|Birth name||Raymond Daniel Manczarek, Jr.|
|Born||February 12, 1939|
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Genres||Psychedelic rock, acid rock, blues rock, Jazz rock, hard rock, blues, jazz fusion, funk, Rock and Roll|
|Occupations||Musician, Songwriter, Keyboardist, Filmmaker|
|Instruments||Keyboards, Keyboard bass, Vocals, Marxophone, Guitar, Percussion|
|Associated acts||The Doors
Rick & the Ravens
The Manzarek-Rogers Band
The Official Site of Ray Manzarek
RMI Electra Piano
Raymond Daniel Manczarek, Jr., known as Ray Manzarek (born February 12, 1939), is an American musician, singer, producer, film director, writer, and co-founder and keyboardist of The Doors from 1965 to 1973, Nite City from 1977–1978 and Manzarek-Krieger since 2001.
Early life and career 
Manzarek is of Polish descent, born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, as were his parents. Growing up, he took private piano lessons from Bruno Michelotti and others. He originally wanted to play basketball, but he only wanted to play power forward or center. When he was sixteen his coach insisted either he play guard, or not at all, and he quit the team. Manzarek said later if it was not for that ultimatum, he might never have been in The Doors. He went to Everett Elementary School on S. Bell St. and attended St. Rita High School in Chicago. he graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Economics and played in many shows at the school.
In 1962–1965, he studied in the Department of Cinematography at UCLA, where he met film student Jim Morrison. At UCLA, Ray also met Dorothy Fujikawa whom he would later marry and have his son Pablo. Forty days after finishing film school, thinking they had gone their separate ways, Manzarek and Morrison met by chance on Venice Beach in California. Morrison said he had written some songs, and Manzarek expressed an interest in hearing them, whereupon Morrison sang a rough version of "Moonlight Drive." Manzarek liked the songs and co-founded the Doors with Morrison at that moment.
In January 1966, The Doors became the house band at The London Fog on the Sunset Strip. 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. Their first performance at the Whisky was with the group Them.
The Doors' first recording contract was with Columbia Records. 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. His signature sound is that of the Vox Continental combo organ, an instrument used by many other psychedelic rock bands of the era. He later used a Gibson G-101 Kalamazoo combo organ (which looks like a Farfisa) because the Continental's plastic keys frequently broke, according to Manzarek.
Manzarek occasionally sang for The Doors, including the live recordings of "Close To You" and on the B-side of "Love Her Madly", "You Need Meat (Don't Go No Further)". He also sang on the last two Doors albums, recorded after Morrison's death, Other Voices and Full Circle. Additionally, he provided one of several guitar parts on the song "Been Down So Long".
Later career and influence 
Manzarek has been in several groups since the Doors, including Nite City. He recorded a rock adaptation of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana with Philip Glass, produced and backed Echo & the Bunnymen and Los Angeles band X, played with Iggy Pop, backed San Francisco poet Michael McClure's poetry readings and he has done improvisational composition with poet Michael C. Ford. Ray also worked extensively with "Hearts of Fire" screenwriter and former SRC front man Scott Richardson on a series of spoken word and blues recordings entitled "Tornado Souvenirs".
His memoir, Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors, was published in 1998. The Poet in Exile (2001) is a novel exploring the urban legend that Jim Morrison may have faked his death. Manzarek's second novel, Snake Moon, released in April 2006, is a Civil War ghost story.
|Oral History, Ray Manzarek shares moments of his life story and career. interview date December 8, 2008, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Library|
In 2000, a collaboration poetry album titled: Freshly Dug was released with British singer, poet/actor and pioneer Punk rocker Darryl Read. Read had previously worked with Ray on the Beat Existentialist album in 1994, and their latest poetical/musical collaboration was in 2007 with the album "Bleeding Paradise."
In 2006, he collaborated with composer/trumpeter Bal. The CD that resulted, Atonal Head, is an exploration in the realm of Electronica. The two musicians have integrated jazz, rock, Ethnic, and classical music into their new, computer based creations.
In April 2009, Manzarek and Robby Krieger appeared as special guests for Daryl Hall's monthly concert webcast Live From Daryl's House. They performed several Doors tunes ("People Are Strange", "The Crystal Ship", "Roadhouse Blues" and "Break on Through (To the Other Side)") with Hall providing lead vocals.
Manzarek was a co-producer on a few tracks for Universal Recording artist Michael Barber. A track recently appeared on the Intenet titled "Be Ok," on Michael's Universal Records Debut.
In May 2010, Manzarek recorded with slide guitarist Roy Rogers in Studio D in Sausalito. The album Translucent Blues, released in mid-2011, was ranked #3 on the Top 100 Roots Rock Albums of 2011 by The Roots Music Report.[clarification needed]
The Doors 
- The Golden Scarab (1973)
- The Whole Thing Started With Rock & Roll Now It's Out of Control (1974)
- Carmina Burana (1983)
- Love Her Madly (2006)
- Ballads Before The Rain (With Roy Rogers) (2008)
- Translucent Blues (With Roy Rogers) (2011)
Nite City 
- Manzarek, Ray. Light My Fire. New York: Berkley Boulevard Books, 1998. ISBN 0-425-17045-4
- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Obituary, Rolling Stone, March 6, 2008, p. 16
- Goldstein, Patrick. "Nite City: The Dark Side of L.A.", Creem (September 1977). accessed: May 15, 2008
- Ray Manzarek and Michael C. Ford at Hen House Studios, video
- Matteucci, Jeannie. "Rock 'n' Roll Retreat", SF Gate (February 11, 2004). accessed: October 19, 2008
- The buttercream Gang with guest Ray Manzarek. YouTube. Retrieved on 2010-11-06.
- http://www.rootsmusicreport.com/index.php?page=home rootsmusicreport.com
- Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors (1998) ISBN 0-425-17045-4
- The Poet in Exile (2001) Thunder's Mouth Press, 2002 paperback: ISBN 1-56025-447-5
- Snake Moon (2006) ISBN 1-59780-041-4
- Official website
- Official Facebook page
- Official Pinterest site
- Official Manzarek-Krieger website
- Official Ray Manzarek & Roy Rogers
- Official Ray Manzarek & Michael McClure
- The Doors official website
- 1998 Fresh Air with Terry Gross interview
- Manzarek Interview from St. Petersburg Times (June 2005) about the legal battle with Densmore over the use of the Doors name
- Article about Ray Manzarek's recent work, March 1, 2006
- Article from the Napa Register (October 9, 2006) about Ray Manzarek
- December 2006 interview in Horror Garage magazine
- Undercover video interview, April 2007
- Ray Manzarek interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969).