Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Thrilling Ride

Song 323: This week the playlist rides on The Crystal Ship by The Doors, who also wrote the song. During my HS years, my record collection consisted entirely of 45s, and most of those I bought used from my best friend’s younger brother and smuggled into a special basement hiding spot. Not long after I brought it home, the Doors’ debut single quickly became a regular spinner, and I always listened to both sides, actually preferring this B-side cut to the more famous A-side hit. Even though I owned no LPs in that fall of my junior year at HS, I got to hear The Doors quite a lot at the time, sometimes at friend’s houses and also at certain school gatherings, such as the monthly layout session of the student newspaper where I always played a role, so I soon got to know that disc very well. This track, like most of the others, rattled the religious conflict that I struggled with as I listened to a singer of the devil’s music tell about a ship that would contain a thousand girls and a thousand thrills, feeling quite certain that none of the older generation members at my church would approve of the thrills or the girls, but I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t resist taking the musical ride on that boat, no matter what it might do to my soul. I’ve always relished Ray Manzarek’s piano solo in the middle of the song, which takes me every time along some magical dark Twilight Zone seas of thought, as it did when I first heard it. Ray died in May of 2013, but his music lives on, and The Crystal Ship still sails.

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