Courting The Dead

According to Tom Jokinen, the rise of cremation has forced the funeral industry to dream up ways of driving “human, breathing traffic to their gates and to create buzz”:

In 1998 the owner of Hollywood Forever, 28-year-old deathcare whiz-kid and technical advisor to the TV series Six Feet Under, Tyler Cassity, told the New York Times that it was his dream to repatriate the remains of Doors singer Jim Morrison from Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, where he was quietly buried in 1971. It was known that Père Lachaise had grown impatient with Morrison’s pilgrims and the mess they left behind, the graffiti and impromptu shrines, and Cassity had hoped they might do a deal. “We’d give him a special area,” he said. Hollywood Forever was looking to draft a big name corpse, the way hockey teams draft franchise players. The Paris deal never happened, but Cassity made it clear he was open to negotiation with other stars, including those who were still alive.