Wild Young Minds: March 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Jim Morrison's 'Cosmic Mate'

I wonder... is it something to be proud of or rather a lack of something? What I am talking about? To be known as 'the girlfriend/muse/lover of' instead of having your own talents that make you stand out. Pamela Courson - mostly just called 'Pam' - was one of those girls. She was one of Jim Morrison's many loves but most probably his dearest one. Pam spent most of her - short - life alongside Jim, and probably had to deal with the fact that the attention always went to her boyfriend. Though her life was pretty intense as well; she had a drug addiction and also joined the 27 club. Who is the woman behind Jim Morrison?
Pamela Courson was born in 1947 in Weed (California). She lived an average life - perhabs a bit more rebellious than most young girls, but still a normal life. She hated high school and so she left for Los Angeles when she was 16, to live with a friend. Her life became less and less average, especially when she met the talented Jim Morrison, who just started playing in his band The Doors. How they met, isn't clear. There's a great chance it was in L.A. and it was in the night time.
While reading Jim Morrison's biography, called 'No One Here Gets Out Alive (perfectly fitting title), it became crystal clear to me: Jim and Pam had a relationship that was filled with love, hate, love and hate again. In other words, passionate and dramatic. They had good periods, during which they did everything together, but they often saw other people as well. There's this scene in the biography when Pam and Jim are on the same party and Pam spots Jim making love to a friend of hers. Of course, those were the days of free love, sexual experimenting, alcohol of drugs but we all can imagine: must have been pretty painful for Pam.
On the other hand, Pam wasn't that innocent herself either. She used all sorts of drugs but while Jim loved psychedelics most, Pam was more interested in the hard stuff: coke and heroin. Her lifestyle was outrageous. She spent a lot of Jim's money and he even bought her her own fashion boutique. Well, you gotta do something with your time as a muse!

Pam was a great inspiration to Jim. Many of The Doors' songs are about her, one of my favourites 'Love Street' for example (She has robes and she has monkeys/lazy diamond studded flunkies/She has wisdom and knows what to do/She has me and she has you). Her style was very bohemian and if you search the internet for her outfits, you'll find that she's still a huge inspiration for today's hippie lovers (such as I).
But as flowery and sunny her clothes could be, as tragic her ending was. In the beginning of the seventies, Jim and Pim seemed to live a more and more peaceful life. They travelled together, to lovely Marrakech for example, and they even decided to move permanently to Paris. This was where they lived on the particular day that Jim was found dead in his bathtub. Pam was believed to be with him when he died, but everything around this moment is quite blurry for the press. No one knows exactly how Jim died (some even believed Pam helped him escaping, which would mean that he didn't die at all but is - or was - still living somewhere on this earth).
Pam was devastated by his death. Though they never married, she was named as his heir. Despite all the money she got, she was bound to a very poor life after Jim's death. Why? Because she used more and more heroin to kill the pain and mentally, she was very unstable. It is even said that she became a prostitute after Jim's death, to earn some money for her drugs. On April 25th, she died of a heroin overdose in her apartment in L.A. One of her friends said that she had already mentioned 'looking forward to seeing Jim again'. Her parents wanted her to be buried next to Jim in Paris (at the legendary Pere Lachaise Cemetery), but due to technical complications she was buried in California.
After her death, a painful battle began between Pam's and Jim's parents about the substantial financial state. To keep them both in honour, I think it's needless to talk about that crazy controversy. What's left to say, is that though Pam always was a mysterious woman - even more after her death - I am certain she didn't deserve the life she led. Sure, she must have had beautiful moments. With Jim, surrounded by music, people and fame, but it's insane how drugs can damage a person so badly. How intriguing it can be for other people (among whom I) to be the inspiration to all those beautiful songs - Neil Young's 'The Needle and the Damage Done' and The Eagles' 'Hotel California' are also said to be inspired on her life - it can never replace a peaceful and happy life. Hopefully heaven will help her on that.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Night Struggles

A small attempt to justify my lack of posts over the previous weeks: the exams have pretty much taken over my entire social life, both real life and on the internet. That's not true, actually, I always find time to check facebook 300 times a day, just to find nothing new, nothing interesting and nothing that's helping me cramming all the stuff in my head.
The other funny thing about the exam period is that everything that has nothing to do with the information I have to be studying, seems interesting, appealing and extremely fun. Be it doing my laundry, getting myself some coffee or reading the newspaper. Imagine all those things coming up when my exams are finished: going to a ELLE x Weekday event (won some tickets which give me 40% discount, OH YEAH), going to a poetry slam or going out.
If the laundry already gets me excited, I wonder if I will survive the trill of all those events. And I haven't even mentioned the fact that I haven't drunk wine for more than one week (and yes, that's quite of an achievement. And also a sign of a life with nothing interesting going on unfortunately...), so everything that's going to happen after those 3 exams, sounds like heaven to me. Don't worry, I'll survive. Let's see if I survive those exams first.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Vanessa Paradis - Chet Baker

Great song in the most beautiful language about one of the best jazz artists everrrr.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Chelsea Hotel

'Stayin' up for days in the Chelsea Hotel... Writing 'Sad Eyed of the Lowlands' for you...'

