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The Ray Manzarek Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I've been in a huge Doors mood lately and have been listening to their stuff the past couple of days. My two favorite Doors albums will always be their self-titled debut and LA Woman - their first and last albums, respectively.

    While a lot of The Doors' mysticism and mystique centered around Morrison, I always thought that Manzarek was the truly unappreciated brillance of the band (not to take anything away from Dunsmore or Krieger, who were also great in their own right). It's kind of like how John Paul Jones was the overlooked genius in Led Zeppelin. Manzarek's organ playing is what gave the band its signature sound. I was always impressed with the fluidity of his phrasing too. It never sounded like he was struggling. It was always as if he had total command of his instrument. And let's not forgot that he comped some cool bass lines on the Fender Rhodes.

    He always seemed like the real solid, steadfast cat in the band who kept things together whenever Morrison was unraveling. But he was still hip and a total intellectual as well.


  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    The Doors did continue without Morrison...2 albums: Other Voices & Full Circle. Worth having if you're a fan, IMO.
    ...I think I have seen it cheaper, too.

    The debut + LA Woman are probaby my favourites, too.
    Over the holidaze, I bought/read The Doors by Ben Fong-Torres.

    After Morrison died, the 3 remaining Doors were offered a FIVE-album extension to their contract. After the aformentioned 2 albums, they quit. I did not know that McCartney was thought about as a possible replacement...and Iggy Pop.
    Anyway, I agree with you about Manzarek...he has some nice solo albums out there (The Golden Scarab).
    I'm still a believer that the 4 made it happen-
    Manzarek...total musician into many things (including Classical).
    Densmore...a "Rock" drummer interested in Elvin Jones.
    Krieger...a guy into what is now called World Music (Flamenco, Middle Eastern, India, etc).
    Morrison...a non-musician/poet.

    In short, all 4 were eclectic & diverse in their tastes.
    They were not 'kids'...& they had paid some dues prior to making it.
    They were the avant-garde for awhile.

    It's a Fender Piano Bass (same range as the Fender Bass). A Rhodes is a fullblown electric piano with its own sound.
  3. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I think I remember a documentary where Grace Slick was talking about Morrison being stoned or drunk or both out of his mind and totally incapable of taking the stage - Manzarek just took over, sang everything, and the show went on... It was a classic case of the flashy frontman who gets all the attention, and the quiet musician behind him that actually makes the music work.
  4. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Ahh yes Jim, you are correct that there were a few albums after Morrison. I totally forgot about that. But I guess a lot of people do. :D
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I hear ye...I had (actually, still have) Other Voices on 8-Track (WTH was I thinking?). I bought the Other Voices/Full Circle 2-fer awhile ago.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    That was in Europe...the Airplane & The Doors would take turns opening the other. IIRC, there were other times Morrison was 'unavailable',,,and Manzarek & Krieger did the vocals.
    The Hollywood Bowl concert, a big deal for the band...and Morrison does something just prior to taking the stage (the guys see he's more mellow than usual)...and pisses off the others. I think Jagger was at the show...and was underwhelmed.
  7. Manzarek also gives really good interview IMO. He's definitely NOT a 60s drug casualty -- he's sharp, articulate, witty, insightful and a great storyteller who doesn't puff himself up (Hello, Gene Simmons?).

    This is the first of a 10-part interview on YouTube:

    Hope y'all enjoy!
  8. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    Thanks for the links!
  9. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Agreed. Ray is a great story teller and I've really enjoyed what interviews I've checked out. Seems like a real down to earth person.

    I've always been a huge fan of the Doors from moment one. Not only did they have a unique sound that was thiers, but those guys knew how to craft songs with the best of them. Love the arrangements and the interplay between all of them.
  10. adivin


    Jul 9, 2009
    New Orleans, LA
    Check him out on Daryl's House. On You Tube I think.
  11. FreshTrooperXBL


    Jul 24, 2011
    I agree with everything above. So much mojo in the Doors music!
  12. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Just wanted to add.....even though I didn't start playing bass until 1970, one of the albums that really grabbed me for bass lines was "Strange Days" which was released in 1967. The tone that Doug Lubhan had and the way those lines worked in the songs REALLY grabbed my attention. He mentioned in an article that Ray and Robbie were really helpful when it came to creating bass lines.

    To this day one of my farvorites is the bass in "People Are Strange." If you can, listen real close to how well the bass works with Rays keybord parts. It's a great example of some brilliant interplay between those two. Actually, between all of them. But the bass and keyboards in that song still amaze me.
  13. +1. The long instrumental break in "Light My Fire" never fails to give me chills. I could be giving my mother CPR and I'd stop to listen closely. Ok, not really, but you get the idea.
  14. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I'll +1 that +1. ;)

    I wasn't alive at the time, but from what I understand, the instrumental break got cut out for A.M. radio. :spit: But that's what makes the song so bad ass: It's this otherwise straight-forward 60s pop song written by Krieger that then has this brilliant organ and guitar break that goes on for a couple minutes in the middle.

    The End actually started off as a simple three minute love dirge as well. Then it morphed into the epic we now know when Morrison began improvising at the end (no pun intended) during a live performance.
  15. The CD format deserves credit for mortally wounding "radio edits" of LP tracks.
  16. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    Manzarek and The Doors + Skrillex ftw!!

    search YouTube for their collab "Breakin A Sweat".
  17. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    Guess what?... it's still cut out. Classic rock stations play a longer version , but oldies stations play the cheap short pop song that your parents heard.
  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    "Light My Fire"...also edited for their iconic performance on The Sullivan Show-
  19. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I had that 45rpm.
  20. Ray was responsible for the hypnotic flare of the Doors' sound. Although I love every album, Strange Days is up there as a favorite with the song "When the Music's Over" my all time favorite Doors track. Give it a listen...the lyrics are something else.