The surviving members of The Doors have rejected an official pardon granted to their late frontman Jim Morrison by the State of Florida earlier this month, insisting that the singer is owed a full apology by the State as well as the City of Miami.
The pardon, for a lewd and lascivious behavior charge levied after a performance in Miami in 1969, was the result of a unanimous vote by Florida’s clemency board, who took into account testimony by witnesses who said that they did not see Morrison expose himself and that the singer was arrested four days after the concert.
Nonetheless, the remaining Doorss, along with members of the Morrison family, have issued a statement insisting upon a formal apology for the singer’s arrest and prosecution. In the statement, Morrison’s bandmates argue that he did not need “to be pardoned for anything,” and allege that the charges “were largely an opportunity for grandstanding by ambitious politicians” and “an affront to free speech.”
The Doors have plenty of reason to hold a grudge over this charge. This legal trouble is a crucial part of the band’s history, and the arrest for charges of indecency resulted in an entire tour canceled by venues in each of the 20 cities on the band’s itinerary. The controversy led to further investigation of the band, and intense public outcry from conservative critics. Though Morrison was eventually acquitted of all but two misdemeanor charges and sentenced to six months of hard labor, he was still appealing his conviction at the time of his death in Paris in 1971.
The Doors Light One Last Fire in Response to Morrison’s Pardon [New York Times]