By April 1, 2016 Read More →

Ray Manzerek Birthday Tribute Concert

Ray Manzerek Birthday Tribute
By Russ Allsup

I’ve been a big fan of the Doors music since I started really listening to music. They occupy a very special place in my heart, so when I found out that remaining members John Densmore and Robbie Krieger would be holding a benefit show honoring Doors keyboard player Ray Manzerek on what would’ve been his 77th birthday. I knew I’d have to be there.

To me, the Doors, led by the one and only Jim Morrison, were the Godfathers of what would turn out to be goth and punk rock music. Almost like a slap in the face of The Beatles and other chart dominating bands of the sixties. The Doors were moody, dark, and much deeper than most bands at the time, and even now. They squeezed so much good music into a short period of time- six influential albums in four years, that it was almost like they knew it would be a short, quick blast that would have an impact for years to come so they gave it everything they had.

A stellar lineup of talent had been gathered for this event- Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo, John Doe and Exene Cervenka from the band X, Taylor Hawkins and Rami Jaffee from the Foo Fighters, Warren Haynes from the Allman Brothers, Brian Ray from Paul McCartney’s band, and a few other special guests. One of my favorite DJ’s, Jim Ladd, was the MC for the evening and introduced the first round of musicians and things got underway with a rousing version of ‘When The Music’s Over’. Other highlights included Doors classics like ‘Love Me Two Times’, ‘Break On Through’, and ‘Roadhouse Blues’, that were faithful to the original versions and had the audience dancing in celebration.

The whole event was a benefit show with the proceeds going to the Stand Up For Cancer charity for cancer research. At the end of the night all the performers got together onstage and played the song that started it all for the Doors- ‘Light My Fire’. The show was a three-hour musical journey through the career of a magical band that celebrated life- good and bad, and above all songs that make you feel alive.

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