Imagine Bob Dylan's raw voice singing these lyrics and you're already there. On a bed, doing nothing, looking out of the windows to see Manhattan's finest streets and stayin' like this for days, in the Chelsea Hotel. God, how I wished I had the chance to stay there. Of course, I could save some money and go there now, but it would be nothing like the way it once was. The Chelsea Hotel in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. Those were the times, that was where it happened and with whom it happened.
So what actually happened? Well, Hotel Chelsea (original spelling) was where writer/poet Dylan Thomas stayed when he died in 1953, it was where Sid Vicious - lead singer of The Sex Pistols - killed his girlfriend Nancy and it was where beat writer Jack Kerouac wrote his famous - and my favourite of all times - book 'On the Road'. Oh, and where he made love to a man (he was heterosexual), Gore Vidal to be specific (who was gay).
In other words, it was a hook-up for bohemians, a place to go crazy and live the artist life. It was where Patti Smith stayed, where Edie and Andy went wild and where Arthur Miller tried to forget his love affair with Marilyn.
To give you a tiny bit of information about the hotel itself: Hotel Chelsea was built between 1883 and 1885. In the beginning, it was a private apartment cooperative. It was in 1905 when the building became a hotel. Later on, it went bankrupt, but it reopened in 1939. Since then, it was a popular place to stay for - as already said - writers, painters, singers, etc. The hotel is build in a Victorian Gothic style and recognizable by its flower-ornamented iron facade and its grand staircase. If you are interested in visiting it, Hotel Chelsea is located at 222 West 23rd Street in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea.
To me, the first thing I think about when hearing the words 'Chelsea Hotel' is the intriguing song 'Chelsea Hotel no. 2' by Leonard Cohen. I can understand people saying his voice is a bit monotonous and dull, but I absolutely love the way it fits his lyrics. Dramatic, yes, but in a light-hearted way. Anyway, I loved 'Chelsea Hotel no. 2' even more when I heard what - and more importantly who - it was about. The myth behind this song is that Leonard Cohen once met Janis Joplin in an elevator in Hotel Chelsea. ''Are you looking for someone'' he asked her. ''Yes, I'm looking for Kris Kristofferson'', she answered. He said: ''Little Lady,you're in luck, I am Kris Kristofferson''. Eventually she knew it wasn't him, of course, but they did start a love affair. You can recognize her in the lyrics: 'We are ugly, but we have the music'. Harsh, but true. Isn't it?
Great stories to fill a book with, right? That's exactly what Sherill Tippins must have thought, because she recently published her book 'Inside the Dream Palace' (The Life and Times of New York's Legendary Chelsea Hotel). She studied the New York bohemian movement and claims to give an answer to the question: why did this particular hotel grow out to be the longest-lived artists' community of the world?
It also looks forward. Because the hotel has largely lost its great allure. It has been sold to a real estate owner, who dismantled all hotel rooms. It's not yet known what's to come of it. A shameful fact, but unfortunately hard to prevent from happening, since all famous inhabitants seem to die one by one. But let's not think about this too much. Let's think about Hotel Chelsea as a legendary place, let's preserve that romantic feeling and fantasize about all the great things that happened there. How to put that in practice? Well, let's hope Tippins has added some alluring photos in her book. And if we don't have that money, let's listen to Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan or Tom Waits. No problem.

Friday, March 7, 2014

As Free As a Wedding Can Be

Though I'm not really into marriages - I know, you'll probably think 'that's just the age', but for real, I don't see the necessity of it - I have to admit, weddings can be amazing. Might sound contradictory, but here's what I mean: wedding dresses, champagne, music, friends, family, exotic locations and sunsets. Yet I have to admit that private weddings can look quite alluring as well.

Take this phenomenal photoshoot for the new Free People lookbook. Bohemian Erin Wasson and handsome Mark Wystrach are fictionally getting married Viva las Vegas style. I never knew a wedding could look so rockabilly boom, free-spirited and wild. Kate Moss already married hippie style, but the Free People photos have a more tough side I really adore. And yes, it definitely convinced me... Not to get married, but to find myself a motorcycle riding boyfriend. Hell yes.