Love Him Madly: An Intimate Memoir of Jim Morrison, by Judy Huddleston / Chicago Review Press / June 1, 2013 / 978-1613747506 / 240 pages
The story begins just like many young girls’ rock star fantasies do. Judy, a high-school senior, and soon-to-be art student, develops a fascination on a charismatic rock star. One night after a show they wind up talking, and she accepts an invitation back to his motel room. Thus begins a long, off-and-on relationship with Jim Morrison.
But this is no fairy tale: though Judy and Jim had a mutual fascination with each other, their intermittent attempts at being together often hit a little off target for one or the other. Judy’s obsession with Jim is shown in her actions: staking out his place from the parking lot, driving up and down city streets in search of him, and her continued acceptance of his often shabby treatment of her. Over the years, he gives just enough hope to fuel her continued obsession.
Love Him Madly offers plenty of insight into Jim Morrison. Here are the intimate details that only one who was close to him, who was there, can share. What was it like to be Jim’s lover? Judy knows.
Aside from the relationship drama, we get an insider’s look into the L.A. music scene and countercultures from 1967-1971: rock shows, backstage meetings, mind-altering substances, fashions, and beaches, streets and bars.
At its heart, though, Love Him Madly isn’t really about Morrison, or the L.A. scene, but rather about Judy at a critical time in her life. It’s about her growth as a young woman: her desire to love and be loved, youthful idealism and dreams, struggles with mental health, and drug use (sometimes with serious consequences). It’s about her near-deification of a man, and how she hung all her romantic hopes on him and got something baser.
Anyone who has been young and deeply infatuated with another should be able to empathize with her struggles: we’ve all been young, with dreams and lovers and hopes for the future.
I certainly remember what it was like to be a newly-independent at this age, trying to figure out the intricacies of love and relationships, and sometimes giving too much in relationships. Love Him Madly felt very relatable, as I imagine it will be on one level or another for many readers. Those wishing to read a moving coming-of-age tale and fans of Jim Morrison alike will find Love Him Madly a very engaging, moving and thought-provoking read.