- Category : Entertain-Music-Instrumentalist
- Type : GE
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (49,55)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Planning 3
Irish musician, singer, songwriter, bandleader, bassist, saxophonist, guitarist, drummer and harmonica player. Morrison was originally the lead singer of "Them," 1964-67. With a prolific career spanning three decades, he is one of the most innovative and influential artists in the history of pop music.
His mother was a singer and his father an ardent collector of classic jazz and blues recordings, so perhaps it was inevitable that Morrison’s first memories involve music. At age three, he experienced a sense of spiritual ecstasy while listening to the gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, and he soon learned that he could overcome his natural shyness through his love of music. He taught himself to play the guitar and was a member of many bands while in school. Later he taught himself to play the saxophone, and when he was 15 years old, he dropped out of high school and joined the "Monarchs." After touring military bases throughout Europe with the group, he returned home and formed "Them," which quickly became a local phenomenon. Their debut release was "Don’t Start Crying Now," and they quickly followed it with "Baby, Please Don’t Go," which made the UK Top Ten in early 1965. Morrison, however, became disillusioned with the music business, and during a U.S. tour, he quit the band and returned to Belfast.
Eventually Morrison was convinced to return to the U.S. and begin recording as a solo artist. In the summer of 1967, he released "Brown Eyed Girl," a Top Ten hit. After a disagreement with his recording company, however, he retreated to Ireland once again. Once freed of his contractual obligations, he began working on a new album, "Astral Weeks," 1968, which many critics consider to be his masterpiece. Named on many all-time top-ten lists, "Astral Weeks" was considered the essential album for acid-heads. Morrison himself denies having done any drugs, stating that he "didn’t need drugs to have experiences" and that even "alcohol would impair them by producing a false ecstasy."
It was obvious to both his fans and those in the music business that Morrison was both brilliant and versatile, but he was notoriously difficult and eccentric as well. He continually rejected commercial success and didn’t wish to follow the prevailing ‘fashions’ of the industry. He gained a massive cult following that saw him as a restless seeker, part blue-eyed soul shouter and part wild-eyed poet-sorcerer. Spirituality played, and continues to play, a strong role in his music and his life. Describing himself as a "Christian mystic," Morrison has investigated various religions such as Scientology and uses his explorations as inspiration for various recordings.
In the late 1970s, he embarked on his first tour for quite some time. Having suffered from chronic stage fright throughout his career, his performances became more and more erratic, and during 1979, he left the stage of the Palladium in New York and did not return. He continued to record through the 1980s and 1990s, and he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
Morrison met Janet Planet, a San Francisco hippie in the late 1960s. They married and settled down in an isolated rustic location in California. However, Janet didn’t share his love of seclusion, and in 1973, they divorced after five years of marriage. They had a daughter, Shana, who became a musician and toured and sang with her father.