One Afternoon in New York
Joel Brodsky remembers The Young Lion

The famed “Young Lion” photograph of Jim Morrison is probably the most widely used photo of The Doors collection. Joel Brodsky tells his story of the photograph session which produced this famous photo:

Brodsky has taken many of The Doors best known photos. He shot the back cover of the first album, the award winning cover of Strange Days, and the jackets of The Soft Parade and the Greatest Hits LP. In addition, he shot the famous inner sleeve of Strange Days. Brodsky describes that famous session, which yielded the legendary “Young Lion” photo of Morrison.

I always thought it was sort of funny that the pictures of Morrison from that session were the most used. Jim was totally plastered. The session started out normally. We were taking group shots and they were all being very cooperative. The Doors were among the brighter groups I'd shot at that point. They had a visual orientation and seemed to understand the potential of a good photo session. Initially, there seemed to be a little jealously that Morrison was being put so up front in the photos, but basically the others understood that Jim was the sex symbol and an important visual focus for the band.

After we'd done group shots. I shot some individual pictures of each member, saving Morrison for last. I knew I was going to be spending the most time with him, so I didn't want them to have to sit around and wait too long. Well, while this was going on, Jim was drinking quite a bit. So by the time I got to shooting the individual shots of him, Morrison was pretty loose.

The shot on the inner sleeve of the Greatest Hits album was pretty near the end, I think. By that time, he was so drunk he was stumbling into the lights and we had to stop the session. He wasn't a wild drunk - actually he was kind of quiet - but his equilibrium wasn't too terrific. Still, he was great to photograph because he had a very interesting look.

It seemed like a good session to me, and then a week or so later, we ran one of the photos in the Village Voice. The story I've heard is that they got something like ten thousand requests for the picture. You know, Morrison never really looked that way again, and those pictures have become a big part of The Doors' legend. I think I got him at his peak.

Joel Brodsky donated his 32 year old photo of Jim Morrison to a silent auction for the benefit of abused children.

[ONE AFTERNOON IN NEW YORK (BAM 7-3-81) - Joel Brodsky, Photographer]

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One Afternoon in New York - Joel Brodsky remembers Jim Morrison