The Doors were an American rock band, active in the late 1960s and early 1970s and often considered as pioneers of acid-rock, blues-rock and psychedelia. The Doors comprised vocalist Jim Morrison, guitarist Robby Krieger, keyboardist Ray Manzarek and drummer John Densmore. The Doors released nine studio albums, many of which achieved platinum status, and left a trail of memorable singles including 'Light My Fire', 'Break on Through (To the Other Side)' and 'Riders on the Storm'. Throughout their career The Doors exuded an aura of 'sex, drugs and rock'n' roll', culminating in Morrison's death in 1971.
Early Days: Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek met at the UCLA Graduate School of Film in California and decided to form a band after Morison impressed Manzarek with an original poem entitled 'Moonlight Drive'. Manzarek, who was playing in another band at the time, poached John Densmore and Robby Krieger from the Psychedelic Rangers. Bassist Pat Sullivan, along with other musicians, helped the band to record a demo. By the end of 1965 the band had chosen a name (inspired by Aldous Huxley's book 'The Doors of Perception'), the line-up was complete, and The Doors were born.
In 1966 The Doors began playing live and supported Van Morrison's group Them at the Whisky a Go Go on Sunset Strip. On the recommendation of Love's Arthur Lee they were snapped up by Elektra Records. Later that year, The Doors recorded their debut album and in January 1967 'The Doors' was released, reaching number two in the US chart. Although the lead single 'Break on Through (To the Other Side)' didn't break into the Top 100, its follow up 'Light My Fire' hit the number one spot. At the time The Doors were grouped with other 'counterculture' bands such as Jefferson Airplane and The Byrds.
Success: The Doors' second album 'Strange Days', released in October 1967, was also well received, with the singles 'People Are Strange' and 'Love Me Two Times' both climbing high in the charts.
By the time their next album, 'Waiting for the Sun', was released in 1968, however, Morrison was drinking heavily and many of The Doors' shows were descending into riots. Morrison was arrested for public obscenity and disorderly conduct, and The Doors' first European tour ended with his drug-induced collapse in Amsterdam. 'Waiting for the Sun' featured Morrison's mythical alter ego, the 'Lizard King', and spawned the number one single 'Hello, I Love You'.
Morrison's on-stage behaviour became increasingly erratic, veering between total disinterest and emotional outbursts, often screaming at the audience. Following a particularly outrageous gig in Miami, Florida, a warrant was put out for Morrison's arrest, causing promoters to cancel The Doors' upcoming shows.
'The Soft Parade' was released in June 1969 and although the first single to be taken from it, 'Touch Me', reached number three in the charts, successive singles failed to do as well. 1970 saw The Doors release their fifth studio album, 'Morrison Hotel', which steered away from the previous album's experimental territory, and towards a heavier blues-rock sound. The Doors continued in this vein with 1971's 'L.A. Woman' which produced the top twenty singles 'Love Her Madly' and 'Riders on the Storm' and was warmly received by critics and fans alike.
During the summer of 1970 The Doors performed at the Isle of Wight Festival alongside Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and Joni Mitchell. In December that year, at the Warehouse in New Orleans, The Doors played their last ever show, during which Morrison had a breakdown on stage. Consequently, The Doors decided to retire from performing live and Morrison moved to Paris to concentrate on his writing.
Post-Morrison: Jim Morrison's body was found in the bathtub in his apartment on 3rd July 1971. Although it was concluded that he died of a heart attack, rumours still circulate about the exact cause of his death at the age of twenty-seven.
In October 1971 the remaining members of The Doors, with Krieger and Manzarek now on vocals, released the album 'Other Voices'. This was followed by the final Doors' album 'Full Circle' in 1972.
The Doors continued to record as a trio and even toyed with the idea of recruiting Iggy Pop, but the band eventually split in 1973. Five years later, The Doors reunited to release 'An American Prayer', an album containing music recorded to accompany Morrison's poetry.
Numerous live albums, box sets and compilations by The Doors have been released over the years and, in 1991, Oliver Stone's film biography of the group, starring Val Kilmer as Morrison, was released, sparking a renewed interest in the band.
Every year, 25 recordings of cultural significance are selected to be preserved forever by the U.S. Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry.
