Monday, May 20, 2013
Ray Manzarek, founder of the Doors, R.I.P
Founder of the group "The Doors" Ray Manzarek, passed on today. He was 74. Ray was the founder of the most incredible and "unique" rock group, in the late 60's, that in my opinion, there has been no other group that has ever sounded like them "ever" and there never will be!. Ray's unique keyboard playing was what made the Doors music sound very unique, when most groups at that time, leaned very heavily into guitar playing and "guitar licks". Jim Morrison's incredible talent, writing songs and singing them. His voice was incredibly different, sexy, deep, screaming out, or rasping, or "snarling", or singing a lovely ballad with his deep voice. The Doors unique sound cannot be "copied". Ray met Jim Morrison while attending UCLA film school. They ran into one another at Venice Beach one day and Jim showed Ray some of the lyrics to his songs and his poems. From there it began, "The Doors" were created. They hung out at Venice Beach a lot, during that time...the "Beginning" of the "Door's"..
I met Jim Morrison during one of my high school years, where they did a concert at our gymnasium at our school. I was in a small "posture gym class" just about 10 of us girls. One of the girls in my class "Terry" knew Jim Morrison, hung out with him and the group and she brought in their first "Light my fire" album, before it had even been played on the radio. We used to listen, sing and dance to it in our gym class, as our teacher rarely showed up, or didn't really care what we did in that class. Terry told me all about Jim, and I had a big crush on him just seeing his photo on the cover of the album, and listening to his voice singing the album in our gym class and loving all the songs. So, when the Doors used our little gym class for their dressing room, Terry introduced Jim Morrison and the rest of the guys in the band to us. I will never forget that moment. Jim had on his tight black leather pants and black leather jacket, and when he was introduced to me, he lifted up my hand and kissed it. I had goosebumps! He was actually quite the gentlemen, meeting the girls in our gym class. I was spellbound and knew this was a moment I would never ever ever forget! Then on lunch break, we attended the Doors concert in the gymnasium. Not many of the kids in school cared for it and booed them a lot. But I just loved them and their music! I knew the Door's were going to be something "big" and 'ahead of their time" and would be famous.
I think it was the principal that must have called the police during the Door's concert. Not sure why. The Door's were quite "out there" compared to most "pop type groups", at that time and as the police came, to "bust them", Jim Morrison became completely "passive" and so they dragged him across the gymnasium floor and out of the gym. So many of the kids in school told me i was "really weird" for liking Jim Morrison and the Doors. They said to me "your sick to like them, they are nobody's". Ha! Only for the song "Light my Fire"and the album to very soon become number one on the "hit list" for a long long time and therein history was made! The Doors became a monumental success. You either loved them or hated them. I love and have memorized every Jim Morrison or Doors songs there are till this day. I also have a book of Jim Morrison's poems titled "The American Night, the writings of Jim Morrison "volume 2".''
Here is part of one of Jim Morrison's poem in the book called "An American Prayer". This is my favorite part. To think these words were written (especially about TV then) so long ago, yet ring so true in the "here and now" is just absolutely incredible! Ray Manzarek created and started the group "The Door's" and Jim was the solo singer, most of the time. Without either of them, there would have been no "Doors" for us to open! Which is why they named themselves "the Door's"..."doors opening into other dimensions, other directions, other paths, other ways...existentially.
R.I.P Ray and thanks for all the music! I know Jim and you will get together and have some great talks in the "otherworld".
An American Prayer
Do you know we are being led to slaughters
by placid admirals
and that fat slow generals are getting
obscene on young blood?
Do you know we are ruled by T.V.?
the moon is a dry blood beast
Guerrilla bands are rolling numbers
in the next block of green vine
amassing for warfare on innocent herdsmen
who are just dying...
Written by James Douglas Morrison (1970-1971)