Like many bands that became Important to my life, The Doors were introduced to me by Dad. He liked them, you see. And thanks to his impressive (vinyl) record collection and his own love of music, at an early age I was able to move beyond the over-radioed "Light My Fire" and into far more wonderful fare, like "Alabama Song" and "Love Street." I got to unfold the record sleeve and read "The Celebration of the Lizard" and wonder what the hell was that? And I got to be kind of amazed when Dad informed me that he had, in fact, seen The Doors live in concert, and that it did, in fact, suck because Jim Morrison was so wasted he could barely stand, let alone sing. I remain impressed by this story.
There was a stretch of time in college when I had to get my run in at something like 9:00 at night, in the dark. And one night, I decided that the best cassette tape to pop into my Walkman was the Doors mix I had made (from Dad's vinyl collection). It started out fine, cruising along to "Roadhouse Blues" and such. Then at just about the point where I was furthest from home, and in the least lit area of the route, the mix took a bit of a turn. "Five to One" started to seem a little creepy. And then it got to "Not to Touch the Earth." Holy Wow. My nice easy run turned quickly into an all-out sprint to get home as fast as I possibly could, before something dark and sinister reached out and stole me. After that, I stopped listening to The Doors while running.
Around that same time, the Oliver Stone movie The Doors was released. My cousin and I excitedly went to partake. About a quarter of the way though she asked "Is this what it's like to be on drugs?" Maybe. About half way though she asked "Would this make more sense if we were on drugs?" Probably. And by the time it was over, we were both having a hard time bringing the real Jim Morrison to mind because Val Kilmer had so fully become him. I still wish Val Kilmer had been nominated for an Oscar for that. But what do they know?
Just a few weeks ago at work, all of my co-workers and I were to choose a cutesy little plastic frog to wear dangling from our i.d. cards. (It's a long story. And we only had to do it for a week.) So in looking through all of the various frog motifs, I came across one dressed as a "hippie" and flashing the two-finger peace sign. I immediately grabbed him and said "I'll take this one. Then at least if I have to wear a frog, I have a "Peace Frog" reference." My co-workers, who are mostly closer to Dad's age than my age, looked at me like I had frogs crawling out of my ears. They didn't get it. I didn't try to explain.
Sometimes, when the chips are down, I still say to myself "I am the Lizard King. I can do anything."