This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.
RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #343: The End by The Doors.
Whenever I go to write one of these music posts, I always start by conducting my own research. Sometimes, I already know the story behind the song and am just searching for details such as record sales totals or the exact year the singer/band was inducted to The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. But there are other times where I may be familiar with the song but I don’t know the story of how it came to be so, I read as many sources as I can. Only when the path to a well-told story reveals itself do I begin to write my post. Sometimes the story I end up writing ends up surprising even me. This was the case with “The End” by “The Doors”.
Of course, I was aware of who The Doors were. Jim Morrison was a legendary frontman who, along with Ray Manzarek (on keyboards), Robbie Kreiger (on guitar) and John Densmore (on drums) produced some of the most famous songs of the 1960s and 70s such as “Break On Through”, “L.A. Woman”, “Light My Fire” and the one featured in this post, “The End”. I already knew that “The End” was a hit at the time of its release and that it gained a second wind when it was used over the opening credits in the Academy Award-winning movie Apocalypse Now. But, I never knew the story of how Morrison came to write “The End”. I have to tell you, it is incredibly bizarre……the most bizarre background information I have read about any singer or group so far. Here is my report.
“The End” was written about the break-up of a relationship he had with his girlfriend. That, in and of itself, is not bizarre in the least. But, as many of you know, Jim Morrison was into drugs in his 20s. As a result, he began to have visions and revelations about what his life was becoming and how he saw himself evolving as a human. One of the things that influenced him and his vision-quest was the song “The End”. The more he performed it, the more meaning it began to hold for him. The meaning changed to include focussing on the classic tale of Oedipus Rex. There are many live recordings of “The End” in which Morrison speaks aloud about killing his father and “f**king” his mother. His reasoning was for him to cast off any and all residual influences they may have had in shaping who he had become so that he could be reborn, totally new and unsullied by past baggage.
I kid you not.
I found this story corroborated from multiple sources, including eye witness accounts from Densmore and Manzarek. If any of you know differently, feel free to let us all know in the comments. But, for now, that is my story about Jim Morrison and “The End” and I am sticking to it. There are many live versions of this song out there on YouTube and the Interweb. Many are quite long and quite a few are filled with Morrison’s rambling monologues about his mother. If you want to hear him talk about “f**king” his mother, go to Youtube and check out the video from Madison Square Garden. For this post, I am going with the opening scene from “Apocalypse Now” because that is one of my favourite movies of all time. Here is “The End” by “The Doors”. Have a wonderful day, all!
The link for the video to the song “The End” by The Doors (as used in the motion picture Apocalypse Now) can be seen here. ***The lyrics version can be found here.
The link to the official website for The Doors can be seen here.
Thanks to Rolling Stone Magazine for helping to inspire the writing of this post…..even if the research that went into it is kinda disturbing! The link to their official website can be found here.
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