Jim Morrison and the USS Bon Homme Richard
Jim Morrison and his father must have had one of the most extraordinary Oedipal clashes ever; you could not find a more polarized father and son team of the late ’60s. Imagine Jim tripping on acid and belting out “Break on Through” with an erection onstage at the Whiskey a Go Go, then crosscutting to his father commanding a fleet of ships against the North Vietnamese. Might this have had something to do with Jim saying his parents were dead? I’ve always found it incredible that George Stephen Morrison was so heavily involved in the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which resulted in a major US troop escalation in the war. According to his obituary in the New York Times, Morrison “commanded American naval forces in the gulf when the destroyer Maddox engaged three North Vietnamese torpedo boats on Aug. 2, 1964.” That’s kind of a mind blowing fact given that, nearly 60 thousand dead US troops later, it was revealed that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident never actually happened. Shortly after this picture was taken, Jim and his father stopped speaking to one another.
I just want to enumerate the oddities here: 1) George Stephen Morrison was involved in the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. 2) George Stephen Morrison also witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor. 3) George Stephen Morrison was physically present at two inciting incidents of two different 20th century wars, and both of them were purportedly sneak attacks. 4) George Stephen Morrison took command of the USS Bon Homme Richard in 1963, and his first act was to announce the assassination of John F. Kennedy. 5) This picture was taken the year of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident (1964). 6) George Stephen Morrison commanded a fleet of ships during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. 7) The Gulf of Tonkin incident essentially kicked off the Vietnam War. 8) The Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened. 9) The name of the ship, Bon Homme, sounds a lot like Bonham, the last name of another rockstar who died an untimely death. 10) Jim Morrison died the day after the ship was decommissioned. 11) George Stephen Morrison was the keynote speaker at the ship’s decommissioning ceremony on July 3, 1971, the day his son died. 12) Jim Morrison and John Bonham both had water-based deaths: Morrison in the bathtub and Bonham drowning in his own vomit.