Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist for The Doors, passed away a few days ago from cancer. Fresh Air on NPR replayed an interview they did with him in 1998. It is a really good interview if you have any interest in music and the process behind song writing. I have no musical ability but I found it really fascinating how he used jazz, blues, and classical together to write the music for Light My Fire. He has a piano with him to demonstrate how the music evolved.
Several months ago a local theater was screening a digitally remastered, remixed & restored concert film from 1968 at the Hollywood Bowl. The film is the entire show beginning to end, played LOUD in surround sound. First time ever sitting in a movie theater with the whole audience applauding and whooping it up after each song. We went with a group of friends and had a blast. I think that recent Doors experience made Ray's passing meaningful …. a proper tribute to the man to remember him opening the show with a long organ solo intro to "When the Music's Over." He was unique and I always felt he was the defining sound of the band even though Morrison was in the spotlight.
My son and I are big Doors fans and he texted me 2 days ago about Ray's passing... man, think what all those songs would have been like without a keyboardist ! They'd have been nothin' ! In so many of them, the keyboarding makes the song ! Light My Fire is a perfect example... so is The End.
I have heard stories of Ray doing a whole set when Morrison was too stoned to add much to the performance. My first experience with the music of The Doors was when I was on an all expenses paid trip to Vietnam.
Common sense and deodorant are a lot alike. People who need it the most don't use it.
My first moment of chemical enlightenment took place as I was looking at a Doors record going round and round on a turntable--Light My Fire was playing. I came to dislike the pseudo seriousness of Morrison's "poetry," but that moment was so important to my young life (I think I was 13 or 14 at the time) that I still love The Doors.
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Loc: Petaluma, CA
I've had a love and hate relationship with The Doors. How could people so young make such everlasting music? One of the slaps in my face during my chemical years,hero worshiping Jim Morison, was, "WTF? He was a loser who partied himself to death". Yep, they were right. Idolizing the "suffering artist" isn't necessarily the best thing to do. Morison may have been the focal point, but Robby Krieger, John Densmore and Ray Manzarek were "the band", and wrote some of the most famous hits. Regardless, love it all.
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