Analysis of Music by The Doors

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  • Topic: The Doors, Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger
  • Pages : 5 (1793 words )
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  • Published : December 12, 2007
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During the late 1960's bands sang of love and peace while drugs were passed out at every moment. But for The Doors it was different, because they could get a person high by just listening to songs of mystery and intenseness. The nights belonged to the gods of revelry and rebirth, and the songs invoked their potent passions, the Oedipal nightmare of "The End," the breathless gallop of "Not to Touch the Earth," the doom of "Hyacinth House," the ecstasy of "Light My Fire," the dark uneasy undertones of "Can't See Your Face in My Mind," and the alluring loss of consciousness in "Crystal Ship." And like rituals, The Doors willingly offered themselves as a sacrifice to be torn apart, to bleed, to die, to be reborn for people to listen to their music. In 1965 m Morrison had met Ray Manzarek at the UCLA Graduate School of Film. They were on the beach in Southern California where Morrison recited his poem, Moonlight Drive, to Manzarek. At which point Manzarek insisted on collaborating to make songs. His brothers, Rick and Jim, were the original guitarists for a brief amount of time until Ray met Robby Krieger and John Densmore through yoga and meditation class. Ray Manzarek, a classically trained pianist, with a deep love for the blues and jazz, wrote the themes for many of the songs and played not only the keyboard parts but simultaneously propelled the band with melodic driving bass lines. John Densmore, a jazz drummer known for shamanism rhythm and theatrical timing, which was heard in many songs created powerful background rhythms. Robby Krieger, a songwriter who could play any guitar, from classic flamenco to bottleneck blues, to create music never even thought of. And Jim Morrison, the baritone, American poet with a remarkable compositional gift and the mysterious image that made people grow silent. Together these men equally brought The Doors' songs to life. Morrison decided to call the band "The Doors" based off of a book by Aldous Huxley called The Doors of Perception which, in turn had been borrowed for a poem written by the 18th century poet, William Blake. The particular part of the poem that would really reflect the concept that the Doors were striving for musically had stated, "If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite"

By 1966, the band had made a demo tape and was performing as the house band at the London Fog and then moving on to Whiskey a Go-Go. In his earliest performances, Morrison was so introverted that he performed with his back to the audience or with his eyes closed for the majority of the performance. However, his confidence grew with the group's reputation and, certainly, his stage presence was unique. He had languid body movements, tended to throttle the microphone, and often emoted with closed eyes as if in a spectral trance. Also, he could be counted on to be unpredictable. Sometimes he dropped to the floor to sob out his lyrics; other times he danced with abandon as if possessed. On the 10th of August, Jac Holzman, president of Elecktra records, had signed the band with some persuasion from Arthur Lee. This seems very fortunate because the band was fired from Whiskey a Go-Go because of the risqué lyrics of "The End" and in particular, the "Oedipal Section" on August 21st. Morrison had conjured up his own rendition of the Greek tragedy, Oedipus Rex. The story was about a man that kills his father and proceeds to have sex with his mother. The variant that Morrison made said "Father? Yes son? I want to kill you. Mother? I want to fuck you."

Morrison got some of his lyrics from Nietzsche--he always said his main guide to his poetry is ‘The Birth of Tragedy' from the ‘Spirit of Music'--he combined Nietzsche with a little freshman psychology and a lot of very broad images (the sea, the sun, the earth, death) and came up with Morrison therapy: to become more real, to be a better person, cut your ties to the establishment past, swim in your...
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