The Jim Morrison Cave: Fact and Fiction

The "Jim Morrison Cave"
The "Jim Morrison Cave", Corral Canyon Park, Malibu, California

Confirmed and rumored sightings of Jim Morrison both seem to have the same effect on locales around Los Angeles. For the last week there have been tons of stories on “The Jim Morrison Cave” in Malibu and how the cave has been defaced by Doors fans who have actually covered Native American petroglyphs. Readers may be wondering why I haven’t written about it. I haven’t because while Morrison had a habit of disappearing for days at a time, with no one knowing where he went, there is no evidence that “The Jim Morrison Cave” was ever a destination for him.

I first heard of “The Jim Morrison Cave” in December of last year (2015) when travel writer Kelly Taylor posted a video of the cave in Malibu. Of course being The Doors Examiner I contacted her about the cave and asked whether there was any truth that Morrison had visited the cave for inspiration. She says in the video (above) that Morrison’s presence there was a rumor. In the message to my inquiry she went even further saying “…those “rumors” are somewhat baseless” and she posted the video because it was a destination with a great view.

While Taylor’s video may not have gone completely viral, it did catch the attention of Doors fans and the park authorities. As you can see by the video, when Taylor visited the cave the walls were already covered with graffiti. Since the video the problem may have escalated, with more Doors fans making the trek and adding to the graffiti, posting messages on the rock, or Doors lyrics, just as fans have done at Père Lachaise Cemetery where Morrison is buried.

The problem has become so pervasive that the park has closed the cave to the public and is now engaged in cleaning the cave walls.

I don’t want to say that Taylor’s video is the cause of the fans’ graffiti. She says she had heard about the cave long before she made the video, so the cave has been a simmering pot in L.A. rumor for a while.

The park authorities are going to blast the walls with walnut shells to clean them (hopefully not “cleaning” the original petroglyphs) at a cost of $40,000. The park has also instituted a $400 fine for anyone trespassing in the cave. As there will always be war and rumors of war, so it seems the same of Jim Morrison… just be careful of those rumors, since they could lead to actual wars (metaphorically speaking).

Originally published May 8, 2016.

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