Thursday, January 06, 2005

Mr. Mojo Rising Tourism

There are infinite forms of touristic consumption (sorry Dean MacCannell): heritage tourism; eco-tourism, food tourism, and now - from LA City Beat - we learn that there is long-lost-dead-rock-idol tourism:

Jim Morrison’s last reputed U.S. residence is now open to the public for lodging and tours. Cheri Woods, apartment owner and notorious madam to celebrities in the ’80s, purchased the six-unit West Hollywood Spanish villa in 2003 and is now offering what is said to be Morrison’s former residence for one-night and one-week stays ($200 and $1,000 respectively).

Two tenants remain from when Jim Morrison resided there in 1971, according to Woods. She says one of them even recalls Jim Morrison standing at the bottom of his stairs, adjacent to her front doorstop, contentedly smoking a botanical cigarette. Tenants of the reputed Morrison unit were actually willing to move out of the historic apartment and into an evicted tenant’s downstairs unit after Cheri paid their moving expense and agreed to repaint, she says. Now ready for visitors, Morrison’s room has the same fixtures as it did when he resided there, but Cheri says she’s added paint, curtains, beads, black leather couches, Doors paraphernalia, and furnishings with a retro ’70s flair. Because people from all over the world have congregated at the building to pay homage to the influential rock icon, Cheri keeps a diary in the apartment for guests to record their names, thoughts, and wishes.

The property, apparently, remains the same as the day Morrison left the area for Paris, Woods says, other than the addition of a courtyard lounge area and meditation garden, where guests are encouraged to leave flowers and reflect.

Woods has done some reflecting of her own, and she believes that Jim Morrison is still alive and well, and she’s selling a $29.99 video she says proves it. That’s right, she believes Jim Morrison of the Doors faked his death in Paris 33 years ago and is living under an assumed identity. In L.A.’s world of entertainment industry characters, Woods fits right in. She claims to be a convicted Death Row Madam who somehow got out of prison only to write a tawdry story of sex, drugs, and studio heads of the same name. She’s hoping to get a movie deal based on her story. Meanwhile, she has turned her interest in the Doors into a kind of cottage industry.

To bolster her claim of Morrison’s vitality, she mentions that she has his phone number, address, and alias. Woods claims that with the assistance of FBI agents, Morrison escaped his vice-afflicted fame to live an isolated lifestyle out of the limelight. When asked about the possibility of coaxing Morrison out of hiding, Woods responded, “It would certainly take big bucks.” For now, all Woods can offer of Morrison’s “current life” is what she claims is live, recent footage of him and his girlfriend at their private estate – footage she’s selling online. (Info: or call (818) 225-5347.)

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