In 2005, I penned a blog post that was inspired by the then-St. Petersburg Times had written an epic feature regarding the days of Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, had spent living in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Being a Morrison fan and living only a handful of miles away from locations mentioned in the piece, I was blown away. I had known about Morrison having been born in south Florida but I didn’t know about this.
Part of what inspired the blog post was the fact social media wasn’t then what it is today. Not that writing a blog post was going to necessarily draw eyeballs. Yet to this day, Missing piece of history – Jim Morrison in Clearwater still draws web traffic because of Morrison’s romantic interest (and song inspiration) Mary Werbelow.
At any rate, to get to the point, the now- Tampa Bay Times has basically failed with how they treat their archives online, which now hides the articles on a for-profit site (…unless the Times plans to fix their “Page Not Found” issues on archival articles). Between this and my old blog post failure in being more direct and obvious on the link to the feature section from September 25, 2005, finding the feature reading is next to impossible.
The Tampa Bay Times has tens of thousands of articles, some mundane news and some as feature reading, on its former site domain. SPTimes.com represented the newspaper under its old brand name, the St. Petersburg Times. The publication moved operations to the regional domain name TampaBay.com before adopting the more regional brand name of publication, the Tampa Bay Times.
And the Times is bleeding money by way of not synchronizing reading assets from the old site with the current one.
I’ve read a couple of books on Jim Morrison and the Doors (favorites? Riders on the Storm by John Densmore and No One Here Gets Out Alive by Danny Sugerman, Jerry Hopkins) and I’ve been enamoured by Jim Morrison’s poetry and lyrical artistry. I’ve always been curious and captivated about his time in Clearwater, Florida after his parents sent him to live with his grandparents and go to St. Petersburg Junior College.
I’ve finally found more than any book would tell. I’ve found more than some books have speculated.
In all of these books, the writers have simply thrown a quick mention to Jim Morrison’s girlfriend for 3 years, Mary Werbelow, and then dismissed her as nothing much but a sideshow to Jim’s life of excess and glamour. The problem is that Mary held a bigger piece of Jim within her than many – including me – are able to comprehend. I’ve been taught that Pamela Courson was supposedly everything to Jim and this Mary girl was just a quick fix before the main course was served in Venice Beach (meaning the Doors formation).
That’s not the case.
Mary has refused interviews for 40 years up until now. His connections to Tampa Bay are further shown and his connections to Mary as well (The Crystal Ship was for her, The beginning and end of The End were talking about her). I’d also say The beginning of Stoned Immaculate is a reference to meeting Mary:
One summer night, going to the pier
I ran into two young girls
The blonde one was called Freedom
The dark one, Enterprise
We talked and they told me this story
The article by the Times talks about how Jim met Mary at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach while she was with another friend (also named Mary).
At any rate, I’m just real excited about this for no other reason than more information being made clear. Much like Deep Throat finally coming out – some secrets aren’t left up to imagination….