Rock Biographer Jerry Hopkins Dead at 82

Jerry Hopkins, known for writing books about the Doors, Elvis Presley, David Bowie and other stars died in Bangkok, Thailand, on June 3 following a long illness. He was 82.

Hopkins wrote No One Here Gets Out Alive about the Doors in 1980. The book was the first biography about Jim Morrison, and over two dozen publishers rejected it. Oliver Stone used the book, which became a bestseller, as a reference for his 1991 film.

The Doors’ Facebook paid tribute to Hopkins in a post: “May the writer and famed Jim Morrison biographer, Jerry Hopkins, rest in peace.  Thanks for helping to keep the legend alive with your words. – Team The Doors.”

Hopkins began working at Rolling Stone magazine in the late ‘60s. He got a writing gig after submitting a review of a Doors concert in 1968, which was published with the headline “The Doors on Stage: Assaulting the Libido.”

The band intrigued the writer. “Morrison was the most interesting of all the rock stars I met because he was the best conversationalist,” Hopkins told L.A. Weekly in 2013. “Something I always had trouble with at Rolling Stone was that I was interviewing people whose avenue of communication was singing or playing an instrument. Why should anyone expect them to have a political opinion worth listening to? Most of them didn’t, but Morrison was interesting on a totally different level.”

Once Rolling Stone saw his potential, he was made a Los Angeles correspondent and delivered pieces on everyone from Frank Zappa to Van Dyke Parks and Cass Elliot. Hopkins also wrote articles for GQ, Wine Spectator, Maxim, and The Village Voice.

Hopkins wrote Elvis: A Biography in the early 1970s before moving to Britain to become the magazine’s London correspondent. He became interested in Jim Morrison’s death during his time in Europe, and his biography about the band became one of his most iconic works. Following the release of No One Here Gets Out Alive, Hopkins devoted nearly all his time to writing biographies, which included books on Jimi Hendrix and Don Ho.

After moving to Thailand in 1993, Hopkins geared his work towards life in Bangkok. He is survived by his wife Lamyai and two children.

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