Monday, November 17, 2008

46. The Doors - S/T

I still own every Doors album in some form or other, so it's best to just start at the beginning with them.

I was, at one point in my wayward youth, the Biggest Doors Fan Ever. I have since come to terms with the fact that Jim Morrison really didn't speak to me from the poster on my wall. You can see how I was easily swayed into believing so, though. There he was, in glorious black and white, shirtless, arms outstretched like a scarecrow martyr. His eyes followed me around the room [Yes! That's the one!] He used to tell me things, whisper to me in the dead of night when the only light in the room was from the red-tinted bulb that pointed towards my Morrison shrine. When Jim whispered, he said things like You cannot petition the lord with prayer!

I was probably about 14 when my fascination with the Doors began, and it started with this album and one song in particular. Yes. The End.

Now, I'm not denying that the Doors put out some decent music and that Morrison wrote some interesting lyrics, but when you look at this stuff from the distance of 30 years or so, you wonder what life may have been like without the drugs. Well, I do.

The End is probably the most quoted Doors song of all time. It’s quoted by pretentious potheads who think they are being deep and meaningful; by retro beatnik poets who carry tattered paperback copies of On the Road in the back pocket of their faded jeans; by psuedo-intellectuals who claim that Adlous Huxley’s Doors of Perception is the single greatest thing ever written by man; and by despondent, razor-weilding, confused, emotional teenagers who think they have this connection with Morrison, a connection with the sixties, man and hey, the blue bus is calling us.

Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake is long, seven miles
Ride the snake...he's old, and his skin is cold

Do you know that otherwise intelligent people have spent entire weekends drinking vodka and deciphering those very lyrics? Here’s a news flash: It’s nonsense. No matter what you want to believe, no matter how allegorical and deep you think those words are, no matter how much Freud you studied or Smirnoffs you drank, those words are the magnetic poetry of the Age of Aquarius.

I’m not saying the Doors sucked in general. I was a big fan and I still dust off the albums once in a while. But if you’re over 18 and not hindered by drug addiction or alcoholism that may cloud your thinking and you still believe these words are the most powerful thing you ever heard, you might want to rethink your life path.

On a side note, I spent about 200 hours of my life watching a Doors cover band play in shitty clubs. The very same cover band the Dead Milkmen mocked in the opening to Bitchin' Camaro.

It sucks when the haze of youth clears away and you realize your idols were nothing more than phonies. You hear that, Jonas Brothers fan?

Favorite song: Alabama Song
Holy crap, that cover band is still at it!


Solonor Rasreth said...

I think this is going to be a recurring theme. I, too, loved the Doors and all their psychedelicy goodness. Now, I realize that they really had some nifty pop singles (Break On Through, Light My Fire, People Are Strange, Hello I Love You) and some really long pieces of crap that I didn't used to think were crap (LA Woman, The End, Riders on the Storm).

I still like Roadhouse Blues, but all you have to do is listen to Peace Frog (or even realize that they had a song called "Peace Frog") to know how full of it Jim Morrison was.

Cullen said...

I'll tell you about Texas Radio and the big beat.

Fellow Doors fan here.

margi said...

I LOVE IT! It's too true to be funny, but yes, man, yes.

But SRSLY - I doubt the Jonas Brothers could come up with anything rivaling "The Alabama Song."


margi said...

(And yes. I am aware that The Doors did not write the tune. I'm just sayin'.)

Timmer said...

Am I the only one who twitches and lurches to the channel changer when "Riders on The Storm" comes on the radio when it IS in fact storming? The truly "clever" rock jock will follow it immediately with REO's "Ridin' the Storm Out," the live version.

It's right up there with "Tuesday Afternoon" by the Bloody Moos coming on...Tuesday afternoon. Attention "Classic Rock" stations: Not clever, not funny, not cool.

I used to own a Jim Morrison baseball jersey. Tan with olive green sleeves and Jim's face and shoulders from the post mentioned picture. I'd like to think it was my own natural stoner charm, but I'm pretty sure that shirt got me laid more often than any other article of college clothing.

Dilapidus said...

I think you are missing the point of the Doors lyrics..

I see them as the lyrical form of impressionism, a few odd words together evoking images in your mind. They didn't have to make sense, they had to make pictures, or even just interesting colors in your mind.

They did that, magnificently.