Throbbing with life, Bill Cosgrave’s memoir Love Her Madly recalls a brief time in America’s history when all things seemed possible—including an enduring friendship between a shy young man turned rock star, an otherworldly young woman who couldn’t save him from his demons, and their unlikely companion, who recorded it all with love and passion.
In the mid-1960s, freedom was in the air. Thousands of young people were hitchhiking across the country—having adventures, living simply, and sharing what they had, even their dope, with one another. Smuggled into the US amid hay bales in the back of a pickup, Cosgrave, a young, almost-broke Canadian who’d been kicked out of college, was on his way to Los Angeles to meet up with his friend, Mary, and her boyfriend, Jim.
Though he was in secret love with vibrant, ethereal Mary, who was three years his senior, Cosgrave was quick to form a deep bond with shy, kind, and brilliant Jim Morrison, too. His sparkling narrative recalls laid-back beach days with Jim, sitting in the sand, getting stoned, and writing words that would become the songs that moved a generation.
Those halcyon days in California didn’t last, though. Mary and Jim broke up; the Vietnam War cast dark shadows over America; and Cosgrave, having run out of money, headed back to Canada and a respectable life. Two years later, he was shocked to learn that his shy friend, Jim, had become a rock star and sex symbol; four years after that, news of Morrison’s death at the age of twenty-seven devastated him. Mary disappeared; Cosgrave found her years later, in circumstances that tore at his soul.
Love Her Madly is a memoir that’s filled with adventure, love, and loss, distilling the hopes and dreams of a generation.
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