Variety reported the Library’s selections for 2014 (selections are always for the year before), and they included a diverse range of albums, singles, spoken word and speeches.
Radiohead rendered as Lego figures!
In a positively packed week for news, The Doors' keyboard pioneer Ray Manzarek sadly passed away, while George Michael cheated death by falling out of a speeding car. Justin Bieber was once again in the headlines for various discrepancies.
End of the Night: Tributes were paid this week to Ray Manzarek, pioneering keyboardist with The Doors who died in Germany aged 74. He formed the band with lead singer Jim Morrison after a chance meeting in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, and the pair went on to create some of the finest rock music in history.
Yukkk! Taylor Swift inadvertently created internet gold this week after making a serious "Yukkkk!" face when her pal Selena Gomez embraced with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber backstage at the Billboard Music Awards 2013. The whole thing was caught on camera - and it's hilarious.
Organ player had been fighting cancer.
“Tonight, Monday May 20th, The Whisky A Go Go, The Roxy, The Viper Room and The House Of Blues on The Sunset Strip will all dim their lights at 9:31PM PDT in honor of Ray Manzarek. Ray sadly passed away last night in Germany at 9:31PM” so reads a message on the official Facebook page of The Doors. It comes, of course, in the wake of the sad death of the band’s co-founder and keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who passed away yesterday after a battle with cancer, aged 74.
Manzarek’s influence cannot be underestimated; forming The Doors in the mid 60’s with the iconic Jim Morrison, the keyboardist and organ player revolutionised the psych rock sound with his Fender Rhodes piano playing the part of the bass notes instead of the band having a bass player. The sound came to be copied – right until this day – by psych band from around the world, while The Doors themselves became one of the most influential bands in the world in general, thanks to their mix of old school rock & roll, blues and trippier tendencies that took in a whole range of genres. Manzarek’s best known moment on a Doors recording will undoubtedly be the winding organ riff on six minute epic ‘Light My Fire’, but he worked with several others and on his own to various effect, including trying to help save the career of a then-ailing Iggy Pop in the mid 1970’s, as well as producing for Liverpool-based post-punk group Echo & The Bunnymen in the early 1980’s.
It will be records like The Doors and Morrison Hotel that Manzarek will be remembered for, though, for performances at The Whisky A Go Go during that group’s early career, and for his dazzling organ playing that added a finesse to Morrison’s animalistic howls.
Continue reading: RIP Ray Manzarek: Doors Man's Influence Cannot Be Quantified
The iconic keyboardist has passed away in Germany
Ray Manzarek, the keyboard player and co-founded of The Doors with Jim Morrison, passed away at a clinic in Germany Monday (May 20), according to a post on the band's Facebook page. He was 74-year-old.
Manzarek death was caused by bile duct cancer, which the music legend had kept quiet from the public in the build up to his untimely demise. Ray was a founding member of the legendary rock group that formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, effectively ending with the death of iconic frontman Jim Morrison in 1971. The band did perform and release music again in various other guises after, with a variety of differing frontmen. He is portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan in the Oliver Stone biopic of the band.
Continue reading: Ray Manzarek Passes Away Following Hidden Battle With Cancer
Johnny Depp appears to be forging a new career for himself as ‘surprise guitarist’ for some of the world’s biggest rock artists.
OK, so we have scant evidence on which to be basing this claim but there are at least two incidences in the recent past on which we are building our case. On Thursday (November 30, 2012), Depp appeared onstage at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, according to People.com, where he lent a hand to Alice Cooper, and knocked out a few riffs for the veteran rocker.
Dressed in a striking black hat, adorned with feathers, a striped black shirt and jeans and an elaborate beaded necklace (he never has quite shaken that Captain Jack Sparrow look, has he?), Depp joined Cooper for a few covers. They played a version of ‘Break on Through (To the Other Side)’ by The Doors before charging through a version of ‘Revolution’ by The Beatles and, just to add that Wayne’s World vibe, they then ploughed through ‘Foxy Lady,’ by Jimi Hendrix. A source said “Johnny was in great spirits. He was really happy and at ease, especially on stage with the rest of the band."