||The phone rang,
Dorothy answered it.
yeah, thats the photographer guy.
||I stop the tape
and wait until Ray has finished the call.
is. Back to the video L.A. Woman on
Dance On Fire. Theres a, you
know, heavy sexual aspect to the sentence,
you know, Mr. Mojo Risin. And
you did the visuals for that, you know, with the
mushrooms coming out of the ground
and stuff like that
Rising, just nature. Thats, oh,
Thats not sexual, its just
nature-worship. It just happens to
look like a moist penis coming out of the ground,
sure it does.
erection, right. And then the flower opens, yes,
of course, right. Right. The eternal return,
springtime, fecundity, ah, you know.
Life, the creation of life. And life is created
sexually, all of life is created sexually, and
isnt it wonderful?
definitely is, yeah. What does Jim sing in that
song exactly? Ive never figured it out.
Does he sing, riding, riding, or
all of em.
quite hard to
Going ride in, ride in,
ridin ridin, right in, right
in, yeah, he does all of it, right. I think
all of those thoughts were in his
mind at the same time, and so its kind of
hard to tell exactly what hes saying, but
hes saying all of those things,
right in, right in,
ridin, ridin. So
hes saying all of it, but definitely going
ridin ridin, going
ridin, going right
did you get those scenes from? Are they some
outtakes from the film "Koyaanisqatsi"?
well, its from the same house, its a
stock footage house. There are places in town
that you can go to and buy stuff thats
already been shot and "Koyaanisqatsi"
used a lot from the same place. Its called,
I forgot the name of the place, Energy
or something like that, and its stock
footage. If you need a shot of the Eiffel Tower,
instead of sending a film crew to France you go
to a stock footage house and say, I need a
shot of the Eiffel Tower, what do you have,
and they show you various shots of the
Eiffel Tower. So thats what we did, we
said, Show us time-lapse photography of
nature like flowers opening up, and then they
us a whole bunch of stuff. And when I saw the
mushroom I said, Yeah, were
definitely gonna use the mushroom along with
idea! You guys also used the Adagio.
Is this the recording from The Soft
right, right, right.
record this one with the guys together in the
yeah. And a string track, right. Bruce
Botnicks father was a classical violinist
and he was the conductor as they call it, of the
session and he had a bunch of classical string
players he worked with over the years. And we all
came down, we all played it together,
and that was fun!
so, yeah. What instrument did you play on that?
play the clarinet.
Bow-ow-ow-ow-ow, thats what I play.
see. Good. Back to Rick and The Ravens; in
No One Here Gets Out Alive it says
that you had a repertoire of about 25 songs.
Rick and The Ravens?
Is that correct?
possible. I mean, you know, the few songs that we
have on that AC/DC with The Doors
bootleg you gave me, all the recorded
songs, yeah, Rick and the Ravens had a lot of
songs, cos they were a surf band and they
played a lot. And then we did a couple of
songs together, a sort of original compositions,
and then we did a couple of blues songs. So when
Id get on stage, mainly what wed
do is Blues. Wed do, you know,
Crawling King Snake, and King
Bee, a bunch of Chicago-Blues.
And my brother Jim played harmonica, a great harp
player, and he usually played piano with Rick and
the Ravens, and then Id get
on stage. I would play piano and he would play
harmonica and wed do our Chicago-Blues set.
|The Rick and The Ravens
fun at the Turkey Joint West, the
place in Santa Monica where Rick and The Ravens
played, when the guys from the
film school would come down and Jim would come
occasionally with a lot of other
guys, and then Id do invite them
on stage to sing and that was, you know, as far
as I know Jims first appearance on stage,
and we did Louie, Louie and things
was this Turkey Joint West?
Santa Monica. Around 2nd
about two blocks off the ocean,
approximately 2nd and
Arizona, in that area.
Ye Old Kings Head now.
||Is it that
Kings Head Pub? Theres a
pub there, an English pub called
Kings Head. And thats
where the Turkey Joint West was.
