Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In Memoriam: Ray Manzarek

The Doors are certainly one of the most significantly influential bands to shape my youth.  I've been accused of being born in the wrong generation more than once in my life.  In the 90's when all my friends listened to grunge, techno and contemporary music I found myself tuned into bands from the 60's and 70's.  The Doors however are timeless and transcend all definitions and labels in music.  Ray Manzarek was a founding member of the band everyone loved to hate.  They were the Judas Priest and the Marilyn Manson of the 60's surrounded by protest and reviled by parents across the country.  Their fusion of jazz, the blues and the spoken word gave the entire planet a double-take.  The legend of their music will last forever.  That mad orchestrated jazz trip even today reveals different things to me as I revisit the albums time and time again.  Tonight was no different as I listened to Strange Days, Waiting For the Sun and some live rarities while I paid tribute to Mr. Manzarek, keyboardist for The Doors who the world lost today after a long and illustrious life contributing to the world of the arts.  Here is my portrait which I began sketching after work tonight In Memoriam for one of my favorite musicians.

Rest in Peace Ray

Portrait of Ray Manzarek (inks on bristol / 2013 / 5in x 7in)



29 comments:

  1. Nice bit about Manzarek.

    Great keyboard virtuoso!

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    1. Thanks Tom... I appreciate the comment!

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  2. That's a beautiful piece man. Well done.

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    1. There was plenty of rich music to inspire me.

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  3. Quite rightly define it as without it there would be The Doors. Good tribute you do on your blog. regards

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    1. Absolutely. They wouldn't have been the legends they were without Ray!

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  4. AnonymousMay 22, 2013

    RIP Ray, you were one hell of an interesting guy and a fabulous musician. Your storytelling, that's another thing you were amazing at! I hope you meet back up with your old buddy Jim, you've done a great job over the years of keeping his spirit alive. WELL DONE!

    (great painting of Ray, by the way...just awesome!)

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    1. Spirited Anonymous, I love Ray's storytelling as well. The internet is rich with interviews which give such great insight into the band's experiences and who Jim really was.

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  5. jim goddardMay 23, 2013

    Met Ray when he arrived for a Gig in Kitchener Ontario Canada last August.(Manzarek/Rogers Band)Asked him to sign some stuff,he said sure I have come all the way here just to Fuc--- sign your shi--.Oh no I thought.
    Well he signed and took a photo with me and I thought that would be that.Went to the show(awesome)encore was "Riders on the storm"half way in the Sky opened up and poured for 30 minutes(CREEPY)1.5 hours later me and the wife are in the packed Hotel Lounge.When a limo pulls up with Ray,he pushes pass a bunch of Dealers looking for autographs.He walks into the Lounge swearing about how there is nowhere to sit.Me and the Wife have a booth for 5.I offer him my chair and sit next to my Wife.He accepts and looks at me with curiosty.I said I met you when you arrived this afternoon.Yes I remember,he said,sorry for ambushing you I said.No you`re not he said.The Waitress finally comes over and he says he wants a Hot Toddy but would settle for an Irish Coffee.I told her to put it on my bill.we began to chat,I look over at my Wife and give her the look( is this really happening)1 hour later he thanked us for the chair and the conversation and offers my an Artist drawing(of himself) he was given at the Venue.I gladly accept ,he said he would sign it if only he had a pen.Within about a tenth of a second I produce a Silver ,Gold and Black Sharpie.He laughed and asked if I weanted it personalised.He said goodnight and left out the back way.Ran into him again in the morning as they were getting ready to leave for the Airport.I thanked him for hanging out with us,he said the pleasure was his.He hugged my Wife goodbye and we waived to the Boys as they drove away.Greatest Rock and Roll memory!!!! R.I.P. Ray you`ll be missed.

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    1. That's a terrific story Jim- thanks so much for sharing. You know, I'm sure he had to have a dry sense of humor about autographs after signing them for nearly 50 years! So cool you got to share a table with him and some conversation. Many of us wish to just be a fly on the wall to hear such a brilliant mind speak but you got to experience it first hand!

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  6. I would first like to say, Love the picture! Excellent job.

    Ray was a True Renaissance Man! Not only was he a fantastic keyboardist, he was also a brilliant filmmaker, writer, producer, performer and humanitarian. Not only was I fortunate enough to meet him on several occasions, I was blessed to receive a vision on paying tribute to The Doors. After I conceived it, I got it to him and he loved what I created. As a fan, as a creator, words cannot describe my gratitude to have this experience. Lets hope someone helps keeps his story alive through out the years. http://youtu.be/7TPZHk8WW1w or http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8F722F4FF6ED9E44

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    1. I'll check them out! Thanks for the compliment- it was my way of trying to carry out his legacy through art as he did for Jim and their artistic vision throughout his long and influential life.

