Oprah Winfrey: I had heart palpitations coming through the White House gate, recognizing that this really is now your home. It's the White House, and it's your home.
Jim Morrison: Could we start with something lighter?
Oprah: Your saying that makes me feel different than I've ever felt about the White House. When you say that, I actually do now, for the first time, think, "Yeah, it is the people's house." How did you come to understand that so clearly?
Jim: Well...it...it's a couple of years old and if we had done it...well, we tried to do it at the time we were doing Waiting For The Sun, and it wasn't a...it just didn't seem to make it in the studio, so we used one piece out of it, Not To Touch The Earth, and if we hadn't of put it on a live album, I think we would have just shelved it forever, so I'm glad that, even in the imperfect form, that it exists. I think it's better than if we'd never done it.
Oprah: What was your prayer the night before you moved into the White House?
Jim: ....Well...I...a....obviously you don't really talk about those things with people. It's kind of hard to talk about, but I would say...a...I don't think it was that bad...and...a...I never really noticed it too much except for...a...a...when you read magazine articles, but living in a town like L.A....a...you don't notice that kind of thing. People are pretty...a...blaze about things like that.
Oprah: How did your feet feel at the seventh ball that night?
Jim: Oh, I liked it. I enjoyed it. I thought I was...a...I've always liked reptiles. I've always had a fondness for them. I mean we did evolve from reptiles and I'm...
Oprah: And how are you adjusting? What are your days like?
Jim:...Well...initially...I didn't start out to be a member of a band. I wanted to make films, and um write plays, books, and so when I found myself in a band, I wanted to bring some of those ideas into it. We never really did too much of it though.
Oprah: What are weekends like?
Oprah: What are weekends like?
Jim: Sometimes it could be suicide...Sometimes it could be murder. There are a lot of ways people die...I don't really know.
Oprah: And how is your mother doing? I am so impressed with her. We had a conversation right before you moved, and she said she was going to make sure you all had your dinners as a family—but that she would not be at the table.
Jim: I think that really it was a life style that was on trial more than my specific incident. I guess that what it boiled down to was that I told the audience that they were a bunch of fucking idiots to be members of an audience...you know...what were they doing there anyway? The basic message was...realize that you're not really here to listen to a bunch of songs by some fairly good musicians. You're here for something else, and why not admit it and do something about it.
Oprah: Will kids get to visit the garden?
Jim: They had this beautiful ceremony down at the Garden Of Self Realization...outside. It was very nice. The next day, everyone split down to the tip of Baja for a week's vacation and they just got back and they want to have a meeting, and so I guess we're going to have to discuss the future. The group's at a critical point now, the crossroad in a way, but specifically we'll be talking about the new album we have to record in about a couple of weeks, so we'll probably be talking about that.
Oprah: It's wonderful that you want to be so inclusive. But do you get privacy when you need it?
Jim: The cops in L.A. are a...a... different....different than in most towns. They are idealists and they're almost fanatical in believing the rightness of their cause...of their profession. They have a whole philosophy behind their tyranny. Whereas, in most places the police are doing a job, but in L.A. I've noticed a real sense of righteousness about what they're doing, which is kind of scary.
Oprah: So you can take off your shoes.
Jim: A hero is someone who rebels, or seems to rebel, against the facts of existence and seems to conquer them, but obviously that can work at moments. It can't be a lasting thing...but that's not saying that people shouldn't keep trying to rebel against the facts of existence...Who knows, someday we might conquer death....and disease and war...
Oprah: That's so good to hear. Because you know what? We live in an American Idol culture where it seems like everyone just wants to be in the spotlight.
Jim: I think that the music has gotten progressively better...tighter...and more professional...more interesting. I just think that people resent the fact that...three years ago, if you remember, there was a great renaissance of spirit and emotion and revolutionary sentiment. When things didn't change overnight, I think people resented the fact that we were just still around doing good music.
Oprah: And how do we change the perception of what women should be able to handle? Parents have always needed help—but our generation decided that women should somehow do everything. Yet for thousands and thousands of years, parents had kids so that the kids could help them!
Jim: They...sometimes it could be an accident...
Oprah: Your saying that out loud is so powerful for women. And liberating. You're a mighty force. You know, I've wondered: Do you feel the glare of the fishbowl?
Jim: I can't decide whether to be a citizen of the world or to identify with a particular country, but I guess you really have no choice. I think that whatever happens, that America is the arena right now. It's the center of action even with...it will take strong, fluid people to survive in a climate like ours, but I'm sure people will do it.
Oprah: What I see in you is a confidence that comes from such an authentic place. A reporter who interviewed me 10 years after she'd first met me said, "Gee, you're the same person—but it feels like you've become more of yourself." When did you get to be this much of yourself?
Jim: It was a very interesting trial. I've never seen the judicial system in action. The...a...the progress of a trial from the first day to the last, and I had to be there for every day--being the defendant--and it was fascinating. Very educational. I...I wouldn't have chosen to have gone through the experience, but...a while it was happening, all I could do was...
Oprah: So when did it hit you?Jim: I was busted once in New Haven, CT., during a concert. Other than that. I haven't noticed it. But, when you’re travelling with a band, they usually give you...oh...I don't know...many people have had hassles...but we're a pretty sedate group...no dopers, or sex maniacs, or anything like that. So we haven't really run up against too much harassment.