor to this day. It just never died.

Back to the motel in time to see the best part of Oliver Stone’s film about The Doors, the end credits. For our last night in LA we went to the former Doors office, Benvenuto, for dinner. Nice, fancy Italian food like my Momma never made. Fueled by some after dinner espresso, it was back to Barney’s for a nightcap.

The morning of the 4th we bid farewell to Charlie and The Alta Cienega. True to my word I presented him with the framed photo of “Jeeem” and the poem I am A Guide To The Labyrinth. We got to know Charlie well the few days we were there. When pressed, he admits to wanting to retire in the next year or two and tour Europe.

He also revealed there is interest from parties on the East Coast about buying the motel. This confirmed my fears that in a few years this location may be a McDonald’s or a 7 Eleven. Where are the historic preservation nerds when you need them? If you get to LA, go see this place before the bulldozer gets it. Two acres in LA has got to be worth some big bucks by now.

When you get there tell Charlie, Michael sent you. Keep your graffiti to the already wrote on portion of the walls. Before we left I could not resist adding my own:

                    Ode to Jim Mo
They said he was always reading
carrying a book
Long haired film student
gotta get that look

Before we could leave LA there was “still one place to go”.

South on I-5 we headed to see Pamela’s resting spot. At the Fairhaven Cemetery in Santa Ana in a small crypt lies the ashes that once was Pamela Susan Courson. One would think she is in the fancy historic mausoleum, however she is not. As one goes through the gates, she is located in a set of vaults to the left of the gate in a set of collumburs known as Garden Courts.

The air was dank and humid as we found her crypt. The smell of fresh flowers was overwhelming. We found our mood suddenly change to a sullen remorseful silence as we stood and made photographs. The air and the quietness seemed to engulf us and we pondered the inky blackness of those who sleep in the dust.

Someone had already placed a small corsage of peach carnations with baby’s breath and fern. We felt no need to leave the ones we had brought. After reciting Orange County Suite and stepping back into the fading light of the late afternoon, we contemplated the many miles that lay between LA and Paris.





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All aboard!

Train driver Mike Yacovetti eases his train gently out of Union station San Diego for a trip to Los Angeles Ca.

The conductor C J Hardman and his crew, Oscar Olivas, Scott Wasilevich, Luis Rodrigues, and Paul Wilson, are all about to take me on a magic Carpet Ride made of steel, or at least it feels like that.

Instead of sitting in gridlocked traffic on the freeway and sit in luxury as if I am a VIP attended by an utterly professional and friendly staff who make my journey exquisitely pleasant.

No! this is not a glorious dream that I will soon awaken from, it is real and I am wide awake.

I sit watching the sunrise over the pacific ocean and as I look right, I see miles of cars stalled on the freeway and the faces inside are stressed and even angry as they stew inside their vehicles.

They have to wait to go to the restroom because just to exit takes more than 10 minuets and getting back on takes even longer. Bu contrast I am lovingly attended by people who love their jobs and take great pride in their work.

For the few bucks extra it is worth traveling business class and you might also say “First Class’  because it feels like you are with your family and friends on a trip together to some exotic destination.

When I say “Magic Carpet made of steel” I do so because save for a few bends or curves, the ride is so smooth and silent it feels like I am gliding along on velvet wheels.

I travel every week on the same train and not once or twice, but very single time the service is glorious and I truly am a VIP.

Take my advice and do not drive but take the Magic Carpet Ride Of Steel instead.


Al Graham

Editor: Coronado Clarion.

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Meeting The Lizard King

Meeting the Lizard King

Admiral Morrison, accompanied by his wife, Clara, had driven to Dulles Airport to pick up their daughter, Anne, her husband, Alan Graham, myself, who they hadn’t seen since England, and our new grandchild, Dylan.

For six weeks, we newlyweds lived with the family in the posh suburb just a few miles across from the Potomac River. A retired secretary of defense, a retired admiral, and a Pentagon intelligence official were among their neighbors – a veritable who’s who of Washington’s elite.

On the sixth day of the sixth week, the Admiral received orders to immediately fly to Coronado, California, in order to assume command of Carrier Division Nine Battle Group. He left the next day. Clara was left behind to pack up all of their belongings and have them shipped along with the rest of the family to their new home, wherever that might be. For military families, this is commonplace. They learn instincts similar to those of a nomadic tribe which can pack up its tents in the night, and leave no trace of their presence by next morning.

The three of us flew on ahead to stay in San Diego, California with the Morrisons’ lifelong friend, Commander Andy Richards. Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood were all just a two-hour ride away. The Graham tribe set off to find Anne’s once-disappeared and now-rediscovered older brother, Jim Morrison of the Doors, renting a car and heading off for the megalopolis — Los Angeles. On the way, I stopped to call information for the listing of Elektra Records in West Hollywood. I then called the recording company, telling them who I was in relation to their hottest artist, and that I wanted to contact Jim. They gave me the Doors’ office number.

I called and repeated the request. The receptionist, after a shell shocked, ten-second silence, said, “Could you repeat that, please?”

She informed me that Jim was returning from a big concert in Texas and that he would be on the eleven a.m. flight from Houston to LAX. The Graham tribe arrived at 10:50. The following is a true life account of that meeting.

When Jim Morrison stepped off a jet at LAX in the summer of 1968, he was wearing an original World War II bomber jacket. Followed by bandmates Manzarek, Krieger, then Densmore, he sauntered through the terminal carrying an antique but cool- looking leather briefcase filled with his notebooks and pages of poetry and songs.

The Lizard King was wearing naval aviator glasses and black leather cowboy boots, which rendered him utterly ridiculous and ultra-cool in the same instant. Jim was ultra-cool to any teenager back then, but equally repulsive to people like Art Linkletter, the famous television pitchman, who also happened to be in the airport that day. Linkletter had a colossal hatred for all druggies or radicals, who were considered by the elder generation to be morally bankrupt. He was estranged from his eldest daughter, Dianne, who had joined the ranks of acid dropping teens and was out of her father’s control, just like Jim Morrison was.

As Jim strode along, Linkletter had crossed directly in front of him, causing him to stop abruptly so as not to be bowled over by the obvious disdain the pitchman harbored for all things hippie. Morrison watched as the rude, angry personality elbowed his way through the crowd. Jim adjusted his military/hippie outfit and said out loud but to no one in particular, that was Art Linkletter. What an asshole. Ahh, never mind. I never liked him anyway.”

The very next year, Dianne Linkletter jumped to her death from her sixth floor apartment. Linkletter immediately blamed The Beatles for turning her onto LSD through their evil music.

Morrison grabbed his bag from the luggage carousel. As he turned to leave the terminal, a young woman with a babe in arms approached him saying, “Hi, Jim.” Manzarek, Krieger, and Densmore kept on walking, having witnessed this same ritual a thousand times before. A young fan would spot the group and would come over to meet Jim. Often the others would be ignored or thought of as secondary because Jim loomed larger than the mere Doors. He was a Rock God-Idol and the others were his assistants, or so it seemed to millions of star struck teenage girls all over the world who would, and often did, throw their knickers at him and would have made love to him on the spot in front of God and all.

Morrison slowly put down his briefcase and was poised to sign another autograph, right? Not so. Not this time. Even though this beautiful young woman with long flowing hair and an adoring smile had presented herself before Jim, she was not offering him her autograph book. Instead, she was offering her baby for him to hold.

Jim Morrison had never autographed a baby before and he certainly had not held one recently, if ever. He was utterly flummoxed. He took off his sunglasses and blinked twice still

wondering why there was no pen or the usual autograph request. He looked again at the baby, then at the woman, blinking again and again and again.

The Doors were now looking back to see if this woman was showing Jim Morrison the result of yet another romantic liaison from a one-night stand she and he had engaged in. Was she now demanding child support? In fact, this very same thought was starting to seep into Jim’s own mind. The Doors decided that they would keep on ahead after all. As they left, they saw Jim holding the baby in his arms looking very confused. Jim looked at them helplessly as Ray, Robby, and John, disappeared like snow in August.

Jim’s eyes slowly returned to the woman, studying her face closely, and then, gingerly offering, “You wouldn’t happen to be my sister, would you?”

Anne smiled from ear to ear. Speaking in an excited gush, she blurted out, “Yes, I am and say hello to your nephew. His name is Dylan Stephen and this is my husband, Alan.”

Jim looked at the three of us for a long time. He had not seen Anne since disappearing three years earlier. Jim Morrison, Rock-God-Idol, was speechless. Now the very same reality he

had abruptly abandoned when he decided to erase all connections with his family was standing before him, in the form of his sister as a married woman with a child whom she had just physically thrust into her brother’s arms.

We all stood looking at each other. We were in L’America: Los Angeles — Hollywood, California – in the airport with Jim Morrison in the summer of 1968, just before all hell broke loose and the whole shit house went up in flames. After what seemed an eternity, Jim shifted the baby to his hip and it was as if he had never been away from his sister at all. As he marched proudly through the terminal, he said, “Come on. I want you to meet everyone.”

We drove from the airport on a glorious summer day. Jim sat up front talking excitedly to Anne as if she was the one who had disappeared and he was trying to catch up on the news of her life. He never once mentioned his father or mother during the conversation, but focused instead on his sister and his little brother, Andy, and their lives. It was as if he needed several missing pieces to complete the psycho-emotional jigsaw puzzle.

We took the San Diego Freeway north for a few miles, then west on the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway (Santa Monica Freeway) to the City of Santa Monica.


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Autumn 2021 (Front Cover)

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Unlike the fictional Hotel California from the hit song by the Eagles, where all manner of strange guests stayed, The Motel Alta Cienega had only on famous guest and that was Jim Morrison.

THE ALTA CIENEGA HOTEL IS seemingly run-of-the-mill for West Hollywood; the pock-marked, aqua-hued walls don’t quite match and inside the decor hasn’t been updated since the ’80s. But don’t be fooled by the exterior, as Room 32 is what has cemented the hotel’s legacy in rock and roll history.

This used to be Jim Morrison’s private sanctuary  It was a place for him to kick back, and or pass out, He was said to have stayed there while recording “L.A. Woman” at a studio across the street on Santa Monica blvd.

After Morrison’s death in 1971, the public took charge and made the room their personal shrine to the man, commemorating him with decades of graffiti.

The breadth of these trippy visuals is shocking. No surface in the room is without lines of poetry from Jim’s journals, Doors’ lyrics, personal messages, and insane drawings. The TV, the showerhead, the inside of drawers, and the air conditioner—they all bear messages from mourning Doors fans, some as old as 1971 and others added as recently as yesterday. Anyone is welcome to bring their own sharpie and leave a “scar” upon the place.

For a price, that is. The hotel has really cashed in on the room over the years, charging anywhere from $70 to $160 to spend the night in the shrine. Just visiting the room is an option as well, to the tune of roughly a dollar a minute. To commemorate the occasion, you can purchase a keychain on your way out for $10. The room is musty and grimy, with paper thin walls and few amenities, all the better to channel the ghosts of rock and roll history.

In October 2021 the property now sits shuttered and gated while it is decided what use it will be put to.

Among others there are rumors of an affordable housing project is being considered, but as of this writing it is still undecided.

A.R. GRAHAM  Oct. 2021

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I went to Los Angeles for a family reunion and to play a couple of gigs with my band The Ghost Cowboys.

My black Stetson hat got beat up in my suitcase and it needed some tender loving care so I want to the nearest Hatter called Baron Hats in downtown LA.

Mark Mejia the owner asked me when I needed it bye and I said, “I have a gig in a few hours”.

Like any cleaning service it takes a couple of days and if you want a rush job it would still be a day.

Mark took the hat back to the workshop and returned in about ten minutes with what looked like a brand new one. He had steamed brushed and shaped it so beautifully, I a was so happy but even happier when he said “No Charge”.

Anyone else would have charged ay least seventy five dollars but Mark did not and he sent me off to do my gig feeling pretty good.

What a kind gentleman he is, and a practitioner of the real old school businessman ethics, it not just all about the money, it’s about treating people like human beings.

If you are in Los Angeles please go by and view all the classic custom made hats.

ALAN GRAHAM  Editor Coronado Clarion.


 546 S Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Between 5th and 6th On the third floor.

Phone: (818) 563-3025

Kraig Saito
Local Guide
Visited their new location in Downtown LA and I love their set up! There’s a waiting room in front of the elevator entrance and a walk-around display area for their hats. They’re still moving their inventory from the other location, so there will be more to see in a couple of weeks! The service is excellent and the staff are very knowledgeable. I brought my western hat to get the brim reblocked after a TSA employee (In HOUSTON!) forced my hat (brim-side-down) into a small space of the security bin and bent my brim out of shape. Can’t wait to get my hat restored by Baron Hats. Thank you for your hospitality and service!
Alfonzo moreno
A month ago
Great hat shop. Took my vintage stetson cowboy hat to replace the sweatband and Mark did just that. I was in and out the same day.



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Excerpted from:
I Remember Jim Morrison.
By: Alan Graham.
Countless stories, many of them outrageous, have grown up over the years regarding the reason or reasons why Jim claimed, in his official Elektra publicity biography, that his parents and siblings were dead, therefore he had no past. The real reason, conveniently overlooked for years – perhaps for lack of sex appeal – is that Jim, always willful, was running away from very strict Navy parents who expected great things from him, and to whom greatness meant becoming part of the system they believed in, which was one he had learned to loathe.
It didn’t bother Jim’s siblings, him claiming the family was dead, since they came from the same strict military home and shared an understanding about keeping the wild side dark. They didn’t take it as an insult. In fact, Andy tried to run away from home in London to be with Jim in California, but his parents, with the help of their naval chauffeur, Sid, apprehended him at Heathrow Airport, and brought him home. And when asked about Jim’s statement years later, the Admiral said, “he probably did it to protect the family.”
Unlike the many baseless myths drummed up about him, Jim never treated his family poorly. He just wanted to pretend they no longer existed in his new world. This action ultimately made it easier for him to pursue a lifestyle opposite to their proscriptions – one that was free flowing and creative with no antiquated rules and ideals under which he had to live.
In 1964, when Jim moved to the West Coast to attend UCLA Film School, he hung his potential naval career on the first palm tree he passed on his way into Hollywood. Morrison had always been a literary scholar, ardently passionate about poetry, and drawn to the philosophy of Nietzsche in particular. In film, the budding young student found a new avenue through which to express himself.
After a childhood of strict, repressive parenting, umbilicus soon to be severed, he began to feel the cleansing, first breaths of freedom. There came a great sense of release as the poet began to discover his wings as a filmmaker, “the feeling,” as he put it himself, of a bowstring being pulled back for 22 years and suddenly being let go.”
The 1960’s was an exciting decade for the offspring of the Greatest Generation. This new generation embraced change and openness in direct opposition to their parents’ pragmatism and caution. Jim was to become one of its leaders, pushing for changes, testing the boundaries. From the grave, he has continued to lead, in one form or another, over the past forty years. From the music to his lyrics to his poetry, his greatest love, and fortunately, a strong part of his legacy, if not the greater part.
The Admiral and the Rock Idol
At U.C.L.A. Film School, Jim Morrison found himself. Film was a medium of endless dimension. He decided he wanted to become a director.
Professor Ed Brokaw loved Morrison. In an interview after the singer’s death, he would describe Jim as a genius. Francis Ford Coppola, Carol Ballard, and many more now-famous directors had also attended his classes, but Morrison had much better stuff. He graduated in 1965 with a degree in cinema and fine arts, writing the Admiral a “this is what I’m going to do with my life, Dad,” letter.
Needless to say, he Admiral did a backwards somersault. What, no Naval Academy? No discipline? No Admiral Junior? Jumping Jesus! No son of mine is going to get involved in the Commie, anti-war movie industry! John Wayne movies are fine, but this creative crap is out! How could you study in a field that can’t possibly make you a living? No, film making is not for you! Cut your hair and get a real job. If you don’t, you’ll get no support from me!
Jim lived on the beach in Venice for the next year, scrounging food from a dumpster in the back of a grocery store and sleeping like a rat under an old tarp on somebody’s rooftop. The Admiral searched in vain. He wanted to find his son for one reason only and that was to make him honor his obligation to the draft board.
As ever, Fate would have its mysterious way. Instead of becoming le nouveau realisateur de film extraordinaire du jour (the extraordinary new filmmaker of the day), Morrison became le nouvel idole extraordinaire de roche du jour (the extraordinary new rock idol of the day).
Neither was a fate his father would have chosen for him. Nor did his father have a say. The die was cast.
In 1967, “Light My Fire” was number one in the nation. Morrison finally surfaced, his face peering mysteriously from the front of an album cover. Mrs. Admiral bought two dozen copies, hiding them from her husband (which explains her foreknowledge of her son’s appearance on the Sullivan show). Her first born was famous.
Time Magazine ran an article on The Doors. It was a flattering critique of Jim’s lyrics and singing style. The Admiral’s secretary slipped a copy on his desk with the morning coffee. The naval officer was not amused. It took him three decades to get where he was. Jim had achieved much more in a very short time. Jim’s salary dwarfed his father’s, enraging the materialistic Admiral. “But those aren’t real dollars he’s making,” he reassured himself. “No one could make that much money in one night. It took me 30 years to make a fraction of that and I really had to work hard to do so.” Many sons have died tragically trying to earn their fathers’ approval. The work ethic has its own separate and devastating reality.
The ghost of John Paul Jones entered the Admiral’s Pentagon office. “You realize, of course, that this is the end of your career. Your revolutionary son has made it impossible for you to go any further in this man’s navy. What happened? How did he get so out of hand?”
The Admiral looked directly into the eyes of the first sea lord. “I don’t believe in ghosts,” he said.
Morrison’s lyrics jumped out of the Time Magazine and stuck to the walls.
“Do you know we are being led to slaughter by flaccid admirals and fat, slow generals are feeding on our blood?”
The Admiral rose from his desk and wiped them off the wall with a dirty rag.
“…Moment of freedom as the prisoner blinks in the sun like a mole from his hole A child’s first trip away from home…”
“…We of the purple glove / We of the starling flight & velvet hour / We of Arabic pleasure’s breed / We of sundome & the night / Give us a creed / To believe…” – Jim Morrison  – 1969.

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Jim Morrison’s Scottish Ancestors

Doors legend Jim Morrison’s Scottish heritage uncovered as former brother-in-law  reveals rock star’s striking resemblance to great-great-grandad

The American Poet’s family tree can be traced back to the Outer Hebrides in the 18th century.

Posted in Autumn 2021, Clarion Rock, Winter 2022 | Leave a comment

Depression In Depth


I am Meredith, a registered nurse, and a health writer. The reason why  
I am contacting you is that I came across your site recently while  
doing some research about depression.

The article which I am referring to is this one here:


I have written a similar in depth post on the topic of depression  
recently, and perhaps you would like to check it out. My article can  
be found here:


In my article, I cover all the key aspects of this illness, together  
with different types of depression and medication options.  There is  
also a detailed infographic about depression on the same page (at the  
very bottom)


Perhaps your readers would find this interesting and useful as well.

Thank you for your time and effort for providing great info on this  
horrible disease that many people know so little about!

With best regards,

Meredith Rogers

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Doors legend Jim Morrison’s Scottish heritage uncovered.

Doors legend Jim Morrison’s Scottish heritage uncovered as former brother-in-law reveals rock star’s striking resemblance to great-great-grandad

The American Poet’s family tree can be traced back to the Outer Hebrides in the 18th century

But the family tree of Jim Morrison can be traced back to the Outer Hebrides in the 18th century – a little-known fact highlighted by Jeremy Corbyn on his tour of marginal seats in Scotland.

The Labour leader revealed he was a fan of the late Riders On The Storm star last month on a visit to Lewis, which was once home to the singer’s ancestors.

Jeremy Corbyn at Callanish Stones during a visit to the Isle of Lewis.

Jim’s former brother-in-law, author Alan Graham, says the Doors frontman would have seen the politician as a kindred spirit.

Alan, who lives in California, said: “Jim and Jeremy are like two peas in a pod – vociferous, passionate, rebellious lads.

“The FBI had a file on Jim and he was considered a dangerous leftie.

“Just look at the lyrics of the song Five To One – ‘They got the guns/But we got the numbers.’

“Morrison was almost a revolutionary talking that kind of stuff at concerts.

“I bet Jim would have loved Jeremy.”

During his visit to Lewis, Corbyn was asked by reporters if he would welcome Donald Trump, whose mother was born on the island.

Jim Morrison of The Doors in 1968
Would Jim and Jeremy be kindred spirits?

The Labour leader said he would rather see Jim Morrison, whose relatives also hailed from there.

Alan, who was married to Jim’s younger sister Anne, said: “I laughed my ass off when I read that.

“Of course, I can imagine why Jeremy Corbyn said that.

“Trump is so unpopular now in America. Even his supporters are souring on him.

“A poll last week showed that just a third of voters believe the president is drawing the country together. People now look fondly on George W Bush.”

Jim Morrison’s family tree shows that direct ancestor Alexander Morrison was born in Lewis in 1750.

But according to Alan, Jim’s family – his father George was an admiral in the US Navy – spoke very little about their roots.

Alan, 73, said: “The admiral said the family was originally from the Outer Hebrides. He also said he was a direct descendant of Robert the Bruce in an almost jokingly way – but there are some Bruces in the family tree. However, I don’t think they did research.

Jim’s former brother-in-law Alan Graham.

“Jim knew from his parents he was Scottish but never lived to see the research I did. I think he would have found it interesting. He might even have written about it or incorporated it into his poetry.”

