Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Why is Dave Diamond Slamming John Densmore?

I was wondering who Dave Diamond was and why he's so interested in getting a pardon for Morrison's Miami conviction. Then I ran across this at doors.com. First, the introduction:

March 1, 1969. Dinner Key Auditorium, Miami, Florida. A very sad day in Doors history as Jim Morrison forever altered the image of the Doors with the ensuing legalities that followed this controversial concert. To this day, many websites and Doors historians continue to pursue the task of trying to get Jim Morrison's case State of Florida v. James Douglas Morrison a second look, a consideration for a new trial and/or a full pardon by the Governor of Florida. Given the present status of trying to bring worldwide attention to this cause with all of the Iraq and North Korea news going on, this has proved to be a difficult task.

Those pesky world affairs, interfering with the reversal of an indecent exposure conviction!

But wait - March 1, 1969 is not the only sad day in Doors history.

Another sad day in Doors history, over 30 years later, as Fred Shuster of the Los Angeles Daily News reported worldwide on 2-7-03 that Doors drummer John Densmore has filed a lawsuit against the Doors 21st Century, as Shuster reports Densmore is charging breach of contract, trademark infringement and unfair competition against Ray Manzarek and Robby Kreiger. Densmore has stated this is not about money, rather, to simply have the Doors 21st Century drop the name, citing that the Doors' name and logo belong to the founding members.

Diamond lets us know where he stands on this.

I question John Densmore's true motives here. First off, what breach of contract? Certainly the lawyers and promoters have done the necessary good faith bargaining initiatives to get this current tour underway. Second, I am puzzled by Densmore's insistence to drop the band's name in the absence of Jim Morrison, when in fact Densmore himself participated in the VH-1 STORYTELLERS project with multiple lead singers, plus Densmore has also participated in many Doors tribute CDs with alternate takes of Doors classic songs....

By the way, if Mr. Densmore has tinnitus, why is he playing with another band, rather than thanking Stewart for his time served and resuming his seat in the band he helped make famous?

But eventually Diamond returns to Miami.

It seems to me that after all these years of the surviving members of the band talking in-depth of the discrepancies of the Miami trial, in which Jim was found guilty of lewd and lacivious behavior, that the LAST thing in the world the band needed was another lawsuit, especially by one of its founding members!

John's current lawsuit is making it even more incredibly difficult for the historians, collectors and writers for the band to get the worldwide attention to the Miami case, especially now that worldwide attention is being asserted to this current lawsuit.

Actually, this would HELP their case, since with Densmore's lawsuit, at least people were talking about Jim Morrison again. Otherwise they'd be talking about the Black Eyed Peas or whatever.

Incidentally, Densmore won the lawsuit.


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Anonymous said...

Inside the Jim Morrison Pardon Quest: Going Back To Miami
By Dave Diamond

There is an effort underway by the Doors Collectors Magazine, a popular
online Doors fan site, to request the Governor of Florida Charlie Crist to
consider an unprecedented full and absolute posthumous pardon for the late
famed Doors lead singer Jim Morrison, a citizen of Melbourne Florida. The
effort was initiated in 1996, when several infractions about the September
1970 conviction of Jim Morrison stemming from the now infamous March 1969
Doors concert put on at the Dinner Key Auditorium were discovered upon
re-review of this case.

Over the years, efforts to make the general music media and many elements of
Florida government aware of these infractions and trying to shed new light
on evidence never before heard or having not been allowed to be presented at
the initial trial, have been met with basic apathy, misinformation, rumors,
speculations and public "arm chair" jurying. The end result of the
unchallenged convictions have come to be accepted by most Doors fans and the
mainstream press as nothing more than the typical myth and mystique that
surround most of the legendary bands from the Sixties, often retold as facts
to generation after generation. Many in the music press over the years have
cemented Jim Morrison's "iconic" outlaw image largely due to the notoriety
of this particular case, thus diminishing his true contribution to popular
American music and literature.

In a true twist of irony, Morrison's actions on that abysmal evening in
Miami served to end what has now become accepted as his "Lizard King"
stature, thus attempting to change his image into a more simple poet weary
of the public excess. Ensuing years saw many fans and historians come to
accept him as a martyr for the 1st Amendment, an outlaw who fought the law,
a pure symbol of freedom against the oppresive and turbulent times of the
Sixties. Many longtime Doors fans, including the band members themselves,
saw this particular concert as the end of all that was legit with this band
and their live performances, an innocence gone. On the other hand, some fans
latched onto the notoriety, largely due to the music press & politcians who
were hell bent on making Morrison the cherry on the cake of the Sixties'

When the image, the music, the Sixties, Vietnam, the press, individual
historical interpretation, the general apathy and all of those other
elements are stripped away, what's left is the law and the Miami case
itself. The effort of the Doors Collectors Magazine has been examining the
1970 Miami trial for 11 years, without thought to anything outside of the
case itself. Upon in-depth review of the case, several well documented
Constitutional violations were found, violations that very simply denied
true justice in this case. Morrison's defense was barred from presenting key
evidence and witnesses who could have clearly exonerated him. Morrison had
the right to confront his accusers, but the then-Mayor of Dade County and
the officials who brought the charges on did not appear for testimony. Many
of the witnesses that were present had no real consistent recollections of
the Miami concert. Witness accounts varied and memory lapses were frequent.

