Visual history of Jim Morrison’s grave

Background

Born on December 8, 1943, Jim Morrison died in Paris on July 3, 1971 at the age of 27. Jim was buried in Division 6 in Père Lachaise cemetery on July 7. In attendance at the burial were Jim’s girlfriend Pamela Courson, Doors manager Bill Siddons, Jim’s friends, Agnès Varda and Alain Ronay, and Jim’s secretary, Robin Wertle.

Fan tributes marked Jim’s grave for the first couple of years until a concrete grave curb was installed. It wasn’t until 1981 that Jim got a proper headstone on the 10th anniversary of his death. The headstone and bust were benevolently crafted and installed by the Croatian artist, Mladen Mikulin. The bust was stolen in March 1988.

In December 1990, the entire grave was renovated with a new grave curb and headstone. Mikulin’s headstone was destroyed.

The inscriptions on the headstones are Jim Morrison 1943–1971 and James Douglas Morrison, 1943–1971, Kata Ton Δaimona Eaytoy respectively.

As you can see in the photos, the grave, bust and the neighbouring graves were seriously defaced over time. One of the facing mausoleums was even dismantled. The graffiti was removed several times but kept coming back. In 2004, to combat the desecration, cemetery officials put up metal barricades around the site which drastically changed the vibe at Jim’s grave. For better or worse, I’ll let you decide.

The current trend is to attach love locks, friendship bracelets and stickers on the barricade.

See also Last Photos of Jim Morrison

Location

Père Lachaise cemetery, Division 6, 16 rue du Repos, Paris 20

The 70s

Wilted flowers lie on the unmarked grave (center) of rock star Jim Morrison who died here July 3rd. His death was not announced until July 9th. Morrison, the third big name in the rock n’ roll world to die within the last year, apparently suffered a heart attack.
1971 © Patricia Kennealy
1971 © Patricia Kennealy
1971 © Georgio Pepperoni
1971 © Georgio Pepperoni
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1973
1973 © Gilles Yepremian
Embed from Getty Images

1975 © Keystone / Employé / Hulton Archive

1975 © Eric Bloom (Blue Öyster Cult)
1975 © Eric Bloom (Blue Öyster Cult)
ca. 1977 © Burk Uzzle-Magnum
ca. 1977 © Burk Uzzle-Magnum
1977 © Roger-Viollet
1977 © Roger-Viollet
1978 © Rainer Moddemann
1978 © Rainer Moddemann
1979 © Rudolf Roelz
1979 © Rudolf Roelz

The 80s

Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1981
Croatian artist, Mladen Mikulin placing the headstone and sculpture at Jim Morrison’s gravesite on June 4, 1981.

In the spring of 1981 Mikulin completed an extraordinary portrait sculpture, which was then–overcoming international administrative problems—successfully placed on the fore-mentioned grave together with the base stone on which Jim’s name was carved along with the year of birth and death. This was on 4th June 1981, just a month before the the 10th anniversary of Morrison’s passing away in Paris.

From the Mladen Mikulin, The Portraitist of Jim Morrison.

See also The Real Story of Jim Morrison’s Bust

Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1981
1981 © Mitch Olson

July 3, 1981 — For the 10th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death, Doors’ members Ray Manzarek and John Densmore in Père Lachaise pay tribute (3m15s).

Embed from Getty Images
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1982
1982 © Bella Manu
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1983
1983 © marcovdz
Embed from Getty Images
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1985 a
1985 © Dominique Combarnous
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1985 b
1985 © Ron Brinkmann
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1986 a
1986 August © Arthur Krasinsky
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1986 August
1986 © Paris Mojo
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1987
1987 © Kees de Vos
jm11

Graffiti around Jim Morrison’s grave at Père Lachaise cemetery in 1987. © Greg Warden/Flickr

The bust was stolen in March 1988.

Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1988
1988 © Tim Bounds

See also Who Stole Jim Morrison’s Bust?

Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1988 b
1988 © W. J. Sawchuck
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1989
1989 © Bill Hillman
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1990 January
1990 © Martha Clement O’Neill

The 90s

Jim Morrison’s grave, December 1990
December 1990 (Image credit: Robert Norman)

“Anticipating a post-Doors movie tourist boom after its release in March, work has begun on overhauling Jim Morrison’s plot in the Père Lachaise cemetery, Paris. For a long time, Old Leather Keks’ final resting place has provided a makeshift off-licence, graffiti canvas and lavatory for visiting Lizard types, but now the unsavory debris has been cleared and a handsome new headstone has been erected. Jim would, no doubt, turn in his grave, if he’s there.”

