My commute on a good day, when there are no accidents and the weather is normal, takes me about 35 minutes each way. For people living in bigger cities, that’s nothing, I know. For Buffalo though, 35 minutes is about as long of a commute as there is. What do I do with this alone time, you may be asking? Well mostly, I am rocking down the highway and pondering the mysteries of the universe. Okay, really I’m just trying to think about more weird stuff to write about.
I was rocking out to The Doors on my way home from work yesterday and I started to wonder what kind of life Jim Morrison would have led if he hadn’t died so young. This of course led me to think of other young, rock star deaths and what kind of lives they would have led. And voila, we have ourselves a new blog entry!
So what would have happened to Jimbo if he had lived? Would The Doors have continued to make innovative psychedelic music throughout the 70’s and 80’s? My guess is no. I picture them making two or three more increasingly poor records which stop selling. By 1975, Morrison is off the drugs, his voice is shot from too many cigarettes, he’s lost his rock star hair and gained 75 pounds. With his musical relevance waning, Morrison starts a commune in the California hills, and lives there with his twelve “wives” and their various children. By the 80’s, no one has seen or heard from him in years until one day out of the blue, The Doors reunite and join the Happy Together tour. They continue to tour well into their golden years, playing state fairs and amusement parks and opening for puppet shows.
Not Jimi though. Right? He would continue to make high quality rock n roll music for many years, right? Not so fast. This is how I picture it. In Jimi’s final years, he disbanded The Experience and formed The Band of Gypsies. I believe that, had he lived, Jimi would have continued down this path, making albums that were increasingly Blues oriented. By the mid-70’s, he would have eschewed his past and become a blues purist. Fans of his great 60’s music become frustrated with him because, even though his new music is fantastic, he refuses to pay his old hits. Eventually, the crowds thin out and poor Jimi is relegated to playing the blues bar circuit. He’s not making enough money to fuel the nasty cocaine habit he picked up and one night in 1981, during the “just say no” years, he is arrested for dealing outside a club in Mississippi. They make an example out of him and Jimi goes to jail for five years. Finally out of jail in 1986, he rounds up Arthur Lee and Jerry Garcia and immediately goes into the studio to record his psychedelic comeback record. He spends all of ’87 and ’88 co-headlining stadium tours with Dylan and The Dead and makes massive amounts of money. Everyone loves a good comeback story. Once again, Jimi is beloved by all in the rock world and continues to grace us all with his music until the very end of his long life.
These are the things that I think about when I’m in Crosstown Traffic.