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  7. This looks awesome!

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    1. Thanks- I was worried about pumping it out spur-of-the-moment but maybe I did Ray some justice from the feedback.

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  8. Jim Goddard jimanddeb1@hotmail.comMay 24, 2013

    It was interesting to sit with him and see what he goes through.I have met many Rock Stars over the years ,but I usually get my Autographs and a quick pic and that`s where it ends.He was left by accident with no Limo to pick him up for an Hour and a half.The temperature had dropped after the rain.He was quite upset.All he wanted to do was get a quiet drink and warm up and relax.As we tried to talk we were interupted more times than I can count.The dealers that he passed on the way in were now in the Lobby but reluctant to enter the lounge for fear of being kicked off the property.He finally had someone tell them to come in for a quick hello but no photos and no autographs.@ teenage boys came in and bowed at his feet like he was the Messiah.Then came the dealers scrambling to pull out albums and photos,some already signed by Kreiger and Densmore.He almost lost it,They took off,accept one guy would not give up(will you sign this one,how about this one,can I send it to your Lawyer to be passed on(OMG)I stood between him and Ray and told the guy I would be signing them and making them worthless if he didn`t leave him alone like he had asked.He was about to ruin my chance encounter with a Rock Legend and that was not happening!!!After he finally left I sat back down and Ray said I could be his Bodyguard for the rest of the night.Fine by me I said.Being a Rock Star is not all Glitz and Glamour.

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    1. Indeed Jim. Especially in today's society here in the states. We've reached a fever pitch of celebrity worship where most of the people who confront them as fans don't want an intelligent conversation, just a photo op. Glad you got to have such an exchange despite the circumstances.

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  9. Your artwork is really original. Thanks for the tribute to Ray Manzarek. Good art like good music lives forever. Cheers...Paul (A.O.O.F.C)

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    1. I appreciate the eternal thoughts!

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  10. I am glad you are respecting Ray in your great drawings. I loved the man from afar. His wonderful, capulating keyboards in Riders on the storm motivated me to buy an electric piano and teach myself. I have since been playing music all my life. Have a listen if you like on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/rwc/id645415374
    or my song cast page http://www.songcastmusic.com/profiles/RWC

    Riders on the Storm is still my #1 song of all time. I loved Ray as a person as well. He was grounded, but still hip. He was a real person, an achiever and a great muso. RIP Ray from RWC in Australia

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    1. Thanks for the feedback from Down Under! Riders on the Storm really showed what Ray brought to the group. I'll check out your song cast RWC- stay creative!

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    2. Thanks Mate

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  11. A completely unique style that grounded Morrison's mysticism, pulled in the blues and provided a forum for Kreiger to develop his sound. And one cool cat to boot . . .

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    1. Indeed Frazer- couldn't agree more.

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  12. AnonymousMay 25, 2013

    ...by Another Door closed from the Polish forum on Topix ..

    Brant ... a beautiful job of capturing the spirit of Ray in particular and the sound of The Doors in general.

    The reason why their music is as valid today as it was then, is simply because they tried and succeeded in resonating with the Source. All their music is imbued with Shakti, Tao, God .. whatever your preferred flavour. It's set in the material world but the words and the music transcend waaaay beyond. It does indeed open both the mind and the heart.

    Ray provided the foundation of those vibes. He was the flame which burned within. That flame may appear to die, but really it will be here well after we're all long gone.

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    1. Their music will live forever as long as their are ears to hear it. Ray took a very spiritual path in his life, veering off from the destructive path Jim was on. Glad he was around to carry on as the torch-bearer for the band's legacy.

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  13. Hi, you commented on my online article about Ray. Thanks for that! The Doors are easily one of my favorite bands. I can relate with being told that I was born in the wrong generation as I'm only 18. It's really hard listening to music most everyone else is listening to when music like The Doors exists. A lot of today's music pales in comparison. I got to see him and Robby perform last year and it was definitely an experience I won't forget. Your portrait is really cool and so is the rest of your art!

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    1. Celene, I'm delighted to hear the band making their way into an even younger generation than myself. It must have been incredible seeing them play in person!

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  14. This year experienced a great loss with the death of Ray Manzarek. I don't think a day has passed since May 21 that I have not thought of him. He and Jim Morrison left a great legacy for those of us who are fans of The Doors.

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    1. Thanks for the nice comments about my work Joanne and for sharing my portrait of Jimbo on the Jim Morrison Project!

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