Porn shop next door to it (laughs), and they
didnt have a liquor license, but they sold
hard liquor anyway, and they had beer and wine,
and they had wine coolers, and we used to get
drunk on these God awful. Wine with Piña
Colada-mix in it.
that sweet stuff
God. Sweet wine and sweet syrupy kind of
uh, terrible stuff. But it was great, it kept us
going through film school, wed
ah, each guy made $15 a night, Friday and
Saturday night we made 30 bucks and that was a
lot of money at the time. The rent was $75
a month, so if you made 30 dollars on a weekend,
wow, it was great, three weekends paid your rent.
who played on the songs which are on this bootleg
(I am pointing to the AC/DC-Doors
bootleg The Battle - I had brought for Ray
as a present).
Rick and The Ravens?
brother Rick on guitar, my brother Jim Manczarek
on keyboards and harmonica, Vinnie Thomas
Vince Thomas played
drums, Roland Biscaluz on bass, and Pat Stonner
S-T-O-N-N-E-R, an appropriate name for a
musician, Pat Stonner on saxophone.
|Rick and The Ravens.
yeah, I played piano, too.
sang alias Screaming Ray Daniels
Screaming Ray Daniels, the Blues-Shouter.
came up with that name?
God, I have no idea where that came from
(laughs). Well, you couldnt use a name like
Manzarek, you know, I mean, this is
1962/63, my gosh, what a
how could anybody
ever handle a name like that, you know, you had
so its my middle name
Daniel, Raymond Daniel Manzarek, so let us not
use Manzarek, thats entirely too complex
for anybody to handle. Cmon, Pootie,
stop that, cmon, get here! (Pootie
the parrot starts walking across the table again)
like Screaming Jay Hawkins
Jay Hawkins, right, exactly, right!
about how you guys were trying to get a record
company interested in the group
youve just had a few copies of the demo
Doors demo disc.
had a few, about three or four copies only. That
was about it. We walked the streets with that
thing that was hysterical.
Dorothy would be there, it was Dorothy and me,
Jim, John would be along sometimes, ah, and a lot
of times it was just Jim and I,
we walked into every record company in Los
Angeles n said, Hi, were a
RocknRoll band called The
Doors. What? The
how do you spell that?
D-O-O-R-S The Doors? I
dont get it, the name doesnt make any
sense. Well, we have a demo
here, would someone, do you have someone
?and, Yeah, ok, well take
your demo. They would listen to it and
reject us. They
would say, No, we dont want it. We
dont want it! One guy literally threw
us out of his office after he had listened to
saying, You guys are sick! Get out of
here! A lot of people didnt want it,
everybody didnt want it. Only Billy James,
the guy at
Columbia, was the only one who said, Yeah,
yeah. You guys got something here.
still own a copy?
got one, Jim wrote his phone number on it, it is
sitting over there.
walks over to his record collection and picks out
a disk from one of the lower shelves. He hands it
over to me and I ask
him if I could take some photos. He agreed. After
that, he carefully put the disc back into the
collection. Here are two of the pics I
took of the Demo disc. Ray sat down again and
Doors demo disc.
no idea what shape its in, I havent
, you know, I dont dare play it
because its every time you play one
of those it gets all
sratched up, so some point or another Ill
play it and transfer it to digital.
you got a hanky or something? (Pootie,
the parrot, had just pooped on my shirt. He had
been sitting on it for quite a long time
did Pootie make a poopie, or
||He does that. The
only thing about having a bird, you know.
get used to it.
getting used to it?
||You have to. We have
why these are for us, and
wipe, wipe that
off. And then, thats what this is for (laughs).
And it gets thrown in there,
just like that. (Ray throws the hanky
into a small trash bin standing next to the wall
of their living room)
bring his cage over, he wants to go out.
No, wait a minute. Put him in, ah, put him in the
Come here, boy! (Thankfully Pootie
slowly went onto Rays hand and was put into
his cage. Dorothy took the cage, left the room
and returned after a minute. I was unsure if I
liked that private life of the Manzareks with
their parrot, his poopies, or not)
then, Ray, you were involved with The Doors from
the very beginning on, could we say that?
good. How then, how do you compare the old days
to, you know, the new things you are doing at the
(he stopped talking,
and looked up to the ceiling of the room)
old days were a lot of fun. It is nice now,
its different. See this rubber band? (We
all hear a key turning in the front door)
||Is that Pablo?
||Its our son.
