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During live performances, Jim Morrison usually ended up flopping around on the floor. The Doors performed it live many times in 1966 when they were the house band at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles. It was not released on an album until a year later.
The theme is music being the fire of life. When it stops, so does life's spirit.
Arguably, one of the most beautifully intense moments of any Rock song is when Morrison screams, "Persian Night! See the Light! Save Us! Jesus! Save Us!" The first 2 lines reference the wise men from the Bible, often referred to as The Magi. The Magi is a priestly caste from ancient Persia. On that Christmas night the Persian Magi looked into the night and saw the Star of Bethlehem. (thanks, Jim - St. Paul, MN)
The lyric "scream of the butterfly" is a reference to a porno film.
Two guitar solos were played simultaneously. They were improvised by Robby Krieger in the studio.
Krieger: "That solo was a real challenge because the harmony is static. I had to play 56 bars over the same riff."
Ray Manzarek's organ intro to this song was based on the intro to another Doors song, "Soul Kitchen
." (thanks, Sam - Lincoln, NE)
Sublime sampled this song's opening in their song "Cisco Kid" from the album Robbin' The Hood. (thanks, Johnny - San Antonio, TX)
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