Mary and the lyrics

Published September 25, 2005

In January 1990, a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times suggested that the Doors song Crystal Ship was about crystal methamphetamine: The ship stood for a hypodermic needle, the kiss meant drug injection.

Doors drummer John Densmore responded with a letter of his own: "Jim wrote The Crystal Ship for Mary Worbelo (sic), a girlfriend with whom he was breaking up. . . . The song was a goodbye love song."

The first two stanzas:

Before you slip into unconsciousness

I'd like to have another kiss

Another flashing chance at bliss

Another kiss, another kiss

The days are bright and filled with pain

Enclose me in your gentle rain

The time you ran was too insane

We'll meet again, we'll meet again

From Jim's notebooks into the song book
[Times photo: Ken Helle 1996]
The University of Tampa's minarets

Everyone who remembers Jim Morrison from his Clearwater days remembers him scribbling notes everywhere he went. Snippets became lyrics.

"That's where the songs came from, out of those notebooks," said Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek.

In the song Soul Kitchen, for example, Manzarek said the reference to "minarets" came from the University of Tampa.

Your fingers weave quick minarets.

Speak in secret alphabets.

I light another cigarette

and learn to forget.