The Doors

Wesley Mark Whitworth

Poet William Blake once said "If The Doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite" (Gilmore 34). From this quote arose a band that even over 20 years after its disbanding still is played and remembered. The Doors

started as a little garage band in California back in the early sixties. They were extremely popular due to their lead singer, Jim Morrison. Morrison himself was a real character. Morrison is considered by many critics a modern day poet. Others view him in a different light, George Will wrote "Morrison resembled Byron in one aspect, they both were mad, bad, and dangerous to know" (Will 64). Still others view him as a hero of the 'counterculture'. He was a sort of 'Peter Pan', one of those boys who never grew up. Morrison basically was The Doors

. His blatant disregard for law and order made him a very well known figure. He was arrested on a few occasions for charges ranging from inciting riots to indecent exposure. He was also notorious for his drug use and alcohol abuse. His poetry though, justified his lifestyle. There were also three other members of the band: Ray Manzarak (keyboards), John Densmore (drummer), and Robby Krieger (guitarist). They all made up The Doors

, but after the death of the lead singer Jim Morrison, the band's popularity dropped significantly. They did though produce three albums after Morrison's untimely demise (all of which were not very popular). Jim Morrison died on July 4th, 1971, in Paris, France. He was 27 years old at the time of death (the same age Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died at also). He was found in his bathtub with a cute smirk on his face. He had finally "broke through to the other side"(Gilmore 35).


The Doors

were known for their style of rebellious, psychedelic rock. Their music is poetry (written by Jim Morrison) set to music. Morrison also had many books published just of his poetry. Although not all of The Doors

music was written by Morrison, ninety percent of it was. The band was considered a guru by the youngsters of the sixties, and a scourge by the public. The band seemed to fuse music, drugs, and idealism as a way to reform and even redeem a troubled society (Gilmore 34). They were much like the other bands that were emerging in the sixties, but different in one major way. They looked at prospects of hedonism and violence, revolt and chaos, and seemed to embrace these feelings without shame (Gilmore 35). The band confronted the truth about the troubled youth of the day, and knew that they were living in dangerous times. The Doors

used their music to convey a sense of peacefulness while at the same time would bring about a chaotic feeling against the norm of society. The music itself it astounding. Morrison uses symbolism and abstract lyrics to create mental pictures in the listener's imagination. Jim Morrison led The Doors

to break all established boundaries of music in that era, boundaries that society of that day had set. He used his lyrics to talk about death, drugs, homicide, suicide, and even incest, subjects that went against everything that era stood for. While other singers of the time were preparing the people for a world of hope and peace, The Doors

were making music for a ravenous and murderous time through exilirating sound (Gilmore 33). Morrison quite often opened his shows with the line "I don't know about you, but I intend to get my

kicks before this whole fucking shithouse explodes" (Gilmore 35). This total disregard for authority and psychedelic structure led The Doors

to be known as what they are today.


Morrison had a way of conveying mental pictures to the listener even if the pictures had nothing to do with each other. Unlike most songs, Morrison didn't need a major theme or some type of main idea to center his lyrics around. This way each listener gets a different picture of the same song in his or her head. This idea to many is confusing but if you have ever heard the song The Soft Parade by The Doors

you will understand the concept completely. The Soft Parade has as much to do with parades as it does with doing your taxes. In one sense though,