PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Fans of the band The Doors may not know that lead singer Jim Morrison lived with his grandparents in Clearwater while attending college in the early 1960s.
The house has since been demolished, but the doors that were inside live on as pieces of art.
One look at Rich Greene’s St. Pete living room, it’s obvious, he’s a die-hard music fan, but it’s Morrison and The Doors that really touched him.
“I heard them on the radio, (I was) maybe 10 or 11-years-old, and it really just kind of grabbed me,” said Greene. “I like the way he was kind of on the edge, you know, and he didn’t really care what anybody thought, and he was kind of a rebel against authority.”
From 1961 to 1962, Morrison lived in Clearwater with his grandparents while attending St. Pete Junior College.
“I lived next door, I guess two houses away for over 10 years, and I didn’t even know that was his house,” said Greene.
The house was demolished in 2005, but it was not the end for the doors inside. The doors were salvaged and made into art.
“I really liked the likenesses of the four members of the band, you could recognize them right away,” said Greene describing one of the bedroom doors. “But what really stuck out to me was when I hit the doorbell, I was expecting ding, ding.”
However, what Greene heard instead were the lyrics, “When the music’s over turn out the light.”
Artist and musician Joe Sanders painted Greene’s other door, the kitchen door. On the front, it’s a mural of Morrison, and when you break on through to the other side, it’s a little psychedelic.
“It kind of shows the rise and fall of Jim from top to bottom,” said Sanders. “They changed the face of music for their little time period, they were that really good art rock.”
The rock star’s time in the area even lit a fire under local super fan Bird Stevens to write a book entitled "Jim Morrison’s Clearwater, Then and Now," which can be purchased on Amazon.
“Clearwater, I think, is important because it was the last place that he was before he left and became this giant superstar,” said Stevens. “I just think it’s really neat that they did preserve, they preserved this part of history, that it didn’t go to waste.”