Alan discovered that Alexander Morrison emigrated to America in April 1781 and settled in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Alexander’s wife is not named on records but he had three sons.

John was born in Lewis in 1780 and second son William was born just six weeks after the family arrived in America.

William married Sarah Slemmons, from Ireland, and their youngest son Stephen was born in 1826 in Butler County, Pennsylvania.

Stephen, who was Jim’s great-great- grandfather, fought on the Union side in the American Civil War, and took part of the Battle of Gettysburg, in which more than 50,000 were killed or injured.

A photograph of Stephen Morrison shows a remarkable resemblance to the Doors singer, who died in Paris in 1971, aged just 27.

The resemblance is uncanny.

Alan, author of the book I Remember Jim Morrison, said: “When I morphed the two photos together, I thought, ‘Wow!’ They both have the same amazing eyes, lips and nose. It blew my mind. I asked myself, ‘How could Jim look so much like his great-great-grandfather?’

“The answer must be strong genes in the Morrison family.”

Alan, originally from Liverpool, met Jim’s younger sister Anne in London where she was studying.

They married in 1966 and moved to the US two years later, where Alan met his brother-in-law for the first time.

Alan said: “He stepped off a flight on a hot Californian day wearing a World War II leather bomber jacket.

“He looked both ridiculous and cool at the same time. He was wearing aviator sunglasses with a green tint, Levi’s and cowboy boots, and carrying an antique briefcase stuffed with his writings.”

Alan said he got on well with his brother-in-law but added: “I hold the distinction for being the first guy to knock his ass out.

“He had a reputation for causing trouble wherever he went. Everyone wanted to beat him up but he met a kid from Liverpool who wouldn’t take his s***. I knocked the crap out of him and gave him two beautiful black eyes. He looked liked a panda for the next three weeks.”

Jim’s ancestry can be traced back to Lewis.

Alan could see that the singer was spiralling out of control.

He said: “Jim became the greatest guy in the world after a few drinks. After a few more, he became the roughest guy in the world and you had to knock his ass out.

“He had a serious drinking problem from a young age, and when I met him he was well on his way to being 6ft under.

“We met for breakfast and even before our eggs arrived, he had knocked back two double tequilas and a beer. That was eight in the morning.

“I remember him saying that he woke up one day and felt he was surrounded by spirits. His sister said, ‘Yeah, Jim Beam, Jack Daniel’s and Johnnie f****** Walker.’

“He didn’t have too long to live and I think he knew it. He had a tragic aura. He died at 27 but, to be honest, he was really gone by about 25.”

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New York’s Stunning Botanical Gardens

#1. brooklyn botanic garden

  • Size: 52 acres
  • Location: Brooklyn, New York
  • Website: https://www.bbg.org/
  • Known for: Its efforts to promote green space in urban areas

Work began on Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 1897, with 39 acres set aside for the urban green space. The original plan for the Garden was completed by the Olmsted brothers, the owners of the first architectural business in the United States. The Garden officially opened to the public in May 1911.

BBG now has a children’s gardening program, plant pavilions with unique climates, and over 42 species of Cherry trees. Brooklyn Botanic Garden is also home to one of the first Japanese gardens opened in the country.


Photo by Dan licensed under CC BY 2.0

#2. missouri botanical garden

Hardware salesman, Henry Shaw, opened the Missouri Botanical Garden in 1859 after falling in love with the area and promising to turn it into something wonderful. The Garden is now considered one of the most beautiful in the world, but it also dedicates itself to plant research and conservation with a Global Strategy that seeks to promote plant diversity throughout the world.

When you visit, you can’t miss taking a narrated tram tour of the Garden, which takes you through some of the most popular sights and attractions.


Photo by Aaron Carlson licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

#3. longwood gardens

  • Size: 1,077 acres
  • Location: Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
  • Website: https://longwoodgardens.org/
  • Known for: Year-round events and performances

Longwood Gardens came about by chance after American businessman and entrepreneur, Pierre S. du Pont, purchased a farm to preserve the land in 1906. He began hosting parties and theater experiences on the gardens and soon named the land Longwood. After du Pont’s death in 1954, Longwood Gardens was officially opened to the public.

The Gardens host several seasonal attractions and events for a one-of-a-kind experience. You can even earn a tuition-free horticultural degree through its educational services.


Botanical Gardens


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Surfing Dolphins

Copy of Copy of 618px x 416px – Untitled Design (1)

This dolphins turned up off Sennen Cove Cornwall England

One of the dolphins leaps clear of the sea. Picture: Malcolm BarradellCommon dolphins are one of four species regular seen around the Cornish coast. In recent weeks, pods of up to 150 individuals have been seen on the south coast at Porthleven and off the Lizard peninsula.


One of the dolphins rides in on a wave. Picture: Malcolm BarradellRead more:

The dolphins were pictured swimming in the waves just beyond where the stunned surfers were watching. They also put on a spectacular acrobatic display as they leapt from the water.

Read more at http://www.cornwalllive.com/dolphins-ride-waves-and-leap-in-the-air-astounding-surfers-off-sennen-cove-in-cornwall/story-30263928-detail/story.html#AdpsJOZHB6CZkAPG.99

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Amazing Power Of Dogs

  1. Your Dog’s Ability To See Ultraviolet Light Let’s Them See What You Can’t

While this supercharged nose can be used to help out humans, dogs also take advantage of this power for less heroic purposes. Have you ever come home from the grocery store with one of your dog’s favorite treats? The second you walk in that door, you are at the mercy of your dog’s nose and no packaging is going to thwart their ability. They can tell the moment their favorite food is nearby and they don’t waste a second looking for it!

2. The Detection Of Illness In Sick Humans

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A dog’s nose may be good for sniffing out a hidden treat, but they also use their super hero sniffing ability to help us humans. Amazingly, dogs, both with and without training, are able to detect illness in their human companions. While some dogs require formal training, like those trained to warn their owner about an oncoming epileptic seizure, other dogs can warn of us changes in our body due to illness, like cancer.

There are countless stories of dogs that have picked up on biological changes in the body resulting in cancer. Knowing that something is off, these dogs often persistently draw attention to a certain body part until their owner can no longer ignore the signs they are sending.

3. The Ability To READ YOUR MIND!!!


Okay, dogs can’t actually read your mind per say, but they are pretty darn good at reading your behaviour and making inferences about your future actions based on it. The reason for this is dogs use eye contact and follow their human’s gaze to determine what their owners are thinking. They’re so good at it that you don’t even have to say a word and your dog will often know what your next move is.

If you ask us, it seems like this ability is heightened when something unpleasant for the dog is about to happen, such as being given a bath. The second they see you look at them, then the bathtub or towel, they’re hightailing it out of there!

4. Prediction Of Natural Disasters

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This is one of your dog’s more spooky super powers, as researchers today are still unsure about exactly how it works. After every natural disaster, stories begin to pop up about people who were warned about the upcoming event by their pet’s unusual behaviour.

Researchers are not yet sure exactly how dogs, and other animals, are able to sense natural disasters before they happen, but there are a few theories. Some believe that they can sense chemical changes in groundwater that occur before earthquakes, while others believe that they can hear very low-frequency rumbles created by natural occurrences, such as earthquakes or volcanoes. These are also numerous researchers who believe that dogs use their strong sense of smell to detect changes in the air before disaster strikes. Either way, if you start to notice your dog acting weird, you might want to check the weather channel.

5. Finding The Way Home Without A Map


For those of you who are chronically lost, even with the help of modern technology, this is one doggie super power you might wish you had. Dogs are often able to find their way home, even from long distances.

The crazy thing about this is that dogs don’t need to have walked the route before to be able to find their way back, so how do they do it? Not surprisingly, a lot of this internal GPS is due to dog’s keen sense of smell. If your dog is in familiar territory, they are able to follow their own trail back home. Don’t worry though; your lost pup will do just as well in an unfamiliar territory by keeping a nose out for familiar scents. Once they identify a familiar scent, they are able to follow it until they find another familiar scent, eventually making their way home

6. And Last, But Not least, The Ability To See Their Own Farts


Source: Dog Shaming

I’m really not quite sure when this super power would ever come in handy, but it certainly would be entertaining. For some reason, researchers from the Rochester Institute of Technology were curious to see how dog’s brains reacted when they were exposed to the sight of gases from their owner, a stranger, other dogs, and themselves. From their spot in the MRI machine beside a window, the dogs observed the gases being released in the next room and when their own farts were released, their brain lit up. Interestingly, this didn’t happen when they saw the gases of their owner, a stranger, or another dog!

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So there you have it, six amazing dog super powers that humans would only dream of having. While some may be more entertaining than others, you never know when one of them might come in handy.

Now the real question is, will your dog use these powers for good or for evil? Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

 One Of The World’s Oldest Breeds Might Be At Risk Of Extinction

One Of The World’s Oldest Breeds Might Be At Risk Of Extinction

The kennel’s owner is Myrna Shiboleth, a celebrated breeder of the Canaan dog, and she’s worked hard to ensure the breed’s survival. Ever since moving to Israel from the United States nearly 46 years ago, she’s raised hundreds of Canaan dogs, a significant percentage of the breed’s population.


The Canaan dog is one of the oldest dog breeds known, having existed at least since biblical times, and earned special honor as the national dog of Israel. As Shiboleth points out, the Canaan dog is a natural breed, its DNA and make-up the same as it was before the animal was ever domesticated. Consequently, the Canaan dog is relatively free of the health and genetic problems afflicting newer breeds. Unfortunately, there is pressure on the Canaan dog because of the breed’s small surviving population. That pressure is sure to worsen if Shiboleth can’t find a new home to nurture the breed.


In the 1970s Shiboleth settled west of Jerusalem, on buildings unused since the early 20th century British occupation, to start her kennel. “We were looking for a place that wouldn’t bother anyone, that was isolated,” Shibboleth said. “The place had been abandoned since the British left.” She’s lived on the property ever since, which didn’t even have electricity or running water for her first 17 years on the property.


According to the Israel Land Authority, the property is owned by the state, and was never officially open for settlement. Six years ago, ILA land inspectors asked the residents to leave, but because of their refusal, the ILA chose to take legal action. In 2011, the ILA sued Shibboleth and other residents on the site, demanding that they vacate. Recently, Jerusalem’s Magistrate Court ruled in favor of the ILA, and now Shibboleth, 13 other residents of the site, and the kennel have been evicted. They must leave the property by mid April.


Shiboleth insists, “We never claimed to be the owners; we just wanted to live here.” Despite their best efforts over the years to arrange a rental agreement with the ILA, and a diligent effort to avoid altering the property, they were unable to settle their uncertain living situation. “Nobody asked us for rent; nobody was willing to talk to us at all,” Shiboleth said.


Shibboleth is crowdfunding on gofundme.com in the hopes of paying off her legal fees and relocating her kennel. So far she’s raised over $18,000 of her $25,000 goal. She’s filing an appeal but isn’t optimistic about the outcome. Finding a new home is the priority.

Related: 11 Rare Dog Breeds That Are Totally Underrated


11 Rare Dog Breeds That Are Totally Underrated

Shiboleth says the Canaan dog should be seen as an Israeli natural asset and contends that the government should invest in the preservation of the breed for coming generations, much like it protects other natural resources. As she puts it:

“This is one of the only breeds of dogs that still exists that is completely natural. We feel it’s very important to preserve them, because they are Israeli and because they are the original dog. This is the dog that existed for thousands of years, exactly as he is now.”

Dogs detect breast cancer from bandage: researchers

Mariëtte Le Roux

Assistant cynophilist Patrick Mairet, pictured in October 2016, and his dog Thor are part of the Kdog project, which aims to train dogs to detect breast cancer

View photos
Assistant cynophilist Patrick Mairet, pictured in October 2016, and his dog Thor are part of the Kdog project, which aims to train dogs to detect breast cancer (AFP Photo/PASCAL LACHENAUD)

Paris (AFP) – Dogs can sniff out cancer from a piece of cloth which had touched the breast of a woman with a tumour, researchers said Friday, announcing the results of an unusual, but promising, diagnostic trial.

With just six months of training, a pair of German Shepherds became 100-percent accurate in their new role as breast cancer spotters, the team said.

The technique is simple, non-invasive and cheap, and may revolutionise cancer detection in countries where mammograms are hard to come by.

“In these countries, there are oncologists, there are surgeons, but in rural areas often there is limited access to diagnostics,” Isabelle Fromantin, who leads project Kdog, told journalists in Paris.

This means that “people arrive too late,” to receive life-saving treatment, she added. “If this works, we can roll it out rapidly.”

Working on the assumption that breast cancer cells have a distinguishing smell which sensitive dog noses will pick up, the team collected samples from 31 cancer patients.

These were pieces of bandage that patients had held against their affected breast.

With the help of canine specialist Jacky Experton, the team trained German Shepherds Thor and Nykios to recognise cancerous rags from non-cancerous ones.

“It is all based on game-playing” and reward, he explained.

After six months, the dogs were put to the test over several days in January and February this year.

This time, the researchers used 31 bandages from different cancer patients than those the dogs had been trained on.

One bandage was used per experiment, along with three samples from women with no cancer.

– Saving lives –

Each bandage was placed in a box with a large cone which the dogs could stick their noses into, sniffing at each in turn — four boxes per test.

The exercise was repeated once with each sample, meaning there were 62 individual responses from the dogs in all.

In the first round, the dogs detected 28 out of the 31 cancerous bandages — a 90-percent pass rate, the researchers announced.

On the second try, they scored 100 percent — sitting down in front of the box containing the cancerous sample with their muzzle pressed deep into the cone.

“There is technology that works very well, but sometimes simpler things, more obvious things, can also help,” said Amaury Martin of the Curie Institute, citing the many untested stories of dogs having detected cancer in their owners.

“Our aim was see if we can move from conventional wisdom to… real science, with all the clinical and research validation that this entails.”

This was the proof-of-concept phase of Kdog.

The next step will be a clinical trial with more patients and another two dogs, but the team is still in need of project funding.

The team believes that one day dogs may be replaced by “sniffing” machines, possibly armies of electronic diagnosticians dedicated to analysing samples that people far from clinics would send them by the post.

In the meantime, Experton said there is little danger of the trained dogs using their new-found skills to accost cancer sufferers outside the lab.

“These tests happen within a very specific work environment,” he explained. “In a different context, these dogs are unlikely to simply pounce on random people in the street.”

The team says it is the only one to work with breast cancer detection from skin-touch samples.

Other research projects are testing canines’ ability to smell different types of cancer in samples of the skin itself, blood or urine, even the air people exhale.

In France, the chances of surviving ten years after a breast cancer diagnosis is about 85 percent, compared to around 50 percent in poorer countries.

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“dogs never bite me,  just humans” 

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Nina Odele  AKA Lynne Harpst

100-Year-Old Theater Is Now A Bookstore And It’s Spectacular

When I die, you can just bury me here….

For the girl whose dream in life is to have an exact replica of the “Beauty and the Beast” library in her house, visiting this bookstore would be like letting a kid loose in a candy shop. El Ateneo Grand Splendid lives up to its name by being both grand in size, and splendid in decoration.

Grand Splendid was originally built in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a tango theater back in 1919. In 1929, it was converted into a cinema and then finally into the grand bookstore it is now in 2000.


The architect behind the renovation, Fernando Manzone, aimed to preserve the detailed elegance of the theater, from the ornate balconies to the colorfully frescoed ceiling.


The bookstore covers a sprawling 21,000 square feet, draws in more than a million tourists, and sells about 700,000 books every year. And while most of the titles are printed in Spanish, just marveling at the theater-turned-bookshop is worth a trip.

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Colonel  Mad Mike Hoare


Michael Thomas Bernard Hoare, better known to the world as “Mad Mike”, was born in India in 1919. He spent his early days in India and was educated in England, but his blood was Irish. During World War 2 he served initially in the London Irish Rifles, became an expert in small arms, and then attended officer school. He then joined the Royal Armoured Corps as a 2nd lieutenant and in time headed east. He fought at the battle of Kohima in India, and in the Arakan, Burma. He was demobbed as major.
He completed his studies in London after the war and qualified as a chartered accountant. In 1948, now with a wife and child, he emigrated to Durban, South Africa. He made a good living in the motor business and ran safaris across the Kalahari to the Okavango Delta.
In 1961, after the Belgian Congo had become independent and the copper-rich province of Katanga had seceded from the Congo, Mike was recruited to assist Moise Tshombe of Katanga against the United Nations and Congolese forces, playing a minor role. When two of his men went missing, he mounted a patrol to locate the men, but found only their jeep.
In July 1964 after four years of uneasy independence, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was engulfed by a communist-inspired rebellion, which spread through the country with the speed and ferocity of a bush fire. The rebel soldiers, known as “Simbas”, struck terror into the hearts of civilians and national army alike, raping, looting and burning. Faced with this situation, Tshombe, on the advice of his South African aide, Jerry Puren, called Mike Hoare in again, and commissioned him to raise and lead a force of mercenary soldiers, to be called 5 Commando. Later Mike dubbed them the Wild Geese.
In 18 months Mike and his strike force liberated Stanleyville, freed many hundreds of European hostages, and finally restored law and order to the Congo. Mike led 5 Commando from July 1964 to December 1965. He was once called that “Mad Bloodhound Hoare” by an East Berlin broadcaster, because of his persistence in pursuing the enemy.

Before July 1964 Mike was virtually unknown, but 18 months later when he retired as Lt Colonel, he was one of the most famous mercenary leaders in the world. He had swept the Congo clean of savages, and made modern mercenary soldiering briefly but confusingly respectable. Hoare was quietly spoken, confident, cool, collected, charming in manner, boyish in looks, dapper in uniform, every inch the English officer and gentleman.

Mike was the technical advisor on the film “The Wild Geese” staring Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Roger Moore and a host of other stars. It is based on a novel by the Irish-born Rhodesia-based Daniel Carney. The film is accurate in detail and some say it was the best mercenary film ever made. The name “Wild Geese’ comes from the thousands of noble Irish mercenaries had fought in foreign armies in the 18th century, and they had called themselves ‘Wild Geese’.

In 1981, Hoare recruited a band of men and attempted a coup in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, but it failed and he and most of his men escaped by hijacking an airliner back to South Africa. They were all tried and given prison terms. Mike was released from prison on 7 May 1985 under an amnesty, having served 33 months of his ten-year sentence.

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A-8 Anchorage

Port Removes Debris from Former A-8 Anchorage


Boats, tires, batteries, metal containers, engines, and other debris are being pulled to the surface in South San Diego Bay, thanks to the efforts of the Port of San Diego.

An estimated 50 tons of debris from the bottom of the bay is being recovered and removed from the area known as the A-8 Anchorage. 

The A-8 Anchorage was an unlimited, free anchorage established in the 1980s to accommodate up to 150 vessels at any one time. Unfortunately, over the years, many vessels within the anchorage area sank because of winds, storms, or simply because the vessels weren’t seaworthy. 

The $219,500 project is 100 percent grant funded:

A Port of San Diego tenant, Pacific Tugboat Service, was hired by the Port to handle the cleanup. Side-scan sonar was used to provide divers with a “road map” of the debris.

The first phase of the cleanup was initiated in 2008 with more than 315 tons of marine debris being removed from an 80-acre area using over $340,000 in grant funding and $50,000 from the Port of San Diego’s own Environmental Fund.

The current cleanup area expanded to 350-acres, all of which is within the Port of San Diego’s jurisdiction on San Diego Bay. 

Some of the debris recovered since 2008 includes: 75 sunken vessels, 50- and 25-ton barges, batteries, engines, generators, fuel and other storage tanks, bicycles, various electronics, and a bathtub.

A recent survey of the A-8 Anchorage and surrounding areas found an additional 950 debris items, resulting in the current cleanup efforts, which started in June 2013. The work is expected to be completed by September 30, 2013.

The A-8 cleanup effort demonstrates the Port’s role as a trustee of San Diego Bay to protect and improve the quality of San Diego Bay’s water. In addition, removal of the debris will benefit the Bay’s natural resources by improving water quality and reducing the possibility of entanglement for the Eastern Pacific green sea turtle and the fish in the Bay.

About the Port:

The Port of San Diego is the fourth largest of the 11 ports in California. It was created by the state legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested millions of dollars in public improvements in its five member cities – Chula VistaCoronadoImperial BeachNational City and San Diego.

The port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 20 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.

The Port of San Diego is an economic engine, an environmental steward of San Diego Bay and the surrounding tidelands, and a provider of community services and public safety.

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Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones

 (28 February 1942 – 3 July 1969

I’m a resident of a city
They’ve just picked me to play
the Prince of Denmark

Poor Ophelia

All those ghosts he never saw
Floating to doom
On an iron candle

Come back, brave warrior
Do the dive
On another channel

Hot buttered pool
Where’s Marrakesh
Under the falls
the wild storm
where savages fell out
in late afternoon
monsters of rhythm

You’ve left your
to compete w/

I hope you went out
Like a child
Into the cool remnant
of a dream

The angel man
w/ Serpents competing
for his palms
& fingers
Finally claimed
This benevolent


Leaves, sodden
in silk

mad stifled

The diving board, the plunge
The pool

You were a fighter
a damask musky muse

You were the bleached
for TV afternoon

maverick of a yellow spot

Look now to where it’s got

in meat heaven
w/ the cannibals
& jews

The gardener
The body, rampant, Floating

Lucky Stiff
What is this green pale stuff
You’re made of

Poke holes in the goddess

Will he Stink
Carried heavenward
Thru the halls
of music

No Chance.

