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Legends of Rock: RIP Doors Keyboardist Ray Manzarek

31 May

Choosing to discuss my admiration for The Doors and the inspiring musical experience they set off in me, is something I can do with great passion!

My rock ‘n’ roll heart sinks again with the passing of The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek on May 20th.

Manzarek was a founding member for The Doors and was an iconic badass on the keys. He truly was a pioneering keyboardist playing bass keys with his left hand while playing organ with his right. I love the classical, jazz and psychedelic influences that he blended into the band’s sound.

According to The Doors official website, Manzarek’s was 74 years old and passed away in Germany from his long battle with bile duct cancer.

The Doors formed in 1965 with the original lineup as:

Jim Morrison – Vocals

Ray Manzarek – Keyboard, Bass (on Keyboard)

Robbie Krieger – Guitar

John Densmore – Percussion

I really like the following quote by Manzarek about performing with The Doors:

“The power existed in every member of The Doors. We all understood that sinking into the rhythm of the music and we all tried to do that and when we all did it together it was invariably an incredible show.”

The Doors music kind of hits you at a certain age and for me it started in my preteen years when I first heard People Are Strange  on the radio and it was so catchy to me and I loved it.

I truly began to feel and understand The Doors music when I got into buying albums in my late teens.

I bought L.A. Woman for Love Her Madly. I remember first listening to that last track on the album, Riders On The Storm  and feeling cool and immersed with The Doors experience.  Waiting For The Sun was another album in my favorites list that blew me away too. The title track Waiting For The Sun is one of my favorite songs of all time.

I’m glad The Doors successfully recorded six studio albums. Even when it all ended after Morrison passed away in 1971, their music still lives on with strong impact!

Years from now teens will still be discovering The Doors with their interest peaked by hearing, “Light My Fire” or “Break On Through” which I still frequently hear on the radio.

An article by Martin Weil from The Washington Post puts the birth of The Doors best stating:

“Morrison sang, Mr. Manzarek liked it, and the Doors were founded.”

One album I choose to pay my tribute to is The Soft Parade. I actually leave this album sitting in my antique record player next to my desk.

The Doors released The Soft Parade in July of 1969 and it carries a mellow eccentric mood.

This was their fourth studio album and according to The Doors official site, critics like Rolling Stone viewed this as a weak album!

I have to disagree because I think The Soft Parade is a gem full of creativity.

Throughout the album I love Morrison’s sultry singing and the offbeat addition of horns in the songs.

I feel so inspired listening to this album like I understand something about rock ‘n’ roll that not every listener could understand.

I wish I could write one verse of musical genius that would come close to The Doors influence but alas I am not a partying creative poet who lived through the 60s either.

The Doors are rock legends and nobody can match them.

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