All right, let’s get one thing straight. Below you will find a short video clip of an interview with Jim Morrison, which I’ve embedded into this blog post. Though I encourage you to click on this video and watch it, and find what he’s saying interesting, admirable and thought-provoking, as I do, this is in no way an indication that I’m a fan of the man. That I endorse the cult of personality built up around him in the forty years since his death, which I found ridiculous even as an impressionable teenager and budding music head. (In fact, I was the one who was taking the Doors out of the tape machine at the dorm party so I could rock Public Enemy, much to the consternation of the frat guys who were getting comfortably numb. Yeah, that was me. Sorry.)

I respect the Doors’ contribution to rock history. I’m still amazed by “Break on Through” and “The End” (even if I sometimes suspect Francis Ford Coppola has a great deal to do with the impact on me of the latter). I can see why their leader’s persona was so astonishing and captivating when he first arrived on the scene – coming out of the mid-20th century, when people generally kept their shirts on while singing in public, his shamanistic performance art and primal outbursts must have been like a hot knife through butter. It probably had to happen.

But I think a lot of their music was kind of lame – almost like lounge music. (I mean, really – “Touch Me”?) And Morrison’s lyrics are OK, but not really poetry (as his fans always maintain), and his poetry was pretty bad. And then he OD’d in a bathtub.

So I won’t be mewling about his grave in Paris anytime soon. But now that we’ve got that established, take a look at this video:

Quite apart from the fact that he’s exactly, eerily right about the way music would evolve a few years after his death, what I really like is that in 110 seconds he basically covers every kind of music that’s ever mattered to me, from American roots music to rock and electronic and hip hop, and ties it all together. I mean, how often do you hear someone talking about country and electronic music in the same breath? Yet that summarizes my entire music experience; it’s something I think about and puzzle over ever day, but have hardly ever found someone I can share it with. Always wondering how to explain why I hear similar things going on in the sounds of Gillian Welch and Boards of Canada, not to mention all the other kinds of music I’m passionate about from Handel to Chicago house. And yet, here it is, as plain and simple as you like, from the mouth of Jim Morrison – before it ever happened. Talk about breaking on through.

So yeah, just this once, in the words of my friend DJ I-Cue who first posted this video: “Jimmy knew the deal.”