“I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps “Oh look at that!” Then–whoosh, and I’m gone…and they’ll never see anything like it ever again…and they won’t be able to forget me–ever.” —Jim Morrison
On July 3, 1971, the world lost music legend and poet Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, at age 27 to heart failure. Famed for his countercultural mysticism, striking lyrics, and powerful voice, Jim Morrison remains one of the most prolific figures in rock music, with a cult of personality that goes unrivaled. And for good reason—few other musicians did charisma, danger, and broodiness like Jim did.
So in honor of one of rock music’s most mythical and meteoric men, hit play and check out these amazing photos of Jim taken in 1968 by LIFE magazine’s Yale Joel.