mizscarlett43Member Since 27 Nov 2001
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TIFFANY TALKS: YOUR BALLROOM DAYS ARE OVER, BABY
by Janet M. Erwin
In September of 1970 I was living in New York City, working as a publicity writer in the Press and Public Information Department of Columbia/Epic Records, and mulling over the offer of a promotion to Assistant Director of East Coast Publicity for Epic. I thought about it for awhile, then thanked them kindly and resigned.
The West was calling me, Los Angeles was calling me—had been calling me, actually, for most of my 27 years—and I was finally ready to listen. I'd been in New York 13 months and as far as I was concerned that was 12 months too long. I'd had it with the crowds, the noise, the smells, and most of all the lack of privacy. In New York you could afford to live alone only if you were wealthy or if you'd lived in the same rent-controlled apartment for years. I fitted in neither category and I was ready for the wide open spaces.
But I took time from my fantasies of coyotes and bougainvillea to write a letter to Jazz & Pop magazine. It was in response to an article in the September 1970 issue written by one "Chris Reabur"—an anagram, as it turned out, for the name of Elektra Records' East Coast publicity chief, Bruce Harris.
The article was a review of The Doors' LP Morrison Hotel, and I thought it was a bit over the top so I said so. I pointed out that Morrison Hotel was a rock 'n' roll record, not the Great American Novel. Said moreover there were four good songs, four that were fair to middlin', and four that were real dogs (in my humble opinion, anyway). Also pointed out there were four men in the band, a fact Mr. Reabur had apparently overlooked.
It was all in good fun, and I mailed it and forgot about it. I had no clue it was about to change my life.
Within a couple of days I'd had phone calls from Bruce Harris and from Patricia Kennely (as she spelled it then), the editor of Jazz & Pop. They both wanted to know about me, and Patricia said she was about to go down to Miami where Jim Morrison was on trial on a number of charges. She thought he'd get a kick out of my letter and asked my permission to show it to him. Of course I said she could. I suspected he could use a good laugh about then.
She called me when she got back to tell me Jim had enjoyed the letter. We also talked about my upcoming move to Los Angeles—I'd spent a week on the West Coast job hunting while she was in Miami.
She called me a third time to ask my permission to print the letter in Jazz & Pop. In the meantime I'd had another call from Bruce Harris, so I decided it was time to reciprocate what seemed to be overtures of friendship. I suggested to Patricia that the three of us should have lunch sometime. She agreed, although as I recall she said Mr. Harris would be unavailable, or she preferred it just be the two of us. I can't remember which, though I suspect it was the latter.
[I'd known her former boyfriend David Walley for nearly a year by that time so I knew about her affair with Jim Morrison. He'd told me initially that Jim and Patricia were friends. Then, around the time of the Kent State shootings in early May of 1970, when The Doors were doing shows on the East Coast, soon-to-be ex-boyfriend DW told me Jim and Patricia were about to be more than friends. Perhaps three weeks later he marched into my office and announced, "Well, I'm free...."]
I hadn't expected to like Patricia as much as I did. I was also unprepared for her eagerness to talk immediately about the most intimate aspects of her life--I'd barely sat down when she told me she was pregnant. Because of my acquaintance with the newly-ex-boyfriend my first question, while perhaps not the most diplomatic, was a natural one: "Is it Jim's?" She assured me it was. Not surprisingly, the diaphragm-as-Frisbee story came next. I think I was still looking over the menu.
Update 7/26/13: Don't know how that snippet of Ballroom Days got so thoroughly screwed up, but I think it's fixed now. Interested parties can find the full article on Kerry Humpherys' Doors Collectors Magazine website at www.doors.com.
© Janet M. Erwin 1999, 2011.
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