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Memorial Weekend Music: The Doors

“It dropped quite simply, quite innocently from his lips, but it changed our collective destinies.”Ray Manzarek in “Light My Fire” on Jim Morrison

Mr. Manzarek founded the Doors in 1965 with the singer and lyricist Jim Morrison, whom he would describe decades later as “the personification of the Dionysian impulse each of us has inside.” They would go on to recruit the drummer John Densmore and the guitarist Robby Krieger. [New York Times]

The Doors were the beatniks of rock 'n roll.

The Doors, the beatniks of rock ‘n roll.

THE BEATNIKS of rock ‘n roll, that was how Ray Manzarek described The Doors. He compared them to Jack Kerouac, E.E. Cummings and other giants. Ray Manzarek who helped further immortalize Jim Morrison’s persona in the public’s mind after the rock legend died by continually speaking about his influences and epic presence. Manzarek passed this week in Germany.

I suppose if Jack Kerouac had never written On the Road, The Doors would never have existed. It opened the floodgates and we read everything we could get our hands on — Howl, Allen Ginsberg; Gasoline, Gregory Corso; A Coney Island of the Mind, Lawrence Ferlinghetti; Peyote Poem, Michael McClure…

All mind-benders, soul-twisters, heart-openers, foot-tappers, bone-crushers, eye-wideners… and general fine things. I suggest you read them all.

– Ray Manzarek, Light My Fire

Ray Manzarak attempted to join the poets by hypothesizing that Jim Morrison wasn’t really buried in Paris, writing an alternate ending to the Dionysian rock god’s demise.

The organ solo above by Ray Manzarek immortalizes what his percussive musicality on the organ did for rock music. There was no one like Ray Manzarek, with other keyboardists who followed owing a lot to the music revolution his partnership with Jim Morrison set into motion.

Originally published on 5.24.13

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5 Responses to Memorial Weekend Music: The Doors

  1. mjsmith May 24, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Sad to hear Ray Manzarek passed away. I like every Doors album and the live albums and bootlegs too. I was even thinking of buying “L.A. Woman” recently.

    • Taylor Marsh May 24, 2013 at 11:05 am #

      Just added “LA Woman” to the clip reel above.

  2. Joyce Arnold May 24, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    Well you know I love this! I actually remember hearing Light My Fire for the first time, and stopping whatever I was doing to focus, largely, on Manzarek’s playing.

    • Taylor Marsh May 24, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      Yep, SO knew you would, Joyce.

      Manzarek was a marvel.

      XM has done a great job memorializing Manzarek, playing interviews, as well as a lot of The Doors, especially Earle Bailey.

      • Joyce Arnold May 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

        I stopped to listen again in the last few days. I actually do that fairly often, along with other same-era music, but special attention to The Doors since learning of Manzarek’s death.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong