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Angels Dance and Angels Die: The Tragic…

Angels Dance and Angels Die: The Tragic Romance of Pamela and Jim Morrison (edition 2007)

by Patricia Butler

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Title:Angels Dance and Angels Die: The Tragic Romance of Pamela and Jim Morrison
Authors:Patricia Butler
Info:Schirmer Trade Books (2007), Edition: 2nd, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:music, biography, the doors, jim morrison, pamela carson

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Angels Dance and Angels Die: The Tragic Romance of Pamela and Jim Morrison by Patricia Butler



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I purchased "Angels Dance and Angels Die: The Tragic Romance of Pamela and Jim Morrison" from Amazon. I had this book on March 25, 2014 for $9.79. I had this book on my wish list for over a year now and finally just broke down and purchased it.

I know that I said I wouldn't publish a review for a book that is less than 3 stars, but that is for books that were sent to me by the author. If I have to pay for the book, I'm most certainly going to say what I think...it was my hard-earned money that I spent.

Being born in 1972, I was raised listening to The Doors. I'm a huge rock-n-roll fan and actually prefer heavy metal music. I had read at one time "Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend" and just fell in love with the Lizard King. With so much controversy surrounding him, I couldn't wait to read this book to see if there was anything that I might have missed. Plus with this particular book, Ms. Butler was including the life of Pamela. With not much being said about her, I felt that this was a perfect opportunity to get an insight into which Pam actually was and how she fit into his life.

In "Angels Dance and Angels Die" Ms. Butler included a ton of personal interviews from friends of both Jim and Pam. There are very few interviews from members of The Doors. The author was able to get in contact with childhood friends of Morrison's and give us a small, and I do mean small, new glimpse into who he was as a child.

It's not new news that he was a unique child. He was a practical joker at times, loud, stand-offish, I guess you could somewhat shy at times. He always did things his way and had a knack for creating disturbances of all sorts. The first couple chapters goes into what I believe Ms. Butler was trying to instill in her readers is that Morrison was just born this way.

When we finally got to Pam, Ms. Butler was able to get very few interviews about who she was as a child. Mainly what you read in these books is stuff that I have read in other places. So, if she was the first to obtain this information, or just followed in the footsteps of others in interviewing the same people, what I read wasn't too new.

I was disappointed in this book because I wanted to learn more about the private lives of the two. What Ms. Butler wrote about was what we all were seeing in the public. The outbursts that Morrison was famous for. The fights that was public between Jim and Pam. I wanted to learn about Pam's heroin and other drug usage. I was craving to find out what Morrison was like behind closed doors. I was hoping to hear details about his "marriage" to Patricia Kennealy and how things led up to that relationship and how Pam dealt with it.

We got to hear from a few of the girlfriends of Jim's and that was interesting to hear that he was obsessed with Pam, but was always straying. We all know that Pam had her own string of affairs while she was with Jim, but we don't learn anything of them.

It was a well-known fact that Pam wasn't liked by the members of The Doors. However, we don't get much insight of why or how deep those feelings actually went. What we do get is a massive overload of information of how the band felt towards Jim. Again, this was all well-known information. We all knew that they harbored ill feelings over how he basically let them down. If it wasn't his onstage antics, it was his consumption of alcohol that would fuel fights.

By the time I was 60% into the book, you could see that things were being kicked up a notch and we are in Paris. Jim and Pam have set up house and are traveling. Then (be prepared I'm going to tell you the ending) Jim dies!

We get verbatim reports of what the police reports stated interviews and conversations with the people who were there in the room with his body. Again, there is nothing new here.

From this point on, it's all about Pam. She is back in the US and is trying to make her claim on his will and her inheritance. We don't learn anything about how she handles the legal battles, which they are with, how she was emotionally at this point with the people involved in the legal disputes.

The author denies that Pam was doing heroine until the very end and then we find out that she had been doing if "supposedly" for 1 year. I do find this hard to believe. From other books I've read, Pam was a junkie long before this.

We don't find out how much Pam inherited or what the estate was worth. We find out that he had bank accounts all over the place with the maximum that was allowed in an account at the time to be covered by FDIC. Other than that, we don't learn anything.

When we get to the death of Pam, we don't learn anything new. It's all again back to police reports, interviews of friends and what was written in the papers.

I feel that I was let down by this book. I wanted to find out new information that I hadn't read or was able to look up on the internet. I also realize that the author took a liking to Pam and she took a great effort to try to dispel the bad image Pam has. We all know that Pam had her own issues but it would had been nice to be able to get into her head as the author did Jim's...to some small extent.

I guess, with a subject as popular as Pam and Jim, you aren't going to find much new information, if any. The only way that you can gain new insight is to score an interview with both families. However, with both families, they are so protective of information over the two.

I can't say that I blame the families for being so guarded of Pam and Jim. As fans, we want to feel a connection with those we idolize. We want to feel that we have something in common or can associate ourselves with by some small sliver of hope. ( )
  cbilbo | May 15, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0825673410, Paperback)

Revised for 2007! This softcover edition examines the turbulent relationship between legendary Doors frontman Jim Morrison and his common-law wife, Pamela Courson, tracing the lives of Courson and Morrison before their fateful meeting in 1965, their lives together until Morrison's death in 1971, and Courson's life without Morrison, including her fight to gain the rights to his estate until her death from a heroin overdose on April 25, 1974.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:37 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Angels Dance and Angels Die is the true story of the turbulent and ultimately ill fated romance of legendary Doors frontman Jim Morrison and Pamela Courson Morrison, the beautiful and volatile redhead Morrison referred to as his "cosmic mate." Although there have been other books on Jim Morrison and The Doors, none has delved so deeply into Morrison's personal life, in which his relationship with Pamela was one of the few constants. Angels Dance and Angels Die is a feast for fans, examining the lives of Courson and Morrison, from their surprisingly parallel early lives to their fateful meeting in 1966, chronicling their roller coaster life together until Morrison's death in 1971, and describing Courson's struggle to go on without Morrison (including her fight to claim his estate) - until her mysterious death from a heroin overdose in 1974. Patricia Butler interviewed family, friends, and business associates of both Pamela and Jim to tell the true story of their relationship. Neither condemning nor praising, the author gives a balanced portrait of the stormy life and times of these two lovers. Along the way, she shatters many myths about Jim Morrison's life, including providing new information about the circumstances surrounding his death in Paris. She has also uncovered new information about Morrison's formative years, illuminating the many conflicting inner drives that led him to become one of the enduring legends of rock.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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