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by Paul Williams 1967

Doors Producer Paul Rothchild Speaks

It was beautiful, it was one of the most beautiful moments I've ever had in a recording studio, that half hour when "The End" was recorded. I was emotionally wrung. Usually as a producer you sit there listening for all of the things that are right and all of the things that are about to go wrong. You're following every instrument simultaniously, you're following the feeling, the mood all the way through. In this take, I was completely, I was absolutely audience. I had done my job, there was nothing actually for me to do once the machines were rolling, I had made sure the sound was right on each instrument, you know when we did our setup, Bruce Botnick, the engineer, had been cued by me on every- thing that I wanted to do, and at the beginning of the take I was sitting there- producer- listening to take. Midway through I was no longer producer, I was just completely sucked up into it, and when we recorded it, the studio was completely darkened, the only lights visible were a candle burning in the recording studio right next to Jim whose back was to the control room, singing into his microphone, and the lights on the VU meters in the control room. All the other lights were off... it was...very dark...
It was a magic moment... Jim doing "The End", he was just doing it, for all time, and I was pulled off, right on down his road, he said come with me and I did it. It was almost a shock when the song was over, you know when Robbie played those last little tinkling notes on the guitar. It felt like yeah, you know, like it's the end, that's the end, it cannot go any further, that's the statement. I felt emotionally washed. There were four other people in the control room at that time, when the take was over and we realized the tape was still going. Bruce, the engineer, was completely sucked along into it and instead of sitting there at attention the way engineers are wont to do, his head was on the console and he was just- immersed. Just absolutely all the moves right, because Bruce and I had established a kind of rapport, he knew where I wanted things done and when, and when his work was done he did exactly the same thing, involuntarily, without volition, he didn't know he was going to do it, but he became the audience, too. So the muse did visit the studio that time. And, all of us were audience, there was nothing left, the machines knew what to do.

Crawdaddy Magazine August 1967