March 1, 1969. Twenty five thousand young Miamian's (at least two to three times more than expected) woke up planning to attend the Doors concert at the Dinner Key Auditorium.
In California, Jim Morrison woke up with an intercontinental airplane flight ahead of him. By the time the flight was scheduled to leave, Morrison was in the middle of another epic fight with his girlfriend Pamela Courson. Morrison missed his flight and started drinking. After a series of connecting flights, airport lounges, and alcohol, Morrison arrived in Miami drunk and hours late.
Meanwhile, the scene outside of Dinner Key was growing chaotic. The concert promoter was adding seats to the Auditorium. Bill Siddons, the Doors manager got into a screaming argument with the promoters. The Doors fee was a flat $25,000.00 anticipating a gate of $50,000.00. With the new seats Siddons wanted more money. The promoters said no. Siddons threatened to have his band walk. The promoters countered that while the band could walk, their equipment would stay. In the midst of all of this Jim Morrison showed up, drunk. Not just drunk, not even, according to those at the time who knew him best, Jim Morrison drunk, but epically drunk.
This is a partial description from the Doors website as to what happened next:
...it wasn't Jim's finest hour. Morrison rapped incoherently into the microphone. He eventually managed to sing a couple of verses but lost interest quickly, returning to his aimless sermon. "I'm not talking about no revolution. And I'm not talking about no demonstration. I'm talking about having a good time. I'm talking about having a good time this summer. Now you all come to L.A. You all get out there. We're going to lie down there in the sand and rub our toes in the ocean and we're going to have a good time. Are you ready? Are you ready?......Are.... you.....ahhhhh!"...You're all a bunch of f**kin' idiots." Let people tell you what you're gonna do. Let people push you around. How long do you think its gonna last? How long are you gonna let it go on? How long are you gonna let them push you around. Maybe you love it. Maybe you like being pushed around. Maybe you love getting your face stuck in the shit.....You're all a bunch of slaves. Bunch of slaves. Letting everybody push you around.
What are you gonna do about it? What are you gonna do about it...What are you gonna do?"
On and on it went . At some point Jim staggered over to Robby and fell to his knees, focusing his attention on Robby's guitar solo (conflicting perceptions would debate his true intentions in the months ahead).
When someone jumped on stage and drenched him with champagne, Jim took his shirt off. "Let's see a little skin, let's get naked." Damp clothing fell to the concrete floor. "I'm not talking about revolution, I'm not talking about guns and riots, I'm talking about love. Love one another. Love your brother, hug him. Man, I'd like to see a little nakedness around here....grab your friend and love him. Take your clothes off and love each other." More clothing carpeted the concrete. When Jim finally got around to talking about what was really on his mind no doubt everyone was ready. "You didn't come here for music did you? You came for something more, didn't you? You didn't come to rock'n'roll, you came for something else didn't you? You came for something else --WHAT IS IT? You want to see my c*ck, don't you? That's what you came for isn't it? YEAHHHH!" Morrison waved his shirt in front of his crotch in bullfighter tradition, he took it away for an instant and taunted. "See it? Did you see it?" The audience proceeded to "see" exactly what they wanted to see (reality has never been defined).
Dade County issued the arrest warrant signed by Sepe. Morrison surrendered and returned to Miami. There was a trial beginning August 12, 1970. Murray Goldman was the Judge. Max Fink was Morrison's lead defense counsel along with Robert Josefsberg and Don Bierman. ASA Terry McWilliams (one of the best lawyers most of you have never heard of) led the prosecution team along with Alphonso Sepe, Ellen Morphonios, and Leonard Rivkind. Sepe, Morphonios and Rivkind would all go on to become Judges, Rivkind a chief Judge in Dade County.
Morrison and his legal team turned down a pre-trial offer to play a benefit concert in Miami. Morrison was convicted by a jury of two misdemeanors and acquitted of the more serious felony charge. Judge Goldman sentenced Morrison to six months in Jail. Morrison remained free on an appeals bond and was found dead in Paris on July 3, 1971 of a drug overdose before his appeal was completed.
And there you have a bit of REGB history.
See You In Court, where sometimes we can be found quietly humming a Doors tune.