A book given by DOORS frontman Jim Morrison to his college room-mate has been valued at $10,000 because it was signed by the late musician in 1963.
Keepsake: Morrison gave the book to Ed Martin in 1963
Retired teacher Ed Martin took his copy of A History Of Magic to the US TV version of Antiques Roadshow, where expert and Doors fan Timothy Gordon valued the book itself at just $100.
Martin, who attended Florida State with Morrison, recalls: “I was living in a rooming house and this other guy was there, and we got to be friends. We didn’t have cars so we’d walk to school.
“For his age I’d say he was probably the most intellectually deep person, and well-read. He was interested in the idea that maybe people who were criminals were really saints and saints were really criminals.”
“The next summer he left for California – and the rest is history. When he left I thought he was going to be an actor. At Florida State he’d been in a couple of drama performances and he was super on stage.
“He’d never sang or showed much interest in music, until one afternoon he came home and said: ‘Come on, you’ve got to come hear this,’ and it was a Bob Dylan album.
“At night he’d listen to a portable radio by his ear to put him to sleep. Then about one or two in the morning a Mexican radio station would come on that was super-loud. I’d have to get up and turn the radio off. But other than that, no musical interest.”
Martin admits he was never really a Doors fan, preferring opera, and adds: “By the time he was becoming famous I was married, starting a teaching career.”
Placing an auction value of $8,000 to $10,000 on the book due to its pedigree, Gordon says: “He has all the components of value: beauty, early death, intelligent, wild – that’s Jim Morrison to a tee. What a wonderful early view into his life. When we’re done here, do you want to have a beer?”
Meanwhile, surviving Doors members Robby Krieger and John Densmore are planning a memorial concert for keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who died last year. The pair settled their long-standing differences to appear together at an event to mark what would have been Manzarek’s 70th birthday in December, and later reported: “We’re back on track.”