The Doors - Peace Frog
July 3rd. Once upon a time, this was a day of mourning for me. The day the music died.
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 this poster. 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.
When I imagined
hallucinated he was speaking to me, he was full of wisdom and wise words. And I was full of drugs.
Still, he said powerful things like YOU CANNOT PETITION THE LORD WITH PRAYER. And sometimes he said not so powerful things like “Do your homework, Michele.” Or maybe that was my mother. Also, his eyes followed me around the room. Sometimes I would tape a piece of paper over his eyes when I got dressed, if I was feeling particularly paranoid.
I used to look at this poster then and think “Oh, Jim, you are everything I want in a drug addicted, incoherent rock star.”
I was probably about 14 when my fascination with the Doors began and not much older when it ended. Thankfully. 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.
Take “The End” for instance. It’s 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.
Anyway, I still like this song. And most of Morrison Hotel.