Hey, Pablo, say Hello to Rainer from
Germany. Hes the guy whos in charge
of the Doors Fan Club Magazine that comes out.
once in a while
once in a while.
Pablo, how are you doing?
||Pretty good. Nice to
||Are you going to the
||I already went.
||You already went?
||I left my clothes in
the car but I went.
||I was gonna go with
you. Ok, good! (Pablo left the room
and disappeared in the kitchen. Dorothy follows
we continue doing our interview?
ahead! Aehm, may I take one of your cigarettes?
Dorothy does not like me smoking, but shes
just gone with Pablo.
take one. (I offer him one of my
Marlboros and he uses my lighter)
What were the first songs for the first Doors
album that you recorded?
Moonlight Drive? Well, for the first
the first song that the Doors
ever played together as The Doors was
Moonlight Drive. That first rehearsal
session when the oors first got together n
played Moonlight Drive, and Robby put
on his bottleneck and I showed him the
chord-change, a simple Blues song, and that was
the first time The Doors - that Robby came down
play and the first time The Doors ever
played together and, you know, we smoked a joint
and talked for a while and talked about life.
Man, God and existence as The Doors always
were want to talk about, and then we started to
play. And by that time we were all
pretty high, and played the song, and it was just
absolutely amazing. The power of The Doors
together locked in, a thing happened and
it just locked in together and we played that
song and it just was driving and powerful. And at
the end of it we all just sorta looked at
Jesus Christ, wow! And I told
thats when I told John and Robby,
you know, I played in a lot of bands, and
playing the piano since Ive been 7 years
old, played with a lot of people. But Ive
never played music until this moment. Now I know
what playing music is all about. Look, we just,
you know, our conscious minds just went away and
weve just lowered ourselves down
into that primordial place, that collective
Jurassic, collective unconscious, that primordial
place that we all come from, where all the
power and the danger lies. And every guy was
willing to go into that dangerous place, that
place, that secret place, and expose himself
to the other members of the band through their
music, to expose himself in his vulnerability and
weakness. And in all our vulnerability
came this incredible sense of power. Oddly
enough, by going there and exposing those
weaknesses, you gain an incredible power.
You find that instead of being weak; you find
yourself to be actually incredibly powerful,
can imagine, Ray. You seemed to have a great
repertoire of a couple of songs, but who made the
choice for the first album?
all did. It was like, you know, we had two albums
worth of material and it was, you know, we
everybody just sort of sat around
and said, Ok, you know, whatll we put
well have to see what we
. Thats why When The
Musics Over is on the second
album, beause we already had Light My
Fire and The End, well, we
cant put three long songs, so shall we have
obviously Light My Fire, cos
thats a dance song and poppy, and
well have Light My Fire, so
shall we do The End or When
The Musics Over? Those two were in a
minor key, so lets do The End.
Ok, fine, lets do The End. Save
When The Musics Over.
So it was, you know, everybody, all four of us
just sat around and decided.
interesting to learn that you also recorded
Indian Summer, and that one came out
on The Doors 5th album,
A long time later, right. Dont we
have a version of Indian Summer? Ok,
lets use that. (laughs)
Morrison Hotel this song has got a
very different sound compared to the other tunes
always guessed it wasnt from the
Morrison Hotel sessions, but recorded
much earlier, until Robby told me, Well, it
of the first songs we ever recorded.
right. It was sorta like a demo in the studio.
