Doors biographer Jerry Hopkins dead at 82 in Thailand
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, JerryHopkins.com, 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
Jerry Hopkins peruses the selection of insects at a Bangkok food stall last July. He died on June 3, his family announced.