tampabay.com

Your own piece of music history

By ROBERT FARLEY
Published September 25, 2005


CLEARWATER - To make way for a massive condo/retail project on the bluffs over Clearwater Harbor, developers knocked down four houses. The bungalow at 314 N Osceola Ave. came down last month. Jim Morrison lived there more than 40 years ago with his grandparents, Paul and Caroline Morrison. They operated a coin laundry on S Fort Harrison Avenue; Jim attended St. Petersburg Junior College.

Before sending in the bulldozers, the developers salvaged what they could auction on eBay.

You'll be able to bid on doors (of course) from the home (29 in all), floorboards from Morrison's room, bricks, windows, doorstops, wooden blinds, even a wall-mounted ironing board (little used, if Morrison's friends are believed).

Ben Kugler, 57, Triangle Development's chief executive, didn't know the Morrison connection when he and his business partner bought the property. They're putting two 15-story condo towers along the water and upscale retail shops along Fort Harrison Avenue. Kugler said he will hang a plaque in the south tower to mark where Morrison lived.

The eBay auction will be held in early 2006. All proceeds will go to charity, he said, at least half to Narconon, a drug treatment program based on the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Kugler and his partner are Scientologists

Kugler hoped the remaining members of the Doors would play in Clearwater, at Coachman Park, but band manager Jeff Jampol said that earmarking proceeds for Narconon was a deal breaker.

"I am neither for nor against Narconon," Jampol said. "But the Doors could not support something as controversial as that."

But Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist who originally formed the Doors with Morrison, said he would be fine with the arrangement as long as the other half goes toward a proposed Doors charity for the homeless in Los Angeles.

Is a reunion in Clearwater in the offing?

"You never know," Manzarek said. "I'm hoping there will be a small performance myself."