You know, we went into the recording studio with
Rothchild and Botnick, and there
was a simple little piece and it was basically
like a warm-up thing just to see how the studio
was sounding and everything. And, we also did
Moonlight Drive. We never used that
version of Moonlight Drive, however,
the sound wasnt right and we had to play
with this and so, Indian Summer was
another one just to test the sound in the studio,
because it was a very simple piece. So it was
like doing The End,
beause it was an Indian song, but instead of
doing The End to test the studio
with, The End was far too long and intense
experimenting with just the sound and technical
things, we did this short little Indian-style
piece. Also in the studio, interestingly, the
song we recorded was Moonlight Drive.
o the first song Jim sang to me on the beach when
we first got together, and he said, I got
and that whole story, and
everybody knows he did Moonlight
Drive. Then, when The Doors get together
the first song The
Doors do is Moonlight Drive. When we
got into the recording studio they said
Paul said, Bruce said, Well, lets do
a song. Ok, why
dont we just go ahead and do anything
well, lets do Moonlight
Drive, and there it was again. Somehow that
was the first song
Photo © Rainer
idea was the typical Doors logo? It became
a real classic icon
Harvey from Elektra Records. He was the art
director at Elektra Records and, at the time the
band called Love was on Elektra
Records and I think he had designed their logo,
too, he probably did, and people were having
graphical design on their, psychedelic,
the psychedelic era and all of that stuff, the
Fillmore and the Avalon with all kinds of
psychedelic lettering. So Bill Harvey said,
see how I can design a logo, and Jim said,
Dont make it too psychedelic, man, we
wanna read the damn thing, for Gods
sake, and Bill
Harvey took it in the opposite direction and made
it a sort of o high-tech, hard-edged kind of
thing. So, that was all Bill Harvey, he did a
wonderful job. William S. Harvey.
were also one of the first groups who used the
synthesizer, you know, after The Monkees, they
used it, too
right, right. That was fun. It was a Moog
synthesizer, a big, huge modular Moog, and it was
played by a guy named Paul Beaver.
And he came down with that thing and set the
stuff up and I just could not believe it. What? I
couldnt believe it. Theres a keyboard
it was a spaceship, it looked
like a spaceship. He just brought in module after
module after module, and they were all very
big modules, and when he had it all set up it was
like the Star Trek, I thought we were on a
spaceship, but no, it was the control room.
I said, Ok, this is no longer a control
room, this is now the bridge of the
Enterprise, and it was amazing to see him
twist those knobs. But
curiously, he could never stop twisting the
knobs, any time wed get, hed get a
sound that wed kind of like, he would tweak
it a little bit
and it would become another sound, and another
sound, and, and, and after about an hour of it we
realized that all we had to do with that
guy is just as soon as
Dont touch a knob! Because he was in
always, always turning and tweaking and
twisting, and, How
about this, well, how about this, how about
, and it went on and on, and they
were great sounds! We said, Jesus, will you
please! I wouldnt be surprised I
thats what killed him, you know, poor old
Paul Beaver, and he died quite young. I think he
like 42 or 43 when he died. So, probably all that
twisting of those knobs and those sounds,
Im sure his nervous system said,
You know the nerve-ends said, I cant
take it anymore! (laughs)
kind of keyboard did you use for the first two
first album I used the Vox and piano, the grand
piano. What else did I use, I cant recall.
I dont think I used anything else. Now
heres a, heres a tack piano, but on
the second album we had eight tracks the
first album was only four tracks, and the second
was eight tracks. So when we got into the studio
and Bruce Botnick showed us this new machine and
said, Look, youve got eight
We said, Eight tracks! You mean everything
we did on the first album plus we have four extra
tracks to overdub? I thought,
Im in heaven! So I played, I played
everything that was available, you know,
everything. Id play a harpsichord,
Love Me Two Times
is a harpsichord, tack piano, backwards piano, we
wrote the music out measure by measure, and I
wrote just measures and put the chord
changes in and started on the lower right hand
side and read the whole thing backwards, and as
it was playing backwards, hoping, not
knowing, you know, I could tell when I was in the
right chord, but not knowing where the hell it
was all gonna come out, and the song began
as I ended. I played the last, I said, God,
Im at the beginning here, I hope this is
the last, and sure enough. The playback in
stopped, n I said, Oh, good! It
was one pass, n I said, Dont
ever!. You know, I felt like Napoleon in
the Great Pyramid. Theres a
story that Napoleon went and spent a night in the
Great Pyramid in Egypt, alone. Came out in the
morning and one of his generals said,
What happened?, and Napoleon said,
Never let me do that ever again!.
