Meaning of The End by The Doors

According to a beautiful legend, the last song that Jim Morrison listened to before his death was The End. Undoubtedly, ending your life to the sound of your own work called “The End” is an incredibly spectacular finale for any musician.

But it is only known for certain that on the fateful night the leader of The Doors listened to the debut album of his group, ending with this track. It will be discussed further.

The history of the creation of the song The End – The Doors

It is commonly believed that Jim Morrison wrote The End after parting ways with Mary Werbelow.

Author’s word:

Every time I hear this song, it takes on a new meaning for me. It started out as a light farewell song… Maybe just with a girl, but I see how it could be a farewell to some kind of childhood. Actually I do not know. It seems to me that it is quite complex and universal in the totality of images and can mean almost anything you want from it.

Rolling Stone 1969

Initially, the composition was short, but during the performances of the group at the Whiskey a Go Go club, it acquired its final form, becoming an almost twelve-minute track.

Remembers Robbie Krieger:

We started it as a funny little love song: “This is the end, friend, my beautiful friend.” I had the idea to use the Indian tuning, because at that time I was very fond of Ravi Shankar. Then gradually this thing became longer and more sinister. Every time we played it, Jim brought more mystery to it.

What is The End – The Doors about?

Excerpts from an interview with Jim Morrison and other members of the rock band The Doors will help to understand the meaning of the song The End.

Jim Morrison:

Sometimes the pain is too strong to be explored or even endured… Though that doesn’t make it harmful or necessarily dangerous. But people fear death even more than pain. It is strange that they are afraid of death. Life hurts much more than death. At the moment of death, the pain ends. Yes, I believe she is a friend.

Creem, 1981

At the University of Florida, Morrison was involved in a student production of the play Oedipus Rex, which could be reflected in the song.

Word to Ray Manzarek:

He expressed the Oedipus complex in a rock and roll way, which was then a much discussed trend in Freudian psychology. He did not mean that he would like to do this with his mom and dad. He played in the faces of the Greek drama. It was theater!

The Doors, Ben Fong-Torres

In his autobiography, John Densmore recounted how Jim explained the main idea of ​​The End to him:

At some point during the recording session, Jim said to me, and he was scared and yelling in the studio, “Does anyone understand me?” And I said, “Yes, I understand.” And right then and there we started a long conversation. Jim kept saying, “Kill your father, fuck your mother.” In fact, everything boiled down to this: kill everything in yourself that was instilled in you, but is not part of you. These alien notions that do not come from you must perish…

Everything Jim says at the end of the oedipal section is essentially what the classic says: kill alien ideas, bring back reality, end alien, start personal ideas.

Riders on the Storm

Recording and release

Studio work on The End was difficult due to Jim’s insanity. Once he lay on the floor for a long time, muttering: “Fuck the mother, kill the father,” and then threw the TV through the control room window. Here is what Robbie Krieger said about that case:

There is one well-known story about the recording of The End. Our technician, Bruce Botnick, brought the TV into the studio and watched the World Cup. Jim, after a good amount of LSD, was furious that the baseball was not in the mood he needed to record the song. And he threw the damn box right out of the control room window. After that, we all took the record more seriously.

Then Jim was sent home, but in the middle of the night he burst into the studio, stripped naked and filled the room with foam from a fire extinguisher. Rothschild persuaded him with great difficulty to go to sleep.

The next day, the musicians gathered again and recorded the song in a couple of takes. The book The Doors by Peter Hogan recounts producer Peter Rothschild’s recollection of the recording of the song:

The half hour we recorded The End is one of the most beautiful moments I’ve spent in the recording studio. I was literally stunned. As a rule, the producer just sits and listens to how the recording is going on. But then I was completely absorbed in the song, being in the role of a simple listener. In the completely dark studio, all you could see was a candle in the soundproof booth where Jim was, and lights on the console. All other lights were off.

Those were magical moments and we were shocked when the song ended. It became obvious: yes, this is the end, nothing can be further … There were about five people in the control room, and suddenly we realized that the reels were still spinning, as our sound engineer Bruce was also completely absorbed in the song. He leaned on the console and was in the power of the song, he also turned into a listener … In those moments, the muse visited the studio …

The track ends The Doors, the band’s debut LP, released in January 1967.

The End has been featured on several popular top songs lists, including Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and Guitar World’s 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time. According to Blender, the composition deserved a place in the ranking of the fifty worst songs of all time.

Clip The End – The Doors

I suggest watching a music video with a live version of the song The End by the rock band The Doors.

Interesting Facts

  • Because of this song, the musicians were fired from the Whiskey a Go Go club. Jim, being under the “acid”, from the stage delivered the same “oedipal” monologue, which caused a loud scandal.
  • The song was included in the soundtrack of the military drama Apocalypse Now (“Apocalypse Now”) by Francis Coppola, and also sounds in other famous films.

The End Lyrics

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 did you take 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 fuck you

C’mon baby, take a chance with us
C’mon baby, take a chance with us
C’mon baby, take a chance with us
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

The End Lyrics

This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend, the end
Our intricate plans, the end
Everything that matters is over
No salvation, no surprise – the end
I will never look into your eyes again

Can you imagine what would be so limitless and free
Desperate for the hand of a stranger
In the land of despair

Lost in the Roman wasteland of pain
All children are insane, all children are insane
They’re waiting for the summer rain
Danger lurks on the outskirts of the city
Baby, drive down the royal highway
Strange things are happening in the gold mines
Baby, drive west on the highway
Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, on an ancient snake, baby
The kite is long, a whole seven miles

Ride the snake, he’s old and his skin is cold
Best in the west
Best in the west
Come here and we’ll do the rest
The blue bus is calling us, the blue bus is calling us
Driver, where did you pick us up?

The killer woke up before dark, put on his shoes,
He picked a face from an ancient gallery
And walked down the hallway
He entered the room where his sister lived, and then he
Looked at his brother, and then he
I went down the corridor and
Approached the door, looked inside
Father? – Yes son. – I want to kill you.
Mother, I want to fuck you

Come on baby try your luck with us
Come on baby try your luck with us
Come on baby try your luck with us
And meet again in the back of the blue bus
Playing dull rock in the blue bus
Playing dull rock, come on
Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill
This is the end, beautiful friend

This is the end, my only friend, the end
It hurts me to release you
But you will never follow me
End of laughter and tender lies
An end to the nights we tried to die
This is the end

Song quote

When I walked into the big hall at Cinerama in Hollywood, sat in the front row to watch a movie, and the first thing I heard was my guitar, I thought, “How cool!”

Robbie Krieger on Apocalypse Now

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