No One Here Gets Out Alive by Danny Sugerman

No One Here Gets Out Alive

Here is Jim Morrison in all his complexity-singer, philosopher, poet, delinquent-the brilliant, charismatic, and obsessed seeker who rejected authority in any form, the explorer who probed "the bounds of reality to see what would happen..." Seven years in the writing, this definitive biography is the work of two men whose empathy and experience with Jim Morrison uniquely p...

Title:No One Here Gets Out Alive
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0446697338
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:384 pages

No One Here Gets Out Alive Reviews

  • Jason Koivu
    Nov 29, 2008

    In the age of flower power, the Summer of Love and an era in which a generation sought peace not war, The Doors came out of the darker corners of man's desire.

    Harbingers of evil? No. This is about the conduits of humanity in all its beauty and horror.

    The Doors embodied yin and yang...

    In

    , Danny Sugarman has put together the comprehensive legend of Jim Morrison's life, as well as the birth

    In the age of flower power, the Summer of Love and an era in which a generation sought peace not war, The Doors came out of the darker corners of man's desire.

    Harbingers of evil? No. This is about the conduits of humanity in all its beauty and horror.

    The Doors embodied yin and yang...

    In

    , Danny Sugarman has put together the comprehensive legend of Jim Morrison's life, as well as the birth and death of the band that made Morrison godlike in the eyes of millions.

    While keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore were adept musicians, they were a mere back-up band for the wildly enigmatic, charismatic Morrison. Sugarman treats them with deference, but they are relegated to the background here too. The author knows what his readers have come for and he gives it to them.

    The phoenix rises and bursts into flame with the blazing sun of the southern Californian, mercurial late '60s music scene as the backdrop.

    "sex, drugs and rock'n'roll" and as a teenager reading this, I LOVED it. So why only 3 stars?

    The problem is it's rather sycophantic and not well-written. How could you expect anything more? Danny Sugarman was perhaps the most diehard Doors fan of all time. At the age of 12 he started working for the band answering fan mail. Before he was even out of high school he was managing them. After they dissolved, Sugarman managed Ray Manzarek's solo work. How could this book not be partisan? After all, there's a reason armies are made up of 18-year-olds.

    All the negatives aside, this was the Bible to the kid version of me, who was a hardcore Morrison fanatic (he and I share the same birthday, which I thought at the time meant I could pretty much see into his soul...ahhh teenagers), but

    is not a biography about Jesus. It's just about a fucked up kid who landed in a band of fairly accomplished musicians who were willing to put his bad poetry to music, creating songs that found a disenfranchised audience at just the right time. Interesting story about an interesting individual. Really, that's it, even if it means so very much more to many.

    If you're a Doors fan, this is essential reading. You've discovered the right place to geek out. If you're a fan of late 60s music, especially the L.A. scene, you'll find plenty to sink your teeth into. If you're everyone else? Then this is not

    the book you're looking for.

    Frankly, this could be given any rating,

  • Bill
    Dec 16, 2008

    I am a long-time Doors fan. I own all their music and still include it in my music rotation - nearly 40 years after my first exposure to them. Morrison was a very bright man cursed with uncommonly good looks and a ferocious thirst for large quantities of whiskey. The latter led him to an early grave. This book colorfully accounts for his genius and outrageous appetites that led to his early death at age 27. The author dares suggest what Doors fans find heretical: Morrison wasn't a very good sing

    I am a long-time Doors fan. I own all their music and still include it in my music rotation - nearly 40 years after my first exposure to them. Morrison was a very bright man cursed with uncommonly good looks and a ferocious thirst for large quantities of whiskey. The latter led him to an early grave. This book colorfully accounts for his genius and outrageous appetites that led to his early death at age 27. The author dares suggest what Doors fans find heretical: Morrison wasn't a very good singer - he was an awesome shouter and a reasonably good poet. His controversial on-stage antics and his physical beauty were what gave him such a huge public following. Had he survived his youth, he probably would have become a first rate poet/writer. A few years ago, my wife and I visited his grave at Pere la Chaise cemetery in Paris.

