Awakening the Ghost of Jim Morrison

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

My life changed 35 years ago today. During the summer of 1981, I was living in Neumarkt, Germany, a little town nestled in the Bavarian hills. I was the guest of a couple of families kind enough to host a high school graduate whose idea of preparing for college was growing ...

Three Lessons I Have Learned from Jim Morrison

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Thirty four years ago today, I visited Jim Morrison's grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery to honor his memory on the tenth anniversary of his death. The moment sealed my lifetime interest in the Doors and especially Jim Morrison. But aside from providing the soundtrack to my life and fascinating me ...

Emerging Artist Spotlight: Beatrice Brigitte

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Beatrice Brigitte doesn't like to follow formulas. The 25-year-old singer rejects the lush production and auto-tuned, anthemic vocals that rule the pop charts in the American Idol era, in favor of a simpler, more organic sound. On many of the songs she writes (such as "The Day"), her voice floats like ...

My Cold-Weather Rock and Roll

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Winter has tightened its grip on Chicago. On a Friday afternoon in early December, the temperatures feel like they are dropping by the minute. The sun escapes the chill of the day early, leaving behind long shadows and an occasional gust of cold wind. This is the time for staying ...

Lessons on creativity from the making of “L.A. Woman”

Monday, April 16th, 2012

One of the landmark albums of rock and roll almost died in the recording studio. But today L.A. Woman endures as a lesson on how a change of scenery can unleash creativity. In December 1970, the Doors were floundering as they attempted to make L.A. Woman at Sunset Sound in Los ...

The reincarnation of Amy Winehouse

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Amy Winehouse is the latest example of how sudden death ignites the career of a down-and-out, self-destructive artist. You see it happen time and again: a troubled celebrity dies unexpectedly. Said celebrity then realizes a surge in PR popularity and revenue. I blogged about the phenomenon in 2008 in the wake ...

He's hot. He's sexy. And he's dead.

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Hot, sexy, and dead. Jim Morrison? No -- Heath Ledger. Ledger has been dead nearly three months, and his career is hotter than ever. He's generating buzz through a successful viral marketing campaign for his role as the Joker in the forthcoming Dark Night. And he just can't stay ...