The Doors keyboardist saw him for a moment as an Indian deity, kicking up diamonds…
And there I was, just sitting in the sun, being a bum, smoking a joint and trusting in the energy. And who comes walking down the [Venice] Beach, but James Douglas Morrison [who he knew from UCLA Film School]. The sun is streaming in behind him, the water is glistening, and I see this silhouetted figure walking along in the shallows, the shore break, kicking up water. I can’t quite make out who it is, but as he’s kicking at the water, diamonds are materializing all around his feet. He’s like an Indian deity, like Krishna—the Blue God—creating a field of diamonds from his footsteps, like Sai Baba, a popular guru of the time, materializing ashes from his fingers, but this human figure is producing glittering, ephemeral, now-you-see-them, now-you-don’t jewels. He’s making diamonds because of the way the sun is hitting the water from behind. It’s called backlighting. It gives everything a halo of light; it makes translucent objects shimmer with an inner fire. And the sun is coming in low and hard. It’s the beginning of eventide…(1965)
from Light My Fire: My Life With the Doors, by Ray Manzarek (G.P. Putnam’s, 1998)
Provided by Dana Cook, Contributor to the Los Angeles Free Press.