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Patricia Kennealy-Morrison (1946–2021), rock journalist and partner of Jim Morrison

by Linnea Crowther

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison was an author and journalist who was in a relationship with rock star Jim Morrison (1943–1971) of the Doors.

Lizard Queen

Kennealy-Morrison became a rock music journalist as a young woman, bringing a new seriousness to rock criticism as one of the first women in the field. She interviewed Morrison in 1969 for Jazz & Pop, the magazine she edited and contributed to. The two began a relationship, largely long-distance, and they participated in a handfasting ceremony in 1970. It wasn’t a legal marriage, though Kennealy-Morrison considered herself Morrison’s wife. It was a controversial claim, refuted by some who point out that Morrison was also in a serious relationship with Pamela Courson (1946–1974). The handfasting ceremony was included in the 1991 Oliver Stone movie “The Doors.” Kathleen Quinlan played Kennealy Morrison, and Kennealy-Morrison herself appeared in the scene as the Wiccan priestess who performed the ceremony.

Kennealy-Morrison wrote the 1992 memoir, “Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison.” It was one of more than two dozen books written by Kennealy-Morrison, including several fantasy novels in “The Keltiad” series. In 2007, she founded the publishing house Lizard Queen Press, riffing on Morrison’s “Lizard King” nickname. She went on to write and publish a series of rock-themed mystery novels, including “Ungrateful Dead: Murder at the Fillmore,” “A Hard Slay’s Night: Murder at the Royal Albert Hall,” and “Scareway to Heaven: Murder at the Fillmore East.”

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Morrison on interviewing rock stars

“I do tire of flailing away at that ol’ male chauvinist hydra, but I tire even more of going out to do an interview and being genteelly condescended to as not much more than a particularly well-connected groupie, and then, sometime during the interview, having to watch the interviewee male drop his drink at a perfectly ordinary remark as to, oh, the influence of eighteenth-century Irish-Scottish broadside ballads in his work, or John Cage, or Django Reinhardt, or even nonmusical things like the auteur theory of filmmaking, or just about anything having more intellectual content than ‘What’s your favorite color?.’” –as quoted in the Los Angeles Times

Tributes to Patricia Kennealy-Morrison

Full obituary: Los Angeles Times

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