Thats what I said, Do not ever let me
try to play a song
backwards ever again!.
then did you get the idea to do this?
somebody was using some backwards cymbals, and it
had a great sound. Hey, backwards tack
piano. There was a spare track,
theres another track, theres eight.
We only have seven tracks filled, lets fill
an eighth track! What can we do? Backwards
Do you know that wob, wob?. Robby
loved that sound. I think it was probably
Robbys idea, but fortunately we all worked
talk about the bottom of a musical group, the
bass. Who played as a bass guitarist on your
Lubahn, yeah. He used to be a bass guitarist for
the group Clear Light.
play the bass on the first Doors albums?
right, I played piano bass on most of it, and we
had ah, Larry Knechtel, a studio session
guy who came in with a Fender and played,
matched my bass lines and played with a Fender,
an electric bass to get the click, cos that
piano bass just didnt have the attack. It
fine in a concert in a large room, but on a
recording session it was a little soft, it just
didnt have that click of a plucked string,
so it tended
to get a little soft, a little woofy in the
bottom on a record. So, a couple of cuts, he
plays exactly the same thing Im playing. I
cuts he played on. Ill be a matter of
listening to and saying, Ok, thats
clicky, thats! You know, on the first
album, so whatever has a
sort of clicky sound to it thats
Larry Knechtel. Theres two or three of
remember what kind of bass guitar it was?
Fender. You know, Fender Jazz-Bass. Thats
all I know.
to the long LP-version, the short version of
Light My Fire on all 7 singles
is half a tone higher. How come?
it? Ok. I have no idea why. Thats probably
due to the transfer to the tape-machine, you
know, somewhere down the line one
of the tape-machines was running a little bit
faster when they were making the single. Or maybe
Paul actually did goose it a little bit.
There was a lot of that going on, too.
speed it up for radio play?
a little bit. Give it a little bit more, little
brighter, just tune it up, you know, cos
you had a capstan wheel. I know what it was,
ok, they used to wrap the capstan wheel with some
tape. If you put a little tape around one of the
capstans on the tape-machine you
could vary the pitch. You could raise the pitch,
you cold make it go a little bit faster. So when
it came to doing the single Im sure
thats exactly what they did. Just for the
radio, just for a little extra-added brightness,
and just a little bit more for the radio.
Because at the time radio was pretty popular, you
know, it was still very pop-radio, so you had to
add a lot of punch and brightness
to it. Plus The Beatles always had such
bright poppy records that everyone was always
trying to, How do The Beatles get all that
brightness in there?. Well, it was The
Beatles, you know, the reason they got all that
brightness is because of the nature of the
human beings that were making the music, you
know, they were bright, poppy guys. And bright
poppy guys just infused the tape with
that energy that comes off
that ame out of
their psyches. And for The Doors the energy was
not bright and poppy it was a
primordial, primeval power of nature, of birth
and rebirth, and the energy of the planet.
know if Jim ever met The Beatles? Theres
this rumor going around that he met them in
well, if he did I dont know. He might have,
he might have. I dont know. We said
Hello to George Harrison, who came
once to our studio while we were recording.
during one of our sessions, I forget, maybe 3rd,
4th recording session,
probably Waiting For The Sun or maybe
Morrison Hotel. No, Waiting For
The Sun I think it was. And John Lennon,
Dorothy, Pablo and I had eye-contact once in Los
Angeles (laughs). When he
was in L.A. after he had left Yoko, and he was
here with Harry Nilsson and doing his one year of
drunkenness or whatever, like the Ray Milland
movie The Lost Weekend. Well, John
was doing his lost year. And he was driving
a Porsche Speedster, cos I remember seeing
the car an old Porsche Convertible
and at the time we were thinking about getting
another car we had a Citro?n DS 21 Pallas,
a red bathtub, inverted bathtub and here
comes this Porsche Speedster, and I said,
Oh, what a neat car, man, and I
looked at the car and then I looked at the guy
and I realized the guy was John Lennon. And he
looked at me in the Citro?n and the license-plate
was MAU MAO, a play on the Chairman
Mao and the African Mau man, a
personalized license-plate that you could get in
so I was driving, Dorothy was
sitting next to me and she was holding
Pablo who was like a year and a half on her lap
next to me and Lennon looked at me and his eyes
then flashed over to a guy John
Lennon and I are the same type with the glasses
and the hair and everything and then he
looked at Dorothy, an oriental girl like
Yoko, and shes sitting there holding their
baby. And two weeks later John Lennon went back
to New York to Yoko. Whether we had
anything to do with it or not I dont know,
but two weeks later he was back in New York.
