Classic Rock‘s Today’s memory
Ray Manzarek’s birthday
Originally shared by ****
A happy birthday to :
Ray Manzarek (1939-2013) : keyboards, with The Doors, who had the 1967 US No.1 & UK No.9 single ‘Light My Fire’ and the 1971 single ‘Riders On The Storm’. Manzarek died on 20th May 2013, he had suffered from bile duct cancer for many years. He formed the band with lead singer Jim Morrison in 1965 after a chance meeting in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.
The Doors – Roadhouse Blues
From the album : Morrison Hotel (1969)
„Roadhouse Blues” is a rock song written and recorded by the American rock band The Doors. The song, which appeared on the B-side of „You Make Me Real”, was first released as a single from the album Morrison Hotel in March 1970 and peaked at #50 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song quickly became a concert staple for the group, a live version appearing later on the posthumous album An American Prayer and that same version, which has been called „probably one of the best live performances of any song”, again on In Concert and Greatest Hits. During this version, Jim Morrison talks for a short while to a female audience member about his Zodiac sign and, with a sudden, ironic twist that causes the audience to erupt in laughter, denounces his beliefs in it. The song was also featured twice in the movie The Doors; the studio version in the film, and the aforementioned live version over the end credits. The line „Woke up this morning and I got myself a beer” was inspired by Alice Cooper as stated on his Planet Rock morning show.
According to the book, Light My Fire by Ray Manzarek, a bandmate of Morrison’s, the song refers to Morrison’s waking after an alleged three weeks of drug-induced sleep and the actual lyric sung is „woke up this morning and I got myself a beard”.
included on the new 2006 remastered album. Rothchild can be heard instructing the band members on their musicianship, notably when he exclaims to Robby Krieger about his introductory guitar riff that „we’re going to the roadhouse, Robby, not the bathroom!” Surprisingly, he does not comment on Morrison, who is apparently intoxicated, „going into full blues singer mode” in the words of engineer Bruce Botnick, improvising and simultaneously flubbing several lyrics and repeating the blues phrase „Money beats soul every time”. The phrase can be found on the When You’re Strange: Music from the Motion Picture soundtrack, with the next track being a live version of „Roadhouse Blues”.
The sessions only took off on the second day, when resident Elektra guitarist Lonnie Mack joined in on bass and harmonicist John Sebastian (appearing under the pseudonym G. Puglese out of loyalty to his recording contract or to avoid affiliation with The Doors after the Miami controversy) joined in on the sessions and Manzarek switched from his Wurlitzer electric piano to a tack piano (the same used on The Beach Boys „Good Vibrations”). A studio version of the song with John Lee Hooker sharing vocals with Jim can be found on the Stoned Immaculate: The Music of The Doors album.
A recent urban myth wants that: „Lonnie Mack also played the lead guitar solo on the track, but was only credited as bassist”. This funny legend is obviously totally fake and must be considered just as an internet rumor. The evident truth is, as always known, that Krieger played the guitar and Mack just the bass line, also because it is perfectly audible that Jim Morrison shouts „Do it, Robby, do it!” (especially on the audio proof of DVD-Audio and SuperAudioCD where the single vocal track can be separated from other instruments) right before the guitar solo that shows the typical fingerstyle of Krieger and is identical to all his Roadhouse Blues solos played in the previous sessions the day before (5th November 1969). Four decades of interviews to The Doors and Paul A. Rocthild confirm this truth. The complete song, with solo, riff and licks, was ready much before Lonnie Mack was casually invited to the sessions of Morrison Hotel to play the bass on Roadhouse Blues and Maggie M’Gill (because that day Ray Neapolitan, bass session man for Morrison Hotel recording session, couldn’t arrive in time for a traffic jam). Twenty years later, the band’s drummer, John Densmore, wrote:
„Lonnie sat down in front of the paisley baffles that soak up the sound. A hefty guy with a pencil-thin beard, he had on a wide-brimmed hat that had become his trademark. Lonnie Mack epitomized the blues—not the rural blues, but the city blues; he was bad. „I’ll sing the lyrics for you”, Jim Morrison offered meekly. Morrison was unusually shy. We all were, because to us, the guitar player we had asked to sit in with us was a living legend.”
More quotes from „Robby Krieger: The Doors’ Distinctive Fret Master”, Interview by Bob Cianci, February 11, 2010, for Premiere Guitar magazine:
– Bob Cianci: Lonnie Mack played bass on that track, didn’t he? How did that come together?
– Robby Krieger: Lonnie had quit the music business and was actually working for Elektra Records doing something. I know he sold Bibles for a while too. He was around the studio when we were getting ready to record “Roadhouse Blues,” so we asked him to play bass. He did a great job, and got back into music after that.
– Bob Cianci: The Doors always used bass players in the studio, didn’t they?
– Robby Krieger: Yes. Ray and I used to write the bass parts. On the first album, we used Larry Knechtel, the session guy. He passed away recently. On the second and third albums, we used Doug Lubahn from the band Clear Light. On the fourth, Harvey Brooks played bass, and we used Ray Neapolitan (on Morrison Hotel) and Jerry Scheff (on L.A. Woman) on the fifth and sixth albums. Jerry is probably best known for having played in Elvis’s band for years.