Saturday, April 9, 2011

The End by The Doors

I discovered The Doors when I was in my early teenage years. I was drawn to the lyrics immediately. Somehow Jim Morrison always seemed to be talking to me directly when I listened to their music. Mind you they had some really bad songs (e.g. Running Blue), but the song that always sent me on a journey whenever I listened to it was The End off of The Doors self-titled debut. This song, really allows the band to shine at various moments during its 11:47 running time. Right from the opening flemenco guitar riff, the song grabs you and takes you on a magical ride with twists and turns along the way.

So this brings me to the memory I have associated with this song. I actually have two stories for this song but I will post them separately. This story begins with me and a bunch of buddies traveling up to Pembine, Wisconsin which is a dot of a town right in the northeast corner of the state. My friend Fred's brother had a trailer up their that they stayed in during hunting season. For us, this was just a get away weekend and an excuse to drink and let loose. The first night we were up there, we starting drinking and having a blast. A real guys night out. After a while, the effects of the beers I had drank kicked in and I said we should put the Doors on and see where the music took us. At first the guys thought I was being weird, but they went along with it. So we dimmed the lights and started the song. At first their was some giggling but soon the room went silent as the song had grabbed them as well. I was in a deep place and as the song progressed I remember feeling more at peace than I may have ever been in my life. My eyes went closed and I clear my mind of any thoughts and let it fill with whatever the song exposed me to. Soon I started feeling as if I was moving somehow. Shapes starting floating around me with all kinds of colors. Now let me interject here, I was not on any type of drugs and only had maybe 3-4 beers at this point.

So as the song went on the motion began to feel more intense and the objects brighter somehow. During the “The West is the best” portion of the song, I remember having visions of the desert I had been in 1990. That faded and finally as the song began its march toward it's crescendo. I felt my heart start to race as the tempo of the song increases. With each notch of tempo, I started to feel like I was racing through space. I described it as sitting in Capatain Kirk's chair while going into warp speed. The kept going through the entire fast section until I was going to fast I felt like I was nearing the other side of the universe. When the song came back down, I was gripping the chair as hard as I could, nearly panting and visibly sweating. It was the most intense experience I have ever had without some kind of help.

After the song was the other guys looked at me and could tell I had just been through something intense. The thing was that they too had their own little experiences too. It truly was a magical weekend.

Does this song have any memory for you? Let me know.


  1. Well, I can't saw I've ever had the same experience as you, but I have to saw that this song is some powerful stuff. I fully believe all that stuff you said about the floating shapes. If I close my eyes and lie in the sunlight for long enough listening to this song, I have a similar feeling

  2. I have never had that kind of feeling about the song. But the words to the song have a real meaning to the song. That is what I what I look for in a song. Because each song has it's own story to it and now my boyfriend got me into listening to the music.

  3. I remember hearing this tune first time as a teen. Admittedly, I was mesmerized by the unique poetry of Morrison. As the song progressed towards the Oedipal ending, I was shocked to hear the the lyric "Father, yes I want to kill you". I had to step back and say "Whoa."

  4. I got into the Doors around the same time the Oliver Stone movie was announced. By the time I finally saw the movie on DVD about a year or two later I was quite familiar with at least their more recognizable material (I hadn't delved into their studio albums-- just their Best of/Greatest Hits compilations).

    While I prefer Five to One, LA Woman, and Touch Me there is an atmospheric ambient beauty to The End that still takes me back to listening to The Doors while doing a paper route at age 13-14 or so back in the early 90s.

  5. PS: In AP Lit my senior year of high school I was supposed to have read Oedipus Rex. I skipped reading it and used my understanding of The End to BS my way through discussions on the play. Although, I will say the discussions of the play that inspired Morrison's lyrics helped me appreciate the song that much more. There's something really heavy and a bit of a sucker punch to the soul about knowing your fate beforehand and doing everything in your power to avoid it only to instead ensure its inevitability "in the end."

    Knowing Morrison's life story from reading his bio, I do believe that Morrison was a bit prescient about his inevitable fate and I think The End was his expression of his belief that he knew how his life was going and he knew that no matter what he did, the outcome was inevitable.

  6. Zee, I know what you mean with the sun but this was at night in a trailer. I felt weird telling this story but this song got me through a lot of stuff and I think what happened was sort me working through my insecurities as to my future at the time.

    Tender Heart Bear, there are just certain songs that get me. The End being probably one of the most powerful. Even in the Quietest Moments by Supertramp (a post will be made about this) is another song that for some reason gets to me. Like I said to Zee, The Doors got me through an uncertain time in my life. It was sort of my last breath before having to commit to being an adult.

    drewzepmeister, I was not old enough to know the impact of the song when it first came out, but like Perplexio mentions the movie shed some light on it. I also did quite a bit of reading about the Doors. I never idolized Morrison even then. I realized that Morrison had some real issues that ultimately took his life. I think I was drawn to the lyrics and the aura of mystery that always surrounded him.

    Perplexio, as a side story, 2 of my buddies and I went to the theater to see The Doors movie. I skipped school (college) and we went to a matinee. There were only 2 or 3 other people besides us. My friends lit up before hand I had something to drink. We sat in about the 8th row and it was an amazing experience. Not a totally factual movie, but fun none the less.

    Like you, I did a lot of background research while I was into the Doors. I bought all Morrison's poetry books, the poetry album, read poets he was interested in (Rimbaud, Blake, etc.) I still enjoy writing poetry once in a while but like Rimbaud I wrote a ton and then essentially stopped. I once had many of them online. Maybe as a side post I will post some of them again.

    Thank you all for the comments. I really appreciate your input and insight.