Requiem for a heavy
That smile
That porky satyr’s
has leaped upward

into the loam

Jim Morrison  August 1969

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Coronado Clarion Autumn Issue (Front Cover)


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Angel’s Flight



UPDATED:  November 2021

I went to see my beloved Angels Flight in downtown Los Angeles last week and much to my disappointment and sadness it was showing signs of neglect.

I called a fellow by the name of Gary Hall who is the General Manager for the project and was met with a rather blasé response when it came to keeping the project free of graffiti and properly maintained.

He claims that he regularly sends a maintenance crew out but as you can see from the videos and photographs this is far from the truth. 

In an effort to bring this to the attention of the public and the the management, we are planning an awareness campaign via series of musical Flash Mobs along with a faux cleanup  crew all set to Doors music along with select celebrity figures.

The press will be alerted before the event and a live recording will be presented on all social media outlets.








The time you wait subtracts the joy 
Beheads the angels you destroy 
Angels fight, angels cry 
Angels dance and angels die

From: We Could Be So Good Together.  Jim Morrison


It is Sunday morning in late December of 1969,  I am riding shotgun in the Blue Lady and it is raining cats and dogs. Jim was at the zenith of his rock-idol period. His celestial sphere sat  directly above at High Noon.

He was also days-drunk but also acting like he was not. He was on automatic pilot stopping only to pass a bottle in a brown bag or to ask me for another cold beer sitting at my feet.  He switched between radio stations playing only driving rock, his own music, and the rest of the top songs of the day.

It would be a year before his Swan Dive in Miami, and as his own eerie lyrics so fatally predicted, this rock rebel, mischievous angel would tumble from the heavens. He would become mortal, never to fly again.

We cruised through downtown Los Angeles which at the time was still a colossal slum. A few years earlier, Bunker Hill sat in ruins peopled by the dregs of society,  once a fabulous district of old victorian mansions was now rapidly dissembling in  gruesome symbiosis. 

The beginnings of new Los Angeles skyline had now replaced a shameful “Bowery slum” with new high rises and a swanky convention center. In the surrounding streets, it was still “those dark satanic mills”.  The appalling living conditions were on par with any third world country.

I asked Jim if we could go see Angels Flight.  We pulled over to the curb and sat at the top of Bunker Hill watching the deluge. He looked at me for what seemed like an eternity.  Then he turned off the radio and said, “What did you say?”

I repeated, Angels Flight.  It’s around here somewhere, right?

I was puzzled that he seemed so surprised. Then he said ,”How could you possibly know about Angels Flight?” Now it was my turn to be surprised. Surely he had seen it in most gangster movies or detective shows in early Los Angeles film noir. It was seen in TV shows — Dragnet, Perry Mason, and movies like Kiss Me Deadly, and even very silly movies such as The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.

He listened intently as I rattled off the names of the very same films and TV series he also cherished as  much as any historian. We talked back and forth about gangsters,villains, and heroes, movies about cowboy legends, war heroes,  bad guys, and naughty  girls. 

“So where is Angels Flight?” I asked again.

We headed downtown where the rain was now hitting the streets like rapid gunfire with swift flowing gutters. Touch Me was blasting on the radio. The torrential gatling-gun-rain was louder.

We sat looking at Angels Flight or I should say, the site where it once rested. Jim looked over at me and said “Tt’s gone. They tore it down this summer.” We sat in silence, or to sharpen the point, “in rapt funeral amazement” .

We were both startled by the the absolute polar opposite mood we were dragged into. Scarborough Fair was playing in all its far too pleasant, feel good lyrics, “parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme”. We both contemplated visceral suicide. Jim changed the station, and soon we were released from the dreadful happiness and back to Steppenwolf’s Magic Carpet Ride’. We drove off singing at the top of our lungs in a desperate attempt to shake off the sickeningly sweet lyrics “Are you going to Scarborough Fair?”

Two years later Jim would be dead, but these memories are as vivid as they were on that day. Whenever I visit Los Angeles if I do not visit the new site it matters not for just being in proximity is as good as being there and those indelible remembrances prevail.

Twenty-seven years later August 31, 2017, the funicular railway was  lovingly restored, then reopened to my delight. Just to see it running again is to take a trip back in time to the sweet never-to-be-seen-again era of silver and celluloid


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Posted in Clarion Autumn 2016, Clarion Rock | Leave a comment


The Doors

Out of the vastness of the Los Angeles Forum, its 18,000 seats filled on a December Saturday night with the cream of LA’s teenybopper set, came the insolent cry. The Doors didn’t want to do their 1967 hit; not only had they just finished their first number, but onstage with them and their 32 amplifiers were a string sextet and a brass section ready to perform new Doors music.

They got through a few more numbers, but then, with the yelling getting louder, they acquiesced. A roar of cheers and instantly the arena was aglow with sparklers lit in literal tribute. The song over, and the kids shouting for more, lead singer Jim Morrison, in a loose black shirt and clinging black leather pants, came to the edge of the stage.

“Hey, man,” he said, his voice booming from the speakers on the ceiling. “Cut out that shit.” The crowd giggled.

“What are you all doing here?” he went on. No response.

“You want music?” A rousing yeah.

“Well, man, we can play music all night, but that’s not what you really want, you want something more, something greater than you’ve ever seen, right?”

“We want Mick Jagger,” someone shouted. 

“Light My Fire,” said someone else, to laughter.

It was a direct affront, but the Doors hadn’t seen it coming. That afternoon, before the concert, Morrison had said: “We’re into what these kids are into.” Driving home from rehearsal in his Mustang Shelby Cobra GT 500, he swept his arm wide to take in the low houses that stretched miles from the freeway to the Hollywood Hills. “We’re into LA. Here, kids live more freely and more powerfully than anywhere else, but it’s also where old people come to die. Kids know both and we express both.”

The teens had belonged to the Doors; their amalgam of sensuality and asceticism, mysticism and machine-like power had won these lushly beautifully children heart and soul, and the kids had made them the biggest American group in rock music. Now, at one of their biggest concerts, prelude to the biggest ever at New York’s Madison Square Garden in January, the kids dared laugh, even at Morrison. Not much, but they had begun.

The Doors started out in LA’s early hip scene in 1965. Morrison, then 22, son of a high-ranking navy official, met organist-pianist Ray Manzarek on the beach at Santa Monica while both were making experimental films at UCLA. Drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger became friends of Manzarek at one of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s first meditation centres in southern California. Named from a line of Morrison’s poetry – “There are things that are known and things that are unknown; in between are doors” – by early 1966 they had their first date, playing for $35 a week at a tiny and now defunct club on Sunset Strip.

While on their second job as the house band at Whisky a Go Go, working behind dozens of groups they have now eclipsed, they began to build a following, playing blues and classic rock songs with a harsh and eerie stringency. 

“We were creating our music, ourselves, every night,” Morrison said, “starting with a few outlines, maybe a few words for a song that gradually accrued particles of meaning and movement. Sometimes we worked out in Venice, looking at the surf. We were together and it was good times.”

Their best songs, Crystal Ship, the diabolical The End and Light My Fire took shape in those early days while Morrison was developing the erotic style that has made him the group’s star and rock’s biggest sex symbol. He doesn’t fall off stages any more, but he writhes against the microphone stand, leaps from eyes-closed passivity into shrieking aggression, and moans sweet pain like a modern St Sebastian pierced by the arrows of angst and revelation.

Just about everybody takes him seriously: the New Haven police who last year arrested him for “giving an indecent or immoral exhibition”; the girls who rush the stage, sometimes only to get ashes flicked from his cigarette; and critics who rave in detail about “rock as ritual”. But no one takes Morrison as seriously as Morrison takes Morrison.

His stage manner, he said, unlike the acts of Elvis, Otis Redding, and Mick Jagger, with whom he is often compared, has a conscious purpose. Shyly, almost sleepily soft-spoken in private, he sees his public self as a new kind of poet-politician. “I’m not a new Elvis, though he’s my second favourite singer – Frank Sinatra is first. I just think I’m lucky I’ve found a perfect medium to express myself in,” he said during a rehearsal break, slouched tiredly in one of the Forum’s violently orange seats. Though handsome, with his pale green eyes and Renaissance prince hair, he has none of the decadent power captured in the spotligh


“Music, writing, theatre, action – I’m doing all those things. I like to write, I’m even publishing a book of my poems pretty soon, stuff I had that I realised wasn’t for music. But songs are special. I find that music liberates my imagination. When I sing my songs in public, that’s a dramatic act, not just acting as in theatre, but a social act, real action.

“Maybe you could call us erotic politicians. We’re a rock’n’roll band, a blues band, just a band, but that’s not all. A Doors concert is a public meeting called by us for a special kind of dramatic discussion and entertainment. When we perform, we’re participating in the creation of a world, and we celebrate that creation with the audience. It becomes the sculpture of bodies in action.

“That’s politics, but our power is sexual. We make concerts sexual politics. The sex starts out with just me, then moves out to include the charmed circle of musicians on stage. The music we make goes out to the audience and interacts with them, they go home and interact with the rest of reality, then I get it back by interacting with that reality, so the whole sex thing works out to be one big ball of fire.”

That analytical abandon was just right for the serious rock of the post Sgt Pepper era. After the album version of Light My Fire got heavy airplay on FM rock stations, Elektra released a shorter single that became a top 40 No 1. The Doors have followed it with a series of singles and two more albums. They have a quickly identifiable instrumental sound based on blues topped with Morrison’s strong voice and lyrics. Manzarek plays a rather dry organ, but Krieger is an aggressive guitarist and Densmore a solid and inventive drummer.

Yet as the kids in the Forum knew, they’ve never topped Light My Fire. The abandon has gotten more and more cerebral, the demonic pose more strained. The new music they wanted the crowd to like at the concert was abstract noise crashing behind a Morrison poem of meandering verbosity.

After the show, Morrison said it had been “great fun”, but the backstage party had a funereal air. And at times that afternoon, he showed that he knew their first rush of energy was running out. Success, he said, looking beat in the orange chair, had been nice. “When we had to carry our own equipment everywhere, we had no time to be creative. Now we can focus our energies more intensely.”

He squirmed a bit. “The trouble is that now we don’t see much of each other. We’re big time, we go on tours, record, and, in our free time, everybody splits off into their own scenes. When we record, we have to get all our ideas then, we can’t build them night after night like the club days. In the studio, creation is not so natural.

“I don’t know what will happen. I guess we’ll continue like this for a while. Then to get our vitality back, maybe we’ll have to get out of the whole business. Maybe we’ll all go off to an island by ourselves and start creating again.”

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Even when rock stars create more-or-less conventional families, the lines of dynastic inheritance can still break down within a generation or two.

In theory, Jim Morrison, made the smart moves to ensure that his wealth – a “massive” $400,000 when he died in 1971 – transferred in an orderly fashion to his common-law wife Pamela Courson.

But because he and Courson died childless and she didn’t bother writing a will, control of his 25% stake in the Doors’ record sales and copyrights became contentious.

And now that the last of the first generation of caretakers is in her early 90s, the rights seem likely to accelerate their slide away from the people who knew and understood Morrison when he was alive.

The lesson for estate planners focused on the long term is clear: the first transfer is relatively easy to lock down, but the real work is in keeping things on track when the property shifts again decades down the road.

The truly long tail

Morrison’s lawyer is only accountable for part of the problem here.

Back in 1971, nobody predicted that the copyrights on the Doors song catalog would even still be an issue 43 years after the rock star himself was dead.

Under then-extant intellectual property law, Morrison’s lyrics would have stopped accruing royalties in 1996 and the challenge of assigning that income stream beyond that point would be academic.

However, unexpected extensions of the copyright period now mean that his literary estate remains active until at least 2041, which means putting plans in place to cover almost 40 years of further contingencies.

The legal landscape keeps changing, so the best an executor can really do is remain engaged and flexible enough to roll with unexpected developments.

A similar case can be made for the dynastic family as a moving target, and this is where Morrison should have gotten better advice.

His will left everything to Coulson, who only survived him by three years before a fatal overdose.

When her name showed up in Morrison’s will, his lawyer should have asked the follow-up questions: what happens if she dies, and does she have a will as well?

Evidently the conversation only got far enough to establish that if Coulson failed to outlive Morrison by longer than a few months, the songs and royalties they represent would revert to his brother and sister.

She survived long enough, so she inherited. But if anyone ever asked her about her own plans, nobody seems to have acted on the answers – the chain of succession died with her.
In the absence of a will, her parents inherited. His parents sued and received an ongoing stake in his legacy to ensure “parity.”

It’s clear from Morrison’s conscious decision to bypass his parents that he he didn’t want them to oversee his artistic posterity, while the Coulsons were practically strangers.

But because nobody sat down with Pamela before she died, those people ended up in control of his posthumous rights all the same.

Poetic justice or just random drift?

Doors devotees characterize Pamela’s father, who originally became artistic executor of the estate after she died, as the most eager to develop the Morrison mystique.

The Morrisons themselves seem to have been content to take a back seat and let the checks come in.

Either way, the only one of the original four parents left alive at this point is Coulson’s mother, Pearl.

She turns 91 in September, so the time left for her to weigh in on the estate is getting short. What happens when she dies?

Jim’s mom and dad have been gone since 2005 and 2008, respectively. Odds are good they bequeathed their share in the Doors to their surviving kids, which would mean the brother and sister are finally back in the loop.

On Pamela’s side, sister Judith is still alive and is likely to inherit when her mother dies.

However the beneficiaries weigh out, they’ll collectively be entitled to a 25% split of the Doors’ residual income streams alongside Robby Krieger, John Densmore and the late Ray Manzarek’s wife.

Based on a reported $3 million in annual record and download sales plus incidental publicity and memorabilia licensing, each quarter of the band may be worth $1 million a year at this point.

That’s not a tragedy, but as the slices get thinner, it becomes harder to align all the interests.

Krieger and Manzarek already alienated Densmore and the Morrison heirs by trying to cash in with a touring reunion act without consent from the other partners.

They were also eager to break Morrison’s long-standing edict against licensing the catalog to advertisers, even though the right commercial could easily quadruple or quintuple reported record sales revenue.

Apple and Mercedes were both interested in paying seven to eight figures for an ad, but both times the other partners shot the deal down as contrary to the band’s principles.

Does Jim Morrison’s sweetheart’s sister take his bohemian credo more seriously than cold hard cash? What about her kids, or his own nephews or nieces?

Sooner or later, the artistic vision that creates the music gets so diluted that entertainment becomes a business. When that happens here, you’ll hear “Riders on the Storm” and other songs used to sell cars and iPods.

And eventually, one or more interests will want to cash out for a lump sum. The more pieces the pie gets cut into, the harder it will be to negotiate a group deal – but it will get easier for an outsider to accumulate the rights piece by piece.

Unless members of the Morrison and Courson families make an effort to teach the heirs what the Lizard King wanted, he’s not going to get what he wanted.

Beyond the grave

Needless to say, Morrison could have exercised much stronger “dead hand” powers by putting his intellectual property into a trust.

That vehicle could have paid Pamela all of its income for as long as she was alive, but she wouldn’t have been able to direct its long-term strategy one way or another.

If Jim said his trust would always veto the rest of the band on licensing the songs, that’s what the trust would do.

And upon Pamela’s death, successor beneficiaries would be determined according to Jim’s dictates. Although we can’t know for sure, this would probably leave the income with his siblings today, bypassing both sets of parents and ultimately all of the Coursons.

The beneficiaries would be free to do as much or as little estate planning as they like in order to assign their own assets. The Doors lyrics would enjoy the closest thing to immortality the law allows.

And as the law changes, a well-constructed trust would be able to change with it while leaving its core mandate untouched.

If intellectual property protection stretches out even further, a Morrison trust would have the power to plan to be around in 2050 and beyond.

With the right trustees, the vehicle could also adapt to shifts in the marketing environment, sidestepping the land grab over “peripheral” merchandising that has troubled the Jimi Hendrix estate, for example.

There will probably be scenarios we don’t even know how to forecast yet, let alone manage. Jim Morrison couldn’t even see his wife’s death coming. A trust can evolve with the times.


 Pearl “Penny” Courson











Passed away peacefully Friday July 11, 2014 at her home in Santa Barbara, CA after a long battle with cancer at the age of 90.

Born September 14, 1923 in Chicago, IL, Penny was the daughter of the late Paul Schmidt of Vienna, Austria and the late Margaret Jarvis Schmidt of Illinois.

She is survived by her daughter Judith Courson Burton, granddaughter Emily Burton and husband Chris McGillin, grandson James Burton and wife Deja Rabb Burton, and her great grandchildren Everett, Simone, and Colette. She was preceded in death by her daughter Pamela Courson Morrison and husband Columbus “Corky” Courson.

A child of the depression Penny overcame tough circumstances. After she married Corky they traveled the world. She was a connoisseur of the arts and worked as an interior designer. She was a homemaker and great cook who loved to entertain for family and friends. Penny was a staunch liberal with a feisty personality.

She loved her Bichon Frisé Lola and her dearest friend Jaime Camargo, who cared for her and her husband when they took ill.

Penny’s ashes will be interred next to the love of her life, her husband of 64 years. Memorial services will take place at the Santa Barbara Cemetery chapel on August 16th at 1pm.

In lieu of flowers please consider donating to the Jim Morrison Film Award at UCLA or The Santa Barbara Hospice, which was very helpful in her last days.

– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newspress/obituary.aspx?pid=171936358#sthash.kvfsPYv7.dpuf

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We ran this story back in 2010 and much to my delight. Coronado’s who have left here never to return still read about the way we lived. As you will read in the story and the post’s and comments section, friends are still trying to locate each other to renew old memories of precious times gone by.

A.R. Graham (Editor)



Excerpts from the Facebook blog exclusively for those of us who grew up in Coronado:


Does anybody remember the reverend (I think it was Reverend Brown) of the Episcopal Church, when he dyed his hair blonde and bought a corvette? This was probably back in the 50s? He was the talk of the town. That was my church growing up — still a beautiful church. – Maureen Rutherford Nieland

That’s a hoot! We could have used him over at Graham Memorial. Carson was like a raven.  – Suzi Lewis

Oh, I remember him driving that car around town, LOL! – Helen Nichols Murphy Battleson



I’m looking to get a hold of Ken Brown, thanks!


Ken Brown
Would you believe….for the 50th CHS reunion the ‘Centaurs’ put it together one more time. Drew Gallahar (Base & Vocals/Santee) coordinated a rehearsal studio in San Diego. Surprisingly to us, sound was good and we decided to show up for the reunion. Good thing since Cliff Lenz and myself were in the class of ’64.

We had Bill Lamden (Sax,Flute,Base & Vocals/San Diego), Danny Orlino (Lead Guitar, Base & Vocals/ Guam), Ken Brown (Drums & Weird Noises/ Westlake Village), Drew Gallahar (Base, Guitar & Vocals) and the glue that brought us together, Mr. Cliff Lenz (Piano, Organ, Guitar, Base & Vocals/Seattle). We were extremely excited when Mike Seavello (Tambourine/San Diego) agreed to coordinate Sound, Equipment and our sanity checks.

For 50+ years out…. we didn’t sound bad and we all had a great time. Just wanted to thank all that supported our musical efforts throughout the years. They were glorious times for each of us and hope we represented good times for you as well.

Original Members:   Cliff Lenz: keyboards, lead guitar
Rick Thomas: lead guitar 
  Doug Johnson: bass 
  Pat Coleman: drums

“The Centaurs” by Cliff Lenz: Funny how a love affair with rock and roll and a seven year odyssey of performing, recording, road trips, and opening for some of the biggest names in rock can begin with just a casual meeting between two high school kids. In the fall of 1962, a classmate and friend of mine at Coronado High, Doug Johnson, said there was a new student named Rick Thomas who played electric guitar and that we should meet. I had a Les Paul Jr. and a breadbox size amp and thought that two guys could sound a lot more like the Ventures than just one guy. So I called Rick and we got together at Doug’s house with our guitars for a jam session. Miracle of miracles, we could actually play something together that didn’t sound half bad, the Venture’s tune “The McCoy”,  E, A, and B7th and lots of open string melody notes, but what the hell it was a start and it was a thrill. I’m sure that it’s a thrill for all young musicians who, never having played with someone else, experience for the first time what collaborative music making can be.

We started practicing on a weekly basis putting a repertoire together. Pat Coleman became our first drummer and we enlisted Doug Johnson to play bass. Having no prior musical experience, it was a little too much for Doug and he politely resigned from the band after a few weeks. Not long thereafter the (now) trio was asked about playing for an after-football game dance. Assistant Principal, Mr. Oliver, wanted to make an announcement over the school PA that a band would be performing but we didn’t have a name. He actually suggested we call ourselves Rick and the Shaws or Cliff and the Dwellers!We had been thinking about possible names. At the time, the Air Force had rolled out its new ballistic missile, the Atlas Centaur – That’s It! Call ourselves the Centaurs and every time they fire one of those babies off, we get free publicity. It was decision time in the principal’s office, and so the group was officially launched with Mr. Oliver’s announcement that the “Centaurs” would be playing that night. I think we had maybe fifteen tunes and played everyone of them three times, but we made it through the gig without a single tomato flying toward the stage. Another thrill and we were hooked.

