21-Riders On The Storm – France

I grew up listening to Jim Morrison and the Doors and have always felt a kinship with his music, but not his life style. I have always used the song “Riders On The Storm” as a theme song for many of my activities. If I was to ever get a ring tone on my cell phone, it would be the opening musical phrase from that song. I have never visited a grave site before, but as long as it was just down the street from my hotel, I might as well go see the final resting place of Jim. Morrison is buried in “The Poets’ Corner” of the famous Père Lachaise cemetery in eastern Paris. There are many famous people buried in the cemetery including such musicians as Chopin, Bizet, and Charpentier. Today it costs upwards of 1 million euros for a burial site in the cemetery. Jim’s site is stuffed away between other graves in an out-of-the-way section of the cemetery where you have to know where you are going to find it. I happened, or maybe vice versa, upon a man who knew the location of all of the grave sites of  famous people buried in the cemetery. He led me around for a short tour and or course, at the end, wanted a tip. I was glad to pay for the personal tour.

Of the thousands of graves in Père Lachaise, Morrison’s is the most famous. Thousands of people come each year to see the site and many have come to take from site. A full-size bronze of Jim’s head used to adorn the top of the grave stone. Rock and roll vandals stole it many years ago. Over the years the vandals have also tried to dig up Jim’s body. All of the edges of the grave stones have been chipped away by people who wanted a piece of Jim’s grave. Frequently, the police are called to remove rock and roll freaks who come to Jim’s site and sit by his grave and get drunk – having one last drink with their idol. Everyday new flowers appear.

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