Doors guitarist Robby Krieger says late bandmate Jim Morrison welcomed syphilis, arguing that he didn't fear going crazy.

The potentially fatal sexually transmitted disease’s symptoms can include the loss of mental faculties, and has long been connected to the lives of 18th and 19th century artists. But the development of modern antibiotics means that it's no longer usually lethal.

“I think Jim believed that life could be boring and that a lot of people were just going through the motions, so he would try to freak them out,” Krieger tells the Guardian. “He would do anything to add to the craziness. Most people would be scared if they contracted a potentially lethal STD, but Jim was excited to feel close to all those disease-ridden 19th century poets and painters he idealized.

“He wanted to let it go untreated,” Krieger added, “so he could experience what it was really like to go insane.”

Morrison’s other extreme antics included grabbing the steering wheel of a car and swerving into traffic, claiming he was God and threatening to expel Krieger from the universe, the guitarist said in his recent memoir, Set the Night on Fire: Living, Dying and Playing Guitar with the Doors. He says Morrison also suffered from an apparent Oedipus complex.

“I think Jim had some real mental issues – manic depression, or whatever,” Krieger said. “Whenever the press would ask about his family, he would say that they were dead. His mom was weird, she was very bossy but he was fixated on her.”

Krieger went on to say that many of the stories told about the Doors frontman were fabrications, suggesting that some were promoted by their late keyboardist Ray Manzarek, but that Morrison’s personality was remarkable enough.

“When people saw us play, they knew that this wasn’t just a show,” Krieger said. “To me, what happened to the Doors was pretty damn cool just the way it was. This wasn’t a story that needed to be hyped.”

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