The new venture would include the frequent addition and deletion of personnel. (This is not necessarily in chronological order).We added a girl singer, Clair Carlson, and saxophonist, Randy Chilton. Kenny Brown became our new drummer with the prettiest pearl Ludwig drum set in San Diego. Drew Gallahar (a guitarist and trumpet player in the CHS stage band) joined us on bass. I got a Fender Strat and Bandmaster amp. Not to be outdone, Rick got a Fender Jaguar and Showman 15 amp and a Fender reverb unit! We got the gig as the house band at what would become the legendary Downwind Club – the Junior Officer’s Club on North Island where we played for six years barely keeping our heads above the oceans of beer served every Sunday. A wonderful saxophonist from La Jolla, Bill Lamden, replaced Chilton. For a time, Janie Seiner was our vocalist. There were dances, concerts, and car shows all over San Diego, and we even played for a change-of-command party at North Island with more captains and admirals than you could count. A major thrill was recording a couple of surf tunes in the United Artists Studio in Hollywood, a session that was produced by Joe Saracino, who had been the producer of the Ventures. We also played on the Sunset Strip in the summer of ’66 in the same club where the Doors became famous.

Rick left the group late in ’66 and was replaced by Danny Orlino. The rest of us were now at San Diego State and Danny was still at CHS. He was a truly gifted player. Bob Demmon, longtime CHS band director and rock guitarist with the famous surf group, the Astronauts, once told me that Danny was maybe the finest guitarist he had ever known personally. I now doubled on guitar and organ. I think we were the first rock group in San Diego to use a cut down Hammond. The keyboards were in one box and the guts in another for portability. I also invested in a Leslie speaker, which really enhanced our sound.

From ’62 to ’67, the music had morphed from Pop to Surf to R&B to Psychedelic. We now had a new chick singer, Linda Morrison (she lived in San Diego), a great talent who became a real driving force with her powerful vocals. Not bad to look at either. She later became Miss San Diego. Steve Kilajanski took over on sax for awhile. We also now had an agency booking engagements for us, Allied Artists of San Diego, and we joined the musicians’ union. Kenny Brown became our manager giving way to several new drummers, all excellent players – Kenny Pernicano, Rick Cutler, the late Paul Bleifuss (formerly with the great S.D. band, the Impalas), Carl Spiron (who played with one of San Diego’s all time great groups, Sandi and the Accents/Classics), and later Terry Thomas.

With great reluctance in 1969, I left my last band (Bright Morning) and my long-time guitar buddy Danny Orlino to head north to go to graduate school at the University of Washington. Danny left San Diego and has been a famous guitarist and singer in Guam for many years. Kenny Brown converted his band manager skills and keen business sense into a successful real estate and property management career in the Los Angeles area. Bill Lamden became a dentist. Drew Gallahar still has his hands all over guitars but now he makes them. He’s a guitar builder at the Blue Guitar in Mission Valley. I had a 20-year career as a television producer and the host of “Seattle Today” on the NBC affiliate in Seattle, but I was also composing and performing music at the same time. Along the way I received an Emmy for composing the theme music for the Phil Donahue Show. I have returned to music as a guitar and piano teacher in the Seattle area. Sadly, Rick Thomas died of cancer in 2004 after a career as an electrical systems maintenance engineer. I visited him in Chico, CA a few months before he passed away. We got out the guitars and played and reminisced. A few months after he died, his parents sent me his guitar, which I will always treasure. It’s an uncommon Fender model called the Coronado.

Thanks to all those of you who listened and danced to our music over the years. It was a great party! (Cliff Lenz, co-founder/leader- the Centaurs)

“The Centaurs” by Ken Brown: The Centaurs rock ‘n’ roll band from Coronado during the 60s meant something special because “The Centaurs” were part of the 60s Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution. I can remember an article in the Coronado Islander, our high school paper, which pictured the Centaurs success on par with the Beatles. They were riding high and so were we. When you are young, talented, and restless, the imagination becomes your reality. We were on top of the world, our world, and it was great fun for all who participated. We went from playing at Sea World to the Downwind Club to All Night High School Parties to our own Dance concerts. A highlight was the Centaurs opening for ‘The Doors’ at Balboa Stadium. The participants had their own special role for they too were part of the 60s Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution.

I can safely say that I would not trade a moment of this musical bonanza for any other. We were living life at a fast pace with all the trimmings. Local people knew we were the Centaurs. We carried it wherever we went. We were young talented musicians (all in the local musicians’ union) who had set a new stage and pace for rock and roll. We had the 62 + 64 Chevy 327 Impalas, the Delorean, the Lotus ,and Hemi engines, and a bunch of other hot cars of the time. The Centaurs were sexy with strapping lads and foxy singers. If you were not in the ‘mood’ before our event inevitably you left in the ‘mood’. And that’s my point.

During our 25th Centaur Reunion at the Coronado Women’s Club, we had an array of people, some family, others were supporters with their special memories of what “The Centaurs” did for them. We brought the new 60s sound to Coronado and all its surroundings. We opened the musical doors for our generation. We may have never competed with the Beatles, but we sure promoted their music, along with the Rolling Stones, and a whole lot more Legendary Rock Bands of our time. Can’t have much more fun than that because “We lived the Dream”. (Ken Brown, Drummer and Business Manager of “The Centaurs” and “Framework” from Coronado)

After publishing we received this great comment from Cliff Lenz, original member of The Centaurs:

Thanks for putting the Centaurs in the Rock ‘n’ Roll issue of the Coronado Clarion. (And first up no less!) A side note to the article I thought you’d be interested in- my father was a navy officer- graduated in the same class as Admiral Stephen Morrison from the Naval Academy (class of ’41). They were life long friends and ended up retiring together in Coronado. When I found out that he was the father of Jim….I was excited about the opportunity to ask him about his superstar son. However, my mother warned me to never bring the subject up with his parents as he was persona non grata within the family. The picture of the Admiral in the Academy ’41 Yearbook looks like Jim with a flat-top!

Another sidebar- We opened for the Doors in the old Balboa Stadium in July ’68. Amazing concert- 25,000 stoned/screaming fans. Years later Oliver Stone comes out with “The Doors” with Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. My stock went up with my two sons when I told them that their dad’s band opened for a Doors concert in San Diego. A few years later my son, at the University of Oregon, told me that he was walking to class with a girl friend and the movie came up in the conversation.
Trying to impress her he reported that his dad had a band that opened for the Doors at a big stadium concert. She said: “Cool, My dad was actually in the Doors!” Turns out she (believe her first name was Kelly) was the daughter of drummer John Densmore!
As they say- small world.
Thanks again for the inclusion of my old band in your magazine- I dearly miss those days……… Coronado and the music of the ’60’s.

Cliff Lenz

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The Night of the Lizard King

















The Night Of The Lizard King

A Ghost Rock Opera in three acts

Written By: Alan Graham



SCENE I. Pacific ocean

Dec 7th 1941

Enter Admiral Morrison singing.



Grandma love a sailor
who sailed the frozen sea.
Grandpa was a whaler
And he took me on his knee.

He said, “Son, I’m going crazy
From livin’ on the land.
Got to find my shipmates
And walk on foreign sands.”

This old man was graceful
With silver in his smile.
He smoked a briar pipe and
He walked four country miles.

Singing songs of shady sisters
And old time liberty.
Songs of love and songs of death
And songs to set men free.


I’ve got three ships and sixteen men,
A course for ports unread.
I’ll stand at mast, let north winds blow
Till half of us are dead.

Land ho!

Well, if I get my hands on a dollar bill,
Gonna buy a bottle and drink my fill.
If I get my hands on a number five,
Gonna skin that little girl alive.

If I get my hand on a number two,
Come back home and marry you, marry you, marry you.

Land ho!


Work In Progress



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Florence Jenkins


Florence Foster Jenkins, born Nascina Florence Foster (July 19, 1868 – November 26, 1944), was an American socialite and amateur soprano who was known and mocked for her flamboyant performance costumes and notably poor singing ability.

Despite (or perhaps due to) her technical incompetence, she became a prominent musical cult figure in New York City during the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s. Cole PorterEnrico Caruso, and other celebrities were loyal fans. The poet William Meredith wrote that what Jenkins provided ” … was never exactly an aesthetic experience, or only to the degree that an early Christian among the lions provided aesthetic experience; it was chiefly immolatory, and Madame Jenkins was always eaten, in the end.”

Nascina Florence Foster was born July 19, 1868, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Charles Dorrance Foster (1836–1909), an attorney and scion of a wealthy land-owning Pennsylvania family. Her mother was Mary Jane Hoagland (1851–1930).[2][3][4][5][6] Her one sibling, a younger sister named Lillian, died at the age of 8 in 1883.[7][8]

Foster said she first became aware of her lifelong passion for public performance when she was seven years old.[6] A talented pianist, she performed in her youth at society functions as “Little Miss Foster”,[1] and gave a recital at the White House during the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes.[6] After graduating from high school, she expressed a desire to study music in Europe. When her father refused to grant his permission—or the necessary funds—she eloped with Dr. Frank Thornton Jenkins (1852–1917) to Philadelphia, where they married in 1885.[8] The following year, after learning that she had contracted syphilis from her husband, she terminated their relationship and reportedly never spoke of him again. Years later, Florence asserted that a divorce decree had been granted on March 24, 1902, although no documentation of that proceeding has ever surfaced.[9] She retained the Jenkins surname for the remainder of her life.

After an arm injury ended her career aspirations as a pianist, Jenkins gave piano lessons in Philadelphia to support herself; but around 1900, she moved with her mother to New York City.[6] In 1909, Jenkins met a British Shakespearean actor named St. Clair Bayfield, and they began a vaguely-defined cohabitation relationship that continued the rest of her life.[10] Upon her father’s death later that year,[8] Jenkins became the beneficiary of a sizable trust, and resolved to resume her musical career as a singer, with Bayfield as her manager.[11] She began taking voice lessons and immersed herself in wealthy New York City society, joining dozens of social clubs. As the “chairman of music” for many of these organizations, she began producing lavish tableaux vivants—popular diversions in social circles of that era.[1] It was said that in each of these productions, Jenkins would invariably cast herself as the main character in the final tableau, wearing an elaborate costume of her own design.[6] In a widely republished photograph, Jenkins poses in a costume, complete with angelic wings, from her tableau inspired by Howard Chandler Christy‘s painting Stephen Foster and the Angel of Inspiration.[12]

Jenkins began giving private vocal recitals in 1912, when she was in her early forties.[11] In 1917, she became founder and “President Soprano Hostess” of her own social organization, the Verdi Club,[2][13] dedicated to “fostering a love and patronage of Grand Opera in English”. Its membership quickly swelled to over 400; honorary members included Enrico Caruso.[1] When Jenkins’ mother died in 1930, additional financial resources became available for the expansion and promotion of her singing career.

According to published reviews and other contemporary accounts, Jenkins’ talent at the piano did not translate well to her singing. She is described as having great difficulty with such basic vocal skills as pitchrhythm, and sustaining notes and phrases.[15] In recordings, her accompanist Cosmé McMoon can be heard making adjustments to compensate for her constant tempo variations and rhythmic mistakes,[16] but there was little he could do to conceal her inaccurate intonation. She was consistently flat, and sometimes deviated from the proper pitch by as much as a semitone. Her diction was similarly substandard, particularly with foreign-language lyrics. The technically challenging songs she selected, well beyond her ability and vocal range, emphasized these deficiencies.[15] The opera impresario Ira Siff dubbed her “the anti-Callas.” “Jenkins was exquisitely bad”, he said, “so bad that it added up to quite a good evening of theater … She would stray from the original music, and do insightful and instinctual things with her voice, but in a terribly distorted way. There was no end to the horribleness … They say Cole Porter had to bang his cane into his foot in order not to laugh out loud when she sang. She was that bad.”[10] Nevertheless, Porter rarely missed a recital.[17]

The question of whether “Lady Florence”—as she liked to be called, and often signed her autographs[10]—was in on the joke, or honestly believed she had vocal talent, remains a matter of debate. On the one hand, she compared herself favorably to the renowned sopranos Frieda Hempel and Luisa Tetrazzini, and seemed oblivious to the abundant audience laughter during her performances.[18] Her loyal friends endeavored to disguise the laughter with cheers and applause; and they often described her technique to curious inquirers in “intentionally ambiguous” terms—for example, “her singing at its finest suggests the untrammeled swoop of some great bird”—which served only to intensify public curiosity.[19] On the other, Jenkins refused to share her talents with the general public, and was clearly aware of her detractors. “People may say I can’t sing,” she once remarked to a friend, “but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.”[1] She went to great lengths to control access to her rare recitals, which took place at her apartment, in small clubs, and once each October in the Grand Ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Attendance, by personal invitation only, was restricted to her loyal clubwomen and a select few others. Jenkins handled distribution of the coveted tickets herself, carefully excluding strangers, particularly music critics. Favorable articles and bland reviews, published in specialty music publications such as The Musical Courier, were most likely written by her friends, or herself.[6] Despite her careful efforts to insulate her singing from public exposure, a preponderance of contemporary opinion favored the view that Jenkins’ self-delusion was genuine. “Florence didn’t think she was pulling anyone’s leg,” said opera historian Albert Innaurato. “She was compos mentis, not a lunatic. She was a very proper, complex individual.”[10]

Her recitals featured arias from the standard operatic repertoire by MozartVerdi, and Johann Strauss (all well beyond her technical ability); lieder by BrahmsValverde‘s “Clavelitos” (“Little Carnations”, a favorite encore); and songs composed by herself and McMoon.[1] As in her tableaux, she designed her own elaborate costumes, often involving wings, tinsel, and flowers, to complement her performances. During “Clavelitos”, she would throw flowers into the audience from a basket (on one occasion, she hurled the basket as well) while fluttering a fan.[20] After one “Clavelitos” performance, the audience cheered so loudly that Jenkins asked the audience to return the flowers; she replaced them in her basket and performed the song again.

Once, when a taxi in which she was riding collided with another car, Jenkins let out a high-pitched scream. Upon arriving home, she went immediately to her piano and confirmed (at least to herself) that the note she had screamed was the fabled “F above high C”—a pitch she had never before been able to reach. Overjoyed, she refused to press charges against either involved party, and even sent the taxi driver a box of expensive cigars.[21][10] McMoon said neither he “nor anyone else” ever heard her actually sing a high F, however.[17]

At the age of 76, Jenkins finally yielded to public demand and booked Carnegie Hall for a general-admission performance on October 25, 1944.[15] Tickets for the event sold out weeks in advance; the demand was such that an estimated 2,000 people were turned away at the door.[17] Numerous celebrities attended, including Porter, Marge ChampionGian Carlo MenottiKitty Carlisle and Lily Pons with her husband, Andre Kostelanetz, who composed a song for the recital. McMoon later recalled an “especially noteworthy” moment: “[When she sang] ‘If my silhouette does not convince you yet/My figure surely will’ [from Adele’s aria in Die Fledermaus], she put her hands righteously to her hips and went into a circular dance that was the most ludicrous thing I have ever seen. And created a pandemonium in the place. One famous actress had to be carried out of her box because she became so hysterical.”[18]

Since ticket distribution was out of Jenkins’ control for the first time, mockers, scoffers, and critics could no longer be kept at bay. The following morning’s newspapers were filled with scathing, sarcastic reviews that devastated Jenkins, according to Bayfield.[6] “[Mrs. Jenkins] has a great voice,” wrote the New York Sun critic. “In fact, she can sing everything except notes … Much of her singing was hopelessly lacking in a semblance of pitch, but the further a note was from its proper elevation the more the audience laughed and applauded.” The New York Post was even less charitable: “Lady Florence … indulged last night in one of the weirdest mass jokes New York has ever seen.”

Five days after the concert, Jenkins suffered a heart attack while shopping at G. Schirmer‘s music store, and died a month later on November 26, 1944, at her Manhattan residence, the Hotel Seymour. She was buried next to her father in the family crypt in Pennsylvania.  


Unknown-2 images Unknown-3

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A Man/Woman To Go To The Well With By: Alan Graham





















One of the most poignant lines from the old country song “Old dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine” by Tom T. Hall song “Friends are hard to find, when they discover that your down”, is quite often so, especially in times of crisis.  It is only the fully faithful who can, and do, hang in there with you in your time of need. Others have their own problems and certainly do not want to take on another burden, so, they move away or ignore it so it will go away on it’s own.

The old saying “He is a man to go to the well with” is someone originally meant to literally accompany someone outside the safety of a stockade or safe perimeter in a time of siege during the days of Indian warfare. So a man you could or would GO TO THE WELL WITH was someone you had the utmost confidence in, admiration and highest regard for – often a highly trusted longtime friend.

I am blessed to have several  friends of such noble pedigree, and one in particular is actually “A Woman To Go To The Well With”.

Three times she has saved my life, literally, and continues to watch over me often preventing me from going in the wrong direction and steering me away from potential missteps.

If you are lucky enough to have even one such loving loyal friend, treasure them and always remember, that this precious soul is “true like ice, like fire” as solid as ice and  like an eternal flame that can never be extinguished. 

Old Dogs And Children And Watermelon Wine Written By: Tom T. Hall

How old do you think I am he said I said well I didn’t know
He said I turned sixty five about eleven months ago
I was sittin’ in Miami pourin’ blended whiskey down
When this old gray black gentleman was cleanin’ up the lounge
There wasn’t anyone around ‘cept this old man and me
The guy who ran the bar was watching Iron sides on TV
Uninvited he sat down and opened up his mind
On old dogs and children and watermelon wine
Ever had a drink of watermelon wine he asked
He told me all about it though I didn’t answer back
Ain’t but three things in this world that’s worth a solitary dime
But old dogs and children and watermelon wineHe said women think about they selves when menfolk ain’t around
And friends are hard to find when they discover that you’re down
He said I tried it all when I was young and in my natural prime
Now it’s old dogs and children and watermelon wine
Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes
God bless little children while they’re still too young to hate
When he moved away I found my pen and copied down that line
Bout old dogs and children and watermelon wineI had to catch a plane up to Atlanta that next day As I left for my room I saw him pickin’ up my change
That night I dreamed in peaceful sleep of shady summertime
Of old dogs and children and watermelon wine
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Restaurant Row

Showing regret for making the wrong decision is no longer a behavioral trait exclusive to humans, as rats too feel sorry for not making the right choice, a new study suggests.

As part of the study, researchers conducted a task named “Restaurant Row,” in which they allowed rats to enter chambers containing different food options. And, as the rats were given only a limited amount of time to make a choice, they would sometimes pick a bad meal over a good one, and then look back at the chamber with the food they liked and be prepared to wait longer for another chance to sample their desired food.

 “It’s like waiting in line at a restaurant,” David Redish, a neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and the study’s senior author, said in a statement.”If the line is too long at the Chinese food restaurant, then you give up and go to the Indian food restaurant across the street.”
Other mammals could also have the ability to regret, because they have similar brain structures as rats and humans, the study finds. Photo: Reuters 

According to the study, published in Nature Neuroscience on Sunday, the rats’ willingness to wait for their ideal choice implied that they had individual preferences. In addition, the researchers also examined the rats’ brain activity, which helped them conclude that the animals indeed experienced regret over the decisions they made while choosing their food.

“In humans, a part of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex is active during regret. We found in rats that recognized they had made a mistake, indicators in the orbitofrontal cortex represented the missed opportunity,” Redish said. “Interestingly, the rat’s orbitofrontal cortex represented what the rat should have done, not the missed reward. This makes sense because you don’t regret the thing you didn’t get, you regret the thing you didn’t do.”

The researchers believe that the study’s findings will help them better understand why humans act a certain way and how the feeling of regret affects their decision making. The researchers also said that other mammals may also have the ability to feel regret because they have brain structures similar to those of rats and humans, LiveScience reported.

“Regret is the recognition that you made a mistake, that if you had done something else, you would have been better off,” Redish said. “The difficult part of this study was separating regret from disappointment, which is when things aren’t as good as you would have hoped. The key to distinguishing between the two was letting the rats choose what to do.”

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 An Editorial By: Alan Graham

Recently I bought some sweat pants and I chose NIKE only because they were on sale, a great deal I thought until that is, a friend said “You bought NIKE ?”.

And why not? said I.

My friend looked at me quizzically, haven’t you heard, anyone who loves dogs will never by NIKE ever again because of Michael Vic?. 

I had forgotten that in one of the most craven maneuvers in modern times NIKE had made a deal with the DEVIL, namely one Michael Vic. Nike re-signed Philadelphia Eagles quarterback  to an endorsement deal, nearly four years after dropping him amid his legal troubles.

Being a dog lover I was deeply angered to see such a low life being rewarded after a slap on the wrist.

I have vowed never to by NIKE products, and urge all those who love animals to BOYCOT and to spread the word, and even though it has been forgotten by many, these monstrous acts are still being perpetrated.

I will never forgive Vick for his callous treatment of defenseless animals and I urge everyone to do the same.

Boycott Nike. Just do it. Here are some ways to take action:

1. Let Nike know you disapprove of their decision to endorse Michael Vick. There is a Facebook page dedicated to the cause with over 14,000 supporters.

Call Nike: 800-344-6453. Choose option 5, then option 9. 

2. Let the New York Jets hear your voice. Make your opinion matter. Contact a NY Jets representative at 800-469-5387 or at their Florham Park training facility at 973-549-4800. 

3. Buy elsewhere. The sportswear, sportsgear, and athletic shoe trade is a billion dollar industry with stiff competitors. There is a plethora of impressive, quality gear that can be purchased without the weight of ethical guilt. There are many deserving companies engaging in hard work that deserve our support. Support companies that endorse fair market practices and decent role models. Do your research. Stand behind positive energy and good vibes. 

