Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In Memoriam: Ray Manzarek

The Doors: Light My Fire (live)

Ray Manzarek, the Doors' keyboard player passed away in  May 2013.

Granted, the Doors' lead singer- Jim Morrison - commanded top billing during their heyday; it was Morrison who drew the crowds, but, without Manzarek's keyboard, the Doors would not have been the same. At his passing, his ex-bandmates said, "... there was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison's words", and "[he was] ... totally in sync with you musically".

Krieger, Densmore and Manzarek individually rarely rank high on today's musicians' lists of <the best>. It's generally as a band that they get the credit they deserve for laying some of the paving stones of today's rock music. Morrison is remembered for his "outre" style/personality; the rest of the band .. for being members of the Doors [right place/right time].

Manzarek - along with Krieger - continued playing after The Doors disbanded. We see him touring/performing until fairly recently: into his 70s. But check out the linked video from '68, where he bangs out a major part of the song on a primitive piano [extra credit points if you can name the keyboard brand?] At this time, Morrison appears not to have not yet hit his "prime/stride" - you can see that he is almost there, but not quite yet. Ray is doing most of the work. Clearly, however, Morrison is showing his (shortlived) potential.

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