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The Doors were truly the first "alternative" pop/rock band. The timeless lyrics will always attract young adults seeking the answers/purpose in life. In the early 80's when I was in high school The Doors were probably the most popular band. They cut across all gender and social/economic status of the school.
BTW, any Doors fans who have not heard some of the more recent CD digital remasters out there are missing something.
I have a recent 2 CD remaster with original + alternate cuts/mixes of L.A. Woman. Several of the originals even that I have heard so many times sounded like new versions so striking was the difference from prior recordings I have heard. That's a rare thing for me with remasters. I often like the results, but seldom do they make me feel like I just heard something new or different for the first time.
A while back there was a thread here entitled "Best Rock Song of All Times, "not the best written or the best musical complexity but the one that [best] represents the rock."
I nominated "Light My Fire" (the full 7 minute version, of course). Ray's keyboard work during the long instrumental segment amazes me.
I was lucky enough to see Ray and Robby in Albany a few years ago. It was truly a memorable show. He was such an ambassador for the band. I sat with Morrison Hotel side 1, and moved on to LA Woman last night. Will start late and finish early, I guess. Always found these lines in the movie funny:
Ray: So let's hear what you have?
Jim: Let's swim to the Moon, baby....
Ray: Those are some great f**kin lyrics man!
Ray was a keyboard wizard. The Doors didn't have a bass player, so Manzarek played all the bass parts, as well as the melody, rhythm, etc.
Ray and Jim Morrison had a bond that allowed Ray to compose and play Morrison's poetry and emotional shadings in terms the rest of us could understand. Everyone has heard "Light my Fire", but "The End" is as haunting a lyric as has ever been written and sung - pure brilliance.
God bless them both - I'm certain they are in the Morrison Hotel sharing memories and spirits together again.
Growing up in So. Central L.A., The Doors were one of the very few non-soul/jazz bands that was considered cool. When I arrived to college, I had 7 albums and 4 of them were Doors. More than the vocals, I was drawn to their music by the keyboards. In classical Greece, the highest honor one could aim for was to be well remembered. Ray Manzarek certainly achieved that. Never heard or read a negative thing about the man as a person either.
Very sad to hear of Ray's passing! His intro to "Light My Fire" is one of the most memorable beginnings of any recording.
Back when "Light My Fire" was getting heavy AM airplay, I fondly recall cruzing in my buddy's '57 Chevy with the 3 or 4 of us providing a background chorus to "Light My Fire". But as adolescent boys are prone to do, we sexualized and made light (no pun intended) of the "Light My Fire" lyrics by singing them as: come on baby "bite my wire". Yeah, in hindsight it was dumb and immature, but it defines the kind of liberating fun and camaraderie that we were experiencing in that old Chevy. Thanks for the memories Ray!
BTW, the 2012 Release of "The Doors: Live at the Bowl'68" on Blu-ray is sonically and visually outstanding, especially when one considers the video recording capabilities of the day! I asked for and received a copy of this DVD for Christmas and have played it several times. Everyone who has has seen it has loved it! My son bought a copy and his friend did also. It's highly recommended!!