Morrison meets Manzarek, starts The Doors

Young Jim Morrison, circa 1964

This article was written by Roland Ellis and published by Gaslight Records on December 22, 1965.

July 8, 1965 – Raymond Daniel Manzarek Jr. was meditating on LA’s Venice Beach when a guy he’d known at film school approached and said hi. The guy was 22 year old college dropout, James Douglas Morrison.

The pair got to talking. Manzarek had been performing a lot with his band Rick and The Ravens, while Morrison had been living on a friend’s roof (Dennis Jakob) and writing songs. When Manzarek asked him to sing something, Jim ran through a verse from “Moonlight Drive”. Manzarek was impressed and reportedly declared on the spot that the pair should start a rock band and make a million dollars.

The Doors were born.

It’s a great story; rock and roll folklore, even. But whether it was an altogether chance meeting, as legend has it, is still up for debate.

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