Apr 12, 2024 6 min read

And Finally! The bath that Jim Morrison died in is now inside The Libertines’ Margate hotel (but they won’t say where)

The Libertines have acquired the bath in which Doors frontman Jim Morrison died for their Margate hotel. Apparently they didn’t want to see it falling into the hands of someone who might do something “maudlin” with it. Find out more and check out this week’s funniest music news stories

And Finally! The bath that Jim Morrison died in is now inside The Libertines’ Margate hotel (but they won’t say where)

Having a bath is a lovely, relaxing thing to do. Well, so long as you remember the one golden rule of bathing. And that’s why, before you step into a bath, you always have to say to yourself three times, “Don’t think about death”. 

If you’re planning to stay in The Libertines’ Albion Rooms hotel in Margate though, adhering to that rule has just been made that much harder. In an interview this week, Pete Doherty revealed that the band have acquired the bath that The Doors’ frontman Jim Morrison died in.

Without wanting to get too morbid so early on in a column that is supposed to be lighthearted and fun, there’s a long history of musicians dying in baths. In part, it’s because taking a bath is so very lovely and relaxing. Let’s leave it at that. One of the more famous bath deaths is that of Morrison, whose body was found in the tub in a Paris hotel room in 1971. 

The news of the relocation of the bath arrived in an interview with Doherty and Carl Barât on Matt Wilkinson’s Apple Music radio show. While Barât is attempting to tell a story about buying a coat once owned by Jimi Hendrix at auction, Doherty suddenly chips in, “We’ve also got the bathtub that Jim Morrison died in”.

So that’s the news there. Obviously though - you’re probably thinking - obviously they wouldn’t actually put that in one of the rooms in their hotel. 

“We’re going to be putting [it] in one of the rooms”, he adds.

Barât then adds, “We don’t want to say which one though, in case it becomes some sort of maudlin mecca for people who want to shuffle off their mortal coil”.

So while the bath will be there, if you go and stay in the hotel, you won’t know if you’re bathing in it or not. Unless you know what a “standard 1950s Parisian bathtub” looks like, in which case you’ll probably have a pretty good idea. But how the hell did this bathtub make its way from Paris to Margate?

“There’s a fellow who my wife’s cousin knows, and his cousin was basically the landlord”, explains Doherty, which is so convoluted that he might as well have just said he threw a stone and it hit this person. “He’s not interested in music, and even less interested in music mythology, and so he’s just been going on about this bathtub which people have been trying to buy off him”.

“He doesn’t want it”, he goes on, but at the same time he thought it was “morbid to make money off it”. What to do? Just leave it where it’s been all this time? Sell it without saying what it is? Throw it away? 

No, there must be an even less macabre thing to do with it than that. Enter Doherty with the perfect solution, “I said, ‘Well, we’ll take it for the hotel’”. Perfect.

And so apparently he did. “It’s actually there”, he insists. There for all to try or try not to bathe in. Brilliant. Although, if you want to try that particular brand of weird roulette, your time may be limited. Despite having turned “the worst hotel in Kent into the best hotel in Kent”, they admit that this has not translated into a profitable business.

“The dream was to have this space that we can all share and call HQ … a space for us to record and keep all of our tat”, says Doherty. “And then it developed into the idea of having a venue as well. The actual hotel side of things, we might be having to pull the plug on”.

Barât goes on, “We set up this hotel with grand ambitions and a lot of objectives which we achieved. Now, personally [living] very close to it and having to deal with a lot more of the runnings and whatnot, I think we’re done there. I think what we really need is a studio where the artists can stay there, we don’t have to shove them down the road, and we can do events there and people can do parties and artists can do creative stuff”.

“One of the ambitions that we haven’t realised is that we’d be able to make a profit”, Doherty picks up. “So we’re finding now that we’re having to do Libertines tours just to keep the hotel afloat”.

It could be too late for the hotel, but the band are still heading out on tour this year - UK dates set for October and November - in support of their latest album ‘All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade’. That title, referencing the road on which the Albion Rooms hotel sits, may now be a little more apt. 

Anyway, that’s it for bath news this week. Here are some more stories we came across that raised a smile…

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