December 1990 / Photo © Robert Norman
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1991
1991 © Jonah Olivo
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1991 b
March 1991 — Jim Morrison’s parents visiting their son’s grave, March 1991. Photo © Michelle Campbell / All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission.

“Around 10 a.m in March 1991, accompanied by the cemetery Director and their legal representative, the Morrison’s spent a few minutes in front of the grave looking at the new gravestone that they had put in place the previous December. Mrs. Morrison cried and Mr. Morrison removed his hat in a respectful gesture. I had been told they would be there and I felt I should come and bear witness.”

Michelle Campbell
Source: Star Magazine, May 7, 1991
Star Magazine, May 7, 1991

July 3, 1991

A riot broke out on the 20th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death.

In 1991, the 20th anniversary turned unruly and prompted police to disperse fans with tear gas. Five years ago, police closed the cemetery early to the disappointment of hundreds of attendees.

AP Archive
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1992
1992 © Jorg Hensel
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1993
1993 © Paul Tanswell
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1995
1995 @ Jim Morrison’s Paris
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1997
1997 © Ida Miller
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 2000
2000 © Sander Lamme

July 3, 2001

On the 30th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death, Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek pays tribute to Jim Morrison in Père Lachaise cemetery.

FRANCE – JULY 03: 30Th Anniversary Of Jim Morrison Death In Paris On March 7Th [sic], 2001 In Paris, France. Former Keyboard Player Of The Doors Ray Manzarek Pay Tribute To Jim Morrison On His Grave In Pere Lachaise Cemetary. (Photo by Frederic REGLAIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

“Guarding Jim Morrison’s grave is normally a job for one security guard but today, on the 30th anniversary of his death, it’s job for the Paris police as hundreds of mourning Morrison fans gathered to pay their respects to their Doors hero.”

AP Archive
FRANCE – JULY 01: Jim Morrison’s grave in the Pere Lachaise cemetary in Paris, France – 3rd of July, 2001 is the 30th anniversary of his death in Paris, France. (Photo by Chip HIRES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 2003
2003 © Linda Mathieu
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 2004
2004 © Jim Linwood
Fans gather at Jim Morrison’s grave at Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, France (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
Jim Morrison Grave Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 2006
2006 © Javier F. Granda
July 3, 2006 © tain ls / Flickr

40th anniversary

On the 40th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death, Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek and Doors’ guitarist Robby Krieger pay tribute at Jim Morrison’s grave.

2015

30 thoughts on “Visual history of Jim Morrison’s grave

Add yours

  1. at least he wont have to put up with the god awful versions of his songs being played constantly…..still since i was there in 1990 things sure have been sanitised.

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  2. We were just there and visited. We left a painted rock at Jim’s grave. This explains so much and is excellent. Thank you for providing this history and the photos.

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  3. Visited Jim’s grave on the 14th anniversary of his passing in 1985.A lot sure has changed since then but the music has not, there will never be another like him again.It was good to see images of Ray and Robbie there-GOD Bless MOJO and RAY! Together once again.

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  4. Went to Paris April of 2014 and the first place i visited was Jim Morrison resting place, just wanted to thank him for his music. R.I.P my brother!!

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  5. надеюсь добраться до места вашей памяти, Джим, из далёкой заснеженной России.

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  6. The Bible says: “The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5; Psalm 146:4) Therefore, when we die, we cease to exist. The dead can’t think, act, or feel anything.

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  7. I think about Jim dying so far from homeaway from friends and family. How lonely he must be in that cold grave. The suit he was buried in was too small. I believe he was a great guy and he was a good person. Goodnight x

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  8. I was shocked when I saw the state of his grave in the eighties when I went along with a friend though I had no intention of going myself. Just few years back I ripped up the photos I took there which were most unusual and actually the BEST weird photos I ever saw. All I can say is that he was moved some time after my photos of Jim’s head moving upwards in one photo taken at same angle. The bus was part chalk and part bronze one time and next time I went his head was broze but the face was chalk. The new statue was ALL bronze. So I had actually IMPOSSIBLE photos which spoke for themselves but didn’t anyone would every want to see them. I’m not well enough to traqvel to PARIS again as yet but as I say there was a reason. He was moved. Thank God..I wouldn’t really like to go back to where he was due to the nature of the grotesque happenings around that place in the eighties. He deserved better and got it. I left a small print in a plastic folder with a message to the fans and when I returned not long after it was stolen so if the person who took it reads this they will know it was ME….Hope you took great care of it..Good ending..

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