Chat avec Ray
28 janvier 2000

laziass1 says: Who wrote the music for light my fire and how did they come up with it?

Ray_Manzarek: I wrote the music with Robbie Krieger and John Densmore. I tell the story of the creation of "Light My Fire" in my book "Light My Fire--My Life with The Doors" on Putnam. It just came out in paperback before Christmas. I tell the stories of the creation of The Doors, my meeting with Jim Morrison at UCLA, and all of the wild and crazy times of the four Doors together from Venice Beach to New York City. If I do say so myself, it's a great book, and you really ought to read it if you are into The Doors. If you have read "No One Here Gets Out Alive", you have to read my book, "Light My Fire--My Life with The Doors".

blueyes says: how long did it take you to overcome the Doors legacy ?

Ray_Manzarek: I haven't yet....and never will. It's not something to overcome. It's something to live with and enjoy. And love.

griz-25 says: What percentage of the Doors songwriting did you contribute to?

Ray_Manzarek: Twenty-Five percent.

jac_holtzman says: Ray. What was your favorite song to perform live?

Ray_Manzarek: "Light My Fire"! It allowed me and Robbie to really stretch our and improvise. Jim would go off and have a beer, while the 3 of us jammed our heads off. Sometimes, it would last for 15 to 20 minutes. Man! It was fun!

jac_holtzman says: Ray I have so many questions......were you a little jealous of Robbie jamming with Creed at Woodstock? I was!!! I wish you could have joined them!!

Ray_Manzarek: I thought it was great! I was so happy to hear about the great reception that Robbie Krieger received at Woodstock. He certainly deserves it. He has been a very under-rated guitar player. He is a true genius on the frets.

JBM316 says: Hey, Ray! Never thought I'd get to speak with an american legend like yourself. Anyway... Are Danny Sugarmans books on the Doors authorized and legit? Does he know of what he speaks?

Ray Manzarek: Yes. Danny Sugarman's book "No One Here Gets Out Alive" is authorized, but again, you have to read Ray Manzarek's book "Light My Fire--My Life with The Doors". I will tell you about our acid trips and many other very private and personal things.

MIbrandywine says: what was your favorite venue to play Ray_Manzarek: The Filmore and the Avalon in San Francisco. Two psychadelic ballrooms! If you've never been, and you probably haven't been, to a psychadelic ballroom, all I can say is WOW! What an experience!

blueyes says: how do you feel music has changed in the last few decades and do you prefer the old styles or todays more ?

Ray_Manzarek: I prefer both the classic stuff from the 60's, which is truely great music and what I like about today's music is acid jazz, trip hop, and electronica in general. I think that's the wave of the future. Deep and heavy and spiritual electronica.

jac_holtzman says: Ray...sorry for flooding you with questions. What was it like working with Gregory Hines in "Deal of the Century?" Any plans to collaborate with him again?

Ray_Manzarek: That was a real trip! Gregory is a terriffic actor and a really good guy. He's easy to talk to, fun to hang out with, and very intelligent. Ray_Manzarek: not to mention one of the great dancers on planet Earth. Unfortunately, we have no plans to collaborate in the future, although, now that you bring it up, perhaps I ought to give him a call and see if we can put something together. Thanks!

vivvee says: where are all the members of the doors from? and where did u meet?

Ray_Manzarek: Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek met at the UCLA film school. Jim is from Florida. I'm from Chicago. John and Robbie are native born Los Angeles guys. Jim and I met at UCLA, and I met John and Robbie in the Maharaji's meditation center. That was a hip, yoga, montra of sound that we were all into. Again, I tell this whole story in my book "Light My Fire--My Life with The Doors" on Putnam.

HSCOL says:

Ray_Manzarek: I think my favorite album is "Strange Days". It's not necessarily our best album but it's my favorite album. Because we finally we learned how to play the recording studio on the second album. We went from 4 tracks in the first album to 8 tracks on the second album. And it gave us immense freedom and room to be creative. I never had more fun in my life than recording "Strange Days".

griz-25 says: How has Jim's death affected your career aside from the emotional aspect?

