Fangirl Friday with Jess from Literary, Etc.

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I am loving today’s installment of Fangirl Friday you guys! Just a little back story before we jump into the fabulous post from Jess at Literary, etc., I was a HUGE fan of Jim Morrison back in high school and college…like, obsessed! I still love music from The Doors, but my fangirl mode over Jim Morrison was on overdrive in my teens and early 20s. I had posters of him in my bedroom, watched the movie on my VCR about a million and one times, and even used the date of his death as my ATM pin code…morbid much! Needless today, as I read through Jess’ post I was hit with a serious case of nostalgia. So thank you, Jess, for bringing back those feels from one of my very first fangirl experiences!

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Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be here today and a very special thank you to Sarah for having me.

Today, I’m going to fangirl over The Doors, an American rock band that was founded in 1965 with Jim Morrison as the lead vocalist. I grew up on Classic Rock, but The Doors weren’t part of my dad’s album collection and while my dad liked a few of their songs, he was really surprised at how much I loved them. Recently, I was in the middle of a huge editing project for work and I was sequestered and to keep myself from falling asleep, listened to music.

I picked The Doors Greatest Hits and ah, I just fell in love all over again. When I mentioned it to my dad he said, “How could you forget how much you loved them?” And in writing this, I really had a difficult time picking which songs I wanted to highlight because everything they recorded is great. A lot of their songs have aspects of religion, art, literature, and even feature politics. “The Unknown Soldier” is an anti-war song, but it’s not about the Vietnam War (which was happening during their time). And while, “Light My Fire” became the band’s signature song, Morrison hated performing it.

If I had to pick a favorite song, I’d have to say it’s “The End”. With lyrics such as:

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

There’s danger on the edge of town
Ride the King’s highway, baby

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

And while it is a song about death and contains an Oedipal theme, it really could be a song about anything. I don’t know how true this is, but on the night of Morrison’s death, it’s been said he was listening to some of The Doors albums and “The End” was the last song he listened to. Let’s pause for a moment…a song about death and I can only imagine what he thought (if anything) as he was dying hearing this song. Morrison also had a habit of changing song lyrics when they’d perform and if you know all the lyrics to “The End” you know he changed some in this performance.

Next up is “Touch Me” which a lot of people think it’s about sex. It’s not; it’s about the end of a relationship because of fighting. Guitarist Robby Krieger wanted to use the line, “Come on hit me,” but Morrison changed it to “Touch Me.” I love this song just for this verse alone:

Now, I’m gonna love you
Till the heavens stop the rain
I’m gonna love you
Till the stars fall from the sky for you and I

I can just picture myself at the altar and my groom citing this line. I’ve been known to listen to this song on repeat for hours on end. And the last verse, “Stronger than dirt”? It’s actual a line from an Ajax commercial because Morrison was annoyed the rest of the band members wanted to take the Buick offer to use “Light My Fire” in commercial.

Now if i had to pick one song that’s the quintessential Doors song it would be “LA Woman”. Just listen to it and you’ll know what I mean. I’ve never been to LA, but it’s how I picture the city. Plus I think it’s the perfect metaphor for the City, despite having all this activity and people living there, any city really is alone if you think about it.

I see your hair is burnin’
Hills are filled with fire
If they say I never loved you
You know they are a liar
Drivin’ down your freeways
Midnight alleys roam
Cops in cars, the topless bars
Never saw a woman
So alone, so alone
So alone, so alone

Now this verse from “LA Woman” is definitely about the Manson Murders. On the night Sharon Tate was murdered so was Morrison’s friend, Jay Sebring:

Motel money murder madness
Let’s change the mood from glad to sadness

Let’s take a look at “When The Music Is Over.” It’s mesmerizing and for me, it’s all about life and death. What happens when the joy of life is over? It’s over.

What have they done to the earth?
What have they done to our fair sister?
Ravaged and plundered
and ripped her and bit her
Stuck her with knives
in the side of the dawn
and tied her with fences
and dragged her down.

The music is your special friend
Dance on fire as it intends
Music is your only friend
Until the end
Until the end
Until
THE END!

Jim Morrison was also a poet and there are several poetry books published under his name. I really like a few of them, but “To Be Alone” is my favorite. When I was a teenager, I was alone. After moving my Freshman year of High School I had to start all over with friends and find a group to be a part of. I got lucky that theatre was it and I still talk to my high school best friend (Hi Heather!), but Morrison’s poems really got me through it all especially when I had to move my Senior year.

“To Be Alone”
to be alone
and watch the dawn
It could create
a silly song
About a girl
I used to know
She was the star
of the lost side show

She wasn’t me
She wasn’t you
Believe you me
Knew what to do

& say to a man on
the end of his tether
“Hey, fine handsome
Man, there’ll be a change
in the weather”

So what am I
Supposed to do
Just sit alone
& chew my shoe
I need a love
No more than she
& yet no less
& no regrets

If you can fill me in
on my Telephone
I’d be a sadder,
wiser son of a gun

I’ll just this
about all that
I was the mouse
who caught the cat

I don’t intend
To give you no points
of view

I just mean to tell
You–I’m alone

Ultimately, what I love about Jim Morrison and The Doors is that their music isn’t dated. Their songs could be about anything and I can only imagine what could have been if Morrison hadn’t died (sadly, he’s a member of the 27 club). And, to be honest, no one rocks leather pants quite like The Lizard King.

What about you? Are you fan of The Doors? If you’ve never heard them, I’d love to hear your thoughts regarding some of the songs I listed.

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Sarah

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