Ray Manzarek was the key to the Doors

Hello, I love you … Ray Manzarek of the Doors. Photograph: Jan Persson/Redferns
Hello, I love you … Ray Manzarek of the Doors. Photograph: Jan Persson/Redferns

I arrived at the music of the Doors, and therefore the genius of Ray Manzarek, in rather circuitous fashion. I was 13, and at that time quite besotted with David Lynch's excellently peculiar TV series Twin Peaks. It stirred in me a passion for twinsets and fir trees, cherry pie and strong coffee, and naturally when I learned that my beloved Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) would be playing Manzarek in Oliver Stone's biopic of the band, I decided that I absolutely had to see the film.

Some weeks later, having failed on numerous occasions to convince the cinema staff that I was old enough to buy a ticket for an 18-certified movie, I conceded defeat and bought the soundtrack instead.

People can get a little sniffy about soundtrack compilations, but at that malleable age this proved a strangely influential album for me. It introduced me to the Velvet Underground, who remain one of my favourite bands, and of course it was also my first immersion in the music of the Doors themselves.

It was an awakening of sorts – to my young ears this was music that sounded otherworldly and full-grown. Unlike the neat, chirpy pop songs I heard on the radio, it sprawled louchely from the speakers. It wasn't the spreadeagled sound of the Stone Roses exactly, though to my mind then it shared a similar rambling expansiveness. Instead there was an intent to it, something blistering beneath.

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Retrieved on 21 December 2018 from https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2013/may/21/ray-manzarek-doors-keys

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