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Your Weekend Reading, February 11, 12, 2012 – Jim Morrison’s Will & Some Bootleg

February 11, 2012

1. History, 2. Law, 9. Weekends

Your Weekend Reading, February 11, 12, 2012 – Jim Morrison’s Will & Some Bootleg

Forty-three years ago this weekend, Jim Morrison signed his Last Will & Testament.  He left everything to his girlfriend, Pamela Courson.  She lived not quite three years after Jim died.  Then it got ugly.  First, here’s the text of the will (or an image if you’d rather):

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF JIM MORRISON

I, James D. Morrison, being of sound mind and disposing body, memory and understanding, and after considerations of all persons, the object of my bounty and with full knowledge of the nature and extent of my assets, do hereby make, publish and declare my Last Will and Testament, as follows:

FIRST: I declare that I am a resident of Los Angeles County, California; that I am unmarried and have no children.
SECOND: I direct the payment of all debts and expenses of last illness.

THIRD: I do hereby devise and bequeath each and every thing of value of which I may die possessed, including real property, personal property and mixed properties to PAMELA S. COURSON of Los Angeles County.

In the event the said PAMELA S. COURSON should predecease me, or fail to survive for a period of three months following the date of my death, then and in such event, the devise and bequest to her shall fail and the same is devised and bequeathed instead to my brother, ANDREW MORRISON of Monterey, California, and to my sister, ANNE R. MORRISON of Coronado Beach, California, and to share and share alike; provided, however, further that in the event either of them should predecease me, then and in such event, the devise and bequest shall go to the other.

FOURTH: I do hereby appoint PAMELA S. COURSON and MAX FINK, jointly, Executors, or Executor and Executrix, as the case may be, of my estate, giving to said persons, and each of them, full power of appointment of substitution in their place and stead by their Last Will and Testament, or otherwise.

In the event said PAMELA S. COURSON shall survive me and be living at the time of her appointment, then in such event, bond is hereby waived.

I subscribe my name to this Will this 12 day of February, 1969, at Beverly Hills, California.

Signed
James D. Morrison

So, Pamela got everything provided she outlived Jim by three months.  That clause is fairly common.  It’s meant to escape the “order of death” problem.

Assume two people married later in life.  Each had kids from previous relationships.  The husband leaves half his estate to his new wife and half to his kids.  She does her will in similar fashion.  Both wills state that “If my spouse predeceases me, then that share goes in equal parts to my remaining beneficiaries.”  The upshot is that when the guy outlives his new wife, he doesn’t have to re-do his Will – everything goes to his kids.

Now, add a car accident.  Husband dies on impact; wife dies trying to crawl out of the wreckage.  Husband’s will leaves half to her, half to his kids.  Wife’s will, since he’s dead, accepts her husband’s half and tosses in everything she owned and leave it all to her kids.  His kids kinda sorta got short-changed.  The argument is clearly going to be over timing of death.  Did she really die trying to escape – or did she merely get partially tossed out of the car upon impact?  If you claim he died on impact, prove it!

It’s easily solved – just like Jim Morrison did it:  ” … or fail to survive for a period of three months following the date of my death …”

When she died in 1974, she owned everything Jim owned as her sole property.  Everything she had went to her parents.  Jim’s parents complained but in the end result got nowhere.  Kinda sad, but oh well.

Onto some music … I’ve always enjoyed this bootleg.  The Doors played a concert at Danbury (CT) High School.  Here’s some background.  I knew I’d love it before the first chord was struck when I heard the introduction.  Check it out:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Can’t you just picture a 1967 wanna-be-strict school matron correcting the kids, and then Jim Morrison gets up there being, well, Jim?  Too funny.  “I’m your back door man!” Jim screams; C’mon, baby, light my fire,” Jim breathes; and the kids are gonna sit there quietly in fear of the matron?  Laughing …

Here’s the concert song by song … enjoy.  And, remember, it’s a bootleg copy – no digital remastering available!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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Enjoy your weekend!

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About Clyde

Clyde is the lead attorney in the firm. Licensed to practice in 1993, he's also taught Constitutional and Criminal Law for several years at a private university, primarily at the Master's level.

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