Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday Night At The Liberal Curmudgeon: Remembering Ray Manzarek

The keyboard of Ray Manzarek (1939-2013), who passed away on Monday, was as defining a sound for The Doors as the vocals of Jim Morrison. As depicted in Oliver Stone's movie "The Doors" (1991), Manzarek met Morrison by chance on the beach in Los Angeles, and the two decided to form a band. Manzarek played both the bass and organ lines, as shown in the following from "Light My Fire." Watch Manzarek perform a passage from the most famous and mesmerizing organ solo in rock:

2 comments:

Michael J. Mand said...

Legend has it that the main composer of "Light My Fire" was guitarist, Robbie Krieger, even though, credit is given to the entire band. This little clip you've chosen is a great example of what sets some musicians apart from others. I have to assume that Krieger did not write the organ part for Manzarek note for note - that the solo was clearly the brainchild of Manzarek himself. It may not be the most technically difficult organ part ever performed, but it is pure genius in its simplistic beauty and recognizability. (I think I just made up a word.) If that was all he did, it would cement his position in music history. Thankfully, that was not all he did. His overarching achievement was that he created the distinctive Doors sound that has only been duplicated by unimaginative and unnecessary tribute bands. The Doors had a unique sound and Manzarek was the one most responsible.

Jeff Tone said...

Agreed about Manzarek being the linchpin to The Doors' sound. Not sure that his solo was "simplistic." I'm not a keyboardist, but his solo was indeed mesmerizing.