4. Explain your consumer choices to your children. Teach them consumer power young. Arm them with the information to understand the dangers in putting your money behind poor leadership. Be your child’s own role model of leadership and intelligence. 

5. End animal abuse. Donate your time or money to your local animal shelter. Eleventh Hour Rescue is an admirable local organization. Buy the organization’s shirts that benefit charity rather than Nike shirts. Consider fostering a pet, donating pet food, or rescuing an abused animal.




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A Diamond In The Heart

My own medical report  By. Alan Graham.



If you had a heart attack in the 1950s, the average doctor was ill equipped treat it. Back then, doctors knew very little about how to treat heart attacks and as a consequence, could do very little to save patients lives.
My Coronado practitioner Dr. James Mushovic, (Merlin) once told me ” All we did back then was make them as comfortable as possible by leaving them in a darkened room surrounded by ice packs, short of that, it was pretty much wait and see if they recovered, or not
Today we are lucky to live in a time where futuristic advances in heart surgery and treatment are beyond amazing.

It is 10 am on Saturday morning and a group of San Diego’s finest heart specialist are in video conference. What follows is a discussion/lecture concerning the newest advances in surgery such as atrial fibrillation (AFib) from cardiovascular surgeons and other heart specialists. AFib symptoms, diagnosis and advanced treatment options, including minimally invasive procedures designed to reduce the high risk of stroke associated with the condition. The old school heart surgeons are now a thing of the past, light years away in fact.

I had a heart attack in 2006 and was lucky enough to be in the care of Dr. Bruce Kimura  a Coronado heart specialist. At that time my old country doctor, James Mushovic, told me that Dr. Kimura was the best he had ever seen and that I could not be in better hands. He was part of the respected Dr. Paul Phillips’ team, and as Dr. Mushovic had predicted, he would become on of the top heart specialists in the country.

Fast forward to today, and I find myself in need of a serious tune up to my 1944 model ailing heart.  When I told Dr William B. Davis my country doctor  for seen years, without a word he wrote a referral for Dr Ali Salmi, and the San diego Heart and Vascular Associates saying  “This team is Nuli Secondi” (second to none.)

Enter Dr. Ali Salami, another brilliant heart surgeon, who is now part of the same team. The procedure was flawless, with a top team of professionals  preparing me, I felt like a VIP.  

After my having an angiogram, Dr Salami found that the main artery had a 90% blockage; and when he tried to implant a stent, the blockage was impossible to penerate without “heavy equipment”.  (I had awful visions of being assaulted by a forty-foot drill operated by the angry visage of my dead mother-in-law.)

 Dr. (Mr. Cool) Salami assured me matter of factly that it would be “a piece of cake.” He has cause to be so confident because of a sterling track record of successful procedures with advanced breakthrough technologies. 

With my fears now assuaged, I am comfortable knowing I am in the hands of the very best healthcare team anywhere in the world.

The reality is, however, potentially rather grim especially at my age, 72 years old. The chances of cardiac arrest under anesthetic is very possible. In the face of this, I have requested that a DNR  (do not resuscitate) be in place before surgery. I jokingly say “I do not want to come out of surgery talking like Rain Man”

I have visited with my priest and  received three oils: the Oil of Catechumens (“Oleum Catechumenorum” or “Oleum Sanctorum“), the Oil of the Infirm (“Oleum Infirmorum“), and Holy Chrism (“Sacrum Chrisma“). So I am now in  state of peaceful bliss and have made peace within myself through my faith in God and the support of some very special people who love me as much as I do them. May God bless us all.

Today I received a phone call from a dear sweet friend Alvaro. He had called to tell me he was praying for me and wished me “God speed.” After whining on in the most fatalistic tone about not wanting to be resuscitated should things go wrong during surgery, Alvaro simply said, ” Well, you should think about living until you are 90 or 100 years old.”

His tone was matter of fact. No nonsense, good, old-fashioned FAITH was his message, and it hit me like a ton of bricks how I was rather pessimistic about life when I should be celebrating every waking hour.

When I hung up, I felt  wonderfully happy and absolutely renewed, and now I see things in a very different way thanks to some wise words from a very wise young man.  Thank you, Alvaro.

The main right ventricle to my heart is so calcified that it cannot be penetrated by the normal use of a wire, so you all know the drill (another silly joke). Sometime in the next week or so, I will undergo a complex procedure with a special device for drilling at at angle using a razorback diamond drill hence, A Diamond In The Heart. and to make it even more interesting the operation will be done at a brand new facility UCSD Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center in La Jolla, CA.

When things could not look more rosy, enter Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud, an Irishman (obvious Irish joke) who is Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine, Director of Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center-Medicine, and Director of Interventional Cardiology. He is board-certified in cardiovascular medicine and interventional cardiology, and has extensive experience in complex coronary, renal, lower extremity and carotid interventions.

Under Dr. Mahmud’s leadership, the Interventional Cardiology program is among the largest academic interventional programs in the western United States. Dr. Mahmud directs the interventional clinical trials center; his research interests include investigational pharmacotherapies and devices used in cardiovascular interventions.

Dr. Mahmud completed fellowships in coronary and peripheral vascular interventions at Emory University in Atlanta and cardiovascular medicine at UC San Diego. He completed his internal medicine residency at UC San Diego and earned his medical degree at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Dr. Mahmud is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Society of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions. He has been voted one of the top physicians in San Diego by the San Diego county medical society and among the top 1 percent of interventional cardiologists in the nation by US News and World Report.

Dr. Mahmud is a Professor of Medicine at UCSD and Director, Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratory and Interventional Cardiology at UCSD Medical Center. He has been honored with the Laennec Society Young Clinician Award from the American Heart Association and chosen as one of America’s Top Physicians each year from 2003 through 2009 by the Consumer Research Council. He is a Fellow of the Society of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, a Fellow of the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions, and a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.


The Dynamic Dou Dr Sharmi Mahmud and Dr Ali Salami, have just charted a new map of every single river and stream in the entire Amazon, and at the very same moment drilled out every single one of my calcified arteries and I feel like a new man. 

After the procedure, Dr. Mahmud came to visit me, and as we chatted, it occurred to me that because the operation was so successful I felt compelled to tell him that he and Dr. Salami were so very good at this that they more than likely could get a job at any hospital. Dr Mahmud stared at me for a minute, then he said he would talk to Dr Salami, and perhaps they should both go for an interview together. I do hope they follow up because we need all the heart surgeons we can get.

Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud 

Dr. William B. Davis

Dr. Paul Philips

Dr Ali Salami

Dr Bruce Kimura















Posted in Clarion Autumn 2016, Clarion Causes | 1 Comment

John Marston 1576 – 1634 William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616

The Life of John Marston (1576-1634)


Freevill (to Franceschina): Go; y’are grown a punk rampant.

If your only exposure to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli film version, then you have been deceived! The language in the film is not 100% Shakespearean. In the case of the “punk rampant.” The phrase is actually from The Dutch Courtesan by John Marston, 1605: So it is authentically of Shakespeare’s era (or a tad later) and not Zeffirelli’s. But how modern is it! “Punk Rampant!” could describe any number of contemporary scurvy knaves.

John Marston married Mary Wilkes, daughter of one of the royal chaplains, and Ben Jonson said that ” Marston wrote his father-in-law’s preachings, and his father-in-law his sermons.” His first work was The Metamorphosis of Pigmalions Image, and certaine Satyres (1598). “Pigmalion” is an erotic poem in the metre of Venus and Adonis, and Joseph Hall attached a rather clumsy epigram to every copy that was exposed for sale in Cambridge. In the same year Marston published, under the pseudonym of W. Kinsayder, already employed in the earlier volume, his Scourge of Villanie, eleven satires, in the sixth of which he asserted that Pigmalion was intended to parody the amorous poetry of the time. Both this volume and its predecessor were burnt by order of the archbishop of Canterbury. The satires, in which Marston avowedly took Persius as his model, are coarse and vigorous. In addition to a general attack on the vices of his age he avenges himself on Joseph Hall who had assailed him in Virgidemiae.

He had a great reputation among his contemporaries. John Weever couples his name with Ben Jonson’s in an epigram; Francis Meres in Palladis tamia (1598) mentions him among the satirists; a long passage is devoted to “Monsieur Kinsayder” in the Return from Parnassus (1606), and Dr Brinsley Nicholson has suggested that Furor poeticus in that piece may be a satirical portrait of him. But his invective by its general tone, goes far to justify Mr W. J. Courthope’s1 judgment that “it is likely enough that in seeming to satirize the world without him, he is usually holding up the mirror to his own prurient mind.”

On the 28th of September 1599 Henslowe notices in his diary that he lent “unto Mr Maxton, the new poete, the sum of forty shillings,” as an advance on a play which is not named. Another hand has amended “Maxton” to” Mastone.” The earliest plays to which Marston’s name is attached are The History of Antonio and Mellida. The First Part; and Antonio’s Revenge. The Second Part (both entered at Stationers’ Hall in 1601 and printed 1602). The second part is preceded by a prologue which, in its gloomy forecast of the play, moved the admiration of Charles Lamb, who also compares the situation of Andrugio and Lucia to Lear and Kent, but the scene which he quotes gives a misleading idea of the play and of the general tenor of Marston’s work.

The melodrama and the exaggerated expression of these two plays offered an opportunity to Ben Jonson, who had already twice ridiculed Marston, and now pilloried him as Crispinus in The Poetaster (1600). The quarrel was patched up, for Marston dedicated his Malcontent (1604) to Jonson, and in the next year he prefixed commendatory verses to Sejanus. Far greater restraint is shown in The Malcontent than in the earlier plays. It was printed twice in 1604, the second time with additions by John Webster. The Dutch Courtezan (1605) and Parasitaster, or the Fawne (1606) followed. In 1605 Eastward Hoe, a gay comedy of London life, which gave offence to the king’s Scottish friends, caused the playwrights concerned in its production — Marston, Chapman and Jonson — to be imprisoned at the instance of Sir James Murray.

The Wonder of Women, or the Tragedie of Sophonisba (1606), seems to have been put forward by Marston as a model of what could be accomplished in tragedy. In the preface he mocks at those authors who make a parade of their authorities and their learning, and the next play, What you Will(printed 1607; but probably written much earlier), contains a further attack on Jonson. The tragedy of The Insatiate Countesse was printed in 1613, and again, this time anonymously, in 1616. It was not included in the collected edition of Marston’s plays in 1633, and in the Duke of Devonshire’s library there is a copy bearing the name of William Barksteed, the author of the poems, Myrrha, the Mother of Adonis (1607), and Hiren and the Fair Greek (1611). The piece contains many passages superior to anything to be found in Marston’s well-authenticated plays, and Mr A. H. Bullen suggests that it may be Barksteed’s version of an earlier one drafted by Marston.

The character and history of Isabella are taken chiefly from “The Disordered Lyfe of the Countess of Celant” in William Paynter’s Palace of Pleasure, derived eventually from Bandello. There is no certain evidence of Marston’s authorship in Histriomastix (printed 1610, but probably produced before 1599), or in Jacke Drums Entertainement, or the Comedie of Pasquil and Katherine (1616), though he probably had a hand in both. Mr R. Boyle (Englische Studien, vol. xxx., 1901), in a critical study of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, assigns to Marston’s hand the whole of the action dealing with Hector, with the prologue and epilogue, and attributes to him the bombast and coarseness in the last scenes of the play.

It will be seen that his undoubted dramatic work was completed in 1607. It is uncertain at what time he exchanged professions, but in 1616 he was presented to the living of Christchurch, Hampshire. He formally resigned his charge in 1631, and when his works were collected in 1633 the publisher, William Sheares, stated that the author “in his autumn and declining age” was living “far distant from this place.” Nevertheless he died in London, in the parish of Aldermanbury, on the 25th of June 1634. He was buried in the Temple Church.

Marston’s works were first published in 1633, once anonymously as Tragedies and Comedies, and then in the same year as Workes of Mr John Marston. The Works of John Marston (3 vols.) were reprinted by Mr J. O. Halliwell (Phillipps) in 1856, and again by Mr. A. H. Bullen (3 vols.) in 1887. His Poems (2 vols.) were edited by Dr A. B. Grosart in 1879. 

JOHN MARSTON, English dramatist and satirist, eldest son of John Marston of Coventry, at one time lecturer of the Middle Temple, was born in 1575, or early in 1576. Swinburne notes his affinities with Italian literature, which may be partially explained by his parentage, for his mother was the daughter of an Italian physician, Andrew Guarsi. He entered Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1592, taking his B.A. degree in 1594. The elder Marston in his will expresses regret that his son, to whom he left his law-books and the furniture of his rooms in the Temple, had not been willing to follow his profession..

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John Clare Poet 1793–1864

John Clare was born into a peasant family in Helpston, England. Although he was the son of illiterate parents, Clare received some formal schooling. While earning money through such manual labor as ploughing and threshing, he published several volumes of poetry, including Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery. After suffering from delusions, Clare was admitted to an insane asylum where he spent the final 20 years of his life.
 I am—yet what I am none cares or knows; 
My friends forsake me like a memory lost: 
I am the self-consumer of my woes— 
They rise and vanish in oblivious host, 
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes 
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed 
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise, 
Into the living sea of waking dreams, 
Where there is neither sense of life or joys, 
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems; 
Even the dearest that I loved the best 
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest. 
I long for scenes where man hath never trod 
A place where woman never smiled or wept 
There to abide with my Creator, God, 
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept, 
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie 
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.
First Love

I ne’er was struck before that hour 

   With love so sudden and so sweet, 
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower 
   And stole my heart away complete. 
My face turned pale as deadly pale, 
   My legs refused to walk away, 
And when she looked, what could I ail? 
   My life and all seemed turned to clay. 
And then my blood rushed to my face 
   And took my eyesight quite away, 
The trees and bushes round the place 
   Seemed midnight at noonday. 
I could not see a single thing, 
   Words from my eyes did start— 
They spoke as chords do from the string, 
   And blood burnt round my heart. 
Are flowers the winter’s choice? 
   Is love’s bed always snow? 
She seemed to hear my silent voice, 
   Not love’s appeals to know.
I never saw so sweet a face 
   As that I stood before. 
My heart has left its dwelling-place 
   And can return no more. 
He could not die when trees were green, 
         For he loved the time too well. 
His little hands, when flowers were seen, 
         Were held for the bluebell, 
         As he was carried o’er the green. 
His eye glanced at the white-nosed bee; 
         He knew those children of the spring: 
When he was well and on the lea 
         He held one in his hands to sing, 
         Which filled his heart with glee. 
Infants, the children of the spring! 
         How can an infant die 
When butterflies are on the wing, 
         Green grass, and such a sky? 
         How can they die at spring? 
He held his hands for daisies white, 
         And then for violets blue, 
And took them all to bed at night 
         That in the green fields grew, 
         As childhood’s sweet delight. 
And then he shut his little eyes, 
         And flowers would notice not; 
Birds’ nests and eggs caused no surprise, 
         He now no blossoms got; 
         They met with plaintive sighs. 
When winter came and blasts did sigh, 
         And bare were plain and tree, 
As he for ease in bed did lie 
         His soul seemed with the free, 
         He died so quietly.
I hid my love when young till I 
Couldn’t bear the buzzing of a fly; 
I hid my love to my despite 
Till I could not bear to look at light: 
I dare not gaze upon her face 
But left her memory in each place; 
Where’er I saw a wild flower lie 
I kissed and bade my love good-bye. 
I met her in the greenest dells, 
Where dewdrops pearl the wood bluebells; 
The lost breeze kissed her bright blue eye, 
The bee kissed and went singing by, 
A sunbeam found a passage there, 
A gold chain round her neck so fair; 
As secret as the wild bee’s song 
She lay there all the summer long. 
I hid my love in field and town 
Till e’en the breeze would knock me down; 
The bees seemed singing ballads o’er, 
The fly’s bass turned a lion’s roar; 
And even silence found a tongue, 
To haunt me all the summer long; 
The riddle nature could not prove 
Was nothing else but secret love. 
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John Donne Poet 1572–1631

John Donne’s standing as a great English poet, and one of the greatest writers of English prose, is now assured. However, it has been confirmed only in the early 20th century. The history of Donne’s reputation is the most remarkable of any major writer in English; no other body of great poetry has fallen so far from favor for so long and been generally condemned as inept and crude. In Donne’s own day his poetry was highly prized among the small circle of his admirers, who read it as it was circulated in manuscript, and in his later years he gained wide fame as a preacher. For some 30 years after his death successive editions of his verse stamped his powerful influence upon English poets. During the Restoration his writing went out of fashion and remained so for several centuries. Throughout the 18th century, and for much of the 19th century, he was little read and scarcely appreciated. Commentators followed Samuel Johnson in dismissing his work as no more than frigidly ingenious and metrically uncouth. Some scribbled notes by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Charles Lamb‘s copy of Donne’s poems make a testimony of admiration rare in the early 19th century. Robert Browning became a known (and wondered-at) enthusiast of Donne, but it was not until the end of the 1800s that Donne’s poetry was eagerly taken up by a growing band of avant-garde readers and writers. His prose remained largely unnoticed until 1919.

In the first two decades of the 20th century Donne’s poetry was decisively rehabilitated. Its extraordinary appeal to modern readers throws light on the Modernist movement, as well as on our intuitive response to our own times. Donne may no longer be the cult figure he became in the 1920s and 1930s, when T. S. Eliot and William Butler Yeats, among others, discovered in his poetry the peculiar fusion of intellect and passion and the alert contemporariness which they aspired to in their own art. He is not a poet for all tastes and times; yet for many readers Donne remains what Ben Jonson judged him: “the first poet in the world in some things.” His poems continue to engage the attention and challenge the experience of readers who come to him afresh. His high place in the pantheon of the English poets now seems secure.

Donne’s love poetry was written nearly four hundred years ago; yet one reason for its appeal is that it speaks to us as directly and urgently as if we overhear a present confidence. For instance, a lover who is about to board ship for a long voyage turns back to share a last intimacy with his mistress: “Here take my picture” (Elegy 5). Two lovers who have turned their backs upon a threatening world in “The Good Morrow” celebrate their discovery of a new world in each other:

Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,

Let maps to others, worlds on worlds have shown,

Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.

In “The Flea” an importunate lover points out a flea that has been sucking his mistress’s blood and now jumps to suck his; he tries to prevent his mistress from crushing it:

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,

Where we almost, nay more than married are.

This flea is you and I, and this

Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is;

Though parents grudge, and you, we’ are met,

And cloistered in these living walls of jet.

This poem moves forward as a kind of dramatic argument in which the chance discovery of the flea itself becomes the means by which they work out the true end of their love. The incessant play of a skeptical intelligence gives even these love poems the style of impassioned reasoning.

The poetry inhabits an exhilaratingly unpredictable world in which wariness and quick wits are at a premium. The more perilous the encounters of clandestine lovers, the greater zest they have for their pleasures, whether they seek to outwit the disapproving world, or a jealous husband, or a forbidding and deeply suspicious father, as in Elegy 4

, “The Perfume” 

Though he had wont to search with glazed eyes,

As though he came to kill a cockatrice,

Though he have oft sworn, that he would remove

Thy beauty’s beauty, and food of our love,

Hope of his goods, if I with thee were seen,

Yet close and secret, as our souls, we have been.

Exploiting and being exploited are taken as conditions of nature, which we share on equal terms with the beasts of the jungle and the ocean. In “Metempsychosis” a whale and a holder of great office behave in precisely the same way:


He hunts not fish, but as an officer,

Stays in his court, as his own net, and there

All suitors of all sorts themselves enthral;

So on his back lies this whale wantoning,

And in his gulf-like throat, sucks everything

That passeth near.

Donne characterizes our natural life in the world as a condition of flux and momentariness, which we may nonetheless turn to our advantage, as in “Woman’s Constancy“:

Now thou hast loved me one whole day,

Tomorrow when thou leav’st, what wilt thou say?


Vain lunatic, against these ‘scapes I could

Dispute, and conquer, if I would,

Which I abstain to do,

For by tomorrow, I may think so too.

In such a predicament our judgment of the world around us can have no absolute force but may at best measure people’s endeavors relative to each other, as Donne points out in “Metempsychosis”: 

There’s nothing simply good, nor ill alone,

Of every quality comparison,

The only measure is, and judge, opinion.

The tension of the poetry comes from the pull of divergent impulses in the argument itself. In “A Valediction: Of my Name in the Window,” the lover’s name scratched in his mistress’s window ought to serve as a talisman to keep her chaste; but then, as he explains to her, it may instead be an unwilling witness to her infidelity:

When thy inconsiderate hand

Flings ope this casement, with my trembling name,

To look on one, whose wit or land,

New battery to thy heart may frame,

Then think this name alive, and that thou thus

In it offend’st my Genius.

So complex or downright contradictory is our state that quite opposite possibilities must be allowed for within the scope of a single assertion, as in Satire 3: “Kind pity chokes my spleen; brave scorn forbids / Those tears to issue which swell my eye-lids.”

The opening lines of Satire 3 confront us with a bizarre medley of moral questions: Should the corrupted state of religion prompt our anger or our grief? What devotion do we owe to religion, and which religion may claim our devotion? May the pagan philosophers be saved before Christian believers? What obligation of piety do children owe to their fathers in return for their religious upbringing? Then we get a quick review of issues such as the participation of Englishmen in foreign wars, colonizing expeditions, the Spanish auto-da-fé, and brawls over women or honor in the London streets. The drift of Donne’s argument holds all these concerns together and brings them to bear upon the divisions of Christendom that lead men to conclude that any worldly cause must be more worthy of their devotion than the pursuit of a true Christian life. The mode of reasoning is characteristic: Donne calls in a variety of circumstances, weighing one area of concern against another so that we may appraise the present claim in relation to a whole range of unlike possibilities: “Is not this excuse for mere contraries, / Equally strong; cannot both sides say so?” The movement of the poem amounts to a sifting of the relative claims on our devotion that commonly distract us from our absolute obligation to seek the truth.

