Maybe the other members of The Doors should have known something was going to happen. In August of 1966 Jim Morrison had been running around L.A. chanting a peculiar mantra, “kill the father/f**k the mother” his condensed Freudian take on the Greek myth of Oedipus. Morrison would later say he was using it as a way to break through to his subconscious. Elektra records had already signed The Doors (see The Doors Sign with Elektra Records) maybe Jim Morrison figured he didn’t have anything to lose.
Most Doors fans are familiar with the story/legend of how The Doors were fired from the Whisky a Go-Go. During their first set of the night, Jim Morrison was nowhere to be found. Whisky owner Phil Tanzini insisted that he was paying for four band members and that’s how many would be there. After the first set, Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek and drummer John Densmore went over to the Alta-Cineaga motel and found Morrison dressed only in boxer shorts and his boots, blitzed on what he insisted was “ten thousand mic’s” of LSD. It has been assumed that Jim meant he had 10,000 micrograms of acid. Could Jim have been celebrating The Doors recent signing to Elektra Records and the 10,000 mics was a hallucinatory vision?
Morrison (probably rightly so) insisted he couldn’t perform that night, but Manzarek convinced him by telling him “let’s give Tanzini something to remember.” Little did either know that later that night Morrison would indeed give the rock world something to remember. The second set of the night was a disaster, Morrison still feeling the full effects of the LSD was incoherent and stumbled around the stage. After the second set, Morrison was starting to come down off the acid and wanted to do The End in the third set. At that time The End was a song about the sadness of love ending, that over time had become extended with instrumentals and places for Morrison to improvise poetry. August 21, 1966 was the night Jim Morrison added the Oedipal section to The End, “Father? Yes, son? I want to kill you, Mother? I want to f**k you!” Morrison screamed, and fell to the floor, writing, The other Doors jammed on their instruments creating dissonant chaos while Morrison twirled around the mic stand. The audience, including the go-go dancers stood staring at the stage either transfixed by the performance or shocked at what they say and heard. Whisky owner Phil Tanzini was yelling that they were fired before the song was finished.
Should The Doors have been surprised that Morrison added an Oedipal section? Morrison later said “Something clicked. I realized what the whole song was about, what it had been leading up to.”
The Doors were fired as the house band at the Whisky a-go-go. For most bands this might be the beginning of the end, but the die had already been cast and the band had signed with Elektra and the Oedipal section of The End was their launching pad to Rock ‘n’ Roll legend. Within a couple of weeks The Doors would be in the studio recording their first album.
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