In another life, Pamela Courson would’ve become a star in her own right since she was a brilliant, gorgeous artistic woman with plenty to offer. However, being Jim Morrison’s girlfriend or wife, as she would call herself, was a full-time job.
There was no doubt that Pamela Courson and Jim Morrison loved each other in a naive, youthful way. Even more so, they were addicted to each other, but the real problem was that they were addicted to other, more powerful stuff.
Their toxic relationship, full of explosive fights, abuse, and cheating, soon became a rock and roll fairytale. Both Pam and Jim died when they were 27, and instead of becoming a cautionary tale, they became immortal.
When Jim Morrison Met His “cosmic Partner”
Self-proclaimed Lizard King and the blue-eyed student of Art met in a Los Angeles’ club London Fog.
He was already famous, but a year later, in 1967, The Doors, led by Morrison, would be the biggest band in the world. It didn’t change much between Pamela Courson and Jim.
They started living together and planning their wedding. Pam, three years younger than Morrison, opened a boutique and started dabbling in fashion design.
She had style and grace, and part of their appeal as a couple was that they were chic, always ahead of trends, and looked like they belonged on Vogue cover.
Behind closed doors, The Doors’ frontman, sex symbol, and poet was a raging alcoholic. His cosmic partner, as he called Pam, was digging an early grave with heroin.
They had it all: fame, fortune, striking looks, artistic talents, but they each had their demons. It was not as if one of them dragged the other into the world of addiction. They were both very much already in too deep even before they met.
Jim and Pam came from strict families, and both had fathers who were in the Navy. During their teenage years, miles apart, they started to rebel. Jim moved from Florida to Los Angeles.
Pam, born in Weeds, California, moved to City of Angels a few years later to study art. Jim dropped out from his film studies, and so did Pam.
So, they bonded over mutual resentment over restrains, establishment, and love for art.
Pamela Courson Outside Jim Morrison
But, who was Pamela when she wasn’t Jim’s Lizard Queen, his cosmic partner?
According to friends, she was funny, adventurous, witty, and fearless. She was also a lonely figure with a mysterious aura, wild, embodying the true spirit of the swinging 60s.
Pam was by all accounts the female version of Morrison – independent, unpredictable, emotionally unstable, and that is why they couldn’t stay apart. They were stuck with each other in their self-destructive ways.
Pamela Susan Courson was only 19 when she met Morrison. He was three years older and 22 at the time. Ironically, she would die three years after him. It’s like rock gods gave them everything but a piece of mind.
A college dropout wanted to express herself through art, and in the 60s LA, with the sexiest guy alive under her spell, young Pamela opened a boutique.
Though the couple had a much more sinister name in mind, they called the boutique Themis. It was an “it” place for fashionistas. Among customers were Sharon Tate and Miles Davis.
The fiery redhead with stunning blue eyes and her partner made arrangements to get married in 1968, but she forgot to obtain a marriage license. Still, the couple always knew they were soulmates, together until the end.
But that end came way too soon.
Most of all, Pam was a muse. She inspired Morisson’s hit songs, Love Street, Queen of the Highway, or TwentiethCenturyFox, to name a few.
Was there a Pamela Courson outside Jim Morrison? Not really. Just like there was no Morrison without Pamela, apart from when he was on stage.
Intense Until The End
Jim once set their apartment on fire after Pam slapped him. No one got hurt, but no one walked away either.
The drug and alcohol-fueled relationship also had its share of sweet moments. They talked about having children and growing old together.
But after Hendrix and Joplin died, Morrison told his pals that he would be the next to go. At that time, he wrote a will, leaving everything to his inspiration and the person he trusted the most – Pamela Courson.
At the begging of the 70s, Morrison had had enough of being a sex symbol and even a part of The Doors. Pamela suggested they move to Paris so that he could devote his time to poetry. It was supposed to be a fresh start.
The two went to Paris in the spring of 1971. Four months later, Pam woke up to find Morisson in a bathtub, unresponsive. The photo above is the last picture of Jim Morrison, presumably taken a day before his death.
The rumors started flying. Pamela Courson was the sole heir of Morrison’s work, which at the time was worth around 400,000 dollars. But after his death, that number went much higher.
Some suggested that Pam gave Morrison the lethal dose of heroin, while others came up with a conspiracy theory that stated that the FBI killed the singer-songwriter.
Also, some stories said that Morrison faked his death, and Pamela Courson joined him less than three years later.
French police stated that heart failure was a cause of death, and knowing that Jim was drowning in whiskey since his early teens and played around with LSD, that doesn’t sound like a stretch.
There was no autopsy, and Jim Morrison was buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, next to Frédéric Chopin, Honoré de Balzac, Marcel Proust, Georges Seurat, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, Isadora Duncan, and other great names in the art world.
What Happened To Pamela Courson After Jim’s Death?
Morrison died on July 3, 1971, and Pamela was left with their dog Sage, devasted and worried whether she would be next.
Pam didn’t want to stay in Paris, and soon she was back in Los Angeles.
On April 25, 1974, just a few weeks after the court confirmed she was the heir to Morrison’s estate, she overdosed on heroin in a home she once shared with her Lizard King.
Her wish was to be buried next to Morrison, but that wasn’t possible due to logistics. Pamela Courson’s final resting place was Fairhaven Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
She was buried as Pamela Susan Morrison.
During less than three years without Morisson, Pamela became even more reckless. Some said that she was prostituting herself to maintain the lifestyle she shared with Morrison since all the money was trapped in legal battles. But it sounds like a bunch of nasty rumors since there was nothing to suggest that Pamela was broke.
She traveled to Tijuana, high and drunk because, just like Jim, she loved feeling that she had no control.
The aftermath of Pam’s death was pretty interesting. Both Pam’s and Jim’s parents wanted her inheritance, and the two families were at war until 1979.
The court decided to split everything 50-50, despite the simple fact that Morrison told people his parents were dead. Or at least, he considered them to be.
The Tragic Romance Of Pamela Courson And Jim Morrison
The outside world saw them as crazy, some even using terms like “lunatics.”
But, their short lives left a mark and created a twisted fairytale of love and devotion.
Pam never became a household name, and she remains known as Jim’s Pam. The Doors are a legendary band for breaking barriers and combining theatre with powerful, challenging, even ominous sound.
There would be no band without the charismatic superstar, and there would be no Morrison we grew to adore without Pamela Courson.
The original queen and king of cool were later followed by similar, tragic, volatile romances. Kurt and Courtney, Layne and Demri, Amy and Blake, Sid and Nancy, Michael Hutchence and Paula Yates.
Yet, there will always be a veil of magic, a certain unexplainable yet disturbing charm that followed the brief journey of one couple: Jim and Pam.