Jim Morrison Pardoned By Florida Clemency Board

Doors lead singer's indecent exposure conviction stems from 1969 incident

December 9, 2010 4:10 PM ET
Jim Morrison Pardoned By Florida Clemency Board
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

On Thursday, Florida's Clemency Board pardoned the late Doors frontman Jim Morrison for two misdemeanor convictions stemming from a 1969 incident in which he allegedly exposed himself.

The pardon was requested by outgoing Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and the state Clemency Board unanimously granted it.

In March 1969, a bearded, drunken Morrison was performing at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami when, during the performance, he allegedly asked the audience, "Do you wanna see my cock?" After the audience of more than 10,000 fans responded, he pulled down his pants and briefly simulated masturbation.

Rolling Stone Looks Back At Morrison's Arrest

"Nowadays, we would call it a wardrobe malfunction," Morrison's former attorney said in 2006. But in 1969, a media circus ensued, with local radio stations taking The Doors out of rotation and a "decency rally" held at the Orange Bowl. Eventually, the Miami district attorney at the time charged Morrison with a felony count of lewd and lascivious behavior, as well as three misdemeanor counts stemming from his public drunkenness.

Morrison surrendered to the FBI in Los Angeles that July; after a 1970 trial, he was ultimately found guilty of two misdemeanors — indecent exposure and "open profanity." Morrison was sentenced to six months in jail and a $500 fine, but he appealed the sentence and was released on $50,000 bond; he would be dead less than a year later.

Morrison's widow, Patricia Kennealy Morrison, told The Associated Press that she isn't happy with the pardon; she claims that Morrison did not expose himself on stage, and said that she thinks the charges should be expunged.

"I have a real problem with the semantics of a pardon," she told the AP. The pardon says that all his suffering and all that he went through during the trial, everything both of us went through, was negated."

Morrison's ex-bandmates, however, support the pardon.

Doors' Jim Morrison pardoned for indecent exposure [AP]

Flashback: The Doors' Jim Morrison stage antics, arrest, trial [Miami Herald]

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »