Is Jim Morrison alive? Did he fake his death? Gerald Pitts says yes to both questions. He knows Jim Morrison. He's talked to Jim Morrison. He's photographed Jim Morrison. How is this possible you ask? We'll let Gerald Pitts tell the story, a story by the way that marks the first time he's gone into such detail with any interviewer.
Q - This news that Jim Morrison is alive and working as an actor and you're his agent...
A - Whoa! Jim working as an actor.
Q - Didn't he appear in one of your films?
A - Well yeah, he did. Here's the situation: In 1999 Jim went out on a ranch. I put out a rodeo stage coach specialty together for him. See, that's online.
Q - Are you his agent?
A - Yeah.
Q - This should be a big story - that Jim Morrison is alive.
A - It should be.
Q - So why isn't this a big story?
A - It's being hid. The big publications and televisions networks don't want a little cowboy, a buckaroo Gerald Pitts being in charge of the project. That's how simple it is. I've got about five or six attorneys on this project standing by my side. All they can do is give me advice. They told me "this story is so big we can't handle it, Gerald." I got one lawyer down in L.A. not too far from The Doors' attorneys and he won't even go down there to talk to The Doors' attorneys because I've got The Doors' Jim Morrison. Everybody wants to go to Jim Morrison personally.
A - Robbie Krieger called me about two years ago, after I'd been with Jim about eight years. Finally, when he realized it was actually Jim that I had, he called me up one night from a hotel back East. I believe it was Ohio. I can't remember. I got so many calls from everybody. Robbie said "Is there a chance I could play again with Jim?" I said "I would like to see that happen." So he turns around and gives the phone to his agent, Frank. I thought maybe we could get together and break this on a large scale. Here's the problem. Ray Manzarek knows who Jim Morrison is. He knows what he looks like. He doesn't need any identification to recognize Jim. He knows what Jim looks like even thirty years later. Frank and I talked for awhile. After he interviewed me for awhile he says "When do I get to see Jim personally?" See, they all want to see Jim personally and Jim will not tolerate it. He wants to work through his agent. So, when that game started, I knew there was no use for him to come over here because if he came over to meet with me, he'd want to go up and talk to Jim on his own and I'd be left out of the project.
Q - John Densmore (Doors drummer) also claims that this is the real Jim Morrison?
A - Yeah. He called me. I first got the call from John Densmore and then I guess a few months later I got the call from Robbie Krieger. He (John Densmore) called me and we talked for awhile. The only word he could use was the F word. He realized it was Jim and he said F and F and F. Then I asked him "Is there a chance I could get you and Jim and Robbie Krieger all together to cut a new tune?" He said "Oh, no, no, no. Not after what Jim did to us." That's the exact words he used.
Q - Has any of Jim's family been in touch with you?
A - Jim will not talk to his Dad, who passed away last year (2008) and will not go back to talk to his mother Clara, who passed away two years ago (2007). I did talk to Andrew Morrison (Jim's brother) one time when he was in Paauhau, Hawaii. But there's a real jealousy thing now with Jim's wife, Marsha. When I started working on this project, everything was going good for about two or three years. When the money was discovered, I was the one who discovered Jim was authentic. I had him figured out in two or three weeks. I knew for sure. I didn't need Jim's word. I didn't need the government's word. I didn't need his girlfriend's word. I didn't need any of that. But Jim and I got together 'cause we liked each other. The reason I was able to communicate with Jim was because he had horses. When I drove up to his place when I first met him, that's how we got together. A close, personal friend of mine is the one that thought he was Jim Morrison. So sure enough, it turned out to be The Doors' Jim Morrison, living on a ranch, raising his horses. That's how Jim and I were able to connect. Now, the reason that I got the contract with Jim is, when I figured it was exactly him, beyond a shadow of doubt, I called him up and said "Jim, I gotta tell you something." He said "What's that?" And he's living under a French name. I said "Jim, I just wanted to call you and let you know that I recognize you as the Doors' Jim Morrison." That happened in '98. And I'm a long-time salesman and a cattle auctioneer. You do not go to the auction block unless you've got the title to the black angus bull from Baker, Oregon. You don't go to the auction block without the title in your back pocket. I knew that he was Jim. Jim said "Gerald, why don't you just come up." So, I came up to his place. The reason I wanted to talk to Jim is, because I was in the December 19th, 1995 shootout, which actually happened. It was a regular Bonnie (and) Clyde shoot-out. My son and I were both held hostage. That was in '95. I didn't meet Jim until '98. I was looking for someone to play the hero in that shoot-out that actually happened in Prospect, Oregon, filed with the Oregon State Police. Jim signed to play the hero role in that shoot-out re-enactment. But, when I went up there to talk to him, I got to know him a little bit. The only reason I wanted to get involved with Jim was because of his background. He's part Indian. The guy that was in the actual gun battle that was the hero, was also part Indian. Part Cherokee. Both of 'em. Jim and the guy that was actually in it. The guy that was actually in it, said "Gerald, you'll find your own actor to play the part 'cause I just got done finishing a filming of a little jack pot rodeo in Chiloquin, Oregon." The reason I'm telling you this Gary, if anybody in the world wants to break this story on a big scale, they're gonna have to go to the foundation of why Jim signed to be with me. He wanted to play the hero in this movie. When I got to know him, Jim and I and his wife Marsha all got together and put together a signed agreement, a contract so Jim could act in the movie re-enactment which I am producing and will produce. The years go by and pretty soon the word got out how big the story is and all the big television networks and all the big publications want the story for themselves. There's billions of dollars in this story.