Some of Donne’s sharpest insights into erotic experience, as his insights into social motives, follow out his sense of the bodily prompting of our most compelling urges, which are thus wholly subject to the momentary state of the physical organism itself. In “Farewell to Love” the end that lovers so passionately pursue loses its attraction at once when they have gained it:

Being had, enjoying it decays:

And thence,

What before pleased them all, takes but one sense,

And that so lamely, as it leaves behind

A kind of sorrowing dullness to the mind.

Yet the poet never gives the impression of forcing a doctrine upon experience. On the contrary, his skepticism sums up his sense of the way the world works.

Donne’s love poetry expresses a variety of amorous experiences that are often startlingly unlike each other, or even contradictory in their implications. In “The Anniversary” he is not just being inconsistent when he moves from a justification of frequent changes of partners to celebrate a mutual attachment that is simply not subject to time, alteration, appetite, or the sheer pull of other worldly enticements:

All kings, and all their favourites,

All glory of honours, beauties, wits,

The sun itself, which makes times, as they pass,

Is elder by a year, now, than it was

When thou and I first one another saw:

All other things, to their destruction draw,

Only our love hath, nor decay;

This, no tomorrow hath, nor yesterday,

Running it never runs from us away,

But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.

The triumph the lovers proclaim here defies the state of flux it affirms.

Some of Donne’s finest love poems, such as “A Valediction: forbidding Mourning,” prescribe the condition of a mutual attachment that time and distance cannot diminish:

Dull sublunary lovers’ love

(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit

Absence, because it doth remove

Those things which elemented it.


But we by a love, so much refined,

That our selves know not what it is,

Inter-assured of the mind,

Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Donne finds some striking images to define this state in which two people remain wholly one while they are separated. Their souls are not divided but expanded by the distance between them, “Like gold to airy thinness beat”; or they move in response to each other as the legs of twin compasses, whose fixed foot keeps the moving foot steadfast in its path:

Such wilt thou be to me, who must

Like th’ other foot obliquely run;

Thy firmness makes my circle just,

And makes me end, where I begun.

A supple argument unfolds with lyric grace.

It must be borne in mind that the poems editors group together were not necessarily produced thus. Donne did not write for publication. No more than seven poems and a bit of another poem were published during his lifetime, and only two of these publications were authorized by him. The poems he released were passed around in manuscript and transcribed by his admirers singly or in gatherings. Some of these copies have survived. When the first printed edition of his poems was published in 1633, two years after his death, the haphazard arrangement of the poems gave no clue to the order of their composition. Many modern editions of the poetry impose categorical divisions that are unlikely to correspond to the order of writing, separating the love poetry from the satires and the religious poetry, the verse letters from the epithalamiums and funeral poems. No more than a handful of Donne’s poems can be dated with certainty. The Elegies and Satires are likely to have been written in the early 1590s. “Metempsychosis” is dated 16 August 1601. The two memorial Anniversaries for the death of Elizabeth Drury were certainly written in 1611 and 1612; and the funeral elegy on Prince Henry must have been written in 1612. The Songs and Sonnets were evidently not conceived as a single body of love verses and do not appear so in early manuscript collections. Donne may well have composed them at intervals and in unlike situations over some twenty years of his poetic career. Some of them may even have overlapped with his best-known religious poems, which are likely to have been written about 1609, before he took holy orders.

Poems so vividly individuated invite attention to the circumstances that shaped them. Yet we have no warrant to read Donne’s poetry as a record of his life or the expression of his inner disquiets. Donne’s career and personality are nonetheless arresting in themselves, and they cannot be kept wholly separate from the general thrust of his writing, for which they at least provide a living context. Donne was born in London between 24 January and 19 June 1572 into the precarious world of English recusant Catholicism, whose perils his family well knew. His father, John Donne, was an ironmonger. His mother, Elizabeth (Heywood) Donne, a lifelong Catholic, was the greatniece of the martyred Sir Thomas More. His uncle Jasper Heywood headed an underground Jesuit mission in England from 1581 to 1583 and, when he was caught, was imprisoned and then exiled; Donne’s younger brother, Henry, died from the plague in 1593 while being held in Newgate Prison for harboring a seminary priest. Yet at some time in his young manhood Donne himself converted to Anglicanism and never went back on that reasoned decision. Though he was a tradesman, Donne’s father claimed descent from the Herbert family, and his mother was the daughter of John Heywood, epigrammatist and author of interludes. Donne’s father died in January 1576, and within six months Elizabeth Donne had married John Syminges, an Oxford-educated physician with a practice in London. In October 1584 Donne entered Hart Hall, Oxford, where he remained for about three years. Though no records of his attendance at Cambridge are extant, he may have gone on to study there as well and may have accompanied his uncle Jasper Heywood on a trip to Paris and Antwerp during this time. It is known that he entered Lincoln’s Inn in May 1592, after at least a year of preliminary study at Thavies Inn, and was at least nominally a student of English law for two or more years. After sailing as a gentleman adventurer with the English expeditions to Cadiz and the Azores in 1596 and 1597, he entered the service of Sir Thomas Egerton, the lord keeper of England. As Egerton’s highly valued secretary he developed the keen interest in statecraft and foreign affairs that he retained throughout his life.

His place in the Egerton household also brought him into acquaintance with Egerton’s domestic circle. Egerton’s brother-in-law was Sir George More, parliamentary representative for Surrey, whose family seat was Loseley House near Guildford in Surrey. More came up to London for an autumn sitting of Parliament in 1601, bringing with him his daughter Ann, then seventeen. Ann More and Donne may well have met and fallen in love during some earlier visit to the Egerton household; they were clandestinely married in December 1601 in a ceremony arranged with the help of a small group of Donne’s friends. Some months elapsed before Donne dared to break the news to the girl’s father, by letter, provoking a violent response. Donne and his helpful friends were briefly imprisoned, and More set out to get the marriage annulled, demanding that Egerton dismiss his amorous secretary.

The marriage was eventually upheld; indeed, More became reconciled to it and to his son-in-law, but Donne lost his job in 1602 and did not find regular employment again until he took holy orders more than twelve years later. Throughout his middle years he and his wife brought up an ever-increasing family with the aid of relatives, friends, and patrons, and on the uncertain income he could bring in by polemical hackwork and the like. His anxious attempts to gain secular employment in the queen’s household in Ireland, or with the Virginia Company, all came to nothing, and he seized the opportunity to accompany Sir Robert Drury on a diplomatic mission in France in 1612. From these frustrated years came most of the verse letters, funeral poems, epithalamiums, and holy sonnets, as well as the prose treatises Biathanatos (1647), Pseudo-Martyr (1610), and Ignatius his Conclave (1611).

In the writing of Donne’s middle years, skepticism darkened into a foreboding of imminent ruin. Such poems as the two memorial Anniversaries and “To the Countess of Salisbury” register an accelerating decline of our nature and condition in a cosmos that is itself disintegrating. In “The First Anniversary” the poet declares,

mankind decays so soon,

We’ are scarce our fathers’ shadows cast at noon.


And freely men confess that this world’s spent,

When in the planets, and the firmament

They seek so many new; they see that this

Is crumbled out again to his atomies.

‘Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone.

Donne contends that at this late stage of creation we exhibit a pitiful falling off from the early state of humankind:

There is not now that mankind, which was then,

When as the sun, and man, did seem to strive,

(Joint tenants of the world) who should survive.


Where is this mankind now? who lives to age,

Fit to be made Methusalem his page?

Alas, we scarce live long enough to try

Whether a true made clock run right, or lie.

Our attempts to know the world by means of our natural powers are inevitably misconceived. For we seek to order a degenerating cosmos with our decaying faculties and to impose a stable pattern upon a condition of continual flux that we cannot even adequately measure, as Donne claims in “The Second Anniversary”:

And what essential joy canst thou expect

Here upon earth? what permanent effect

Of transitory causes? Dost thou love

Beauty? (and beauty worthiest is to move)

Poor cozened cozener, that she, and that thou,

Which did begin to love, are neither now;

You are both fluid, changed since yesterday;

Next day repairs, (but ill) last day’s decay.

Nor are, (although the river keep the name)

Yesterday’s waters, and today’s the same.

So flows her face, and thine eyes, neither now

That saint, nor pilgrim, which your loving vow

Concerned, remains; but whilst you think you be

Constant, you’are hourly in inconstancy.

In this condition of gathering uncertainty the very latest of our so-called discoveries are likely to be the most unsettling, as shown in these lines from “The First Anniversary”:

And new philosophy calls all in doubt,

The element of fire is quite put out;

The sun is lost, and th’earth, and no man’s wit

Can well direct him where to look for it.

Yet Donne is not counseling despair here. On the contrary, the Anniversaries offer a sure way out of spiritual dilemma: “thou hast but one way, not to admit / The world’s infection, to be none of it” (“The First Anniversary”). Moreover, the poems propose that a countering force is at work that resists the world’s frantic rush toward its own ruin. Such amendment of corruption is the true purpose of our worldly being: “our business is, to rectify / Nature, to what she was” (“To Sir Edward Herbert, at Juliers”). But in the present state of the world, and ourselves, the task becomes heroic and calls for a singular resolution.

The verse letters and funeral poems celebrate those qualities of their subjects that stand against the general lapse toward chaos: “Be more than man, or thou’art less than an ant” (“The First Anniversary”). The foremost of these qualities must be innocence itself, for that is just the condition which Adam and Eve forfeited at the Fall. As an innocent person presents a pattern of our uncorrupted state, so an innocent death is an ambiguous event; for in itself it is no death at all; yet in its effects it reenacts the primal calamity. Elizabeth Drury’s departure from the world left us dying but also better aware of our true state, as depicted in “The First Anniversary”:

This world, in that great earthquake languished,

For in a common bath of tears it bled,

Which drew the strongest vital spirits out

But succoured them with a perplexed doubt,

Whether the world did lose, or gain in this.

With the loss of her preserving balm the world falls sick and dies, even putrefies, leaving the poet only the task of anatomizing it so as to demonstrate its corruption. Donne uncompromisingly carries this complex conceit of an innocent death right through the two anniversary poems for Elizabeth Drury, disregarding the practical disadvantage that he is thus led to attribute a great deal to a young girl he had not even met. Ben Jonson assured William Drummond “That Donne’s Anniversary was profane and full of blasphemies,” and said “That he told Mr. Donne, if it had been written of the Virgin Mary it had been something; to which he answered that he described The Idea of a woman and not as she was.

Donne does not seek to celebrate a uniquely miraculous nature or a transcendental virtue. He shows us how an innocent young girl effectively embodied in her own human nature the qualities that alone preserve the natural creation and why her death reenacts the withdrawal of those qualities from the world. He pointedly declines to take the girl for an emanation of the divine spirit, another Beatrice who rose above the flesh in her life and transcends the world finally in her death. On the contrary, Elizabeth Drury is celebrated for human excellences that are spiritually refined in themselves. She was a being in whom body and spirit were at one.

Most of the people Donne praised, alive or dead, were past the age of innocence. Yet the burden of the Anniversary poems is that Elizabeth Drury’s death has shown us all how to resist the corrupting force of the world. A tried election of virtue is possible, though rarely achieved, which resists the common depravity of the Fall. Donne consoles a mourning woman with the conceit that she now incorporates her dead companion’s virtues with her own, and has thus acquired the power to preserve both their beings from corruption: “You that are she and you, that’s double she” (“To the Countess of Bedford”). He claims that a woman embodies all virtue in herself and sustains the world, so that “others’ good reflects but back your light” (“To the Countess of Huntingdon”). He excoriates a blind world that unknowingly owes what little vitality it still retains to the virtue of a few moral prodigies who mediate Christ’s own virtue, having the quasi-alchemic power to turn “Leaden and iron wills to good” and make “even sinful flesh like his” (“Resurrection, Imperfect”). Such virtuous beings rectify nature to what it was in their own bodies, so interfusing sense and spirit as to make an intelligent organism of the body itself, as depicted in “The Second Anniversary”:

we understood

Her by her sight, her pure and eloquent blood

Spoke in her cheeks, and so distinctly wrought,

That one might almost say, her body thought.

These poems of Donne’s middle years are less frequently read than the rest of his work, and they have struck readers as perversely obscure and odd. There is clearly some justification for that response, as seen in these lines from “The Second Anniversary”:

Immortal Maid, who though thy would’st refuse

The name of mother, be unto my Muse

A father, since her chaste ambition is,

Yearly to bring forth such a child as this.

The poems flaunt their creator’s unconcern with decorum to the point of shocking their readers. In his funeral poems Donne harps on decay and maggots, even venturing satiric asides as he contemplates bodily corruption: “Think thee a prince, who of themselves create / Worms which insensibly devour their state” (“The Second Anniversary”). He shows by the analogy of a beheaded man how it is that our dead world still appears to have life and movement (“The Second Anniversary”); he compares the soul in the newborn infant body with a “stubborn sullen anchorite” who sits “fixed to a pillar, or a grave / … / Bedded, and bathed in all his ordures” (“The Second Anniversary”); he develops in curious detail the conceit that virtuous men are clocks and that the late John Harrington, second Lord of Exton, was a public clock (“Obsequies to the Lord Harrington”). Such unsettling idiosyncrasy is too persistent to be merely wanton or sensational. It subverts our conventional proprieties in the interest of a radical order of truth.

Donne’s reluctance to become a priest, as he was several times urged to do, does not argue a lack of faith. The religious poems he wrote years before he took orders dramatically suggest that his doubts concerned his own unworthiness, his sense that he could not possibly merit God’s grace, as seen in these lines from Divine Meditations 4

Yet grace, if thou repent, thou canst not lack;

But who shall give thee that grace to begin?

Oh make thyself with holy mourning black,

And red with blushing, as thou art with sin.

These Divine Meditations, or Holy Sonnets, make a universal drama of religious life, in which every moment may confront us with the final annulment of time: “What if this present were the world’s last night?” (Divine Meditations 13 ). In Divine Meditations 10the prospect of a present entry upon eternity also calls for a showdown with ourselves and with the exemplary events that bring time and the timeless together in one order:

Mark in my heart, O soul, where thou dost dwell,

The picture of Christ crucified, and tell

Whether that countenance can thee affright.

Christ’s double nature, as God and man at once, assures his power to transform events in time; and it also confirms our power to outbrave our last enemy: “Death be not proud, though some have called thee / Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so.” The ringing rhetoric sustains a mighty shout of defiance in Divine Meditations 7, proclaiming the possibility of a heroic triumph snatched from likely defeat:

At the round earth’s imagined corners, blow

Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise

From death, you numberless infinities

Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go.

Such a magnificent declamation gives our moral life the grandeur of a universal drama that is perpetually reenacted; it sets the trumpets blowing here and now to proclaim the sudden irruption of the Day of Judgment.

The poet is always fearfully aware that we cannot command such triumphs for ourselves, and that we may have part in them at all only by submitting ourselves to a course of repentance that will open us to God’s grace at last. In Divine Meditations 1 he states,

But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space,

For, if above all these, my sins abound,

‘Tis late to ask abundance of thy grace,

When we are there; here on this lowly ground,

Teach me how to repent.

The present moment may define us forever. We make our predicament immediate by imagining ourselves in mortal sickness, or at the point of final judgment, brining ourselves sharply up against a reality that our daily lives obscure from us:

I run to death, and death meets me as fast,

And all my pleasures are like yesterday,

I dare not move my dim eyes any way,

Despair behind, and death before doth cast

Such terror.

These Divine Meditations make self-recognition a necessary means to grace. They dramatize the spiritual dilemma of errant creatures who need God’s grace in order that they may deserve it; for we must fall into sin and merit death even though our redemption is at hand; yet we cannot even begin to repent without grace. The poems open the sinner to God, imploring God’s forceful intervention by the sinner’s willing acknowledgment of the need for a drastic onslaught upon his present hardened state, as in Divine Meditations 

Batter my heart, three-personed God; for, you

As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;

That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend

Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

The force of the petition measures the dire extremity of his struggle with himself and with God’s adversary. Donne pleads with God that he too has an interest in this contention for the sinner’s soul: “Lest the world, flesh, yea Devil put thee out” ( Divine Meditations 17). The drama brings home to the poet the enormity of his ingratitude to his Redeemer, confronting him bodily with the irony of Christ’s self-humiliation for us. In Divine Meditations 11 Donne wonders why the sinner should not suffer Christ’s injuries in his own person:

Spit in my face ye Jews, and pierce my side,

Buffet, and scoff, scourge, and crucify me,

For I have sinned, and sinned, and only he,

Who could do no iniquity, hath died.

On the death of his wife in 1617 Donne’s poetic response in Divine Meditations 17 was movingly restrained and dignified:

Since she whom I loved hath paid her last debt

To nature, and to hers, and my good is dead,

And her soul early into heaven ravished,

Wholly in heavenly things my mind is set.

He turns his worldly loss to an occasion of final good in that he now finds only one sure way to be reunited with her. She becomes the means by which Christ woos his soul toward a remarriage in heaven: “But why should I beg more love, when as thou / Dost woo my soul for hers; offering all thine.”

Donne’s religious poems turn upon a paradox that is central to the hope for eternal life: Christ’s sacrificing himself to save mankind. God’s regimen is paradoxical, and in Divine Meditations 13 Donne sees no impropriety in entreating Christ with the casuistry he had used on his “profane mistreses” when he assured them that only the ugly lack compassion:

so I say to thee,

To wicked spirits are horrid shapes assigned,

This beauteous form assures a piteous mind.

In Divine Meditations 18 he resolves his search for the true Church in a still bolder sexual paradox, petitioning Christ as a “kind husband” to betray his spouse to our view so that the poet’s amorous soul may “court thy mild dove”: “Who is most true, and pleasing to thee, then / When she’is embraced and open to most men.” The apparent indecorum of making the true Church a whore and Christ her complaisant husband at least startles us into recognizing Christ’s own catholicity. The paradox brings out a truth about Christ’s Church that may well be shocking to those who uphold a sectarian exclusiveness.

Wit becomes the means by which the poet discovers the working of Providence in the casual traffic of the world. A journey westward from one friend’s house to another over Easter 1613 brings home to Donne the general aberration of nature that prompts us to put pleasure before our due devotion to Christ. We ought to be heading east at Easter so as to contemplate and share Christ’s suffering; and in summoning up that event to his mind’s eye, he recognizes the shocking paradox of the ignominious death of God upon a Cross: “Could I behold those hands, which span the poles, / And turn all spheres at once, pierced with those holes?” (“Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward“). An image of Christ’s degradation is directly imposed upon an image of God’s omnipotence. We see that the event itself has a double force, being at once the catastrophic consequence of our sin and the ultimate assurance of God’s saving love. The poet’s very journey west may be providential if it brings him to a penitent recognition of his present unworthiness to gaze directly upon Christ:

O Saviour, as thou hang’st upon the tree;

I turn my back to thee, but to receive

Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.

O think me worth thine anger, punish me,

Burn off my rusts, and my deformity,

Restore thine image, so much, by thy grace,

That thou mayest know me, and I’ll turn my face.

A serious illness that Donne suffered in 1623 produced a still more startling poetic effect. In “Hymn to God, my God, in my Sickness” the poet presents his recumbent body as a flat map over which the doctors pore like navigators to discover some passage through present dangers to tranquil waters; and he ponders his own destination as if he himself is a vessel that may reach the desirable places of the world only by negotiating some painful straits:

Is the Pacific Sea my home? Or are

The eastern riches? Is Jerusalem?

Anyan, and Magellan, and Gibraltar,

All straits, and none but straits, are ways to them.

By this self-questioning he brings himself to understand that his suffering may itself be a blessing, since he shares the condition of a world in which our ultimate bliss must be won through well-endured hardship. The physical symptoms of his illness become the signs of his salvation: “So, in his purple wrapped receive me Lord, / By these his thorns give me his other crown.” The images that make him one with Christ in his suffering transform those pangs into reassurance. The flushed face of the fevered man replicates Christ’s bloodied flesh, which is also the purple robe of Christ’s saving dominion; the sufferer’s spasms of pain become the thorns of Christ’s crown, which is also a true crown of glory. By intertwining Christ’s agony and loving power with the circumstances of his own desperate illness, Donne identifies the travails of a holy death with Christ’s anguish on the Cross, making such a death a means to bliss. His witty conceit seeks to catch the working of Providence itself, which shapes our human accidents in the pattern of timeless truth.

In Donne’s poetry, language may catch the presence of God in our human dealings. The pun on the poet’s name in “A Hymn to God the Father” registers the distance that the poet’s sins have put between himself and God, with new kinds of sin pressing forward as fast as God forgives those already confessed: “When thou hast done, thou hast not done, / For, I have more.” Then the puns on “sun” and “Donne” resolve these sinful anxieties themselves:

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun

My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;

But swear by thy self, that at my death thy son

Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;

And, having done that, thou hast done,

I fear no more.

For this poet such coincidences of words and ideas are not mere accidents to be juggled with in jest. They mark precisely the working of Providence within the order of nature.

