Setlist History: The Doors Concert Jim Morrison Was Arrested For

On September 20, 1970, Jim Morrison was arrested for lewd acts he allegedly engaged in while in concert in Miami in the summer of 1969.

Was the bearded, slurring, rambling iconic singer drunk and loose and wild and a bit extra that night in Coconut Grove?

For sure. Why do you think it's a favorite among many Doors fans?

Nine minutes into the 1969 show at the Dinner Key Auditorium, he'd yelled that the audience are all a bunch of bleeping idiots.

The court jester had turned to the court and called them out.

And they applauded.

So he continued.

"Letting people tell you what you're going to do," the 25 year old bearded singer said with that rich voice as the Doors ominously play the strut from "Five To One" behind him.

"Letting people push you around. How long do you think it's going to last? How long are you going to let it go on? How long are you gonna let them push you around? Maybe you like being pushed around," he taunted, insisting they loved it.

The infamous Miami Doors show of 1969

Richard Nixon was in office. Vietnam was still raging. And there was Jim Morrison the second song of the show telling the youth of South Florida that they were acting like "a bunch of slaves."

The drunk being laughed at when the curtain raised was now laughing back.

The Doors played nine songs over almost an hour. Morrison teetered from loving to angry, to seductive to hypnotic. He was accused of exposing himself and using profanity in public and, let's say, enjoying himself right there in front of the crowd of 12,000.

And yet there were no photos of said act, the police didn't arrest him, and even the band said he didn't do anything illegal.

Doors manager Bill Siddons said it was “just another dirty Doors show. It didn’t seem to be too big a deal until the police chief took it on as his crusade.”

A few weeks after the show, in the midst of a flurry of rumors and accounts of the wild things Jim Morrison was supposed to have done inspired a 17 year old Mike Levesque, a student at Miami Springs High School to organize a Rally For Decency.

The battle cry had sounded against the crude rock band from Los Angeles, California and soon the day's morality police, Anita Bryant, film and TV legend Jackie Gleason, and musicians Kate Smith and The Lettermen signed on to appear and perform at the rally which attracted over 30k upright citizens at the Orange Bowl.

It took over a year after the show and rally, but the police chief and other politicians finally got what they wanted: Jim Morrison on trial.

Along the way, the Florida native was offered a plea deal where if he admitted some guilt and if the Doors played a free concert for the city of Miami, they'd call it even.

The Lizard King said no and then he lost in court. He was sentenced to 6 months in jail and a $500 fine.

He was handcuffed, escorted to the jail, booked, and released on appeal.

The wheels of justice moved slowly in the early '70s and Morrison died mysteriously on July 3, 1971, before his appeal was held.

But that is not the end of the story.

In December of 2010, outgoing Florida Governor Charlie Crist and the clemency board voted unanimously to pardon The Doors’ lead singer.

Crist argued that since Morrison had never had the chance to have his appeal heard, his name should be cleared.

And just like that he was cleared.

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Last updated: 29 Feb 2024, 13:03 Etc/UTC

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Last updated: 29 Feb 2024, 13:03 Etc/UTC