Interview by Howard Smith
November 1969. Los Angeles
Reel-to-reel tape recorder
Buy the full Smith Tapes interview on iTunes and Amazon MP3.
Jim Morrison: Are you hungry?
Howard Smith: Why do you ask that?
Jim Morrison: Well, maybe we could order out for some sandwiches or something. Chicken delight or something.
Jim Morrison: You’re not hungry? How about you: are you hungry? Oh, it’s lunchtime. Did you have breakfast this morning?
Howard Smith: Yeah.
Jim Morrison: You did. What’d you have?
Howard Smith: Oh, little things like chocolate cake and tea here.
Jim Morrison: Is that all you had?
Howard Smith: That’s all I want.
Jim Morrison: You should eat more, Howard.
Howard Smith: You put on a lot of weight. Are you eating a lot?
Jim Morrison: Well, um… You know that’s something that really bothers me. What’s wrong with being fat? That’s what I want to know. Why is there such…
Howard Smith: I didn’t say there’s anything wrong with it.
Jim Morrison: Why is it so onerous to be fat? Um… I don’t see anything wrong with fat. You know? I mean, I remember when I used to weigh 185 pounds. I’m the same height. I was the same height that I am now and I weighed 185 pounds and I was going to college. And I had this food ticket at the cafeteria. And the cafeteria food is mainly all based on starch. You know it’s cheap food, right? And so I don’t know what it was, but in order… I don’t know, I just felt like I was… If you missed your meal you just, you know… I just figured: “Well I was getting screwed, right?” If I missed a meal I blew it. So I’d get up at 6:30 every morning just to make breakfast, right? Eggs and grits and sausages and toast and milk. Then I’d go do a few classes. And I’d make it in there for lunch.
Jim Morrison: Mashed potatoes. Every now and then they’d put a little piece of meat in something, you know? Then I’d go to a few more classes. And then I’d go to dinner and it was more mashed potatoes.
Jim Morrison: And so about three months later I was 185 pounds. And you know what? I felt so great. I felt like a tank, you know. I felt like a large mammal. A big beast. When I’d move through the corridors or across the lawn, I just feel like I could knock anybody out of my way, you know. I was solid, man. It’s terrible to be thin and wispy, because, you know, you could get knocked over by a strong wind or something. Fat is beautiful.
Howard Smith: How much do you weigh now?
Jim Morrison: I don’t know to tell you the truth. I’d guess somewhere in the neighborhood of about 150.
Howard Smith: Really?
Jim Morrison: You want to compare biceps? (Laughs) You want a dead arm wrestling match, Howard? Are you ready? Are you in shape?
Howard Smith: All right. Yeah.
Jim Morrison: We’ll wait until the interview’s over.
Howard Smith: (Laughs)
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