Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Ray Manzarek RIP

Another famous name from the world of rock music passes away, with the death of Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek.

France has always played a central part to the myth of the Doors, as the place Jim Morrison spent his final months, as well as being his last resting place.

Morrison died aged 27, his grave remains the reason for many visits to Père Lachaise cemetery.

There were, for a while at least, theories that he faked his death to live his life in Paris without the weight of the Doors hanging over him.

But Morrison's was just another victim of heroin, in a murky subculture of early 70s France awash with French Connection heroin.

Theories continue to abound about the details, due mostly to the reliability of any possible witnesses being questionable at best, and many of the key figures having subsequently died themselves.

There was however no mystery or ill-informed speculation about the death of Ray Manzarek. Just the sad passing of another musical hero in circumstances that we would all recognise.

The Doors never played in Paris at their peak, they toured Europe only once, a brief tour in 1968 with Jefferson Airplane. A 1970 European tour that would have seen them play in Paris was cancelled - other than a show at the Isle of Wight festival - on account of Morrison's trial in Miami.

But Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger would play in Paris in the years after Morrison, their legend secured, their playing undiminished by the passing years.

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