The End: What was Jim thinking….???

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The End” is a song by The Doors. Originally written by Jim Morrison as a song about breaking up with girlfriend Mary Werbelow, it evolved through months of performances at Los Angeles’ Whisky a Go Go into a nearly 12-minute opus on their self-titled album. The band would perform the song to close their last set. It was first released in January 1967. The song was recorded live in the studio with no overdubbing.

In 1969, Morrison stated
Everytime I hear that song, it means something else to me. It started out as a simple good-bye song probably just to a girl, but I see how it could be a 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.” ”
Shortly past the mid-point of the nearly 12-minute long album version, the song suddenly 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). This is often considered a reference to the Oedipus complex
.

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.”

In John Densmore’s autobiography “Riders On The Storm” he recalls when Jim explained the meaning

At one point Jim said to me during the recording session, and he was tearful, and he shouted in the studio, ‘Does anybody understand me?’ And I said yes, I do, and right then and there we got into a long discussion and Jim just kept saying over and over kill the father, @#%$ the mother, and essentially boils down to this, kill all those things in yourself which are instilled in you and are not of yourself, they are alien concepts which are not yours, they must die. ^%&* the mother is very basic, and it means get back to essence, what is reality, what is, !@#$ the mother is very basically mother, mother-birth, real, you can touch it, it’s nature, it can’t lie to you. 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.”

The Pop Chronicles documentary reports that critics found the song “Sophoclean and Joycean.”

“The End” was ranked at #336 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2010).

The song’s guitar solo was ranked #93 on Guitar World’s ‘100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time’.

This is the end, Beautiful friend
This is the end, My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes…again
Can you picture what will be, So limitless and free
Desperately in need…of some…stranger’s hand
In a…desperate land
Lost in a Roman…wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane, All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah
There’s danger on the edge of town
Ride the King’s highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby
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
The west is the best, The west is the best
Get here, and we’ll do the rest
The blue bus is callin’ us, The blue bus is callin’ us
Driver, where you taken’ us
The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and…then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door…and he looked inside
Father, yes son, I want to kill you
Mother…I want to…f*** you
C’mon baby, take a chance with us X3
And meet me at the back of the blue bus
Doin’ a blue rock, On a blue bus
Doin’ a blue rock, C’mon, yeah
Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill
This is the end, Beautiful friend
This is the end, My only friend, the end
It hurts to set you free
But you’ll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die
This is the end

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