Tag Archives: ray manzarek

The Music Is Over; Ray Manzarek Has Died (5/20/2013)

It would seem that another incredible musician has left us as the news circulated earlier about the passing of the great Ray Manzarek, legendary keyboardist and founding member of The Doors.

Photo - Ray Manzarek

I’ve copied the official statement from his publicist Heidi Ellen Robinson Fitzgerald;

LOS ANGELES, CA – May 20, 2013 — Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away today at 12:31PM PT at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek, and his brothers Rick and James Manczarek.

Manzarek is best known for his work with The Doors who formed in 1965 when Manzarek had a chance encounter on Venice Beach with poet Jim Morrison. The Doors went on to become one of the most controversial rock acts of the 1960s, selling more than 100-million albums worldwide, and receiving 19 Gold, 14 Platinum and five multi-Platinum albums in the U.S. alone. “L.A.Woman,” “Break On Through to the Other Side,” “The End,” “Hello, I Love You,” and “Light My Fire” were just some of the band’s iconic and ground-breaking songs. After Morrison’s death in 1971, Manzarek went on to become a best-selling author, and a Grammy-nominated recording artist in his own right. In 2002, he revitalized his touring career with Doors’ guitarist and long-time collaborator, Robby Krieger.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” said Krieger. “I’m just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him.”

Manzarek is survived by his wife Dorothy, brothers Rick and James Manczarek, son Pablo Manzarek, Pablo’s wife Sharmin and their three children Noah, Apollo and Camille. Funeral arrangements are pending. The family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, please make a memoriam donation in Ray Manzarek’s name at www.standup2cancer.org

Photo - The Doors
The Doors: Densmore, Krieger, Manzarek & Morrison (1966)

While I was too young to see The Doors in concert based on my vintage, I can honestly say that the keyboards of Manzarek were probably the very first that I remember hearing as a young fan of music and while I eventually moved into the Metal side as time went by; there was no mistaking the undeniable influence and magic of his signature sound. As a matter of fact, as I write this sentence down I hear his influential notes in my head. It seems as though it just comes to you. Thank you Ray Manzarek for being such a player and for setting a standard that has inspired so many and will continue to do so long after your passing. May you Rest In Peace and may your family, band mates and worldwide friends find some comfort despite the sadness. Please say hello to Jim for all of us.

Learn more about the great Ray Mazarek via his Wikipedia entry HERE.

“Live At The Matrix 1967” by The Doors

Artist: The Doors
Title: “Live At The Matrix ‘67”
Label: Rhino Entertainment
Release Date: 11/18/2008
Genre: Rock
Rating: 4/5

As someone who grew up listening to Rock & Roll and ended up remaining a fan of the genre for most of his adult life since that time, I have to say that it’s hard for me to imagine The Doors as a band who were not always famous but yet this is exactly what the listener will find when they begin spinning ‘Live At The Matrix 1967”. The release is a long revered bootleg that has existed since being recorded but it is only now that these tapes have been made available in an officially sanctioned pristine remastered edition and once you hear it you will agree that this has been too long in coming. “LATM1967” takes the listener inside a small 100 or so capacity club where The Doors would perform for two nights and according to the releases information the guys in the band were pretty much playing to an empty room. It sounds shocking to believe that but it is true and this was taking place only a few short weeks before the bands second single “Light My Fire’ would make them superstars. The fact that they were performing to themselves for the most part doesn’t show on the recording and instead finds the band focused and energetic where needed and loose and grooving at the other points. It clearly is one of those moments where you wish you could have been a fly on the wall to absorb this bands greatness at its earliest stages. Singer Jim Morrison is much more flexible with his poetry during songs like “The End” and its fantastic to hear them jamming out on Blues standards like “Who Do You Love” and “I’m A King Bee” (two staples from the book of Bo Diddely and Muddy Waters respectively).
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