Doors bi­og­ra­pher Jerry Hop­kins dead at 82 in Thai­land

The Myanmar Times - - Asean Focus -

JERRY Hop­kins, a pro­lific mu­sic jour­nal­ist who co-wrote a mil­lion­selling bi­og­ra­phy of the Doors that Oliver Stone adapted into a fea­ture film, has died.

Hop­kins died of heart fail­ure June 3 in Bangkok, his long­time res­i­dence. He was 82 and his death was con­firmed Tues­day by his son, Nick Hop­kins.

Hop­kins was an early con­trib­u­tor to Rolling Stone who in­ter­viewed Jim Mor­ri­son and de­vel­oped a spe­cial affin­ity for the Doors. “No One Here Gets Out Alive,” writ­ten by Hop­kins and Danny Su­gar­man, was pub­lished in 1980 and was the ba­sis for Stone’s “The Doors.” The movie came out in 1991 and starred Val Kilmer as Mor­ri­son.

Hop­kins also wrote books about Elvis Pres­ley, Jimi Hen­drix and other rock stars. Books on his adopted coun­try in­cluded “Thai­land Confidential” and “Bangkok Baby­lon.”

Hop­kins died June 3 at Camil­lian Hos­pi­tal af­ter a long ill­ness, his fam­ily an­nounced.

One of Thai­land’s most colour­ful ex­pa­tri­ates, Hop­kins wrote 39 main­stream books and more than 1000 magazine ar­ti­cles.

His Thai wife Lamyai and his son Nick an­nounced the Amer­i­can’s death on June 3. Fu­neral arrangements will be an­nounced in due course, ac­cord­ing to friends.

“No One Here Gets Out Alive,” pub­lished in 1990, quickly be­came a cult clas­sic and was on the best-seller lists for two years.

Be­sides Pres­ley and Hen­drix, his other bi­o­graph­i­cal sub­jects in­cluded David Bowie, Raquel Welch, Yoko Ono, and Don Ho, col­lec­tively earn­ing him the ti­tle “dean of the pop biog­ra­phers.” A pro­file pub­lished on his web­site, Jer­ryHop­, says his books have sold four mil­lion copies in 23 coun­tries and have been trans­lated into 16 lan­guages.

His 1971 book, “Elvis: A Bi­og­ra­phy,” be­came a 12-hour ra­dio se­ries broad­cast by the BBC.

Hop­kins moved to Thai­land in 1993, where he quickly took to writ­ing about lo­cal sub­jects.

In the mid-2000s, two col­lec­tions of his es­says, “Bangkok Baby­lon” and “Thai­land Confidential,” pro­filed well-known and ob­scure res­i­dents, most of them for­eign­ers.

“Strange Foods” (1999) and “Ex­treme Cui­sine” (2004) fed into the pop­u­lar cu­rios­ity that, as he put it, “what is con­sid­ered odd in the West else­where is of­ten merely lunch.”

Un­til his ill­ness, he and his Kh­mer-Thai wife com­muted be­tween their flat in Bangkok and a farm near the Cam­bo­dian bor­der.

– AP/Bangkok Post

Photo: Bangkok Post

Jerry Hop­kins pe­ruses the se­lec­tion of in­sects at a Bangkok food stall last July. He died on June 3, his fam­ily an­nounced.

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