50 years after his death, rock music fans from France and around the globe flocked to the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery in eastern Paris, where The Doors' frontman is buried. As police watched, many brought photos and candles. Others lit incense sticks and placed them near his grave.
"Jim and the Doors have been heroes to our family since we were children. Dutuar Platzek said, "It's an honour to be here today and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of his Death."
Mathias Barthel, his childhood friend, made the 50-year-old fan travel from Halle in Germany. They hadn't been back to Pere-Lachaise in more than 25 years.
The place has been a pilgrimage site for Morrison fans for years. He is known for dark lyrics, his leather pants, steely gaze, and theatrical stage presence. Between 1965 and 1971, he led The Doors to many major hits including "Light My Fire", "Hello I Love You", "Touch Me", and "Riders on the Storm".
Michelle Campbell was 21 years old when Morrison died. She lives in Texas and studies photography. In 1989, she was 21 when Morrison died. This was her first "July3rd", the anniversary of Morrison’s death. The grave was not marked and a fan had made a wooden cross.
Since then, she has moved to Paris, and she's been visiting Pere-Lachaise nearly every year to take photographs of Morrison's grave as well as his fans. Many of these people have become her friends.
She recalled, "[It's] like] people sitting on couches in an apartment, rather than a cemetery, just talking and meeting one another." It was wonderful. It was really lovely.
Colleen Amblard traveled seven hours from Domancy in France to visit the grave. The 21-year old student said to The Associated Press, "It's very emotionally to be here to remember Jim Morrison... and to show that he's still not forgotten."
She said, "We recognize his talent and that he was brilliant. He was truly a genius."
Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida in 1943. He was the son a U.S. Navy Officer and he moved around a lot as a child, living in Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Florida and California.
As a child, he saw the aftermath of a horrible car accident on a Native American reservation. This event shaped his poetry and lyrics. He was an avid reader and heavily influenced by Arthur Rimbaud, Friedrich Nietzsche, Antonin Artaud, and surrealist dramatist Antonin Araud.
The Doors were founded by Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger in 1965. They met while they lived in Venice Beach, Los Angeles' hipster neighborhood. Soon after, Robby Krieger joined the band as guitarist and John Densmore as drummer.
Morrison and The Doors would shine brightly. They released albums entitled "The Doors" (67 and "Strange Days") in 1967, 1968, and 1970, as well as "The Soft Parade", "Morrison Hotel" (1970). Morrison's charismatic stage presence was evident during Morrison's appearances at the Hollywood Bowl and on "The Ed Sullivan Show".
Morrison would soon become an alcoholic and the band was soon disbanded. Morrison was twice arrested after his antics on stage, including at a Miami concert where he was convicted of indecent expose and profanity. In 2010, he was posthumously pardoned.
Morrison's final album, "L.A.," was released by The Doors. Morrison made his final album with The Doors, "L.A." in 1971 and then moved to Paris shortly afterwards.
He was found in a bathtub on July 3, 1971. His death was not investigated and there are many theories about what happened to him.
He was among several rock stars, including Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Kurt Cobain, and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, who all died at 27.
His legend status has not diminished. The Oliver Stone-directed biopic "The Doors", starring Val Kilmer and Morrison, was released on the 20th anniversary his death in 1991.