In 1968 Jim Morrison was probably the biggest American rock star and Robert Gover was a critically acclaimed author best known for his novels “The $100 Misunderstanding” and “The Maniac Responsible”. Gover was assigned by the New York Times Magazine to write an article about The Doors and their lead singer Jim Morrison. Gover agreed but after meeting Morrison he disagreed with the editor’s slant on the article (that Morrison was a Hollywood manufactured star), instead they went to Las Vegas where they were arrested January 28, 1968.
Morrison had been hanging out at Gover’s house so he suggested to Morrison that they go Las Vegas and see some of the clubs there. Gover took his girlfriend Beverly along and Morrison was supposed to bring Pam Courson, but prior to leaving Morrison and Courson got into an argument and the trio went to Vegas sans Courson. Dinner in Vegas was uneventful and afterward their party headed to a club called The Pussycat. Upon arrival Morrison lit a cigarette smoking it like a joint. One of the bouncers, seeing a racially mixed group with a couple of ‘longhairs’ pulled a billyclub out and hit Morrison over the head causing him to bleed. After that, chaos ensued. The club’s security people called the police and upon their arrival they saw the bleeding Morrison and assumed he was the source of the trouble and arrested him. They also arrested Gover on the general principle that since he also had long hair he should be arrested. During the ride to the police station Morrison’s demons kicked in and he started baiting the police. He wouldn’t stop even after they threatened “a date” after their shift was over, a not so subtle euphemism for being worked over. After booking, Morrison’s behavior didn’t abate and perhaps got worse. Luckily, Gover’s girlfriend bailed them out before the end of the cops’ shift.
Gover lost touch with Morrison after Morrison asked him to accompany The Doors on their European tour in ‘68 to document it for a book. With his novel to finish, Gover took a pass and a disappointed Morrison sent his copy of “The Maniac Responsible” back to Gover without a note. He never heard from Morrison again.
Gover was good enough to write a remembrance of Morrison for The Doors Examiner in 2011 in which he said about Morrison that “It was like he was born with the certainty that he was an eternal soul passing through another temporary lifetime, and had absolutely no fear of death.” If you would like to read Gover‘s full remembrance of Morrison please follow the link.
Robert Gover died January 12, 2015 at the age of 85 he led the full life of writer being kicked out of a restaurant with Bob Dylan, he had drinks with Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal, Henry Miller praised his books, and “The Maniac Responsible” was praised by Newsweek magazine as “a work of art.” His most recent novel was 2009’s “Two Brothers”.
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