How you can peek inside the Melbourne home where Jim Morrison of The Doors lived as an infant
JIM MORRISON SLEPT here. Long before he first sang “come on baby, light my fire” with The Doors, he cried here, too, learned to crawl here, had his first diapers changed here, perhaps even took his first steps here.
Is that worth $2.5 million?
Stay tuned to Reveel, a Miami-based entertainment streaming service that’s about to offer the first public video tour inside the small Melbourne house where the future ‘’Lizard King’’ spent the earliest parts of his life.
The three bedroom wood-frame home, built in 1935, went on the market in February. On April 29, the latest episode of “The Negotiators,” Reveel’s real-estate reality show, will tell the story of how Boca Raton agent Steve Gordon scored the listing — and why he thinks it’s worth the seven-figure ask.
“This is so much more than just a home. There's a lineage here, there's a story that lives within these walls,’’ William Cheverie, president of Reveel Entertainment, said in an interview.
“Steve was able to resonate with that story. Having grown up on that music, he was knowledgeable enough to speak in a sincere way to the owner that the owner knew, ‘This is my guy.’’’
It wasn’t easy.
The owner, identified as Michael Halprin in Brevard County property records, had already met with several Realtors in the Melbourne area, none to his liking, before Gordon was referred to him.
Halprin knew Gordon’s office in south Palm Beach County was nearly 150 miles from downtown Melbourne. He figured it couldn’t hurt to give him a shot.
“Steve was almost a two hours’ drive away and the owner said, ‘You can come up here if you want to and I'll give you 15 minutes,’’’ Cheverie said.
“What happened in those 15 minutes, Steve was able to find a common bond. They were both gentlemen who grew up on this music. It was obvious the owner of the home wanted him to know this wasn't just a listing. This was a listing from someone that cared about the listing, if that makes any sense. They cared about the story.’
The story starts on Dec. 8, 1943, when James Douglas Morrison was born at old Brevard Hospital on U.S. 1 in Melbourne, about a mile north of the Vernon Place bungalow his parents called home.
His father, Steve Morrison, a recent Naval Academy graduate preparing to fight in World War II, was training to fly F6F Hellcats at a naval air station across town, on the site of present-day Melbourne Orlando International Airport.
Six months later, Steve was shipped to the Pacific theater and his wife, Clara, took their infant to Clearwater where they lived with Steve’s parents until he returned stateside in summer 1946, according to the Jim Morrison biography "No One Here Gets Out Alive" by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman.
Growing up a military brat, Morrison endured a nomadic childhood that took him to San Diego, New Mexico, Virginia and Texas, among other places. As a teenager, he returned to Florida for a brief period, long enough to appear in a Florida State University public relations film.
Morrison eventually headed west to California, where he and fellow UCLA student Ray Manzarek formed The Doors in summer 1965.
The Doors became one of the most influential and controversial rock acts of the ‘60s, known as much for Morrison’s poetic lyrics and rich vocals as his erratic stage persona.
After he died in 1971, he took on an iconic status. Fans quickly turned his Paris grave into a shrine. Around the United States, they sought connection at other Morrison haunts, from the Laurel Canyon home that inspired the song “Love Street” to the Florida house where he spent the first six months of his life.
“What you’ll see, if you start to Google or Youtube search for this house in Melbourne, is that fans are constantly going by the house and taking videos and posting them on social media,’’ Gordon said.
“I knew there was something special, if people from all over the world just want to be able to take their picture in front of the house.’’
Although the owner of the house keeps a low profile, declining interview requests, he has gone out of his way to give the house a certain curb appeal.
Peering from the front windows, looking out toward a coconut palm with a “No Trespassing” sign on the trunk, are photographs of Morrison and The Doors — Mr. Mojo rising in one window, teasing visitors with the "Riders on the Storm" lyric into this house we’re born …
“Maybe that's his way of letting passersby know, ‘Yes you have found it,’’’ Cheverie said.
