Tag Archives | Ray Manzarek

Ray Manzarek Breaks Through

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Sad news tonight for rock fans: The Doors’ keyboard player Ray Manzarek died on Monday after a long battle with bile duct cancer. Manzarek brought jazz influences to The Doors’ brand of dark, poetic rock and held down most of the bass duties on stage and in the studio – playing a keyboard bass with his left hand and an organ or electric piano with his right. Manzarek had a jovial, engaging persona, but was also known for his controversial and obstinate relations with his surviving bandmates and the band’s music. In this Los Angeles Times article, Doors drummer John Densmore remembers his friend:

“There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words,” Densmore said through a spokeswoman. “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.

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(Reminiscences from) The Music Scene in LA in the Early Eighties

Ray Mankarek, keyboards player of the Doors, at his home beside his beautiful blonde piano – March 1984

I have recently published The Forbidden Book, a novel co-written with Joscelyn Godwin, the noted scholar of western esotericism. Before publication, when our publisher was looking for blurbs, the name of Gary Lachman came up, himself a distinguished author in the field. He read the book and wrote a wonderful blurb. Then I noticed on Google that he went under another name, too: Gary Valentine, which opened the floodgates of memory. The Gary Valentine? The bass player for Blondie? We used to know and frequent each other in LA in what must be, for both of us, another life. I wrote to him to thank him for his blurb and refresh our friendship; he replied, “Dear Guido, my God it’s a small world! Yes, I remember meeting you and Stenie a few times back in the early 80’s with Lisa.… Read the rest

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