Doors – The End

There is one thing I think of when I hear this song, and that is Apocalypse Now. The intro to the song really sounds like the end is coming. Robby Krieger’s use of slighty off notes adds to it.

Ray Manzarek: “To sit back in an audience and hear ‘The End’ come on at the beginning of Apocalypse Now, it’s absolutely thrilling.”

The song was on their self-titled debut album released in 1967. It ranked at number 336 on 2010 Rolling Stone magazines list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The Doors developed this song during live performances at the Whisky a Go Go, a Los Angeles club where they were the house band in 1966. They had to play two sets a night, so they were forced to extend their songs in order to fill the sets. This gave them a chance to experiment with their songs.

They always played The End as the last song, but Morrison decided to play it early in the set, and the band went along. When they got to the part where he could do a spoken improvisation, he started talking about a killer, and said, “Father, I want to kill you. Mother, I want to f–k you!” The crowd went nuts, but the band was fired right after the show. The Doors had recently signed a record deal and they had established a large following, so getting fired from the Whisky was not a crushing blow.

Morrison sang this live as F–k the mother, rather than “Screw the mother.” At the time, the band couldn’t cross what their engineer Bruce Botnick called “the f–k barrier,” so they sanitized the lyric on the album. When Botnick remixed the album for a 1999 reissue, however, he put Morrison’s “f–k”s back in, which is how the song was intended.

Jim Morrison's Heartbreaker: Mary Werbelow's Abandoned Notebook - GonzoToday

“The End” began as Jim Morrison’s farewell to Mary Werbelow, his girlfriend who followed him from Florida to Los Angeles. It developed into an 11-minute  epic. Doors drummer John Densmore has said that Morrison wrote Crystal Ship about Mary also. That song was another goodbye song also. Werbelow and Morrison broke up in 1965 but saw each other off and on until she moved to India in 1969. He reportedly told her that the first four Doors albums were about her…Manzarek has said that parts of them were.

Mary Werbelow is a mystery to many. People still want to know if she is still alive. She gave a short interview in 2005 but has not been heard from since. She said in that interview that she never wants to talk about Jim again. Mary says she is tired. She has trouble sleeping. She says she’s not sure if she has done right by talking so much. She’s worried that others will seek interviews that she does not want to give. She wants that made clear: She does not want to talk about Jim anymore.

On July 3, 1971, Pamela Courson reported that she found him dead in the bathtub of their apartment in Paris. The cause of death was listed as heart attack; drugs were suspected. There was no autopsy. The coffin was sealed before his family or the American Embassy were notified. It was not until six days later that the Doors’ manager announced Morrison’s death to the world.

The End

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

Can you picture what will be?
So limitless and free
Desperately in need
Of some stranger’s hand
In a desperate land

Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah

There’s danger on the edge of town
Ride the King’s Highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby
Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake, he’s long, seven miles
Ride the snake
He’s old and his skin is cold
The west is the best
The west is the best
Get here and we’ll do the rest
The blue bus is calling us
The blue bus is calling us
Driver, where you taking us?

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
He went into the room where his sister lived, and then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door
And he looked inside
“Father?” “Yes, son?” “I want to kill you”
“Mother? I want to…”

Come on baby, take a chance with us
Come on baby, take a chance with us
Come on baby, take a chance with us
And meet me at the back of the blue bus
Doin’ a blue rug, on a blue bus, doin’ a
Come on yeah
Fuck, fuck-ah, yeah
Fuck, fuck
Fuck, fuck
Fuck, fuck, fuck yeah!
Come on baby, come on
Fuck me baby, fuck yeah
Fuck, fuck, fuck, yeah!
Fuck, yeah, come on baby
Fuck me baby, fuck fuck
Whoa, whoa, whoa, yeah
Fuck yeah, do it, yeah
Come on!
Huh, huh, huh, huh, yeah
Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

It hurts to set you free
But you’ll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die
This is the end


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

27 thoughts on “Doors – The End”

  1. I’ve had love/hate feelings for The Doors ever since I first heard them. They were brilliant and utterly unique at their best, undisciplined and monotonous at their worst. Morrison was infuriatingly narcissistic and self-destructive. I hated what he did to himself and his most ardent followers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you about Morrison. My pity is with the band. How much patience did they have? I would have choked him by 1969.
      When Janis Joplin doesn’t like you….that tells me a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mitch…could I ask you a big favor? Could you check out a post from yesterday called Rock Hologram Tours and give me your opinion. Since you are a musician and an artist…I’m sorry for asking but I would appreciate it.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Could I get your opinion on a post I did yesterday? It’s called Rock Hologram Tours…or something close…If you don’t mind. I’d like to know how you would feel about it.


      1. I did read it.. Here’s what I said. “ An astute musical observer might sense the difference between real person and hologram in the manner that improvised musical interludes proceed’.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: