TUESDAY TUNES | THE DOORS | THE END
Posted on December 9, 2014 by Trace
T U E S D A Y T U N E S
this week an epic classic written by Jim Morrison
‘THE END’ by
T H E D O O R S
Morrison originally wrote the song about breaking up with his girlfriend Mary Werbelow.
The Doors developed the song during live performances at the Whisky a Go Go, a Los Angeles club where they were the house band in 1966.
They had to play two sets a night, so they were forced to extend their songs in order to fill the sets. This gave them a chance to experiment with their songs. This started as a short song about a farewell to a girl, and developed into an 11 minute epic. The band would perform the song to close their last set. It was first released in January 1967.
T H E E N D is death, although the song also deals with Jim Morrison’s parents – it contains Oedipal themes of loving the mother and killing the father. Morrison was always vague as to the meaning, explaining: “It could be almost anything you want it to be.”
“Sometimes the pain is too much to examine, or even tolerate… That doesn’t make it evil, though – or necessarily dangerous. But people fear death even more than pain. It’s strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death. At the point of death, the pain is over. Yeah – I guess it is a friend…”
Shortly past the midpoint of the nearly 12-minute long album version, the song enters a spoken word section with the words, “The killer awoke before dawn…”
That section of the song reaches a dramatic climax with the lines, “Father / Yes son? / I want to kill you / Mother, I want to…” with the next words screamed out unintelligibly.
Ray Manzarek, the former keyboard player for the Doors, explained:
He was giving voice in a rock ‘n’ roll setting to the Oedipus complex, at the time a widely discussed tendency in Freudian psychology. He wasn’t saying he wanted to do that to his own mom and dad. He was re-enacting a bit of Greek drama. It was theatre.