When Reveel crews arrived in January to shoot the episode of “The Negotiators,’’ the house’s attraction to the public became apparent.
“People definitely went by slowly and took photos. It has a mystique and aura of its own,’’ he said.
The interior plays The Doors angle even more. The walls are decorated with records and framed concert posters.
“It doesn't disappoint at all when you are in that home. You definitely get, there's an energy in there,’’ Cheverie said. “It really is almost like being in church, if you will.’’
One MLS description offers only a tease of Morrison’s connection, focusing on traditional real estate amenities:
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of local and global history. Beautifully remodeled 2 bed 2 full bath home. Impact windows throughout. Beautiful new permitted garage with AC. … Spectacular hand laid herringbone tiled floor. High ceilings throughout. Florida open floor plan … kitchen with island (seating for two) ... 2 minute walk to downtown nightlife and minutes to the beach. …’’
A company owned by Halprin, Mouse2Mouse.com, bought the house for $225,000 in 2007, three years before Halprin conveyed ownership to himself, Brevard County records show.
The property appraiser in 2021 gave the 1,856-square-foot house a market value of $246,650, less than 10 percent of the $2.5 million listing.
“I was shocked by the price he was asking. He's awfully ambitious,’’ said John Tice, a former West Melbourne City councilman who in 2015 floated the idea of moving Morrison’s remains from Paris to Melbourne.
“That being said, good luck to him,’’ Tice said. “The house is really small. The only thing it has is the value of Morrison’s name, and he wasn't there long. But I am all for it. I'd like to see someone make a little museum out of it since it is his birth house. ‘’
Anyone questioning the asking price need not apply.
“I would say that somebody who would come with that type of energy obviously isn't the right person for this home,’’ Cheverie said. “Maybe he didn't spend a lot of time there but he did spend time there. This is the house he was raised in.’’
In the four months the house has been on the market, Gordon said he has fielded more than a dozen inquiries from as far away as Europe and California.
“I anticipate only having to show this home a couple of times if that,’’ he said. “We just want that fire to find us.’’
And they’re convinced that fire is out there somewhere.
“Is this house worth $2.5 million? To the right person, all day,’’ said Cheverie. “It’s a one-off. It’s the same person who buys that $2 million bottle of wine and never drinks it.’’
Tune in to “The Negotiators” on April 29 and decide for yourself.
The commercial-free show, accessible online for free, will feature Gordon interacting with an actor portraying the house’s owner, who didn’t want to appear in the show.
Gordon said that when he first met with the owner, he brought lunch (at the owner’s request, sandwiches from Jimmy John’s). He was able to prolong the promised 15 minutes into a half hour before the owner decided to end the meeting without committing to Gordon.
What happened next led to Gordon securing the listing.
“I was gently being escorted out the front door and noticed something in the house and I asked the owner about it. You have to watch the show to know what it is,’’ Gordon said. “It was something very dear to the owner. And when I asked about it, the half-hour meeting turned into four hours.’’
Photographs of the interior can be found in online listings, but Cheverie said they don’t compare to the scenes that will be shown in “The Negotiators.''
“The house has been completely updated, beautiful inside and out, and would command a great price no matter what. However, the fact it is the birth home of one of rock and roll’s most iconic musicians ever brings up the value,’’ Gordon said.
“My goal in listing this house was not to find everyone. It was to find the one, the one person that was the right fan with the right amount of money and wanted to be able to say, ‘I own the house that Jim Morrison was born in.’’’
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About the author
Joe Capozzi is an award-winning reporter based in Lake Worth Beach. He spent more than 30 years in the newspaper business, mostly at The Palm Beach Post, where he wrote about the opioid scourge, invasive pythons, the birth of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and Palm Beach County government. For 15 years, he covered the Miami Marlins baseball team. Joe left The Post in December 2020. View all posts by Joe Capozzi.