  • Cwn_annwn_13
    Feb 10, 2009

    To say that many of his fans are morons that get grandiose and delusional about him is an understatement. However I still find that The Doors music stands the test of time and think Morrison was a talented and interesting guy. This book, while good, could have been a lot better. The authors, one of whom knew Morrison personally, interviewed multiple people that were close to him and The Doors, but yet its hard get a true feel for what sort of person Morrison was underneath the front that he put

    To say that many of his fans are morons that get grandiose and delusional about him is an understatement. However I still find that The Doors music stands the test of time and think Morrison was a talented and interesting guy. This book, while good, could have been a lot better. The authors, one of whom knew Morrison personally, interviewed multiple people that were close to him and The Doors, but yet its hard get a true feel for what sort of person Morrison was underneath the front that he put up. Maybe this can't fully be blamed on the authors because I believe Morrison put up a wall/image at a very young age and rarely if ever ventured on the other side of it. One thing I liked about Morrisson is he seemed to have more of an interest in literature and poetry that music, and his long term aspirations were in that direction.

    Overall this book is interesting/entertaining. A good portion of it is recounting of Morrisons self destructive drunken antics. The faults are it didn't get on the other side of the mask that Morrison wore, the authors were obviously overly enthusiastic fans. I also find this books habit of quoting/enacting conversations greatly annoying. I realize they interviewed people that were involved in them but how sure can we be of the accuracy of word for word quotations of words that were exchanged 30 years before this book was published.

  • Greg
    Oct 01, 2009

    For about a two month period of time in 11th grade I thought that The Doors were a really good band, and that Jim Morrison was not a douche bag. It was one of the dark times of my life. I read this book then and really liked it. Thinking back on it I know it's not a very good book, nor do I think The Doors are a very good band.

  • Cormac Zoso
    Apr 06, 2012

    This is the book that is responsible for making the three surviving members of The Doors rich beyond their dreams. When this came out way back in 1980, The Doors were a band many people had heard of but in general (readers please note i said 'in general') were not one mentioned in the same breath as The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles, probably the four biggest, most famous, and ultimately most respected and durable bands to come from the '60s. Certainly the sales of their

    This is the book that is responsible for making the three surviving members of The Doors rich beyond their dreams. When this came out way back in 1980, The Doors were a band many people had heard of but in general (readers please note i said 'in general') were not one mentioned in the same breath as The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles, probably the four biggest, most famous, and ultimately most respected and durable bands to come from the '60s. Certainly the sales of their back catalogs bear this out.

    But in 1980 after we had been thru the big fade of the huge arena rock dinosaurs (i.e. Zep and The Who would lose original members about this time and while it would effect both while oddly the Stones never were affected by death or desertion of members), after we had been through Punk and the great anti-major-record-label-establishment-rock bands it gave birth to (which for the few bands that made it big such as The Clash soon enough came to find that the excess and pampering they had bemoaned the established dinosaur bands for wallowing in was actually something they liked very well too and wallowed in it blissfully as their music softened like a neglected sharp tool to be left in the middle-of-the-road where major record labels are most happy and would make these post-punk slags filthy rich and filthy lazy just in time for MTV to help make this easily digestible pap more marketable still and them even richer still), and as the cold-sweat horrors of glam/hair metal was just starting to be spat out from the bowels of the major record labels' A&R divisions and gaining purchase on the concrete paths of said-Morrison's beloved Sunset Strip and which no doubt would have the corpse of said-Morrison retching and convulsing with dry heaves in a Paris cemetery or perhaps in a shallow grave outside of Jackson, Mississippi, where years after his alleged death in a Paris bathtub he was ultimately and gleefully stomped into oblivion by a group of good ol' boys wrecked on broken chromosomes, methamphetamine, and Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, we were lost, all of us, in times that had no direction or clarity and through that fog we witnessed the birthing of the plasticine bust of Ronald Reagan and his bobble-headed second wife (whom he had 'traded-up' for from his bobble-breasted first wife) and at bottom what we truly needed was a four-day weekend of drawn curtains, cable TV, and Quaaludes.

    And then came Jim Morrison stumbling, swaggering, shaman-dancing back onto the scene. I would estimate that ninety percent of the people who read this book at the time could not identify a Doors song even with the threatened loss of their limbs on the line. Perhaps, 'Light My Fire' was playing on a radio station somewhere in the United States late at night once a month by some DJ claiming to have drank with the lead singer of that band but other than that The Doors were not news and were relegated to the back racks of Top Forty-driven chain record stores such as Tower, Coconut's, Sam Goody or, for Chicagoans, Flipside and Rose Records where teens would occasionally pull out an LP and turn to their friends with a stoned-stupid laugh and utter with convinced-cleverness, "Look ... The Doors ... where's The Windows?" and his companions would join him in a group stoned-stupid laugh at the cleverness of us and the dumbness of them.

