Wednesday, June 5, 2013
I was watching Sesame Street one cloudy morning, and Dad had the day off. He was firing up the stereo, and before long he was playing something I hadn't heard before that made me take notice. Something with fuzz-toned guitar, combo organ, and a guy singing something about "let me jump in your game", whatever that meant. I wandered over to the stereo and looked at the beige-toned cover head shot of a guy who looked like a Roman statue, and three other guys on the back. "People Are Strange" came on next, and it transfixed me. It was raining outside, I noticed, and all of a sudden, I heard the sound of thunder and rain on the stereo as "Riders On The Storm" began. Needless to say, I'd forgotten about Sesame Street and stayed listening to the rest of this album. Two years later, Dad played the entire first album, and that was quite an experience. This was when I could tell that they were no ordinary pop band...this was some pretty dark stuff. And on it went, and on it continues. As the years went on, I continued to listen to The Doors and be transfixed by their sound, their music, their words. As I began playing the keyboards, I began using Ray Manzarek's left-hand keyboard technique as a template for my own technique. We got the Dance On Fire video compilation when it came out, and A Tribute To Jim Morrison was quite revealing. I read No One Here Gets Out Alive in middle school, and any other book about them that I could find in the library. I found that I was one of the very few who were really into them; to most other people, they were just a boring acid-trip band who only did one decent song (which would be "Roadhouse Blues"). They didn't get it, but I didn't let it bother me. In late May of 2013, I was shocked to hear of the passing of Ray Manzarek, as were many scores of fans. Another piece of the band had broken off and passed into legend.