funny! What can you tell me about the studio
version of The Celebration Of The
Lizard? Why didnt you guys put it on
Waiting For The Sun?
yah, gosh, I havent even heard that tape in
so long. Itd be interesting to listen to
the tape to see how it stands up now. At the
time we recorded it we went to a smaller studio.
Rothchild wasnt there, we just went in with
Bruce just to lay it down to see how it
might sound, and we did one take, maybe two
takes, but it was not a good night. It was one of
those nights where it just wasnt
happening, and we never did anything with it,
because it just lacked. It lacked the cohesive
energy and it just lacked the passion,
you know, when youre dealing from the
primordial depths as The Doors did you
didnt always tap into the passion. It
know, the passion would
the muse, the
Greek Gods, the muses, it would depend on so many
different factors and circumstances
that sometimes it didnt work. And you
dont use those when it doesnt work,
you say, Hey, that didnt work.
Lets go back and try
it again another day. So they just
didnt work. From an emotional standpoint of
view they didnt work.
other songs didnt work as an example? What
about Rock Is Dead?
Is Dead was just a jam. That didnt
count. That was never intended to be a song, a
piece; that was a spontaneous
improvisation at the time. A mellotron was in the
studio, so I was fooling around with the
mellotron. We were in the middle of
I forget which recording session, but we had gone
out for dinner to the Blue Boar, a vaguely kind
of European pub, as far as Los
Angeles is concerned, they put a bunch of shields
on the wall and put some animal heads and a
couple of lags and some heavy
wooden tables. Who knows what country that stuff
came from, England, or Germany or France
for us it was one of those hunting
places. And we all got drunk, and we were
toasting each other, more wine for my men, Jim
was in a great mood, and we came back
to the studio and said, Ok, its time
to record, and were all half drunk,
¾ drunk, said, Oh record ok
onto the next song, lets
just play something, men! And John just got
a beat going, and then Jim got started and it
just led to
one thing led to another.
whole thing was just an improvisation?
there were things that he had, I mean, you know
what I mean, yeah.
know, some of it was made up on the spot, others
were, you know, poetic things, notes and bits
& pieces that he had in his mind
from his poetry, and how he put them together was
ah was the improvisation plus, you
know, some of the lines were created on
the spur of the moment.
pretty popular on bootleg.
its such a great title, Rock Is
||Somehow it reminds
me of The Whos Long Live Rock,
you know, why not? Once you were talking about a
song called Luther
And The Apostle, do you remember that song?
||I have an interview
with you on tape telling a journalist about it.
, a song or a group?
Martin Luther (laughs).
Luther And The Apostles, well, who
knows, I might have been drunk then, too, you
you know (laughs)
might have been a long time. If it was a long
time ago I take no responsibility for anything (laughs).
the 5th amendment. Was
it in Germany? Was I talking about it in Germany?
If it was in Germany, I definitely was drunk. You
with your beer! Ray, what about a
Ray, have a shot, a toast. Ray, for you, yah,
cmon, cmon, Jagermeister, ok?
BRRNK then a beer, a great German
Then somebody else says, Ray, I would like
to have a drink with you, lets have a
Jagermeister, cmon, Ray! One for you and
me, cmon, to you, Ray! BRRNK
and you drink that next one, and you
who knows, you know. Martin Luther (laughs)!
READING IN PART THREE
(very special thanks
to Lindsey McFadyen)