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When A Door Closes: Ray Manzarek 1939 – 2013

May 22nd, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor
If, as many say, there would have been no Doors without Jim Morrison, the same can be said of Ray Manzarek. He co-founded the band along with Jim and brought in the two remaining members. With Jim as the exceedingly intriguing and controversial frontman, it was Ray’s keyboards that would weave like pipesmoke through Jim’s unusual lyrics giving the music its unmistakable sound. A sound that would transcend time.
I can’t seem to remember a time when there were no Doors, a staple throughout my adolescent foibles, and later what would become the hallmark of what it was to identify with “cool” and undoubtably thoroughly American, right alongside Mom’s spiked apple pie and our irreverant Bible of verses.
When Jim died, the Doors didn’t. Ray saw to that but he didn’t have to. They commanded the airwaves for years to come, time receding and yet remaining as though (almost) nothing ever happened. We refused to bury our Mojo. After all, rumor had it, he could well be alive in Paris. If this is true, then poor Ray plays alone and somehow I just can’t fathom that.
Ray Manzarek had a tale or two to tell. But the real story is in the music. I hear the opening strains of a familiar tune. You know the one. The keyboards are like the Alpha and Omega, beginning and ending with time eternal. They say when a door closes, another one opens. Ray closed the door and Jim just opened one for him. You know they couldn’t get much higher. Ya hear that Mr. Sullivan?
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2 Responses to “When A Door Closes: Ray Manzarek 1939 – 2013”

  1. Michael Tabor Says:

    What an utterly fascinating yet strange band The Doors were. At times they were simply as good as rock n’ roll can get and on some occasions they were just god – awful (I guess it all hinged upon whether or not the greatest and most interesting frontman in rock history, Jim Morrison, was drunk or stoned out of his mind). Last night I watched the best documentary you’ll ever want to see if you want to know more abut this most interesting, outrageous, one – of – a kind band – The Doors. The name of the documentary film is ‘When You’re Strange’ released in 2009, directed by Tom Dicillo and narrated by Johnny Depp (you must Netflix this – you can stream it too). I’ve read a couple of biographies on Jim and the Doors and thought I’d seen and knew all there was to know about this iconic band. This was one helluva rock n’roll ride (rare footage, new insights, and never – seen b4 interviews) Beware you will see Jim Morrison in all of his “Lizard King” grandeur. Enjoy !!! Great piece , Magdalena.

  2. Michael Tabor Says:

    Some public FB comments:

    Eduardo Assis Hi Mike, what a nice text! Loved it! Cheers my friend!

    19 hours ago · Like..

    Michael Tabor Thanks Ed !!!

    19 hours ago · Like · 1..

    Gary Horowitz Jim may have been the voice but Ray represented the sound…RIP

    8 hours ago · Like · 1..

    Michael Tabor Yes Gary…. Ray M. was simply extraordinary ; what was odd was the Doors didn’t have a bass player and thus Ray had to constantly play the bass line with his left hand and then use only his right hand to churn out those classic melodies. Robby Krieger was also a very underrated guitar player and not to leave out John Densmore, his drumming fit nicely with the Doors’ music with that jazzy rock style of his.

    about a minute ago · Like

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