Q - I can imagine there would be.
A - And then anybody that teams with me is gonna be well. But, when they try to go around me, they lose. That's why I'm spending the time with you, Gary. If you can grasp where all the foundation is, you have a chance of helping out with the story. You can be in New York and you might be the guy who actually gets it broke out on a large scale.
Q - I'm gonna do my best. I've always believed there was a great deal of mystery surrounding Jim Morrison's death.
A - Jim, when he pulled this off, he took drugs to make himself look dead. He was in a coma and woke up six weeks later. I received news the other day from a pretty good source, they had scanned the grave and they claim there's no body in there. Well of course there's not a body in there, and if there was in there, it's not Jim's! But there were only four people at the funeral. That's also in the book Break On Through. That's all recorded. There were tens of thousands of people at Elvis Presley's funeral. Who's gonna believe Jim Morrison lives on a ranch, raising horses? But, that's the facts. We got Patrick Duffy living up here, the guy who plays J.R. Ewing (sic) in Dallas. He lives here in Oregon. We got the gal from Cheers. You won't believe the stars we got living here. Ginger Rogers had a ranch here for years. They come up here to Oregon because they can walk around town and people don't fuss over 'em up here. Even when I took Jim down around here; we just walked around town and nobody would recognize us, unless somebody really knew Jim well. But anyway, that's why they move here.
Q - Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there some kind of outstanding federal warrant against Jim Morrison?
A - There's seven of 'em. Seven or eight of them.
Q - For the Miami incident?
A - All passed the statute of limitations. They're not gonna bother Jim anymore. That's one of the reasons Jim went to Paris. He thought he had indecent exposure, but they took two hundred pictures and there was no indecent exposure. It just looked like it. But still, it got him arrested. He couldn't fight it. And that's another reason why he disappeared. They always gave him drugs and alcohol and he, being a nice guy; "Yeah, sure. I'll have some." He gets up there and gets in this whirlwind and everybody expects him to get up there and be drunk and freak everybody out and everybody goes crazy over it, you see. When that happened to him, he had to do something anyway. So, that's when he decided to go over and end it all by disappearing in Paris, France.
Q - Jim told you he staged his death because of a French conspiracy to kill him?
A - Oh, yeah. There was that. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison were all 27 years old. They killed Janis Joplin by hot shooting one of her oranges that she mixes with her vodka after a concert and it killed her. I guess they gave pills to Jimi Hendrix and he wasn't dead when the ambulance came. When the ambulance came and he wasn't quite dead, the people in the ambulance choked him to death.
Q - Well actually, he choked on his own vomit. They didn't take him out of the apartment right away. Janis Joplin died after a recording session. She supposedly shot up pure heroin and her sister does not believe there was a conspiracy.
A - OK.
Q - Now, you will go over to Jim's house and have a beer. What do you two guys talk about?
