Jim Morrison on Why Fat is Beautiful

It’s terrible to be thin and wispy, because, you know, you could get knocked over by a strong wind or something.

Interview by Howard Smith, Blank on Blank

Los Angeles, November 1969. Reel-to-reel tape recorder

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.

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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)