Ray Manzarek

Ray Manzarek < back to bandmembers

Raymond Daniel Manzarek or Manczarek (born February 12, 1939)

Early life
Ray Manzarek, a third generation Polish descent, is a Catholic. He attended and graduated from St. Rita High School in Chicago and majored in economics at DePaul University. In 1962-65, he studied in the Department of Cinematography at UCLA, where he met another film student named Jim Morrison. Forty days after finishing film school, thinking they had gone their separate ways, they met by chance. Morrison said he had written some songs, and Manzarek expressed an interest in hearing them, whereupon Morrison sang a rough version of “Moonlight Drive.”

The Doors
In January 1966, The Doors became the house band at 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.

The Doors’ first contract was with Columbia Records,in 1965. 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 Italian Continental keys “sticked” and remained “down” without pushing it.

Manzarek occasionally sang for The Doors, including the live recordings of “Close To You,” “You Need Meat (Don’t Go No Further)”, “Who Do You Love” and “Tightrope Ride,” as well a studio outtake of “You Need Meat” from the L.A. Woman sessions, which was included on the 40th anniversary reissue of the album. He also sang on the last two Doors albums, recorded after Morrison’s death, Other Voices and Full Circle.

used source: wikipedia