A - When I'm with Jim, I don't bring up anything about his past. I may ask a casual question from time to time, but mostly I let him talk and have a good time. He tells me what I want to know and that's what I work with. I would just take the information and match it to all the historical books on him. Now get this, he has an unusual color about his eyes. It was mentioned in the book Break On Through. I was trying to match him up. I totally matched him up all the way in 1998. I didn't make the Jim Morrison face match until 2000. The only reason I made that is so I could relay that to the audience. And it matches! When I photographed Jim, I would take my camera up to his house, set the tripod down on the ground there, and set on the swing. He gets up about 9:30 or 10:00 AM and looks out the window and opens the door; "Hey Gerald, I'm gonna go back in and get a shirt. I'll be right back out." So he gets a shirt and comes back out. That's how that always went. I would take photographs of him and he was real happy I got 'em for him. But on this one particular one, I wanted to get a match that's on the "Best Of The Doors" DVD cover. Arms up in the air with no shirt on. He's got a necklace there. So, I'm a longtime still photographer. I needed this one shot. I said "Jim, could you tip your chin down just a bit?" Sure he tipped it down and click, I snapped it. And I got a perfect match. His nose takes a little curve to the right and he has that distinct jaw line and I matched up the pupils and everything. Now this is so people could see. People don't care about the documents. When they challenge me; "You got any proof of this?" I say "Absolutely. Stop by the office and I'll show you the government documents." "Oh well, I just want to see Jim for myself." So, that's the game. They don't care about the documents. They just want to get their own story. So, that goes on and on and on.
Q - After "disappearing", it wouldn't seem that Jim would want to go public. Wouldn't he be mad at you?
A - Oh gosh, no. I'm invited up there. When Jim faked his death in Paris and woke up out of a coma six weeks later, he came back to the United States. He went down to a Louisiana bank, walks in the bank as Jim Morrison of The Doors, gets all of his money out of there under his old name and flies over to San Francisco and gets all of his money out of there as Jim Morrison. After that, he basically wasn't seen for over twenty years, until he showed up on a construction site with a friend of mine in 1991. I didn't meet Jim until 1998.
Q - Doesn't it seem kind of unusual to you that a guy who was a Rock star would be content to be a construction worker?
A - No.
Q - Doesn't seem possible to me.
A - OK. Well, we're already losing our interview.
Q - What do you think about that?
A - Well, if he wants to disappear he's gonna change his lifestyle.
Q - Does he say how he adjusted to that?
A - Well, he always was a bricklayer at the same time. He lived on his money for a long time, but he likes to work. I'll tell you what will break this story on a big scale. I have the 'live' stunt action team out of Lake Tahoe and also reached into L.A. In 1999, I put this together and one of the fellas, Al Moore, from Hollywood came up here. I needed some help for some pyrotechnics for this stage coach specialty skit that I put together. When he came up here, he wanted to interview Jim. At that time, everything was fresh and everything was agreeable. So Jim and I and Marsha and close friends of me and Jim met at the conference room at the Fine Books And More in Chiloquin, Oregon. It's kind of out in the country and there's a conference room that Richard Kopsak lets me use when I'm putting this film thing together. So, Al Moore wanted to meet Jim. We sat down. Al Moore had pictures that were given to him from Hollywood, so he can match up all of his scars and moles and all of that. When he was able to meet Jim, Jim was sitting down on a couch. Al Moore was sitting at a table. He was talking to Jim and comparing the pictures he had and looking at Jim. He said "Oh my God. All the scars, all the burn marks on your face are exactly on the right place." He said "I'm blown away!" He asked Jim "Could you just for fun, take your shirt off so I could look at the scars around your chest?" Jim goes "Hell, no. I did that in Florida. I'm not gonna go through that again." So he didn't.
Q - So, what's Jim's game plan?
A - Retirement. Retired. Sits back and laughs at everybody trying to break the story out. He's having a good time. He don't care. There's only one thing he wants to do, Gary.
Q - What's that?
A - To act in the film he signed to be in, but that takes money and there's gotta be a market for "The Jim Morrison Discovered Living In The Pacific Northwest" DVD. When we produce this movie, I'm not gonna borrow a pile of money. I'm not gonna hire someone from Hollywood to come up and say "We'll give ten million dollars, Gerald, and we'll help you film the movie." Because when they do that, it's "Now that it's our movie, this is the way we're gonna produce it." We learned that game ain't working. We gotta have free and clear money 'cause we want to go to the Silver Screen and the Blockbuster video houses loan free. When Jim shows up on film locations, we pay him cash as we go along. And then he gets a final payment for the finish of the movie before it's released.