Jason Koivu's Reviews > The American Night: The Lost Writings, Vol. 2

The American Night by Jim Morrison
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1742824
's review

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, rock-out-with-your-cock-out, penises-abound

Welcome to the American Night...

I didn't understand what it meant and yet it meant so much to me, this immature 18-year-old still finding out about the world by inserting himself into the universe of others. Along came Jim Morrison, singer/poet, a forever-young manchild...so appealing to a youth entering adulthood unwillingly.

Morrison's words, scribbled out in notebooks upon rooftops in Venice, California, would become the basis of lyrics to the inflammatory songs created by late '60s rockers The Doors.

description

And many of those scribbles are found within The American Night: The Lost Writings, Vol. 2: The End, The Soft Parade, Moonlight Drive, Soul Kitchen, L.A. Woman, When the Music's Over.

Perhaps it's that familiarity which made this second volume of Morrison's work more enjoyable to me. I already knew and loved the entire Doors catalogue and here, now and then, popped up the lyrics to one of their tunes. And there was more familiarity to latch on to, as seen in live performances, such as his "rock opera" the Celebration of The Lizard...

Is everybody in?... Is everybody in?... Is everybody in?... The ceremony is about to begin.

Morrison and his words could be oh so very melodramatic.

description

He seemed to intentionally revel in the bizarre, if for no other reason than to shock. Take for instance Lament for the Death of My Cock (which I think I used for a school English project my senior year):

Lament for my cock
Sore & crucified
I seek to know you
acquiring soulful wisdom
you can open walls of
mystery
strip-show

How to get death
On the morning
show

T.V. death
which the child
absorbs

death-well
mystery
which makes
me write

Slow train
The death of my cock
gives life

Guitar player
Ancient wise satyr
Sing your ode
to my cock
caress its lament
stiffen & guide
us
...


It goes on and on like this. Silly stuff. Never did figure out the point of breaking up the lines like that. Did he think he was writing out the lines of a song? Perhaps and why not, some of this tripe did get turned into songs...well, the better stuff anyhow. However, much of this needed editing to say the least and most should never have seen the light of day. It's the stuff of teenaged angst. What artistically-minded kid didn't fill up a notebook or two with their unintelligible, overly emotional ramblings? I filled six, myself!

If you've read down this far, you're clearly a fan (or someone with some time on your hands) so I suppose I could recommend this book to you. I might also recommend The Doors' album An American Prayer. It takes snippets of spoken word by Morrison from the compositions included in this book, so you get to hear him reading them in the way he intended. Unfortunately, the remaining Doors members decided to add their own backing tracks, jam sessions and incidental noise to the background, which was not in keeping with Morrison's original intention. Eh, it is what it is.
21 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The American Night.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

July 17, 1991 – Started Reading
December 1, 1991 – Finished Reading
July 17, 2014 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Vacca What artistically-minded kid didn't fill up a notebook or two with their unintelligible, overly emotional ramblings? I filled six, myself!

It's people like you (*cough* and me *cough*) as teenagers, and rock singers who fancy themselves poets, who give confessional poets like Sylvia Plath a bad name.


Jason Koivu Anthony wrote: "What artistically-minded kid didn't fill up a notebook or two with their unintelligible, overly emotional ramblings? I filled six, myself!

It's people like you (*cough* and me *cough*) as teenager..."


Too true.


message 3: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Peto Jason wrote: "I think I used for a school English project my senior year."

Which English teacher might have accepted that? (You attended NMRS too, if I remember right...) I remember one began with a T.. Tornkowsky or something, one whose name began with a D (Diaz?), and one with a J... Jakobowitz?


Jason Koivu Jonathan wrote: "Jason wrote: "I think I used for a school English project my senior year."

Which English teacher might have accepted that? (You attended NMRS too, if I remember right...) I remember one began with..."


I think I had all three of those! Definitely Diaz in the 10th grade, but the other two sound familiar. I want to say I probably didn't end up using the Cock poem. I really wanted to, but I must have pick something else, otherwise I would remember the backlash.


message 5: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Peto Jason wrote: "...otherwise I would remember the backlash. "

Definitely there'da been backlash. (I remember someone forgot their pen on a test day and Diaz told them to write it in blood. Sure made me laugh, but can't remember if anyone scrounged up a pen for the kid.)


message 6: by Jason (last edited Jul 20, 2014 11:06AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jason Koivu Jonathan wrote: "Jason wrote: "...otherwise I would remember the backlash. "

Definitely there'da been backlash. (I remember someone forgot their pen on a test day and Diaz told them to write it in blood. Sure made..."


I want to say the project was for my senior year English class. I had a student teacher for half the year. His last name was Smith or White or some other generic name. I loved him, mainly because he was one of the few teachers who didn't prejudge me by my looks (long hair, ripped jeans, band tees, etc). He would let us use whatever we wanted as source material for projects: Monty Python's The Holy Grail, music like The Doors, etc, and at least once he assigned a creative project which only he would see. That would've been the only time I could've slipped in the Cock.


back to top