Remembering Ray Manzarek
5/21/2013 12:13:00 PM
"There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison's words. Ray, I felt totally in sync with you musically. It was like we were of one mind, holding down the foundation for Robby and Jim to float on top of. I will miss my musical brother."
- John Densmore, Source: wmgk.com
The entire MGK air staff mourns the loss of a rock and roll pioneer, Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors. Manzarek's keyboard parts were an integral part of The Doors sound, propelling them to the sales of more than 100 million albums worldwide.
Here are some thoughts from our MGK Airstaff, remembering Ray Manzarek:
"Ray Manzarek was a person that ever member of the show felt close to. Every time he would call in we felt like we were catching up with an old friend. I played those first doors albums so much when I was young that I swore I could hear side 2 leaking through side one. They were a part of my life, soul and culture. Back then we didn't have entertainment shows and channels, we didn't even have Rolling Stone magazine. We got our knowledge of the band, from the band and the lyrics that they wrote. And nobody wrote lyrics like The Doors. I'd put one of those albums on and I was psychedelic and living in California. Not the Beach Boys California, but a new revolutionary California and I was a part of the revolution even on the east coast. The more I think about Ray's death the harder it is for me to comprehend. I'm lucky to say he was part of my life and unfortunately like the song, this is The End." - John DeBella
Here is one of John's interviews with Ray
"I was 11 years old or so when that first Doors LP came out. It stayed on my turntable day and night. Scared the heck out of my mom when THE END would come on. (she wouldn't come into my room if that song was playing!) I played piano and organ quite a bit back then and I was intrigued by the sound created by Ray Manzarek on songs like SOUL KITCHEN and BACK DOOR MAN and of course, LIGHT MY FIRE. In fact, a few years later, I was invited to join a rock band called Freedom because I not only owned a organ but could play the opening riff of LIGHT MY FIRE." - Debbi Calton
"Ray Manzarek was as much the 'voice' of The Doors, through his unique style of playing, as Jim Morrison was. To say he pioneered funky, bluesy, rockin' organ playing in rock songs would be an understatement. Even as a 7 year old Beatles freak, I found myself captivated by the Doors sound, and would almost always home in on Ray's parts on songs like "Light My Fire" and "Soul Kitchen." I never had the opportunity to meet the man, but he seemed like a real coot cat. Plus, he had the best mutton chops in the business." - Andre Gardner
"Ray was an innovator in a time of musical change and innovation. His injection of various musical flavors into the Rock arena was fresh. When the band formed and they didn't have a bass player, he assumed that role using the bass pedals of his organ. No one else way doing that. He helped to propel rock music forward, he also dove head first, as a keyboard player, into the psychedelic void, which gave the Doors their magic. Riding shotgun with Jim, Robby, & John was such a rush that he never wanted it to end. Long after Morrison's death, Ray was all about firing up the cosmic cruiser, and flying further. His musical contributions are his biggest strength, but his storytelling & role as a historian have given us almost as much to cherish. Play on, Ray, play on!" - Ray Koob
Here are some examples of Ray's storytelling:
For Ultimate Classic Rock's list of top 10 Ray Songs, click here