Ray_Manzarek: Well, it affected my career by ending The Doors, so I was no longer able to continue as The Doors and went off on my own to record solo albums, produce rock bands, make videos, and write a book. I would give it all up to have Jim Morrison back.

jamr2k says: Whats going on with the grave of Jim in Paris?

Ray_Manzarek: They say it's going to be moved on July 6th, 2001. Jim was put into the ground on July 6th, 1971. 30 years later, his lease has expired. Somehow, in Paris, at the graveyard, it's only a lease, rather than being buried there forever. However, I hope and I think they won't be digging him up. It sure would be grizzly, gruesome, and way too morbid.

Effie says: Looking back at the '60s from today's perspective, do you sometimes wonder how you survived it?

Ray_Manzarek: Believe me, I wonder how people survive today. There was so much love in the 60's, and passion, and searching for truth and spirituality of a truely cosmic nature, that I wonder how people really live today without the values of the 60's.

soap4 says: what are Robbie Kriger and John Densmore doing these days?

Ray_Manzarek: John Densmore has produced a movie, a documentary, about prison life in the south, directed by his wife, Leslie Neal. Robbie Kriger is about to release a jazz / rock album. It's called "Movie Music" and it should be out soon. They are both well.

MaNgOMuFfIn713 says: Ray, i loved your book...it was great and i have grown up on the doors since i was little....there are so many questions i have....but what was it like knowing that the doors influenced america's youth like they did? ...and continue to do today? because im only 17 and to be honest we idolize the doors here...you guys are great! =)

Ray_Manzarek: It's great to know that people your age are hip to The Doors. It means that you guys are all very intelligent because let's face it, The Doors are not trash rock. They require some use of your mind to understand Jim's words and The Doors' music so I'm very proud and very happy to be an influence on the
young people of America. Hopefully, you guys will help us finish the work that we started in the 60's. In other words, changing the world. Making it a cleaner place, a better place, a more loving place in which we can all live in peace, love, harmony and adventure.

simpleWOman40pa says: from the time u guys met actually how long did u jam together & did u go out of the states to tour

Ray Manzarek: It took 6 months of jamming together and playing cheezy gigs on the Sunset Strip before we made it to the Whiskey A-Go-Go. Then we played through the summer of 1966 and were signed by Electra Records in late August.We recorded the first album in two weeks in the middle of September. We went to New York in November to play Ondines, mix the record in New York, and released it in January of 1967.

Jazz_e_Joe says:
Ray_Manzarek: I was influenced by John Coltrain, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Cannonball Adderly, Bill Evans (piano player), Ramsey Lewis (piano player), and Ahmad Jamal. They were my main jazz influences. I was more into the cool school of beebop and model, tonal, Miles Davis style stuff, as opposed to New Orleans music.

Dj-BoReDoM says: dj-boredom asks,ray, do you feel that the soft parade album was too commercial?

Ray_Manzarek: Boy! I wish it was more commercial! It's actually our least selling album. However, perhaps you mean the sound of the horns and strings. I like the sound, myself. We had made 3 albums with the basic four Doors. By the time the Soft Parade came along, we wanted to expand our sound and experiment with playing with other musicians. I think, as an experiment, it works extremely well, and I really like the sound of all of the other instruments. However, it's our least selling album. Oh well!

JEDPREN67 says: How did u arrive at the name the doors

Ray_Manzarek: It has to do with opening The Doors in your mind. Aldous Huxley has a book called "The Doors of Perception". I suggest you read it. That's where the name "The Doors" comes from.

guest-siggie says: How long did it take to make The Third Mind?

Ray_Manzarek: We recorded one evening on video at The Bottom Line in New York City. We performed two sets. Then, we shot all of the other poets and shot Michael and I in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. So all told, the shooting took about 3 or 4 months. Off and on. And then we edited and mixed The Third Mind in about 3 more months. So, all told, around 6 months to put the whole video together.

Carousel says did you have alot of say in the shooting of your video "The Third Mind"

Ray_Manzarek: Yes I did. But, mainly the director, William Tyler Smith, a great young documentary film maker, is responsible for the look of the Third Mind. He was terriffic to work with. And of course, Michael and I had a great deal of input.

blueyes says: How has the overall reaction to your new Video been and do you plan others ?

