ray manzarek RIP

In the summer of 2007, I was lucky enough to spend an invigorating few hours in the company of the Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek.

Elektra had just remastered many of the band’s recordings and Manzarek was in the UK playing a few gigs and doing promotion.

I’d heard Ray in an earlier interview and just thought his wonderful speaking voice and a bag of records would make for a engaging programme – and so it proved,

The suggestion went into his management, and within days he sat down in a radio studio in London and proceeded to talk eloquently about the music that had influenced him and, in turn, the band he co-founded with Jim Morrison – The Doors.

The programme and its contents are now (I hope) archived away somewhere in the BBC.

But the webpage promoting the programme – ‘Ray Manzarek’s Summer Of Love’ – is part of the online archive, and you can hear extracts from it here.

Ray Manzarek’s Summer Of Love – webpage

The tunes below are four chosen by Ray for the hour-long show, which I can recall.

They provide a flavour of his own love of rhythm and blues, prompted he revealed by his desire to find an alternative to anodyne 50s American music like Patti Page’s (‘How Much Is That) Doggie In The Window.’

Plus two records from 1965 by the Beatles and Them that heralded the impact of mind-altering substances and how a particular sound could help define a song.

The Doors, of course, did their own thing.

But that few hours with Ray Manzarek, who’s died aged 74, certainly helped me fully appreciate how much the past and present informed The Doors journey into a musical future.

Ray Manzarek RIP.


Howlin’ Wolf – Smokestack Lightning

Muddy Waters – Hoochie Coochie Man


The Beatles – I’m Looking Through You

Them – Gloria

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