Bit rate: 320 kps
2. River of madness
3. Game of skill
4. Fives and ones
7. Blues in my shoes
8. New dodge city blues
9. Greenhouse blues
10.Those hits just keep on comin'
11.As you leave
12.An organ, a guitar and a chicken wing
|Birth name||Raymond Daniel Manzarek, Jr.|
|Born||February 12, 1939|
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Genres||Psychedelic rock, acid rock, blues rock, hard rock, blues, jazz fusion, funk|
|Occupations||Musician, Songwriter, Keyboardist, Filmmaker|
|Instruments||Keyboards, Vocals, Piano, Organ, Keyboard bass, Marxophone|
|Associated acts||The Doors, Nite City |
Rick & the Ravens
The Official Site of Ray Manzarek
|Vox Continental |
Rhodes Keyboard bass RMI Electra Piano
Manzarek is listed #4 on Digital Dreamdoor's "100 Greatest Rock Keyboardists of All Time".
Early life and careerManzarek is of Polish descent, born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, as were his parents. Growing up, he took private piano lessons from Bruno Michelotti and others. He originally wanted to play basketball, but he only wanted to play power forward or center. When he was sixteen his coach insisted either he play guard, or not at all, and he quit the team. Manzarek said later if it was not for that ultimatum, he might never have been in The Doors. He went to Everett Elementary School on S. Bell St. and attended St. Rita High School in Chicago.
In 1962–1965, he studied in the Department of Cinematography at UCLA, where he met a film student named Jim Morrison. Forty days after finishing film school, thinking they had gone their separate ways, they met by chance on Venice Beach in California. Morrison said he had written some songs, and Manzarek expressed an interest in hearing them, whereupon Morrison sang a rough version of "Moonlight Drive." Manzarek liked the songs and co-founded the Doors with Morrison right there and then.
Manzarek met drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger at a Transcendental Meditation lecture. Densmore says, "There wouldn't be any Doors without Maharishi."
In January 1966, The Doors became the house band at a club on the Sunset Strip called The London Fog. According to Manzarek, "Nobody ever came in the place...an occasional sailor or two on leave, a few drunks. All in all it was a very depressing experience, but it gave us time to really get the music together." The same day The Doors were fired from The London Fog, they were hired to be the house band of the Whisky a Go Go. Their first performance at the Whisky was with the group Them.
The Doors' first recording contract was with Columbia Records. After a few months of inactivity, they learned they were on Columbia's drop list. At that point, they asked to be released from their contract. After a few months of live gigs, Jac Holzman "rediscovered" the Doors and signed them to Elektra Records.
The Doors lacked a bassist, so Manzarek usually played the bass parts on a Fender Rhodes piano Bass. His signature sound is that of the Vox Continental organ, an instrument used by many other psychedelic rock bands of the era. He later used a Gibson G-101 Kalamazoo (which looks like a Farfisa) because the Continental's plastic keys frequently broke according to Manzarek.
Manzarek occasionally sang for The Doors, including the live recordings of "Close To You." He also sang on the last two Doors albums, recorded after Morrison's death, Other Voices and Full Circle.
Later career and influence
Manzarek has been in several groups since the Doors, including Nite City. He recorded a rock adaptation of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana with Philip Glass, produced and backed Echo & the Bunnymen and Los Angeles band X, played with Iggy Pop, backed San Francisco poet Michael McClure's poetry readings and he has done improvisational composition with poet Michael C. Ford. Ray also worked extensively with "Hearts of Fire" screenwriter and former SRC front man Scott Richardson on a series of spoken word and blues recordings entitled "Tornado Souvenirs".
His memoir, Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors, was published in 1998. The Poet in Exile (2001) is a novel exploring the urban legend that Jim Morrison may have faked his death. Manzarek's second novel, Snake Moon, released in April 2006, is a Civil War ghost story.
In 2000, a collaboration poetry album titled: Freshly Dug was released with British singer, poet/actor and pioneer Punk rocker Darryl Read. Read had previously worked with Ray on the Beat Existentialist album in 1994, and their latest poetical/musical collaboration was in 2007 with the album: Bleeding Paradise.
On August 4, 2007, Manzarek hosted a program on BBC Radio 2 about the 40th anniversary of the recording of "Light My Fire" and the group's musical and spiritual influences.
In April 2009, Manzarek and Robby Krieger appeared as special guests for Daryl Hall's monthly concert webcast Live From Daryl's House. They performed several Doors tunes ("People Are Strange", "The Crystal Ship", "Roadhouse Blues" and "Break on Through (To the Other Side)") with Hall providing lead vocals.
After living many years in Hollywood, Manzarek now resides in Napa County, California in a house he remodeled extensively. He also plays with local bands in the Napa area.
In 2009, Manzarek collaborated with "Weird Al" Yankovic, playing keyboards on the single "Craigslist" which is a style parody of the Doors.
Manzarek was a co-producer on a few tracks for Universal Recording artist, Michael Barber. A track recently hit the internet titled, "Be Ok", on Michael's Universal Records Debut.
In May 2010, Manzarek was recording with slide guitarist Roy Rogers in Studio D in Sausalito. The release was scheduled for the fall.
- The Golden Scarab (1973)
- The Whole Thing Started With Rock & Roll Now It's Out of Control (1974)
- Carmina Burana (1983)
- Love Her Madly (2006)
- Ballads Before The Rain (With Roy Rogers) (2008)
- Translucent blues (With Roy Rogers) (2011)
- His birth name was Raymond Daniel Manczarek. The c was dropped in 1966 when he, Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore signed with Elektra as The Doors.
- Ray wore (and still wears) glasses that are typical of the 1960s.
- In Oliver Stone's biopic The Doors, Manzarek was played by Kyle MacLachlan. Ray has gone on record as saying he enjoyed the performance although he despised the movie, calling it "insidious" in his book.
- The first Doors album included a cover of "Alabama Song," from a 1930s German opera called The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. This cover resulted from Manzarek's playing a record of that opera, sung by Lotte Lenya, to Jim Morrison, and suggesting that The Doors do a rock version of the song.
- The solos in "Light My Fire" are based on John Coltrane's "My Favorite Things." Other examples: a Thelonious Monk line from "Straight, No Chaser" appears in "We Could Be So Good Together", the opening organ passage of "When The Music's Over" is inspired by Herbie Hancock's "Canteloupe Island," and finally the organ solo in "Take It As It Comes" is inspired by Bach. During a May 2006 public performance, Manzarek named Erik Satie as an influence.
- He is known for playing the keyboard while shaking his head and not looking at the keys.
- In a televised interview, Manzarek advised listeners to "open the doors of consciousness... but stay away from white powder!"
- He played "some Psychedelic Guy from the Sixties" in Body or Brain's music video Be What You Can Be