Imagine with me for a moment. You are walking down a college hallway. The hallway is crowded and loud, as usual, with what seems like a million conversations going on around you. You push, shove and squeeze your way through what seems like a million different people. You finally get to your classroom and push the door open. You are greeted with the sound of a rainstorm. Your eyes adjust to the dimmed lights. You take your seat and settle in. You hear the voice of the late, great Jim Morrison, the Lizard King, Mr. Mojo Risin’, his soft projection, empowered by his deep, clear voice. “Riders on the storm”, the rhythm setting piano and drums mix with the smooth guitar and a deep, slightly echoed four note bass tab. You focus, take a deep breath, even relax as you allow the music to sink into your mind and your body. “Riders on the Storm… into this house we’re born… into this world we’re thrown…”, you listen to all two hundred and seventy five seconds of the masterpiece and the lights are turned back on. The teacher stands before the class, “What did you guys think?”. The next part of the class is spent examining the lyrics, what do they mean what were they thinking ect. The class then delves into the feeling of the song. Did you feel uplifted? Did you feel on edge? Does the lyrics fit the feeling, if not, why not?
The forming of The Doors is the stuff of legends. Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek formed the band on Venice Beach in Los Angeles after Morrison read Manzarek a poem he wrote, a poem that eventually became “Moonlight Drive”, one of their most famous songs. The name The Doors is a reference to the book The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley, a renowned philosopher, who named the book based after “Between the known and the unknown, are the doors”, a famous quote from William Blake, a renowned English Poet. This perfectly represents who the doors were. A band who was deeply entrenched in philosophy and poetry. David Lehman, a poet in his own right and series editor of The Best American Poetry, is quoted to have said, “The lyrics Jim Morrison wrote are wonderful and chilling and moving” (Nester, “When You’re Strange: Jim Morrison, Great American Poet?). The Doors are, save maybe Led Zeppelin, the most mysterious band there is. Through music they conveyed messages and feelings that are not easily understood. The Doors were the band who brought poetry and philosophy to Rock and Roll.
The class number is 105-1 in reference to one of their deepest most mysterious songs, “5 to 1”. The class will delve deep into many of their most famous, most mysterious, most poetic and most philosophically leaning songs. Any person attending college can gain from this class. Learn some philosophy, learn some poetry and listen to some damn good music. Unravel the mystery that was The Doors.
Snacks will be provided. Additional recreational herbs will be optional.
Nester, Daniel. “When You’re Strange, Jim Morrison Great American Poet?”. Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com /2011/10/20/jim-morrison-poet_n_1021692.html
“The Doors Bio”. Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/musichttp: //www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/20/jim-morrison – poet_n_1021692.html