Ray_Manzarek: The reaction, thank you, has been super. The critics like it and the people who have seen it also like it. So far, The Third Mind has been so well received, that we're definitely thinking of doing another.

CSN2000 says: < where is the new video be available at?>

Ray_Manzarek: It's available at www.amazon.com, www.borders.com, www.mysticfire.com and video stores around the country.

JimMorrison_1 says: When are you going on the road to promote The Third Mind?

Ray_Manzarek: Michael and I have talked about going out, perhaps in March or April. We don't have any definite plans as of yet.

HSCOL says:

Ray_Manzarek: I would like to work with some of the electronic players, like Mobey or D.J. Rodriguez. D.J. Spookey, The Chemical Brothers, Fat Boy Slim, and that kind of musician.

jac_holtzman says: Are Pablo and Waylon getting together anytime soon for some shows? Have you seen the OKB band? They are impressive I think.

Ray_Manzarek: No. Pablo is playing with Nick and Zack Young in a band called "Artificial Intelligence". Their record will be out in May and they are on Dreamworks records and they will be touring in the summer.

guest-palehorse says: hey Ray, how would you compare todays music with the great acid bands as far as the depth of their music, and the skill of the musicians

Ray_Manzarek: Well, guys, you shouldn't ask me questions like that because you know what I think about the musicians of the 60's.....Ray_Manzarek: the spiritual seeking of the 60's and the passion of the 60's.....I sure hope we see it again now that we are in the 21st Century. It's up to you young players to re-invent music and re-capture the passion to save the world. And I know you can do it. Because I've heard some brilliant musicians playing today. I just want it all to come together--lyrics, music, chord changes, rhythumic structure and commitment to the God wihtin all of us. We are all one, and our obligation is to save this plant, before the greed mongers destroy it. When we take on that task, the music will leap forward into the new age. I can hardly wait.

mexicannitmare says: which song of the doors do you think was the best written and well constructed?

Ray_Manzarek: That's an impossible question. No one song, to me, stands out as the best. Each song is unique, different, and exciting to me. I love them all, but I must say I really love "Riders On The Storm".

staindkornbzkt says: Was it hard for people to accept a rock band with no bass?

Ray_Manzarek: Well, not really. We had a bass player. It was my left hand. Playing a big, fat, keyboard piece. So no one ever said to us, "Hey! Get a bass player." Actually, in San Francisco, Stanley Owsley, the king of acid manufacturing, said to me, backstage, at the Filmore, You've got to get a rhythm guitar player. You have too many holes in the music. And I said, No Stanley. Those holes are where infinity shines through, and left him with that thought.

jac_holtzman says: Does Michael McClure feel he and Jim would have collaborated on several projects had he returned from France. It seemed they were off to a creative partnership before Jim left us.

Ray_Manzarek: Absolutely! Jim and Michael were always working on things together. Nothing actually came of it, but had Jim come back from Paris, Man! Michael, Jim and I would be working together. I would have loved that, and so would have Michael. Many times, when we perform, as we do in The Third Mind, I think Jim Morrison would love to be on stage, doing exactly what Michael is doing. Reading his poetry with me playing the piano behind his poetry. It would have been so much fun working with both of them.

Dj-BoReDoM says: james asks, is it true theres a new , more poetic doors movie coming out called'' celebration of the lizard''?

Ray_Manzarek: That is a stage show. What we are doing is trying to put a musical together for Broadway. It will debut in San Diego, put on by the San Diego Reperatory Company, and the first performance will be May 26th, and if I do say so myself, it's terrific. Wait until you hear it and wait until you hear the new arrangements of Doors songs. I think you are going to love it. I know that I do.

^o^RaveN says: The Doors revolutionized rock and its a pleasure to meet you. What was one of the wildest nights that stick out in your mind being on the road?