The transformation of Jack Donne the rake into the Reverend Dr. Donne, dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, no longer seems bizarre. To impose such clear-cut categories upon a man’s career may be to take too rigid a view of human nature. That the poet of the Elegiesand Songs and Sonnets is also the author of the Devotions and the sermons need not indicate some profound spiritual upheaval. One reason for the appeal of Donne in modern times is that he confronts us with the complexity of our own natures.

Donne took holy orders in January 1615, having been persuaded by King James himself of his fitness for a ministry “to which he was, and appeared, very unwilling, apprehending it (such was his mistaking modesty) to be too weighty for his abilities.” So writes his first biographer, Izaak Walton, who had known him well and often heard him preach. Once committed to the Church, Donne devoted himself to it totally, and his life thereafter becomes a record of incumbencies held and sermons preached.

His wife died in childbirth in 1617. He was elected dean of St. Paul’s in November 1621, and he became the most celebrated cleric of his age, preaching frequently before the king at court as well as at St. Paul’s and other churches. One hundred and sixty of his sermons have survived. The few religious poems he wrote after he became a priest show no falling off in imaginative power, yet the calling of his later years committed him to prose, and the artistry of his Devotions and sermons at least matches the artistry of his poems.

The magnificent prose of Donne’s Devotions embodies a way of thinking that gives it both its character and its power. The impassioned development of a thought through metaphor sets up links and correspondences that are caught in the structure of the sentences themselves, as witnessed in this prayer, number 20 in Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions


I am come by thy goodness, to the use of thine ordinary means for my body, to wash away those peccant humours, that endangered it. I have, O Lord, a Riverin my body, but a Sea in my soul, and a Sea swollen into the depth of a Deluge, above the sea. Thou hast raised up certain hills in me heretofore, by which I might have stood safe, from these inundations of sin … and to the top of all these hills, thou has brought me heretofore; but this Deluge, this inundation, is got above all my Hills; and I have sinned and sinned, and multiplied sin to sin, after all these thy assistances against sin, and where is there water enough to wash away this Deluge?

The highly dramatic counterpointing of the syntax follows out an elaborate pattern of understanding. This set of twenty-three Devotions presents a prime example of the attempt to find an eternal significance in the natural occurrences of the world, even such a down-to-earth proceeding as a forced evacuation of the bowels to relieve a physical malady.

Donne wrote his Devotions in his convalescence from a protracted bout of relapsing fever that brought him very near to death in November and December 1623. He plots in formal stages the day-to-day physical progress of the illness, discovering in it nothing less than a universal pattern of ruin and (as it turns out) recovery. By taking his own constitution for a little world that reproduces the economy of the larger world, he works out in elaborate detail the correspondence between his present predicament and the disordered state of nature. As his illness is no mere physical accident but the embodiment of a spiritual condition, so the whole of nature itself now decays in consequence of reiterated sin. At the very nadir of his being Donne contemplates the prospect of his imminent death, as well as the final ruination of the world, by occasion of the death of another human being whose funeral bell he hears tolling close at hand. The celebrated passage from number 17 in Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions gains power in its context:

Perchance he for whom this Bell tolls, may be so ill, as that he knows not it tollsfor him; And perchance I may think my self so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that. The Church is Catholic, universal, so are all her Actions; Allthat she does, belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me … who bends not his ear to any bell, which upon any occasion rings? But who can remove it from that bell, which is passing a piece of himself out of this world? No Man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a Clod be washed away by the Sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a Promontory were, as well as if a Manor of thy friends, or of thine own were; Any Man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

It is thus harrowingly brought home to him that his own predicament is not particular to himself but shared with the whole of nature. All funeral bells toll for us all, as well as for our dying world.

However, the sudden and unexpected remission of his fear also realizes a spiritual truth. A countermovement against the rush to ruin may save us and the world if we will sustain it in our lives. Christ’s blood can counteract the seas of sin that threaten to inundate the world. In one man’s extremity the universal design of Providential love discloses itself, and Donne’s formal meditation on his sickness stands as a powerfully sustained feat of thinking that discovers the coherence of God’s creation in the very fortuities that seem to deny it.

The publication in 1919 of Donne’s Sermons: Selected Passages, edited by Logan Pearsall Smith, came as a revelation to its readers, not least those who had little taste for sermons. John Bailey, writing in the Quarterly Review (April 1920), found in these extracts “the very genius of oratory … a masterpiece of English prose.” Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, in Studies in Literature (1920), judged the sermons to include “the most magnificent prose ever uttered from an English pulpit, if not the most magnificent prose ever spoken in our tongue.”

Donne’s best-known sermon, Deaths Duell (1632), is his last one, which he preached at court just a month before he expired. He was already visibly dying, and this sermon is often taken to seal his long preoccupation with death. In fact it celebrates a triumph over death that is confirmed by the Resurrection of Christ. Donne draws out three distinct senses of his text from Psalm 68, “And unto God the Lord belong the issues Of death.” God has power to bring about our deliverance from death; our deliverance in death (by his care for us in the hour and manner of our death); and our deliverance by means ofdeath (through Christ’s sacrifice of himself for us). By examining each of these senses in turn, Donne shows that they finally cohere in Christ’s life. The sermon culminates in a meditation upon Christ’s last hours and sufferings, inviting the reader to acquiesce in oneness with Christ’s own condition, just because he is the second Adam, who redeems the sin of the first:

There we leave you, in that blessed dependency, to hang upon him, that hangs upon the cross. There bathe in his tears, there suck at his wounds, and lie down in peace in his grave, till he vouchsafe you a Resurrection, and an ascension into that Kingdom which he hath purchased for you, with the inestimable price of his incorruptible blood.

Over a literary career of some forty years Donne moved from skeptical naturalism to a conviction of the shaping presence of the divine spirit in the natural creation. Yet his mature understanding did not contradict his earlier vision. He simply came to anticipate a Providential disposition in the restless whirl of the world. The amorous adventurer nurtured the dean of St. Paul’s.
— A. J. Smith, University of Southampton



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Photographer Robert Sijka

Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cat

 Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cat


Maine Coon Cat

Maine Coon Cat

 Maine Coon Cat
 Maine Coon Cat
 Maine Coon Cat 

Maine Coon Cat

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Henri Michaux Poet 1899–1984


Henri Michaux died in Paris in 1984 at the age of 85.

Michaux is a poet of unique style, one that is particularly difficult to pinpoint. He most closely resembles the surrealists, but cannot even accurately be grouped with them. Frederic Sepher pointed out that much of his poetry reads like short stories, although most of it does rhyme. He stated that while Michaux is probably the “least lyric of all contemporary French poets,” and employs few metaphors, “he is brilliantly imaginative, inventive and rythmic. He even verges on the musical in his haunting, desperate litanies with their repetitions and developments.”

Haunting, too, is Michaux’s emphasis on “the strangeness of natural things and the naturalness of strange things,” as Andre Gide once described Michaux’s philosophy. Like Swift, Flaubert, and Lautreament, Michaux created imaginery lands inhabited by equally chimerical creatures. The royal spider, the Hacs, the Emanglons, and the Gaurs are just a few of the inhabitants in what are considered his best works, including Voyage en Grande Garbagne, Au Pays de la magie, and Ici, Poddema. These creatures are portrayed as being more real than human beings. So are their worlds seen as being far less fantastic and less absurd than the one in which Michaux himself lives. As a Times Literary Supplement critic put it, “It is surprising how true much of his poetry is even at the most superficial level.” What has really happened in the thirty-odd years since the publication of Voyage en Grande Garbagne seems more strange than what is in the book, the critic asserted.

Michaux’s world is filled with aggression and hostility. Through his writings he emphasizes fears and anxieties that are most often suppressed by others. As Sepher pointed out, Michaux’s poetry is a form of self-analysis: it exorcises the terrible demons that reside within him. And to absorb blows that life meant for him, he invented a character named Plume. Plume is a weak, pathetic, yet humorous person, resembling Charlie Chaplin, who is constantly being bullied by his more intrepid associates. He embodies the weakness Michaux sees in himself, and in all men.

Michaux’s works are imbued with a sense of alienation not only from others, but from himself as well. He warns that twentieth-century life is dangerous: one must be perpetually on guard for it is too easy to lose oneself, a frightening feeling he often describes. There is an ever-present conflict between one’s inner and outer lives. Michaux contends that by developing stringent social mores that lead to the suppression of the individual by society, it is man himself who is responsible for this conflict. But man’s condition is not hopeless. Michaux combats his own struggle between inner thoughts and the outside world by practicing strict self control, and with a sense of humor that is “one of his most salient characteristics,” as Sepher observed.

While Michaux’s writings are read worldwide and his poetry is currently popular among young people in France, the man himself remains somewhat of an enigma. Introverted and introspective, Michaux has screened much of his private life, especially his early years, from public view. It is known, however, that he felt alienated from his parents from the beginning. He voraciously read the works of mystics, and later was influenced by the writings of Lautreament, Ruysbroeck, Kafka, and Ernst Hello. He also painted, inspired by the modernist artists, most notably Paul Klee.

In his youth, Michaux had hoped to join the priesthood but was dissuaded from doing so by his father. Instead, he pursued medical studies but eventually abandoned them to sail with the merchant marines. As a sailor, Michaux traveled to the United States, South America, and England, and later, on his own, to Asia, where he accumulated material used in writing travel books, such as Ecuador and Un barbare en Asie. But the travels he described were not all physical: even then, Michaux also wrote of the journeys within himself. In New Republic, a critic commented: “Coming upon Ecuador today one cannot, except by an act of imagination, appreciate the revolutionary thing it was when it was first published, nor the risk that Michaux took in those days. But the risk and the kind of adventure in which he engaged deserves to be compared with that of other great innovative writers of our time. Like them, he is powerful, incomplete, shifting, strangely satisfying and dissatisfying.”

Like Aldous Huxley, Michaux experimented with hallucinogenic drugs, primarily mescaline, in exploration of his inner self and of further awareness. He was fifty-seven when he embarked on his first drug-induced voyage. At sixty-seven he gave up drugs at his doctor’s advice, believing he had already experienced all that he could with them anyway. Some of his experiences are mirrored in The Major Ordeals of the Mind and the Countless Minor Ones, Miserable Miracle, L’Infini turbulent, Connaissance par les gouffres, and L’Espace du dedans. The latter is “not the kind of book to be read from cover to cover, but one to be dipped into, a little at a time,” a Times Literary Supplement critic noted. Michaux’s “poetry is the result of exploring and, in its most liberal sense, analysing the ‘space within’, the infinite universe of the inner self where the galaxies move and revolve according to laws whose mathematics may be forever beyond our comprehension.”

In recent years, Michaux has devoted most of his talents to painting. That, for him, is another form of exorcism. He has said that he can better express himself through this medium. Many of his books include original drawings and paintings.
In English (see also below):

Ecuador: journal de voyage, [France], 1929, revised edition, Gallimard, 1968, translation by Robin Magowan published as Ecuador: A Travel Journal, University of Washington Press, 1968.
Un barbare en Asie (travel notes), Gallimard, 1933, revised edition, Gallimard, 1967, translation by Sylvia Beach published as A Barbarian in Asia, New Directions, 1949.
L’Espace du dedans (poetry), Gallimard, 1944, revised and enlarged edition, 1966 , translation by Richard Ellmann published as Selected Writings: The Space Within, New Directions, 1951.
(Self-illustrated) Miserable miracle, Rocher, 1956, revised and enlarged edition, Gallimard, 1972, translation by Louise Varese published as Miserable Miracle: Mescaline, City Lights, 1963.
L’Infini turbulent, Mercure, 1957, revised and enlarged edition, Gallimard, 1967 , translation by Michael Fineberg published as Infinite Turbulence, Calder & Boyars, 1975.
Connaissance par les gouffres, Gallimard, 1961, revised edition, Gallimard, 1967, translation by Haakon Chevalier published as Light Through Darkness, Orion Press, 1963.
Les Grandes Epreuves de l’esprit et les innombrables petites (autobiography), Gallimard, 1966, translation by Richard Howard published as The Major Ordeals of the Mind and the Countless Minor Ones, Harcourt, 1974.
Michaux , translation from the French by Teo Savory, bilingual edition, Unicorn Press, 1967.
Peter Broome, editor, Au pays de la magie (text in French; introduction and commentaries in English), Athlone Press, 1977.
Henri Michaux, A Selection, translated by Michael Fineberg, Embers (Norwich), 1979.
Ideograms in China, translated by Gustaf Sobin, New Directions (New York, NY), 1984.
A Barbarian in Asia, translated by Sylvia Beach, New Directions, 1986.
By Surprise, translated by Randolph Hough, Hanuman (New York City), 1987.
Meidosems: Poems and Lithographs, translated by Elizabeth R. Jackson, Moving Parts Press (Santa Cruz, CA), 1992.
Spaced, Displaced, translated by David and Helen Constantine, Bloodaxe (Newcastle Upon Tyne), 1992.
David Ball, editor and translator, Darkness Moves: An Henri Michaux Anthology, 1927-1984, University of California Press, 1994.
Henri Michaux: Whitechapel Art Gallery, 19 February-25 April 1999, Whitechapel Art Gallery (London, England), 1999.
Oeuvres Completes, II, Gallimard (Paris, France), 2001.
Someone Wants to Steal My Name: And Other Poems, Cleveland State University Poetry Center (Cleveland, OH), 2003.

Mes proprietes (poetry and prose), J. D. Fourcade, 1929.
La Nuit remu (poetry), Gallimard, 1935, revised edition, 1967.
Voyage en Grande Garbagne, Gallimard, 1941.
Liberte d’action (poetry), Fontane, 1945.
Ici, Poddema (excerpt from Livre du voyager; also see below), Mermod (Lausanne, Switzerland), 1946.
Epreuves, exorcismes, 1940-44 (poetry; title means “Tests, Exorcisms”), Gallimard, 1946.
Rene Bertele, editor, Henri Michaux, Seghers, 1946, revised and enlarged edition, 1957.
Peintures et dessins, Editions du point du jour, 1946.
Nous deux encore, Lanbert, 1948.
Arriver a se reveiller, L’Air du temps, 1948.
Henri Michaux, P. Drouin, 1948.
Ailleurs (poetry), Gallimard, 1948, revised edition, 1969.
La Vie dans les plis (poetry), Gallimard, 1949, new edition, 1965.
Passages, 1937-1950, Gallimard, 1950, revised and enlarged edition, NRF, 1963.
(Self-illustrated) Mouvements (poetry), Gallimard, 1951.
Nouvelles de l’etranger, Mercure, 1952.
Face aux verrous (poetry; title means “Facing the Bolts”), Gallimard, 1954 , revised edition, 1967.
Quatre cents hommes en croix, P. Bettencourt, 1956.
Plume; precede de Lointaine interieur (poetry), Gallimard, 1957, revised edition, 1967.
(Self-illustrated) Paix dans les brisements (poetry), Flinker, 1959.
Galerie Daniel Cordier, compiler, Henri Michaux, [Paris], 1959.
La Psilocybine, [Paris], 1960.
Situations-gouffres, [Paris], 1960.
Vents et poussieres, 1955-1962, Flinker, 1962.
Henri Michaux, oeuvres recentes, presented by Cordier, text by Genevieve Bonnefoi, [Paris], 1962.
Vers la completude (poetry), GLM, 1966.
L’Espace du dedans, pages choisies (1927-1959), Gallimard, 1966; Henri Michaux, [Paris], 1966.
Bertele, compiler, Parcours: Suite de douze eaux-fortes originales, Le Point cardinal, 1966.
K. Leonard, editor and compiler, Henri Michaux, [London], 1968.
Facons d’endormi, facons d’eveille, Gallimard, 1969.
Poteaux d’angle, Herne, 1971.
En revant a partir de peintures enigmatiques, Fata Morgana (Montpellier, France), 1972.
Emergence-resurgences, Skira, 1972.
Quand tombent les toits (play), GLM, 1973.
Moments; traversees du temps (poetry), Gallimard, 1973.
Bras casse, Fata morgana, 1973.
Par la voie des rythmes, Fata morgana, 1974.
Ideogrammes en Chine, Fata morgana, 1975.
Moriturus, Fata morgana, 1976.
Choix de poemes, Gallimard, 1976.
A Distance: Poemes, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1997.
Oeuvres Completes, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1998.
A la Minute que J’Eclate: Quarante-tros lettres a Herman Closson, D. Devillez (Bruxelles, Belgium), 1999.
Sitot Lus: Letters a Franz Hellens, 1922-1952, Fayrad (Paris, France), 1999.
Also author of Livre du voyager, Ailleurs, Liberte d’action (title means “Freedom of Action”), 1947, and of poetry includingQue je fus, 1927, Un Certain Plume, 1931, and Apparitions, 1946. Exhibition catalogs: Asger Oluf Jorn, editor, Henri Michaux, Silkeborg Museum (Denmark), 1962;Amsterdam. Stedelijk Museum. Henri Michaux, Staatsdrukkerij, 1964; Henri Michaux, Musee national d’art moderne (Paris), 1965; Henri Michaux: choix d’oeuvres des annees 1946-1966, Le Point cardinal, 1967; Michaux a Venezia centro internazionale delle arti e del costume, Palazzo Grassi, 1967, Rizzoli grafica (Milan), 1967; Exposition Henri Michaux: peintures, 1946-67, text by Bonnefoi, [Rouen, France], 1968; Henri Michaux, bilingual edition, W. Girardet, 1969; Henri Michaux, Kestner Gesellschaft, 1972; Henri Michaux: oeuvres nouvelles, 26 novembre 1974-fin janvier 1975, Le Point cardinal, 1974.

Bowie, Malcolm, Henri Michaux: A Study of His Literary Works, Clarendon Press, 1973.
Broome, Peter, Henri Michaux, Athlone Press, 1977.
Durrell, Lawrence, Henri Michaux: The Poet of Supreme Solipsism, Delos Press (Birmingham), 1990.
Edson, Laurie, Henri Michaux and the Poetics of Movement, ANLibri, 1985.
La Charite, Virginia A., Henri Michaux, Twayne (Boston, MA), 1977.
Leonhard, Kurt, Henri Michaux, translated by Anthony Kitzinger, Thames & Hudson, 1968.
Michaux, Henri, The Major Ordeals of the Mind and Countless Minor Ones, translated by Richard Howard, Harcourt, 1974.
Shepler, Frederic Joseph, Creatures Within: Imaginary Beings in the Work of Henri Michaux, Physsardt (Bloomington, IN), 1977.
Velinsky, L.A., From the Gloom of Today to the New Greatness of Man: Itinerary by Henri Michaux, Builder of New Poetry, Vantage Press (New York City), 1977.

L’Express, January 5-11, 1970; Times Literary Supplement, September 25, 1970, August 6, 1971, May 4, 1973, February 15, 1976; Modern Language Journal, October, 1970; Choice, November, 1970, October, 1974; Art in America, March, 1971; Books Abroad, winter, 1974; Encounter, July, 1977; World Literature Today, winter, 1977; Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 8, Gale, 1978.

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale, Volume 8, 1978, Volume 19, 1981; Chicago Tribune, October 23, 1984;Times (London), October 25, 1984.

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Alfred Corn – Poet


It is my honor and privilege to present Alfred Corn, the great American poet and essayist.
Mr Corn was asked by J.D.M.P.S to write a poem in remembrance of Jim Morrison and we are delighted with his submission.
The true Jim Morrison fan has read every single word of Jim’s writings, so “Stranger” is nothing less than poetic scripture lovingly crafted using Morrison’s own repository then presented to delight us one and all.

A. R. Graham.


For Jim Morrison

Wilderness scout unaware a sidewinder
during the night has slipped into the tent: he rolls
over onto a two-point bite through his T-shirt.
Adam woke one morning to a missing rib.
Eva appeared. Snake eyes: a knowing apple
later, the pair denuded of their innocence
joined wounds and became one flesh again,
though it severed them forever from their garden.
Prometheus, Firebringer, chained
to the gods-ordained rock, in agonic
dialogue with a vulture, whose box-cutter
beak finds a way through the ribcage
to dig out chunks of liver. Bright sunrise
to warm sunset: the thief of heat and light
lives as carrion for his winged tormentor.
Spear-wound through which the dying Master’s
blood and water poured: in the epilogue
it served (“Put your fingers in the hole”)
as court evidence to doubting Thomas.
Who wouldn’t do it, choked up, and believed.
And Paul’s equivalent? Even during a feast
of friends, he felt a “thorn in his side,” a burr
under the saddle that pricks and gives no rest.
Jim, my frontman! We won’t find a Fender burning
at your side. You light a fire in the chest’s beating
hearth, exacerbating a stab wound nothing
will ever stanch. Both entrance and exit,
a door of perception. Go in, strut a little hour
on the stage, be their Dionysus: twice born,
ripped from a mother’s womb and housed
in Zeus’s side until gestation was done. Wasted,
you wanted not this numbed-out cage of ours
but infinite, eternal room. Death’s got that.
It stretched its arms outward to a T, the crossbar
calling you to break into an amniotic otherland
where laughter and soft lies couldn’t wake you.
The embers are with us now, electric, ravaging.
Ah but you: wandering the wilderness like Cain
on your stone highway to the end of the night.

American author Alfred Corn has published ten books of poems, including Stake: Selected Poems, 1972-1992 (1999) and, most recently, Unions (2014). He has also published a novel, Part of His Story, a study of prosody The Poem’s Heartbeat, and two collections of critical essays, The Metamorphoses of Metaphor and Atlas: Selected Essays, 1989-2007. His second novel, Miranda’s Book, will be published in late 2014.

