Friday, June 12, 2015

Doors – "The End" (1967)

This is the end, my only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end

I must have heard "The End" before 1979.  After all, it was released in 1967 on the Doors' eponymous debut album.

But I didn't really hear "The End" until 1979, when I went to the Uptown Theatre in Washington, DC, to see Francis Ford Coppola's 153-minute hot mess, Apocalypse Now – which took Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and moved it to Vietnam.

That movie opened with a shot of a dense green forest, accompanied by the subdued guitar introduction to "The End."  Slow-motion helicopters seemed to circle behind my head (thanks to the Uptown's state-of-the-art sound system) then flitted across the screen.

Suddenly, as Jim Morrison intones the first line of the song, "This is the end," the screen lit up with napalm.  You were only one minute into the movie, but you knew it was time to buckle your seat belts, boys and girls – it was going to be a bumpy night at the movies.

This is the end . . . of a series of posts about my trip to Cape Cod over the Memorial Day weekend.  Each post in that series features a song I heard on the SiriusXM radio that came with the rental car I drove during my visit to the Cape:

This is the end . . . of the Cape Cod Rail Trail:

I was afraid that last year was the end of the Pleasant Lake General Store in Harwich, which was a convenient place to stop for a drink and a snack when I was riding my bike on the rail trail.  But the store reopened this spring under new ownership:

Outside that store is a bench with a number of brass plaques that commemorated the end of a number of longtime customers of the store:

One of those folks is memorialized as "our storyteller":

(It pleases me to think that a few of my loyal readers might give me the same appellation after I have shuffled off this mortal coil.)

This is the end of the dinners I had on Cape Cod – an order of fried clams and onion rings from the good old Kream 'n' Kone in West Dennis.  

Here's a still from the episode of "The Americans" I watched that night.  Margo Martindale is playing Pac-Man and Keri Russell is playing Galaga – two popular arcade games I played frequently in 1981 (which is when this episode of the show took place):

And this is the end of my visit, as I prepare to join my yellow Lab Lily in the minivan for the drive back to Washington:

Here is "The End":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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