Rock Biographer Jerry Hopkins Dies
Jerry Hopkins, who wrote biographies of Jim Morrison, David Bowie, Elvis Presley and others, died June 3 in Bangkok, after a long illness. He was 82.
According to his website, Hopkins published 39 books and more than 1,000 magazine articles in his career for the likes of Rolling Stone, GQ, Wine Spectator, Maxim, The Village Voice and others. His most popular title is probably No One Here Gets Out Alive, the 1980 biography of Morrison, which, according to Best Classic Bands, he had begun writing shortly after Morrison’s death in 1971. It was the first biography of Morrison, and was rejected by more than two dozen publishers before finally getting published and becoming a best-seller.
Hopkins worked as a feature writer, reporter and music critic for daily and weekly newspapers in New Orleans, New York and Bangkok, according to his website. He also served as a writer-producer in television, for, among others, 60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace, ABC Television and Universal Studios.
According to Best Classic Bands, Hopkins opened the first head shop in Los Angeles in the mid-’60s and became one of the first writers for the fledgling Rolling Stone in 1967. In 1969, he took a leave of absence from the magazine to write Elvis: A Biography, the first serious biography devoted to the singer. Shortly after its publication in 1971, he began working with Morrison’s assistant and confidant Danny Sugerman on the Morrison book, which, once published, kicked off a resurgence of interest in the band in the early ‘80s, including Rolling Stone’s infamous 1981 cover story titled “He's Hot, He's Sexy and He's Dead.”
The Doors’ Facebook page offered condolences in a post. “May the writer and famed Jim Morrison biographer, Jerry Hopkins, rest in peace," they wrote. "Thanks for helping to keep the legend alive with your words. - Team The Doors”
Hopkins is survived by his wife and son, who reside in Bangkok.