The Doors’ frontman Jim Morrison is to get a posthumous pardon for an indecent exposure conviction in Florida after he pulled what a bandmate called “a mind trip on the audience, and they totally fell for it”.
Governor Charlie Crist secured a commitment on Wednesday for the second of two votes needed from other members of the state’s Board of Executive Clemency to approve the pardon.
Morrison was appealing against the conviction when he was found dead in a Paris bath in 1971. The meeting comes a day after the singer would have been 67.
Mr Crist, who along the three-member cabinet serve as the clemency board, cannot issue a pardon on his own. Approval is required by the governor and at least two other members.
Chief financial officer Alex Sink, who was previously undecided, said on Wednesday that she would vote for the pardon.
She joined agriculture commissioner Charles Bronson who previously declared his support for the idea. Only attorney general Bill McCollum remained uncommitted. All are leaving office on January 4.
The did-he-or-didn’t-he debate has been revived by Mr Crist’s interest in the case. Surviving band members say a drunken Morrison teased the Miami crowd, but never exposed himself. “It never actually happened. It was mass hypnosis,” said Ray Manzarek, The Doors’ keyboard player.
Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger said Morrison’s behaviour was influenced by an acting troupe that disrobed during plays. “He was just doing a mind trip – as they would say – a mind trip on the audience and they totally fell for it,” Manzarek said.
Manzarek said Morrison was far more drunk than usual, to the point where they questioned whether he should go on stage. “It was like, ‘Oh my goodness Jim, are you sure you can perform?’ ‘No, no, we’re going on, we’re going on’,” Manzarek recalled.
Mr Crist began considering a pardon for Morrison in 2007 at the urging of a fan. He says he has doubts about whether Morrison actually exposed himself during the rowdy Miami concert on March 1 1969. Nevertheless Morrison was convicted of public profanity and indecent exposure and sentenced to six months in jail and a 500-dollar fine.