“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