    But by the time this book came into paperback, those same teens had a much-read, much-underlined, and much-passage-memorized copy adding heft to the sagging back pocket of their single pair of Jordache jeans as that copy of the book made the rounds like the town pump. The Doors albums went back into the charts, their songs were played hourly on the computer-assisted playlists of every Metromedia music-format radio station across the country and suddenly Jim Morrison was on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine with the ever-accurate headline, "He's Hot, He's Sexy, He's Dead" ... leave it to Jann Wenner to spell correctly. And The Doors were back in the spotlight and just as it was the first time around, the second spin of fame had Morrison far outdistancing the other three "backup musicians" in the interest-quotient among the new fans of the band. Not that I think they minded. The royalty checks hitting their mailboxes every month or so must have looked like typos to Krieger, Densmore, and Manzarek, the three who stood behind Morrison as he cavorted through his short life. And suddenly teens were posturing just as the book described ... cheeks sucked in, hips pushed out, and a far-away vague look that gave the lil girls a shiver deep down there.

    While the writing I suppose was fairly sophomoric, the authors' writing that is, it was a perfect fit for the stoned, mouth-breathers whose lips beat out the tame and timid tempo of the words. But one can never just blame the authors as I am sure the poor put-upon schlub appointed to 'edit' the 'rock bios' that come through most any publishing house no doubt are instructed to 'dumb it down' to the fourth grade reading requirements of say the Alabama Department of Education. Rock fans can't be expected to read above that level certainly and so sitting around stoned with friends as the one who nearly made it into the honors courses of shop class read aloud to the others as Morrison moaned stoned and beautiful in the background, the new disciples cotton-mouthed and hanging on every word of either the singer or the reader since attempting to include both among the frayed, arcing, and sputtering synapses would have been a multitasking death wish for this crowd. But it got the story across and ultimately that is all that matters unless you're begging to be Ernest Hemingway or Judith Krantz.

    So for the stories, the myths, and more, this book hit home for a new generation that would later blushingly admit to their roommate in the repressed homosexuality of a frat house bedroom as they tried to decide whether to pop their collars for that night's date rape that they, yes, they, the cool and effeminate boy exchanging loving looks in the one mirror in said bedroom "were into The Doors for a summer" whilst again the Lizard King clutches at the memory of his bloated heart considering the prospect that his work was ultimately judged by the same selfish swine that caused the S&L crash a short time later.

    However, at bottom and in the end beautiful friend The Doors climbed that ladder of fame nearly to the level of the 'Big Four' from the '60s while securing themselves a hallowed place in the fable of American Rock Music. Well above Grand Funk Railroad but too weird to pry-bar their name alongside those faces on the big rock. As for now, well they recently received a classy documentary effort shown by no less than PBS American Masters and narrated by that acting-oddball of a self-proclaimed Doors' fan Johnny Depp (the more you know about him, the more you gotta like him) ... sadly this leaves them somewhere near the middle of the road though please note that it was just PBS and no doubt was financed through the sales of hash brownies amongst the employees.

  • Justin
    Feb 17, 2014

    The most popular Doors memoir, and also the shittiest. This book reeks of Sugarman's tunnel vision obsession with Jim Morrison. It's not that the events described aren't factually correct, but you really get the sense that this book was written by a 14 year old poser who understood Jim or the Doors as well as a typical super fan, and no better than that. I still recall my high school English teacher refused to let me write a celebrity bio on Jim because a large-breasted cheerleader in my class a

    The most popular Doors memoir, and also the shittiest. This book reeks of Sugarman's tunnel vision obsession with Jim Morrison. It's not that the events described aren't factually correct, but you really get the sense that this book was written by a 14 year old poser who understood Jim or the Doors as well as a typical super fan, and no better than that. I still recall my high school English teacher refused to let me write a celebrity bio on Jim because a large-breasted cheerleader in my class asked first. Well, all I can say is, she totally plagiarized this book and read the worst passages aloud, haltingly, to the class and got an A for her efforts. I'm still fuming about it now. I still recall how I thought Bob Dylan's life was SO BORING because he didn't do half as many drugs as Jim did. Well, let it said that I took the measure of a life much differently at age 16 than I do at age 38.

  • Ana
    Apr 22, 2016
  • J. Kahele
    Apr 26, 2016

    This book to me was an obsessive take from the opinion of Danny Sugerman on Jim Morrison. I found some of the words to be quite hypocritical and at times a little demeaning. The Doors popularity was gained from their uniqueness as a band, that includes the voice of Jim Morrison. To say the man couldn't sing was an absolute lie. He stood out not only for his reckless ways, but also for his ability to sing in a way no other person could.


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