As a graduate student in French literature, he received a Fulbright Fellowship to study for a year in Paris. For his poetry, he has received Guggenheim, NEA, and NYFA fellowships, an Award in Literature from the Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, and the Dillon, Blumenthal, and Levinson Prizes from Poetry magazine. 

For many years he taught in the Graduate Writing Program at Columbia University and held visiting posts at UCLA, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma State, and Yale. 

His book reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Nation, the New Republic, the Hudson Review, and Poetry London. He also writes art criticism for Art in America and ARTnews magazines. 

In 2001 Abrams published Aaron Rose Photographs, for which he supplied the introduction. In 2003 he was a fellow of the Rockefeller Study and Conference Center at Bellagio, Lake Como, and for 2004-2005, he held the Amy Clampitt residency in Lenox, Massachusetts. From 2005 to 2011 he lived mostly in London, teaching a course for the Poetry School, and one for the Arvon Foundation. His play, Lowell’s Bedlam, premiered at Pentameters Theatre in London in 2011. In 2012, he was a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, working on a translation of the Duino Elegies, and in 2013 Clare Hall made him a Life Fellow. In 2014 he won the international Andersen Prize, awarded for a fairy tale, by the Comune di Sestri Levante in Italy. 
Corn lives in Rhode Island and spends part of every year in the UK.

Posted in Clarion Autumn 2016, Clarion Rock | Leave a comment

MORRISON HOTEL/Hard Rock Cafe by The Doors

MORRISON HOTEL/Hard Rock Cafe by The Doors

(1970/Electra Records, NY).

The album’s front and back covers, as photographed on December 17th, 1969 in Los Angeles by Henry Diltz with art direction by Gary Burden. 

Here’s the front cover of the album, the Door’s fifth album, released in 1970. The members of the band are, from left to right, Ray Manzarek (piano, organ), Robbie Krieger (guiter), Jim Morrison (vocals), and John Densmore (drums).

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz)

This is where the cover was photographed: 1246 South Hope Street, Los Angeles. At the time the building was a low-rent hotel for transients called “The Morrison Hotel.” It has been closed for several years.

Here it is PopSpotted – with the album cover placed in the exact position where the photo was taken.

And the same view, but from a wider angle; click to enlarge.

TO give you a view of how big the hotel was, here’s the former Morrison Hotel from across the street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Here’s an aeriel view from Bing’s bird’s eye view.

The hotel was located in downtown Los Angeles. Here’s where that is in relation to Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the Pacific Ocean. Downtown LA is having a resurgence now, but for many years was overshadowed by the glamourous parts of Los Angeles nearer the ocean.

A few days before the shoot, Ray Manzarek and his wife were cruising through the neighboorhood looking for funky locations for the photoshoot, when they spotted the hotel. They recommended to the group that the cover shot be be taken there.

When the entourage arrived several days later, the desk clerk told the photographer that the group would not be allowed into the building for any photos. So the band took some photos outside while while they figured out how to take a picture incorporating the Morrison Hotel sign in the front window. Here’s one in the doorway.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

And another version from a different angle.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

The photographer, Henry Diltz, covered the scene from many different angles in pursuit of the perfect picture. Here’s Jim Morrison posing out front.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

This is a close-up of the sign in the front window. I doubt there were mints under the pillows.

Photographer Henry Diltz is on the left side of this photo taken from a documentary featuring the shoot made years later in the Morrison Hotel lobby (see Addendum for more info). To the right is Gary Burden the art director. They worked together on many albums in the 1960’s to 1970’s. More on them later.

In between them is the front desk. Back when they were photographing the Doors, when they saw the desk clerk leave for a break, they quickly got the Doors to rush into the hotel and pose, looking out the front window under the “Morrison Hotel” sign. Diltz managed to shoot a roll, starting at the window then moving back across the street and using a telephoto. Then they left and the security guard never knew the photo shoot had taken place.

(still shot from the DVD “Under the Covers.” See Addendum for more info.) 

Here’s the first photo taken, as the Doors are sneaking in to take their places.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

First, Ray and Jim show up.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

Then Robbie and John show up.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

Gary Burden, the art director, also shows up in the background. Can you see him?

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

Here he is in close-up.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

That’s Gary Burden on the left with with Mama Cass and Henry Diltz from back in the day

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

Now Gary has left and Henry Diltz is close to the cover shot, going now for a straight-on shot.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

Bingo! Here’s the final shot: One of the most perfect “form-and-function” rock shots ever – perfectly composed for an album cover, complete with cool typeface, not to mention the name of the lead singer built in!

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

I liked it so much, I’m going to show it to you again with a circle showing the reflection of the photographer, Henry Diltz.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

If you go to Google Images and search for “1246 South Hope Street,” this great photo from that era pops up on several websites, but there is no mention as to its origin. It looks like it came from Henry Diltz’ photo session, except that: 1) the venetian blinds in the window are at the level from after the photoshoot, 2) there is no “rooms $2.50 sign” in the window, and 3) most vividly, the shadows from the sign in the “greenish” picture are very pronounced), so it most likely was taken on a different occasion by a different person.

(photo origin unknown) 

Here’s a shot from Henry Diltz’s session from about the same place (taken off a computer monitor). Notice that the venetian blinds are lower.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

Here’s the cover shot inserted into the older photo. The venetian blinds have ben pulled up to get a clear shot of the hotel name.

So, with the cover shot complete, then the guys decide to drive around and find a place get a beer, since it’s daytime and they are rock stars. They go a few blocks and – lo and behold – look what they wander upon …a bar called, fortuitously, the Hard Rock Cafe.

The restaurant chain named The Hard Rock Cafe would later take it’s name from this album. One can only wonder though, where the name “hard rock” came from to the owner of this low-rent cafe near skid row Los Angeles. Hard labor? Hard rock to blast to make the highway? The denizens of this bar don’t seem like Zeppelin fans…though ya never know.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

The Doors show up.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

Let’s backtrack a little: The corner is the southwest corner of East 5th Street and Wall Street, Los Angeles; about 8 blocks from The Morrison Hotel.

Here’s a panorama of the corner. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

And here, I’ve overlayed the back of the album cover over the scene as shot by Google Street Maps.

(interior photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

So if we follow the band into the bar, you see this stool…

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

..That’s the one the drummer John Densmore is sitting on in the double-wide inner sleeve photo.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

And if we pull the camera back a little, we can see the whole center gatefold of the album. Looks like the boys have ordered some of the beverage du jour. (Well, I woke up this morning and got myself a beeeeerrr!)

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

It also looks like Jim even ordered a bag of chips for the guys.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

Here are some more outtakes from the bar shoot…

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

…and another…

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

…and another. This time, one of the guys from the bar gets in on the shot.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

He clearly does not mind being in the spotlight.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

The beers having been consumed, the guys walk back outside.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

…followed by their new friend, who unfortunately, didn’t know how to play an instrument, and missed his opportunity for rock immortality.

(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 

Here’s where all that took place: the Hard Rock in relation to the Morrison Hotel.

Well, that’s all folks! If you want to buy any of these photos, call up The Morrison Hotel gallery, Henry Diltz’s rock photography store at 124 Prince Street in Soho, New York (pictured below), or visit the store online at MorrisonHotel.com.

Even the front window looks like the old album cover. Fun to take your photo in front of and to email your fellow Doors fans back home.

Addendum 1: The front cover of UNDER THE COVERS, a DVD by photographer Henry Diltz and art director Gary Burden featuring the behind-the-scenes stories of taking the photographs and designing the covers for many of the iconic albums covers of the 60’s and 70’s. It’s available through most online DVD stores.

The back cover to Under the Covers listing many of the albums featured in the video documentary.

Addendum 2: Some ads from the time of the album’s release.

Posted in Clarion Autumn 2016, Clarion Rock | Leave a comment

Shakespeare allusions in Jim Morrison`s poetry


Jim Morrison (1943-1971) was one of the most educated and well-read poets of his time. He was interested in Greek drama and Artaud theater and just the theater concept in itself. A born poet, signer and actor Morrison managed to reveal his talents while working as a frontman of The Doors. He didn`t just sing but acted trying this or that role of a shaman-poet, of a Greek god Dyonis, of a mythic Lizard King. Morrison was a real poet-performer, he created his own tragedy in his mind and through his poetry he dramatized his inner feelings and emotions.

Though Morrison preferred the epic theater of Brecht and the Theater of Cruelty of Artaud to traditional theater associated with Shakespeare for the latter lacks the possibility of involving the spectator into the action as a participant of a certain rite, Morrison respected greatly Shakespeare`s works and while reading Wilderness we can`t but find lots of Shakespeare allusions in his poetry.

In Ode to LA while thinking of Brian Jones, Deceased Morrison writes:

I’m a resident of a city
They’ve just picked me to play
the Prince of Denmark…

The poet feels himself a Hamlet – and that may seem old-fashioned and even banal but the thing is that the existential problem of to-be-or-not-to-be is actually the only one worth mentioning in poetry. Death may surely be called one of the central problems in Morrison`s poetry. Morrison as a true visionary poet forsaw lots of things and predicted his own death. He died a very young man at the age of 27. Image of death, the end, appears throughout his poetry. A poet feeling his end too close couln`t but asked himself whether the life was worth living, whether the life was worth being a sacrifice for a revealed truth:

…You’ve left your
to compete w/

Ode to LA is devoted to Brian Jones, a rock musician (The Rolling Stones) whosemysterious death in a swimming pool influenced Morrison and provoked him to writing a poem languorous with images of water, pools, trampling board and dead bodies:

…Poor Ophelia

All those ghosts he never saw
Floating to doom
On an iron candle

Come back, brave warrior
Do the dive
On another channel

Hot buttered pool
Where’s Marrakesh
Under the falls
the wild storm
where savages fell out
in late afternoon
monsters of rhythm…

Shakespeare`s Ophelia may have some resemblence to Brian Jones and even to Morrison`s own death as he died in a bathroom in Paris in 1971. The official version was heart attack. Applying Morrison`s death to the poem makes the latter twice more terrifying:


Leaves, sodden
in silk

mad stifled

The diving board, the plunge
The pool

You were a fighter
a damask musky muse

You were the bleached
for TV afternoon

maverick of a yellow spot

Look now to where it’s got

in meat heaven
w/the cannibals
& jews

The gardener
The body, rampant, Floating

Lucky Stiff
What is this green pale stuff
You’re made of

Poke holes in the goddess

Will he Stink
Carried heavenward
Thru the halls
of music

No chance.

Requiem for a heavy
That smile
That porky satyr’s
has leaped upward

into the loam

Another important image in Morrison`s poetry is the Far Arden. Far Arden is known to the reader from Shakespeare`s As You Like It. In Morrison`s poetry Far Arden symbolizes freedom, joy and music, it is a mystic forest where songs and dances rule:

Ladies & gentlemen:
please attend carefully to these words & events
It’s your last chance, our last hope.
In this womb or tomb, we’re free of the
swarming streets.
The black fever which rages is safely
out those doors
My friends & I come from
Far Arden w/dances, &
new music
Everywhere followers accure
to our procession.
Tales of Kings, gods, warriors
and lovers dangled like
jewels for your careless pleasure

(he enters stage)

The poet tries a role of a middle age minstrel, a vagabond, a wanderer, who chose his life be an ever feast of life. Tales of kings and queens attract Morrison`s imagination. He admires the illusion of harmony in Shakespeare`s world:

Under the moon
Beneath the stars
They reel & dance
The young folk

Led to the Lake
by a King & Queen

O, I want to be there
I want us to be there
Beside the lake
Beneath the moon
Cool & swollen
dripping its hot


A poet of the XXth century, when a man was left alone, when the death of the god was officially proclaimed and life was changed for existence with no aim in life, Shakespeare`s Far Arden stands for middle age utopia, a world of fiction and illusions, a beautiful forest where young folk sing and dance and the poet would gladly plump for this world of dreams.

Traditionally Shakespeare`s images are reflected intertextually in the works of the poets of the following centuries. Morrison as a poet of tradition contributed this tendency greatly. He interpreted Shakespeare`s images through his own scope of vision of a poet born in the XXth century whose poetic style was worked out on the base of existential philosophy combined with the tradition of visionary poets, Indian religion and American avant-garde of the 1950-60s.

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Posted in Clarion Autumn 2016, Clarion Rock | 1 Comment


Take a trip down memory lane with Coronado Rock-n-Roll archivist John Moore.


The San Diego Concert Archive was created through extensive research of the following newspapers, fanzines and weekly periodicals: The San Diego Door/Teaspoon, The San Diego Union, The San Diego Evening Tribune, The San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego State University Daily Aztec, The San Diego Reader, Quasi-Substitute, Snare, Kicks and SLAMM.

San Diego Central Library, San Diego Historical Society Research Archives and San Diego State University Love Library.

Laurie Henderson, Joseph Garcia, Paul Wultz, Tom Sims, Bart Mendoza, Jake Tison, Cesar Guizar, Larry Harmon, Phil Galloway, Andrea Soldi, Ken Langford, Doug Schlar, Jesse Adriance and Eric Rife.


Send photos, posters, flyers and tickets to: 

Jon Moore
PO Box 83931
San Diego, CA 92138 

Submissions are welcome and will be posted anonymously to protect the privacy of the donor. Please contact us with details regarding your pre-2000 San Diego concert memorabilia.

This site was created, and is maintained, 100% gratis by Hesh One.

Jon Moore Presents: San Diego Concert Archive © 1992-2004 Jon Moore. Advanced written consent is needed to reproduce any information or image from this website.



Before barcodes and holograms, promoters often spent as much time decorating their tickets as they did with their posters and handbills. Even with their minimal amount of information, tickets provide an important part in the documentation of the San Diego music scene.




Flyers have always been an inexpensive and effective way to promote a concert. Some are as basic as simple hand-scrawled information on a sheet of paper while others are detailed and sophisticated pieces of art.


From the colorful psychedelic hand-screened images of the 1960s and 1970s, to today’s offset press high tech printing capabilities, rock posters have always been on the cutting edge of modern graphic art, simultaneously capturing a moment of San Diego’s music scene on a piece of poster board.





There have been many places for bands to play around San Diego… Some have come and gone and others have stuck around.  Here’s a sample of some of the most popular ones.

4th & B Street 
345 B Street, Downtown
Black Crowes, Gov’t Mule, Chris Isaak

Abbey Road
3117 University Avenue, North Park
Zeros, Hitmakers, Penetrators

Adams Avenue Theater 
3325 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights
REM, Anthrax, Dead Kennedy’s

Arena, The 
8th & Harbor Street, Downtown
Elvis Presley

Aztec Bowl/Cox Arena
5500 Canyon Crest Drive, SDSU Campus, College Area
Grateful Dead, The Police, A Tribe Called Quest

Bacchanal/Reptile House/Sound FX 
8022 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Kearney Mesa
Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt, Garth Brooks

Backdoor, The 
5500 Campanile Drive, SDSU Campus, College Area
Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Captain Beefheart

Balboa Bowl/Starlight Bowl 
2005 Panamerican Road, Balboa Park
Kingston Trio, Rolling Stones, Peter, Paul & Mary

Balboa Park Club
2150 Panamerican Road West, Balboa Park
Little Richard, Ike & Tina Turner

Balboa Stadium
1405 Park Boulevard, San Diego High School, Balboa Park
The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors

Belly Up Tavern
143 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter

6149 University Avenue, Rolando
Meat Puppets, Lucy’s fur Coat, No Knife

Bostonia Ballroom
1340 Broadway, El Cajon
Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, Rose Maddox

3105 Ocean Front Walk, Mission Beach
Candlebox, Snoop Dog

Cal Western
3900 Lomaland Drive, Point Loma Nazarene College
Derek & the Dominos, Moody Blues, Steve Miller Band

California Theatre
1122 4th Avenue, Downtown
Cheap Trick, Devo, Motorhead

Candy Company
7711 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area
Lightin’ Hopkins, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott

Carpenter’s Hall
23rd & Broadway, Downtown
Bad Brains, Corrosion of Conformity

2501 Kettner Boulevard, 2812 Kettner Boulevard, Middletown
Rocket from the Crypt, Melvins

Cinnamon Cinder
7578 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area
The Knack, Sonny & Cher

Civic Theatre
202 C Street, Downtown
Bob Marley, The Eagles, Kinks

Club 860
860 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach
Blind Melon, Stone Temple Pilots, White Zombie

Community Concourse
202 C Street, Downtown
Beach Boys, Janis Joplin, Jeff Beck

Convention Hall
202 C Street, Downtown
Rolling Stones, Allman Bros.

Coors Amphitheatre
2050 Otay Valley Road, Chula Vista
Elton John, Dave Matthews, Phish

Copley Symphony Hall/Fox Theater 
750 B Street, Downtown
Sting, Elvis Costello, James Taylor

Cox Arena/Aztec Bowl 
5500 Campanile Drive, SDSU Campus, College Area
Pearl Jam, Eric Clapton, Aerosmith

1165 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach
Ravi Shankar, Procol Harum, Boz Scaggs

El Cortez Hotel
702 Ash Street, Downtown
Joan Baez

Devore Stadium
900 Otay Lakes Road, Southwestern College, Chula Vista
Grateful Dead, Blues Traveler

Fairmont Hall
3760 Fairmount Avenue, City Heights
Minor Threat, Cramps, T.S.O.L

Fox Theater/Copley Symphony Hall 
750 B Street, Downtown
Thin Lizzy, Tubes, Ozzy Osbourne

Golden Hall
202 C Street, Downtown
Pink Floyd, The Clash, Rush

Hahn Cosmopolitan Theatre
444 4th Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter Downtown
Jeff Buckley

Heritage Coffee House
3842 Mission Boulevard, Mission Beach
Tom Waits

Front & G Street, Downtown
Velvet Underground, Maya, Bo Diddley

Pueblo Amigo Shopping Center, Tijuana, Mexico
Nirvana, Hole, Mother Love Bone

International Blend/Kings Road Cafe
4034 30th Street, University Heights
The Untouchables

In The Alley
340 East Grand Avenue, Escondido, CA
Tim Buckley, Tom Waits

Jack Murphy Stadium
4994 Friars Road, Mission Valley
Def Leppard, U2, Rolling Stones

Jackie Robinson YMCA
151 YMCA Way, National City
Final Conflict, The Descendents, D.I.,

Java Joe’s
1956 Bacon Street, Ocean Beach
Gregory Page, Steve Poltz, Jason Mraz

JJ’s/Palace, The 
4025 Pacific Highway, Midway
New York Dolls

Kings Road Café/International Blend
4034 30th Street, Normal Heights
Bad Brains, Redd Cross

La Paloma Theatre 
471 First Street, Encinitas
Jerry Garcia, Jimmy Cliff, Ramones

Mission Beach Ballroom
Address Unknown, Mission Beach
Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry

North Park Lions Club
3927 Utah Street, North Park
Germs, Misfits, XTC

Occam’s Razor
6559 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area
Hedy West

Open Air Theatre SDSU
5500 Campanile Dr. SDSU Campus, College Area
Oingo Boingo, Madonna, The Smiths

Pacific Ballroom/Trianon 
1106 Broadway Street, Downtown
Sam Cooke, The Drifters, BB King

Pacific Square Theater
Ash Street & Pacific Highway, Middle Town
Glen Miller Orchestra

Palace, The/JJ’s
4025 Pacific Highway, Midway
Albert King

Palisades Theater
2838 University Avenue, North Park
7 Seconds, Bad Religion

Peterson Gym SDSU
55th Street & Montezuma Street, SDSU Campus, College Area
Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, Peter, Paul & Mary

The Power House
1550 North Magnolia Avenue, El Cajon
Sonny & Cher

Reptile House/Bacchanal/Sound FX 
8022 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Kearney Mesa
Hunters & Collectors

Rock Palace
3465 El Cajon Blvd, University Heights
Crawdaddy’s, Tex and the Horseheads

8980 Via La Jolla, La Jolla
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fishbone

Roxy Theater
4642 Cass Street, Pacific Beach
Peter Tosh, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed

Russ Auditorium
1405 Park Boulevard, Balboa Park
Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington

San Diego Sports Arena 
3500 Sports Arena Boulevard, Midway
Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix

Sign of the Sun
4701 College Drive, College Area
Mississippi John Hurt, New Lost City Ramblers

Silverado Ballroom
Euclid Avenue & University Avenue, Rolando
The Gayniters

Skeleton Club
202 Market Street, 921 4th Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter Downtown
The Wierdos, The Hitmakers, The Go-Go’s

5305 Metro Street, 555 Union Street, Linda Vista
Blink 182, Sublime, Unwritten Law

Sound FX/Reptile House/Bacchanal
8022 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Kearney Mesa
Lemonheads, Tori Amos, Sara Mc Lachlan

Spirit, The 
1130 Buenos Avenue, Bay Park
Violent Femmes, 10,000 Maniacs, Butthole Surfers

Spreckels Theater
121 Broadway Street, Downtown
Sheryl Crow, Hootie & the Blowfish

Starlight bowl/Balboa Park Bowl 
2005 Panamerican Road, Balboa Park
Jerry Garcia Band

State Theater
4712 El Cajon Boulevard, Normal Heights
7 Seconds

9630 Campo Road, Spring Valley
Jane’s Addiction

Sweetwater Ballroom
24th & Highland Avenue, National City
Jackie Wilson

Texas Tea House
4970 Voltair Street, Ocean Beach
Unwritten Law

Trianon/Pacific Ballroom
1106 Broadway, Downtown
Woody Herman, Spade C