Moonlight Drive

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"Moonlight Drive"
Single by The Doors
from the album Strange Days
A-side"Love Me Two Times"
ReleasedSeptember 25, 1967
RecordedMay and August 1967
GenrePsychedelic rock, blues rock
Songwriter(s)Jim Morrison
Producer(s)Paul A. Rothchild

"Moonlight Drive" is a song by American rock band the Doors, released in 1967 on their second album Strange Days. It was edited to a 2:16 length for the 45 rpm single B-side of "Love Me Two Times". Though a conventional blues arrangement, "Moonlight Drive"'s defining feature was its slightly off-beat rhythm, and Robby Krieger's 'Bottle-neck' guitar which creates an eerie sound.[1] The song was recorded during the group's first demo recordings at Trans World Pacific Studios.[2]

The song is known to fans as being one of the first written by the lead singer Jim Morrison. According to the Morrison biography No One Here Gets Out Alive by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman, Morrison wrote "Moonlight Ride" during his halcyon days on a rooftop in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California in 1965. Later on, when he happened upon his friend and future band member, Ray Manzarek, he uttered the memorable lines, "Let's swim to the moon, let's climb through the tide, penetrate the evening that the city sleeps to hide." Reportedly Manzarek was awestruck, and they decided to form a band. Morrison already had a band name picked out: The Doors.[1]

Recordings of live performances of the song reveal a link to a sort of death by drowning - whether murder, suicide or simply going too far. Morrison sings in live performances, probably improvising, referring to "fishes for your friends" and "pearls for your eyes" conjuring an image of a rotten corpse lying at the bottom of the ocean while simultaneously referring to Shakespeare.[3]

Popular culture[edit]

The song was featured in the 1971 film Two-Lane Blacktop and in the 1987 film Less Than Zero. The song title was used as the name of professional wrestler John Hennigan's corkscrew neckbreaker finishing move under his Jim Morrison-esque John Morrison character in WWE.[4]


  1. ^ a b "The Doors".
  2. ^ Tom Maginnis. "Moonlight Drive - The Doors - Listen, Appearances, Song Review - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  3. ^ "The Doors".
  4. ^