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Mr. Bernett recounts that the club owners then told him to let well enough alone and avoid calling in the police.

So the police, when eventually called, registered him dead in his Paris apartment, which before their arrival, Mr. Bernett says, had been cleared of drug evidence by dealer Count Jean de Breteuil — then with singer Marianne Faithfull.

Mr. Morrison’s girlfriend Pamela Courson, who died four years later of a heroin overdose, also aged 27, offered police conflicting accounts but said they had been to the cinema the previous night and she had found him in the tub in the morning. French filmmaker Agnes Varda, a friend of Mr. Morrison‘s, was there to help.

Mr. Steele, a rock musician named Phil Trainer at the time, who in 2005 received a Grammy nomination for his music in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill,” panned Mr. Bernett’s book as drawing its facts largely from well-known biographers Stephen Davis and Danny Sugerman, while adding “scandal.”

“This is making a scandal out of it,” he told AFP.

Mr. Steele, who met Mr. Morrison a couple of times, says the musician was suffering from writer’s block and was desperately ill, drinking, smoking and taking cocaine though he was asthmatic.

“He would’ve died anyway,” said Mr. Steele, who disbelieves some of the details in Mr. Bernett’s book — that Mr. Morrison drank vodka rather than whiskey, that he could be bundled out of the club without dozens of people noticing, that no witnesses are named.

With no autopsy to stake out the truth, Mr. Steele believes the earlier official version of the death — that Mr. Morrison may have been carried out of the club drunk but died at home after mistakenly taking a dose of his girlfriend’s heroin instead of sticking to cocaine as usual.

“In my book, which is novelized, I elevate his Bohemian personality,” he said.

As for Mr. Bernett, he says he spoke out now because rumors had long swirled over the death scene, and the time had come to speak out.

“For years people have been asking me what really happened. This is thetruth.”