RIP Ray Manzarek and When You're Strange

Ray Manzarek the organist from The Doors passed away yesterday. The Doors did not have a bass player, so Manzarek often played bass lines with his organ. He was a jazz freak (along with drummer John Densmore) and tried to pull in as many external influences (not just different genres of music, but art and film as well) into his style of playing. Manzarek was a grad student at UCLA Film School when he met Jim Morrison. Yeah, two film geeks got together, ate some acid, and eventually formed The Doors, a name inspired by one of my favorite authors Aldous Huxley. The played some crazy shows. They wrote a couple of hit songs. They ate too many drugs and drank too much booze. Morrison had an epic meltdown. The rest is history.

Here is a link to a thorough interview with Manzarek discussing his film school days and Jim Morrison's fledgling career as an experimental filmmaker.

The video below is Part 1 (of 7) of the documentary on The Doors titled When You're Strange. Watch it ASAP before the YouTube police takes it down...

Watch Part 2 and the rest of the documentary here.


Ray's playing was a staple of The Doors. He'll certainly be missed after such a long and fruitful career helping to create such haunting music. The Doors' songs opened my mind to other realms of possibilities and cleansed my perception. I paid tribute to Ray when I heard of his passing by creating a new portrait of him and some melting doors which you can see on my artist's blog at Drop by and let me know how The Doors influenced you too.

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