Sponsor of the 16th Annual LA Music Awards
Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin.
Wow, every time I read those words I still feel that same sense of anticipation I felt the very first time. You can almost hear him inviting us into his world. I mean why, after all these years do the words of Jim Morrison still linger in my psyche like a great love or a broken heart? I don’t know but I can imagine if you’re reading this then you know exactly what I’m talking about. The man was a genius at creating swirling images of love and lust with songs like Touch Me & Crystal Ship . . .romance & beauty with Moonlight Drive . . . life & death with The End. And who could have imagined it was even possible to compose lyrics about a city and feel sympathy for it the way I do when I hear LA Woman? It seems we’re all at his mercy when we listen to those tunes. They take us away. They take us to a place inaccessible to us in our everyday lives. They take us to “the other side.”
And then he was gone . . . in the flesh that is. But for some reason we just can’t let him go. Perhaps it was the shock of his leaving so soon. Perhaps we saw in him something we see in ourselves, something universal, that intangible something I can only describe as spirit. But whatever it was, it connected us. Everyone who managed to “break on through” just couldn’t let go. They flock to his grave in Paris by the thousands, hundreds of thousands in fact, every year.
Jim Morrison and that enigmatic soul of his still drive us to do things that perhaps we wouldn’t ordinarily do, as if he himself were still writing the lyrics to our lives. Just as love compels us to do things we wouldn’t ordinarily do, so too with Mr. Mojo Risin. And that’s where the story of these rubbings began. But this is not just my story. This story belongs to a man with whom I’ve loved for a very long time. But as we all know some of the greatest love stories ever told are often the most bittersweet . . . and so it is with this one.This story and how these rubbings came into being is really about that love.
As I try to put into words how it all happened, I can’t help but glance over at my four companions for the evening . . . the rubbings. When I look at them, all I see is love and all I can think is: love created this. How is that possible, I wonder? I can only imagine it’s because love is the most powerful force in the universe. It’s what sustains us. It gives us life and hope. It makes us want to get up in the morning. It gives and gives and gives and it never stops giving even when you get nothing in return. Love is its own perfect creative force. Love created these rubbings and that is an undeniable fact!
I didn’t know it at the time but it would be that very kind of all-encompassing love that very passion that would manifest itself in these rubbings. I was in Paris and I was in love and there wasn’t a soul on earth that could prevent me from keeping the promise I made to myself. It was a gift for the man I love. A very special gift. You know the kind . . . the impossible kind. The kind of gift only love could create . . . a rubbing.
Standing outside Pére Lachaise looking up at that huge foreboding wall I couldn’t help but wonder what Jim would have thought about what I was about to do. Above all I didn’t want to be disrespectful. I would like to think that maybe if he could peek into my world and know the reasons why I was doing it, he might have been slightly amused by it at the very least. What better way to honor two men at once, I thought. What better way to celebrate life and love? But it was the enormity of that wall that snapped me back to the present and reminded me that beyond my four sheets of paper and pastels I brought with me, I had virtually no plan to speak of. Then I had one of those rare moments in a persons life. A moment I can only describe as divine clarity. Any doubt or fear I may have had vanished instantly when I was struck by an overwhelming sense of destiny. I knew that I knew this was meant to be.
There’s something unmistakably sacred about destiny. When it happens to you, you know it. It doesn’t matter if anyone believes you and in fact usually those closest to us are the ones who believe us the least. I wonder about that sometimes, strangers believing in us more so then the people we’ve known for years. But that’s exactly what happened in Paris. In any case I’m sure you can imagine I’ve hit the rewind button on my memory every day since it happened and I’m still amazed at how absolutely perfect it played out in a supernatural sort of way. I can only describe it as miraculous.
The details could fill volumes. But how do you explain the unexplainable? How do you make sense of other worldly things? The fact is you can’t. At least I can’t. All I can say is that all the right people, and there were a lot of them, just happened to cross my path. The doors that were closed for everyone else mysteriously opened for me. Is there really any way for any of us to understand? I mean think about it . . . guards, cameras, fences and all that. It was almost as if I were led by some grand force bigger then myself. It was, as I continue to tell people . . .a God thing, it must be. As far as I’m concerned, the Father is the only one who could orchestrate such a string of coincidences. I certainly don’t presume to know the mind of God but perhaps just sometimes it’s a persons motives that make the difference when it comes to the miraculous. But of this I am sure: my motives were never more pure. This was not about me. This was simply about my admiration and feeling for two very special men, both blessed with greatness . . . one long gone and sorely missed, another a half a world away.
The next morning I carefully packed my treasures away and caught my flight home. I spent the next fifteen hours or so pouring out my joy and the entire story in my journal. I never could have imagined though, the bizarre turn this story would take. This was not the end.
What do they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? I cringe when I hear that kind of cliche but sometimes it just fits. Still perplexing to me is how things could change so drastically in the sixteen days I was away. The man who stole my heart all those years before pulled a very clever disappearing act when I returned home. Here I’d created this perfect gift in this perfect representation of our mutual admiration for Jim Morrison, and I couldn’t corner him long enough to give it to him. Needless to say and unfortunately for both of us, I never got the chance to give him the rubbing and in fact he still hasn’t seen them except in a photograph.He and I still run into each other occasionally and we’ve become fairly adept at pretending we don’t have ‘this thing’ between us. But for me . . . ‘this thing’ will always be between us and with us and for us and about us. ‘This thing’ is an intricately constructed three strand cord consisting of Jim, the man I did it for & me. And of this cord, no one can break. Of that I am absolutely sure.
Yet it seemed such a pity to keep the rubbings locked away in a dark room. How could they be a blessing to anyone that way? They were screaming to be seen, heard. Even so, night after night that’s where they slept, quietly away from all my unanswered questions. Was it really a God thing if it were rejected? The writing was on the wall, literally. The answer of course was yes, because the rubbings were not rejected, I was. For me this was a labor of love and since all I wanted to do was to share them with someone I love, I know without question they still must be shared. The rubbings were created for him. The Prints and this site were created for you. The blessing is yours.
Sometimes when I’m alone at night I still can’t help but wonder: Would I do it all over again? Would l have the same determination had I known the outcome in advance? Would I still want to give him the gift? Once again, I can only answer those questions in the context of love. I tell people all the time that I refuse to live with regrets. I prefer to lose then to never try. The answers to all the above are: yes. I don’t think I would trade the few excellent moments in my life for a million mediocre moments. I imagine I’ll always take the kind of risk that so many others would not. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Afer all, a promise is a promise . . .
See The Prints.