The passing of founding Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who died on May 20th of complications from his battle with bile duct cancer in a Rosenheim, Germany hospital at age 74, has sent waves of shock and sorrow across four generations of rock fans who sought the rapture of electric wonder through his Vox Continental combo organ during his band’s iconic nine-year run. Manzarek did triple duty as lead instrument, accompanying instrument and the band’s sole bass sound. If Jim Morrison was the words and spirit of The Doors, Manzarek (with all due respect to John Densmore and Robby Krieger) was the sound. He is survived by his wife Dorothy, two brothers, son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren, not to mention his former Doors bandmates: guitarist Krieger and drummer Densmore.
Here are ten videos Glide has unearthed on YouTube chronicling the many twists and turns in the career of this true genius and innovator.
1. The Doors defy NBC suits on The Ed Sullivan Show with "Light My Fire" as they refuse to leave out the line " "girl, we couldn’t get much higher," to the dismay of the show’s host and producer.
2. Manzarek releases his amazing 1973 solo debut The Golden Scarab:
3. The Doors television debut on the Los Angeles-based music show Shebang on KTLA-TV Channel 5 on March 6, 1967 with "Break On Through." Watch Manzarek lay his some of his famous key quotes at :54.
4. The Doors playing "When The Music’s Over" at the Hollywood Bowl 1968. When they originally recorded the song, Morrison did not show up for the session, so the band recorded it with Manzarek singing. Morrison recorded his vocals the next day.
5. Along with sounds effects of thunder and rain, Manzarek utilizes his Fender Rhodes to cull an eerie jazzy effect that makes "Riders on the Storm" perhaps one of rock’s most daring mood pieces.
6, Manzarek’s organ kills throughout“Soul Kitchen”as his driving rhythm motors this over-looked gem.
7. The Doors play an epic version of "The End" at the 1970 Isle of Wight Concert.
8. The Doors reunite with Eddie Vedder on lead vocals for "Roadhouse Blues" at the 1993 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction.
9. The Doors live on as a prog rock trio at Beat Club in 1972 playing their post-Jim number "Ships with Sails. "
10. Manzareks’s smiley keyboard riff on "Touch Me" was lifted from a Four Seasons song, but sets the tongue-wavering tone for this unique Doors tune that featured brass and string instruments.