Jim Morrison, LSD and contemplating death 

“Can you picture what will be, so limitless and free?” 

                                ( image source: 1968 in Music)

To begin, if you’ve never listened to The End by The Doors,  you should. 

“The End” was ranked at number 336 on 2010 Rolling Stone magazine‘s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[7] The song’s guitar solo was ranked number 93 on Guitar World‘s “100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time”.

The End is an epic song, lyrically addressing the complexities of loss, heartbreak,  finding yourself and death. Composed by frontman Jim Morrison, it was written in the aftermath of the end of his  relationship with a beauty queen named Mary Warbelow. 

This is the end, my only friend. 

The first verse of The End is its most literal. Morrison bids adieu to his relationship ruined by his excessive alcohol abuse and LSD-induced paranoia. 

But instead of pertaining to being a break-up song, the lyrics morph into a dark, drug-addled dissection of the end of all things, and the human fear of the same. 

(image source: The Doors o The Windows : Jim Morrison y compañia

Of everything that stands, the end

No safety or surprise, the end

 Like much of the psychedelic music of the 1960s, The End draws elements from Indian Classical Music. The electric guitar riff imitates the plucking of sitar strings, and the organ imitates the tanpura. John Densmore’s drumline follows the rhythm of classical Indian Tabla. 

This open interpretation provided a background for singer Morrison to ad-lib poetry during live performances of the song. 

The song is said to have evolved through live performances. 

                                                      (image source: pinterest)

Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain

“In life, I had the choice between love, drugs and death. I chose the first two and the third chose me ”  – Jim Morrison

Morrison was fascinated with mythology, as well as Romantic literature influenced by Greek mythology, such as William Blake’s poetry.

This treacles into his lyricism. “Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain, And all the children are insane,” is a reference to Roman mythology. It is a metaphor for the awakening of one’s mind during a psychedelic experience, which may expose intricacies of, and within one’s mind, much like Roman mythology does. 

                             (image source: pinterest)

Father, I want to kill you

“[E]very time I hear that song, it means something else to me. I really don’t know what I was trying to say. It just started out as a simple goodbye song … Probably just to a girl, but I could see how it could be goodbye to a kind of childhood. I really don’t know. I think it’s sufficiently complex and universal in its imagery that it could be almost anything you want it to be.” – Jim Morrison

1966 was the year where The Doors would hone their craft and become the talk of Los Angeles, which was largely down to their now-legendary residency at Whiskey a Go Go.

During one of their performances, Morrison , while tripping on LSD, ad-libbed the trademark line to The End- “Father, I want to kill you , Mother I want to (rambling guitar)”

Allegedly after hearing the shocking line, waitresses stopped serving food, and the dancers at the bars stopped dancing. After being fired from The Whiskey a Go Go bar, the band added the lines to the official recording of the song. 

“So what Jim says at the end of the Oedipus section, which is essentially the same thing that the classic says, kill the alien concepts, get back reality, the end of alien concepts, the beginning of personal concepts.” – Ray Manzarek

The End  

There was no overdubbing on “The End,” it was recorded live in the studio.  There were two takes recorded, with the second supposedly being selected for the album.  It was the final song performed by the original group at their final concert, which took place on December 12, 1970, at The Warehouse in New Orleans.

                                   (image source: pinterest)

– Chandrima Dey 

FY BSc. Economics

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