Patricia Kennealy-Morrison — the one-time rock journalist and partner of Doors singer Jim Morrison — died July 23rd at the age of 75.
“To all of you who have supported our beloved Lizard Queen, I wanted to let you know that she passed this morning,” Kennealy-Morrison’s Lizard Queen Press — the company she founded to release her fiction work — wrote on Facebook at the time. “To say we are all reeling from the news is an understatement. We will miss our friend very, very much. She was a beautiful soul, a talented writer, and a loving and wonderful friend.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that Kennealy-Morrison was found dead in her New York City apartment in late July; the cause of death has since been ruled complications from heart disease.
A self-proclaimed “author, ex-rock critic, Dame Templar, Celtic witch, ex-go-go dancer, Lizard Queen. Not in that order,” Patricia Kennely — she later changed the spelling of her last name, and added the hyphenate Morrison in 1979 — was one of the first rock journalists, first as a fanzine writer and eventually as editor-in-chief of Jazz & Pop magazine at the end of the Sixties.
It was during her tenure at that magazine that she interviewed Morrison, sparking a yearlong romance between the two that culminated with the pair spiritually linking to one another in a Celtic handfasting ceremony; essentially, Morrison and Kennealy-Morrison were tied together by a (not-legally binding) blood vow.
The ceremony featured in Oliver Stone’s Morrison biopic The Doors, with Kennealy-Morrison herself appearing onscreen as the Wicca priestess alongside Val Kilmer’s Jim Morrison and her own character, played by Kathleen Quinlan. Kennealy-Morrison also served as a consultant on The Doors, but later condemned the film and its director. “If Oliver had been at that screening, we would never have had to worry about his [next] movie JFK, I would have killed him,” Kennealy-Morrison said in 1992 (via the New York Times).
Kennealy-Morrison’s dissatisfaction with The Doors led her to pen her own memoir about her experiences with Morrison, Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison, as well as a biography of her time in rock journalism, 2013’s Rock Chick: A Girl and Her Music.
She later founded Lizard Queen Press — a riff on Morrison’s “I am the Lizard King declaration” — and become a prolific author of fiction, penning a series of Celtic-based fantasy novels dubbed The Keltiad and a line of seven murder mysteries inspired by the Sixties rock scene; among the titles are Ungrateful Dead: Murder at the Fillmore and, most recently, 2016’s Daydream Bereaver: Murder on the Good Ship Rock & Roll.
“Patricia was as fierce as they come,” writer Ellen Sander told the Los Angeles Times. “She was in that first wave of rock journalists that penetrated print media with features and news that nourished a voracious but widely unrecognized readership at the time. She evolved from what she considered to be a small-minded coterie of rock music journalists to become a popular genre fiction author and produced an astonishing volume of works.”