So, imagine you travel to a country on another continent. You have great experiences and take many photographs, including some of interesting people on the street. You show the photographs to a few of your friends once you return home and that’s the end of your connection to the people you randomly photographed, right? “Not so fast, my friend.”
Not Jim: Barry Sterrick
Those of you who read of my amazing experience in Pere Lachaise on the fortieth anniversary of the death of Jim Morrison will remember the picture above. I wondered what would lead someone to dress so similarly to Jim Morrison and to hang out all day at the cemetery. After my blog post was published I noticed that I was getting some traffic from Europe and it seemed to be targeting that post. I logged onto the sources, the Jim Morrison’s Paris Web page and The Jim Morrison’s Paris Facebook Page and saw that someone had posted asking if anyone had any pictures of him from that day. He described himself and – you guessed it – it was the guy I had pictured in my blog. So I sent him the picture and we’ve exchanged several e-mails. I told him if I was interested in his story that some of my readers likely would be, also. So, here’s what I learned.
His name is Barry Sterrick, age 33, born in Edinburgh but living in Carlisle, England. He started his musical journey with classic rock, worked as a dance dj, but got sick of dance music and, in the meantime, saw a poster for the movie “Apocalypse Now,” and was intrigued. Sometime in the mid-nineties, “after getting heavily stoned and a few shrooms,” he randomly selected the “The Doors – Greatest Hits” CD to put into the player. He thinks it may have been fate. He looked at the track listing and noticed “Riders On The Storm,” the “Apocalypse Now” version was the final cut.
This started at journey that culminated in the mid-2000s, while still “inducing narcotics” he left the dance music behind and “the Doors properly WOKE ME UP.” He watched Oliver Stone’s movie, “The Doors” and became “fascinated by Jim Morrison’s dress, attitude, his personal knowing that out there something else was present.” Next came CDs, tapes, videos, books, leather boots, leather trousers and poet’s shirts. In recent years some of his friends started calling him, “Jim.”
He considered it imperative to visit Jim’s grave and of course he wore his “leathers” to “show my gratitude to Jim.” He felt it was “proper attire” that “Jim Morrison would have appreciated.” He hopes to return to the grave for Jim’s December 8th birth date, though he confessed that the circumstances surrounding his death “just don’t seem right.”
He concludes, “There is something mystical and magical about The Doors music, the band members and all the people that listen to them. I personally have had a spiritual connection . . . they still manage to capture the hearts and imagination of people all around the world, you gotta be something special to have it still going on more than 40 years. This is my Testament to Great Men-Great Music-Artistic magnificence.”
So, there you have it. A chance meeting in a cemetery, a photograph on another continent, the Internet and a connection made with an interesting person. Welcome to the Urban Nation, Mr. Sterrick. I’ll leave you with a video about being in a strange land – or is it about more than that?