Doors keyboardist Manzarek makes Upstage appearance

Posted 1/26/10

Mention The Doors’ No. 1 hit “Light My Fire,” and the swirling keyboard opening by Ray Manzarek bursts forth in many baby boomers’ minds.

Sometimes called the “architect” of The …

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Doors keyboardist Manzarek makes Upstage appearance

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Mention The Doors’ No. 1 hit “Light My Fire,” and the swirling keyboard opening by Ray Manzarek bursts forth in many baby boomers’ minds.

Sometimes called the “architect” of The Doors’ intoxicating sound, Manzarek comes to Port Townsend for two shows at the Upstage this weekend: Friday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m.

What was Jim Morrison really like? Find out as Manzarek, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, shares his personal insights and plays Doors' classics and other great music.

Manzarek grew up on the South Side of Chicago and was introduced to classical piano at age 7. Later an economics student, he graduated, studied law at UCLA, and then transferred to UCLA Film School, where he met his wife, Dorothy Fujikawa.

In 1965, in Venice Beach, Calif., he met Morrison, another UCLA Film School student. Morrison’s poetry was matched to Manzarek’s piano and his emerging musical ideas. With Robby Krieger and John Densmore, The Doors were formed.

Besides the recordings delivered under The Doors’ moniker, Manzarek has released other acclaimed recordings on his own. In 1978, The Doors reunited to release the album An American Prayer, based on Morrison’s recorded poetry. In 1980, Manzarek produced and performed on the band X’s debut album, a high-water mark of the punk movement. Manzarek’s other collaborators include Philip Glass, poet Michael McClure, glam-punk icon Iggy Pop, the British band Echo & The Bunnymen, British poet/musician Darryl Read, and the virtuoso slide guitarist Roy Rogers, with whom he appears this weekend.

In addition to his published memoirs, two novels and work on film, he also plays often with his Doors' partner Robby Krieger as The Manzarek-Krieger Band, formerly named Riders on the Storm.

Although known for playing Delta blues, Rogers is primarily known for his slide guitar work. He toured with John Lee Hooker’s Coast To Coast Band, playing on many of Hooker’s most famous recordings. Besides being a sideman for many great names in music, including Linda Ronstadt, Norton Buffalo, and Bonnie Raitt, he fronts his own band, the Delta Rhythm Kings. He is regarded as one of the greatest slide guitarists of all time. According to U.S. Today, "Pundits who bemoan the scarcity of guitar gods haven't laid ears on Roy Rogers, whose slide riffs could peel a crawfish."

The Upstage is located at 923 Washington. Admission is $35; call 385-2216.

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