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The Doors: Dionysian Frenzy

One night while playing at the Whisky a Go Go, Jim Morrison (reputedly while on a massive dose of LSD), began a story riff during "The End" -- an atonal dirge which he had been working on about a failed romance.

When Morrison got to the passage about the killer and his Oedipal quest, he piqued the audience's interest with well-timed pauses -- and then held back nothing: "Mother?" he said calmly, then shouted: "I want to f--- you!" as the band played in a frenzy behind him.

"John

[Densmore] whacked on his drums, I pounded on my organ, Robby

[Krieger] made his guitar scream like a banshee, and all hell broke loose," Ray Manzarek later recalled. "The people began dancing madly. Everyone went into a Dionysian frenzy. It was Greek! Oedipus Rex had been exorcised right there on the Sunset Strip."

Whisky co-owner Phil Tanzini was not among the revelers, however. He stormed backstage, asked Morrison, "How the f--- can you say that about your mother?" and fired the band on the spot. "Do you want us to play through the weekend, or are we fired tonight?" Krieger asked. Tanzini thought for a moment, then said, "Oh, right. You play through Sunday, then you're fired."

[While studying film at UCLA, Morrison made an experimental film about sexual neuroses and mass hysteria. Though it was met with hysterical scorn by his fellow students, Morrison graduated with a degree in cinematography. The apt name of the label which signed the Doors in 1966 to a multialbum contract? Electra.]

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