Forget for a moment that he IS Jim Morrison. We looked at this from the
standpoint that he was a citizen of Florida who was denied true justice for
several reasons. It was a politically motivated case to begin with. There
are musicians, bands and performers over the years who have done far worse
that pop off some profanity onstage and they were never arrested and
charged. The officials involved in the Morrison case were under pressure to
act. If Jim Morrison had INDEED committed the offenses at hand, he would
have been arrested that night during or directly after the Miami performance
just as he was during the now infamous 1968 New Haven concert, where he was
maced in the eyes by a police officer before the show. During the Miami
performance, the police had no probable cause to arrest Jim Morrison and
they didn't. In fact, it was proven that many of the police officers in
attendance that night were seen laughing, joking and hanging out with The
Doors before, during and after the show. If there was no cause for arrest
during that timeframe, then the ensuing charges only underscore the
political pressure that followed.

With regard to the now legendary question of the alleged exposure, there are
no credible witnesses, photographs or any film/video that can prove with
100% certainty that this incident occured. Under oath in the Dade Couty
Court, during his 1970 trial, Jim Morrison testified that he did not expose
himself. The jury found him GUILTY of this charge even though the State of
Florida could not & did not LEGALLY prove this incident happened beyond a
reasonable doubt!

Further, the charge of public intoxication is mind boggling in how the jury
handled this. There are several audio CDs out there that clearly demonstrate
that Morrisn was intoxicated. Morrison was found NOT GUILTY on the charge of
public intoxication by the jury! What exactly was WRONG with this jury? How
exactly did they base their findings? Why didn't the Florida press pick up
on this right then and there?

It is common knowledge that Jim Morrison remained free on bail, pending
appeal. He died July 3rd, 1971, but that's NOT where the story ends! His
appeal was never heard! THAT point right there is what led to the formation
of this current pardon effort, in light of two legal precedents that have
come to light in the last few years, that when compared and applied to
Morrison's conviction, paint a much different picture.

1. December 23, 2003- New York Governor George Pataki issued an official
Pardon to famed Sixties comedian Lenny Bruce. Pataki called his decision,
the first posthumous pardon in New York state history, "a declaration of New
York's commitment to upholding the First Amendment."

2. On October 17, 2006, Enron founder Ken Lay died prior to exhausting his
appeals, his conviction was abated. Precedent in the Fifth Circuit Court of
Appeals, the federal appellate court governing the district where Lay was
indicted, indicates that abatement had to be automatically granted. When
abatement occurs, the law views it as though he had never been indicted,
tried and convicted. The government opposed Lay's attorneys' motion for
abatement, and the Department of Justice issued a statement that it "remains
committed to pursuing all available legal remedies and to reclaim for
victims the proceeds of crimes committed by Ken Lay."

Jim Morrison himself had this to say in 1971, months before his passing to
LA reporter Bob Chorush about the Miami verdicts: "I got acquitted on
everything else. We were trying to get this erased because it's not good to
have something like that on your record. It's just if something really
serious happens then you have a record and it looks a lot worse. The trouble
with all these busts is that people I know, friends of mine, think it's
funny and they like to believe it's true and they accept it; people that
don't like me like to believe it because I'm the reincarnation of everything
they consider evil. I get hung both ways."

It doesn't matter if one is a fan of Jim Morrison or not. What matters here
is a citizen of Florida was convicted in the Dade County Criminal Court in a
case where due process of law was not properly applied. These facts, in
light of the newer precedents, can no longer be ingnored by the State of
Florida. It is the intention of Doors Collectors Magazine to provide
Governor Crist with all resources available to seriously consider a pardon
and finally after almost forty years, bring this case to a close once and
for all. If it could happen to Jim Morrison, it could happen to any one of
us! In the interest of true justice and closure for the Morrison family, it
is being asked of Governor Crist to issue the pardon and abate Case# 69-2355
State of Florida vs. James Douglas Morrison off the current and future
Florida law books.

Anonymous said...

That article you are using about Densmore was written in 2003 before the D21C tour started.

Ontario Emperor said...

Thanks, Anon. I knew the article was old, but couldn't pinpoint the year it was written.

I wrote this at velvetrope.com this morning:

At the time this article was written, the U.S. was beginning a war in Iraq, and there was a nuclear threat in North Korea. And Diamond is worried about bumping and grinding during a concert?

I don't think he's working on a cable show. I think he's working on a religious shrine - The Memorial to the Florida Governor's Pardon, to be located in Coconut Grove (or perhaps in Africa).

Anonymous said...

Orlando, no problem. One thing though, these guys are serious about this thing, it's no joke. I have been reading a lot about these guys and they make a good case here in Diamond's article. Florida did mess up bad with that Morrison case, they should fix it, I think Crist is doing the right thing. Part of his job is to review pardons and clemency requests, he really should do it.

Also, in 2003, Densmore & the Morrison family filed suit against Ray and Robby over the name. Diamond's was just one of of a thousand articles over that case. Thankfully, the surviving Doors put it all behind them and moved on. From what I've read, they all support this pardon thing.
I love this mrontemp blog, keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

I meant Ontario, sorry about that, I was thinking of the Orlando paper I read earlier/LOL!