Ray_Manzarek: How about Miami? Yes! I'd say Miami, Florida, was the wildest night of all of the performances. However, it wasn't the most transendent or the most intense or the most passionate.Those were on other nights all around the country. It's a concept that is hard to understand today. We can't really understand that depth of emotion. We sort of look at things in a rock / wrestling way.....so from that perspective, wild is what we want. How strange that we can't get a little deeper into ourselves and into others to discover the oneness of all things. But I'd say Miami was the wildest of them all. Incidentially, I've got a whole chapter in my book, Light My Fire, telling you what exactly I saw and didn't see in Miami, Florida, on that bizarre and eventful day. Check it out.

one2jest says: is there one moment with The Doors, just one, that stands out more than any other

Ray_Manzarek: Meeting Jim Morrison on the beach. After we graduated from UCLA, and Jim sang "Moonlight Drive", "Summer is Almost Gone", and "My Eyes Have Seen You" and I thought they were the best lyrics I had ever heard for rock and roll songs. And I said to Jim, let's get a rock and roll band together and he said, that's exactly what I had in mind, Ray.

Jillybean says: Who is your favorite musician?

Ray_Manzarek: I guess I'd have to go with two guys---John Coltrain and Bill Evans.

OnlineOutlaw says: In your life, who has inspired you the most?

Ray_Manzarek: Well, living with Dorothy for the last 30 odd years, has certainly been the greatest fun of my life and perhaps and probably my greatest inspiration, too.

guest-mousie says: Do you feel that the same things that inspired you to make music when you first started are what still inspire you today?

Ray_Manzarek: Absolutely! Music is a great vibrational art form. Playing a single note on the piano or organ or guitar or saxaphone or any instrument vibrates the air and if you can harmonize your inner being with those vibrations, Man! What fun! What energy! What Joy!

IvySue says: What do you like most about what you do?

Ray_Manzarek: I do so many things that I think I like best....being alive. It's a lot of fun, isn't it? Aren't you guys having a really good time? Isn't it good to be in the future? Because that's where we are.It's the 21st century. It's the future.And if you are not digging your live, if you are not enjoying yourself, then you really should change something. Stop doing what you are doing and find something that you really enjoy. Life is about having fun. Having a good time. Dancing, singing, enjoying the sunshine, enjoying the good, green plants that grow on this good, green Earth. We should all love this thing! I do. Don't you?

CorvetteGirl says: What do you like least about what you do?

Ray_Manzarek: Not getting it right. Working hard and not getting it perfect.But then, you never get it perfect, do you? Oh! And also......I don't like critics who don't like what I do. Darn them!

CrosswordPuzzler says: What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Ray_Manzarek: I'd say just being here. It's not so much a career as my life but the highlight of my public career would certainly be The Doors.

CrazyDiamond_1 says: Would you advise kids today to get a good solid music training foundation, whether it be piano lessons, guitar, etc?

Ray_Manzarek: What's the alternative? To pick up an instrument and go on stage? You can't. You have to practice. You have to study. You have to learn how to improvise on an e-minor 7th. You have to study because if you don't, you'll be a dummy, and who wants to be a dummy? So if you want to be in a rock and roll band, study hard. Read lots of books. Jim Morrison did. Practice your instrument. Ray Manzarek, Robbie Kriger and John Densmore did. So you do it, too.

webaholic says: Do you have a website where I can get more information on your upcoming work?

Ray_Manzarek: It's at http://www.thedoors.com

Duranomyte says: What would you most like the Doors to be remembered for?

Ray_Manzarek: Good music. Good lyrics. Good poetry. Passionate, intense playing.

NetCafeLive says: Thank you so much for being with us Ray! Unfortunately we are almost out of time. Do you have any parting words for us?

Ray_Manzarek: My words are the same words as Jesus Christ. Love, Love, Love. And as Jim Morrison said.....Love is the Answer. Love each other as you would have others love you. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Man! It's the oldest thing in the world but the hardest to do. If we all do it together, we can certainly change the destiny of America and make it a better place for all of us. That's what we tried to do in the 60's, and I hope that's what we can all continue doing in the 21st Century.Thanks very much!What a great bunch of questions! You guys are terrific.

NetCafeLive: We thank you for participating in our chat tonight, and a very special 'Thank You' to our guest