How My Brain Interprets Hit Songs From The Doors
I grew up with The Doors. Physical ones in my house that you had to walk through and ones of the “sex, drugs & rock ’n roll” nature that flew high without the aid of bass slapping. Jim Morrison was the supportive father of my childhood musical growth and I tell you what, I thank Jimmy, John, Ray and Robby every time I fire up any good rock song that has some balls behind it.
That being said, I really never took the time to do research on the meanings behind the melodic madness of one of America's greatest rock bands. Therefore, my brain goes to all sorts of wild (child *Doors pun*) places when I listen to any of the tracks, and it's about high time I put them down in text before I actually go and do research. Below, you'll find 13 of their hit songs and the way my naive noggin interprets each one at the current moment (also, F you, Buggles. My imagination is just fine).
"Riders On The Storm"
Pretty straightforward this one. You’re likely driving by yourself in this said storm, so probably don’t pick anyone up. It’s bad enough in the 60s/70s, but we’re now in a time of ride share so there are plenty of options for the said sociopath to let all his rage out on a driver that doesn’t offer complimentary mints or bottled water.
This is a man at the peak of his confidence. He could be living in a fantasy world or maybe the picture he paints of himself is 45% accurate but he's in a night club that has a huge, elaborate staircase he walks down. He’s also dressed in a leisure suit with shiny shoes, but by the time the song is over his upper body is bare (light chest hair) and glistening with sweat under disco lights. By the time he reaches the bottom of the steps, he has convinced every fellow dude in the night club to get in a V formation to say the “stronger than dirt” line in perfect unison. Two of the guys are mildly out of shape.
"Light My Fire"
Can’t help but think of the carnival since my dad said he remembered a tripped out carny would have this on loop while he operated the Ferris wheel. I also envision the machine as poorly assembled and moving a few levels quicker than it should be. There's also a bonfire nearby that's similar to the fun one had at Jackie Treehorn's house party in The Big Lebowski.
"People Are Strange"
I always looked at "People Are Strange" as “Riders On The Storm”’s little brother. Of course you’re gonna run into some freaks if you going around touting yourself as “The Lizard King” or if you grow a beard and move to France. Plus mixing in a potpourri of drugs? Oh, the freak show will fly, my friend, but it’s on another level when it’s down pouring rain and there’s a killer on the road. “People Are Strange” is the lead-off man to “ROTS” power-hitter.
"Back Door Man"
You can interpret this song anyway you want to, but I’m going to go the less sexually-explicit route and choose to frolick down “nefarious president of a biker club” lane instead. And this said president IS PISSED so obviously he kicks down the back door to beat the shit out of some snot-nosed new shirt trying to push meth and heroin into his business. One thing he was clear about when he started “The Three Peckered Hounds” was that they strictly deal in cocaine and weed. Other clubs can dabble in the mud, but not Cliff Daggert. He’s the white trash Don Corleone. And this kid’s getting a busted bottle of Red Dog (it’s the early 90’s in this scenario) to the dome. “Get that shit OUTTA MY CLUB!”
I like frogs and peace is pretty good so this jam has a leg up. The blood in the streets however sounds like an issue that requires immediate attention. Also can’t shake the image of Adam Sandler in the Waterboy driving a tractor or Gator or something to this song. I don’t know, it’s been ten years since I’ve seen that movie.
Okay, I’m kind of feeling sex party on this one, before it goes south. Under the influence of psychedelics, of course. Jack Nicholson from The Departed is there tossing coke in the air and so is a very sweaty Beyonce from Austin Powers 3. It’s a heck of a time, but Jack is there and he’s going to screw it up real bad which leads us into...
"Five To One"
Yes sir. When everybody finally notices the dead behind Jack’s eyes. The guy should not be here. As a matter of fact, what happened to the bongo playing? Oh, it stopped because Jack put two behind the ear of our white wannabe Rastafarian friend. I’d love to do something but my naked ass is stuck to the orange pleather loveseat and I’m seeing the demons from Ghost creep up from the floorboards. I just hope Beyonce gets out alive.
All about a blues werewolf. Primary talents are in the saxophone, but that doesn’t stop him from tickling the ivories once in awhile. However, unlike his high school adolescent Michael J. Fox colleague his musical skills diminish once in werewolf form. Might have something to do with the primal rage (remember that video game?)
The woman in this song (whether she's from L.A. or not) ain’t all she’s cracked up to be if you ask me. See, again, Jim’s under the influence so she’s likely one of those faded girls that the one Goo Goo Dolls song talked about. Not somebody you want to take home to the parents.
"Waiting For The Sun"
I feel the optimism in this tune. It’s like Mad Max winning in the Thunderdome. Sure, the world is a sand-ridden land of bloodthirsty, paint-huffing psychopaths with gimps chained to the hoods of their hoopties, but I’ll be damned if that’ll get me kicking rocks all boohoo glum. See that sunrise? Something beyond that is opportunity for a better life. One with fresh water.
"Break On Through"
Is there a better song that compels one more to not adhere to the speed limit? I think not. Just imagine this fat, smug statey dotting you a ticket for going five over just after your boss made you stay an hour and shithead Debbie once again microwaved fish in the break room - then this song kicks up. You’re definitely gonna be like “fuck it all” and zoom on off into the interstate vanishing point. That’s until they eventually PIT maneuver you into the nearest embankment across from the Denny’s and you realize that gorging your self-hatred down with Chick-Fil-A wouldn't have been such a bad second option. But for those 5-15 minutes, you’ll feel euphoric.
You are likely think of a sweaty Marlon Brando (not Beyonce) due to Apocalypse Now, and hey, so do I. Yes, a delirious Marlon Brando and myself slowly succumbing to insanity in 92+ degree weather. This song gives me the heebie jeebs. Especially Jim’s freak-out yelling. Settle down, Mojo. I know it’s hot, but I’m sure we’ll find an operating A/C unit somewhere. Maybe young Laurence Fishburne has one.