I’m not a child of the Classic Rock Era. The sound track of my youth tended to be Jazz, Folk and later Celtic music. Having said that it would have been hard to ignore the revolution that took place in Pop music in the mid 1960s. I was in my mid twenties and although I was listening to the likes of Miles Davis and The Modern Jazz Quartet the electric guitar ruled the pop world and singer / song writers were shuffling the crooners and Tin-Pan Alley composers off into the sunset. Sure I knew the new rock sounds were there but I didn’t pay much attention to them. My rule of thumb was “if they are any good I will get to hear them eventually”. The Doors fit into that category. They were a little different from the run of the mill rockers and eventually they caught my attention. Although they had a rock persona and image they were not over the top. Essentially they were a bunch of minimalists that came came together in Los Angeles in 1965 with Jim Morrison as the vocalist and writer for the band; Ray Manzarek on keyboards; Robby Krieger on Guitar and drummer John Densmore. For recording purposes they would call upon highly skilled studio musicians to play bass and fill out the sound. The band got its name, at Morrison’s suggestion, from the title of Aldous Huxley’s book “The Doors of Perception” . They were unique and among the most controversial and influential rock acts of the 1960s, mostly because of Morrison’s lyrics and charismatic but unpredictable stage persona. After Morrison’s death in 1971 at age 27, the remaining members continued as a trio until disbanding in 1973. The Doors released eight albums between 1967 and 1971. When you stop and think about it they were not really on the scene for very long and yet they have persisted and ended up selling over 100 million records over the years. Recently the keyboard player Ray Manzarek has released a number of videos on YouTube that give some insight into band and how they worked. This is the first one with that wonderful Rhodes Keyboard sound.
To put in in context here is the Doors doing the song:
Here are other YouTube videos by Ray Manzarek.
All the videos are an interesting peek behind the scenes of one of the most influential rock bands of all times.
Post script 2017/04/21 – I have just come across this really cool version of RIDERS OF THE STORM
Postscript May 24, 2017 – Another marvelous solo acoustic guitar version