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Patricia Kennealy-Morrison, Rock Journalist, Dies at 75

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison, Rock Journalist, Dies at 75
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Patricia Kennealy-Morrison, Rock Journalist, Dies at 75

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison, Rock Journalist, Dies at 75

Patricia Kennealy-Morrison, who wrote about rock as music journalists were just starting to take it seriously, and through her work met Doors frontman Jim Morrison, whom she said she had in some way. so a marriage, died on July 23. She was 75 years old.

Her death was announced on the Facebook page of Lizard Queen Press, a publishing house she founded and which has published her latest books. The announcement did not give a cause or indicate where she died.

In the late 1960s, originally under the name Patricia Kennely (she later changed the spelling of her last name and in 1979 added “Morrison”), she was editor and then editor. from Jazz & Pop, a well-regarded little magazine. . She interviewed Morrison in 1969, and when they shook hands there was “a visible rain of bright blue sparks flying in all directions,” she wrote in a 1992 memoir, “Strange Days: My Life. With and Without Jim Morrison “. They quickly fell in love.

Mrs. Kennealy-Morrison practiced Celtic paganism; on her Facebook page, she described herself as “Author, ex-rock critic, Dame Templar, Celtic witch, ex-go-go dancer, Lizard Queen. Not in that order. (“Lizard Queen” was a reference to a line from a poem by Jim Morrison, in which he wrote: “I am the King of the Lizards.”) In 1970, she and Morrison exchanged vows at a ” wedding ceremony “which involved drops on their own. some blood.

She said her book “Strange Days” (also the title of the Doors second album from 1967) was a response to the 1991 movie “The Doors”. Oliver Stone, who directed the film, had consulted her there. subject, and she even played the Wicca priestess who presides over the ceremony. (Val Kilmer played Morrison; Kathleen Quinlan played Mrs. Kennealy-Morrison.) But she said she was outraged by the film when she saw it at a screening, feeling it trivialized the ceremony, didn’t give enough importance to his relationship with Morrison, and twisted it.

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“If Oliver had attended this screening, we would never have had to worry about his movie ‘JFK’,” she told London’s Daily Mail in 1992, referring to Mr Stone’s upcoming film. “I would have killed him.”

Critics said the book was just an attempt to grab attention and usurp the place in Morrison’s myth of Pamela Courson, another of his romantic interests, who called herself his common-law wife. . Morrison died in 1971 in Paris at the age of 27; Mme Courson, who was with him at the time, died a few years later, also at the age of 27. Drugs were suspected in the two deaths.

In her book, Ms Kennealy-Morrison blamed Ms Courson for Morrison’s death, in a bathtub in her apartment. “She gave heroin to the man she claimed to love, leaving him to die while she nodded,” she wrote.

In late October 2010, on the eve of Samhain, a Celtic religious holiday that inspired Halloween, Ms Kennealy-Morrison spoke to the Daily News in New York City about her plans to mark the occasion.

“I will put a light in the window to guide souls through the night,” she said. “I will have food, pork and apples in the Celtic tradition for the ancestors of the other world. I will speak to my beloved dead, including my father and my grandmother. It will be a joyous and deeply holy occasion. Jim usually introduces himself. And when he does, I’ll be celebrating Samhain, the Celtic New Year, with my husband.

Patricia Kennely was born March 4, 1946 in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island. In 1963, she enrolled at St. Bonaventure University, a Franciscan institution in Allegany, NY, to study journalism. It was there that she discovered the Celtic religion.

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“They had an incredible library on the subject in Saint-Bonaventure, I guess they operated on the principle of ‘know your enemy’,” she told the Daily News.

She transferred to Harpur College in Binghamton, NY after two years and graduated in English in 1967. It was there that she discovered the political activism brewing on campuses across the country. She also discovered rock music, and a 1966 album in particular.

“It was called ‘Jefferson Airplane Takes Off,'” she wrote in “Rock Chick: A Girl and Her Music,” a 2013 compilation of her Jazz & Pop writings. “And me too.”

While studying at college, she earned extra money as a go-go dancer in nightclubs.

“Disdaining the white boots and the go-go-girl model in pastel microrobe that were prevalent across the country, I went Dark Side,” she wrote, “wearing a black faux leather fringe bikini, black fishnets and black knee-length boots. “

“I looked like Zorro’s kinky girlfriend,” she added.

After graduating, she landed a position as an editorial assistant at Crowell-Collier & Macmillan Publishing in Manhattan. She saw the first cover of Jazz & Pop magazine in a newsstand in 1967 (it had been founded as Jazz magazine in 1962 by Pauline Rivelli, who in 1967 expanded it to a rock cover and had it renamed) and started lobbying for a job there. She was hired as an editorial assistant in early 1968. By the end of that year she had been appointed editor-in-chief.

The magazine was one of many magazines created around the same time that took music more seriously than the zines of the day. (Rolling Stone was founded in 1967.)

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Ms. Kennealy-Morrison’s pieces set the tone for Jazz & Pop. In the April 1970 issue, she wrote about the influence that religions of all kinds have on music. She believed, for example, that the Coven group was invoking dark magic in a dangerous way. “Black magic is NOT just an interesting new wrinkle for the PR crowd, or a new tilt in publicity copy,” she warned.

Three months later, she criticized rock fans for not being selective enough and not applying their intellect to what they heard.

“How many excruciating guitar solos, how many organ solos that were so boring your legs started to hurt, how many meaningless vocal improvisations have we all reviewed?” she wrote. “And at the conclusion of all these various monuments to ego rock, how many standing ovations have we given?”

Steve Hochman, a music journalist who was also a friend, wrote about his influence in a Facebook post reporting on his death.

“As a writer and editor of Jazz & Pop magazine,” he wrote, “she helped establish the then embryonic kingdom at a time when few believed pop music deserved such attention. critical.”

Jazz & Pop went bankrupt in 1971.

Ms. Kennealy-Morrison’s survivors include two brothers, Kevin and Timothy Kennely. A sister, Regina Kennely, died in March.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ms. Kennealy-Morrison wrote a series of fantasy novels, collectively known as “The Keltiad,” which draws inspiration from Celtic legends and mythology. More recently, under the name Patricia Morrison, she wrote mysteries with musical themes, tapping into her time in the rock world. Among the titles are “Scareway to Heaven: Murder at the Fillmore East” and “Daydream Bereaver: Murder on the Good Ship Rock & Roll”.

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