Chat avec Ray
17 novembre 1997

Moderator says "Greetings and salutations chatters and welcome to tonight's live chat with Ray Manzarek, keyboardist for The Doors! It's Monday, November 17 and you are chatting live on the Universal Chat Network. I'm Jeremy Berg and I'll be your moderator for the evening. Joining me tonight are my partners in crime, Tony Liu and Michael Contreras. Tony, my trusty screener, will sift through the endless array of questions that you, the chat audience, submit. He's the guy who determines whether your questions live or die, so be sure to make them good. Michael spends all of his time slamming away at the keyboard. This guy is so fast he makes "The Flash" look like a snail."

Moderator says "All right folks, let's move onto tonight's live celebrity chat. Tonight is both an honor and a treat for all of us here at Universal Chat. The reason for this is that Ray Manzarek will be here tonight!!! Ray Manzarek grew up playing bass and jazz piano before leaving to attend film school at UCLA. On a hot summer day in July of '65, shortly after graduating with a Master's Degree in Cinematography, Manzarek ran into a former film school colleague on the beach in Venice, California. The friend, Jim Morrison, said he had been writing songs and on request, began reciting the opening lines of "Moonlight Drive." "That's it!" said Manzarek. "Those are the best rock n' roll lyrics I've ever heard." At that moment, The Doors were born."

Moderator says "Six years later, it was suddenly over. But The Doors have forever engraved the cornerstone of rock n' roll with their music. Manzarek, an innovative musician who played bass keyboard and organ while performing with The Doors, has consistently maintained a high degree of visibility as both a producer and musician since the group disbanded. He has produced four albums by the critically acclaimed Los Angeles band "X" and has recorded several solo albums, including a collaboration with Philip Glass."

Moderator says "In 1983, Manzarek turned his attention to the rapidly developing home video industry. Using his technical knowledge learned from his days at UCLA, Manzarek began production on MCA/Universal Home Video's The Doors: Dance on Fire*. He directed this critically acclaimed program along with The Doors: Live At the Hollywood Bowl* and The Soft Parade - A Retrospective*. "Back at UCLA, my goal was not to be a rock musician. I wanted to be a filmmaker," Manzarek said. "Working on those projects gave me an opportunity to combine two of the things I love most: directing and The Doors.""

Moderator says "Ladies and gentleman, it's chat time!!! Without any further ado, please welcome Mr. Ray Manzarek!!!"

spicoli asks "First off, I have to say that I think you're truly a brilliant person. I noticed that one of your personal favorite Doors song is Lost Little Girl (it's mine to). Can you explain why that one is one of your favorites?"

Ray Manzarek says "It's one third of my trilogy to Jim and Pam: The Romeo and Juliet of California. I love them very much, and miss them very much. But they are together in the ether. That's Robbie's song. It's part of my trilogy called Tragic Love. The others are Unhappy Girl and I Can't See Her Face in my Mind."

Smoken asks "Did you find the movie "The Doors" accurate in terms of the bands history"

Ray Manzarek says "Not accurate. It's accurate in terms of the Doors' history, but not accurate in terms of Jim Morrison. Many things are wrong with the Doors' movie. Jim was not a drunken jerk! Jim burning up Pam in the closet never happened. Jim throwing a television set at Ray never happened! The car commercial on TV never happened. The big fight after Ray and Dorothy's wedding never happened etc., etc., etc. . . . Big fabrications; Oliver "White Powder Ma" Stone: That's my nickname for him. And that comes from that movie with Mickey Rourke in Chinatown, The Year of the Dragon. They go to Thailand to make a purchase from White Powder Ma. . . Got it? Nuff said!"

xhead asks "Do you still sit down by the piano and play Doors songs?"

Ray Manzarek says "Yes as amatter of fact. I just played some yesterday! I played Love Her Madly just for me! I was going over the chord changes and using a harpochord sound and put that on a chorus; and it sounded great! I played it for about a half hour, knocking myself out! I love the Doors! Great music! I enjoy playing it."

KingKikapu asks "I collect lots of live tapes from other bands, and am just starting to get some doors live tapes. What are the top 5 shows in your opinion?"

Ray Manzarek says "Madison Square Garden; Detroit Cobo Hall; Miami, that ONE! The Aquarius Theatre in Los Angeles. Madison Square Garden is available on the Doors box set and is called "Live from New York".

TheChangeling asks "Do you like the web?"

Ray Manzarek says "No, I don't surf often. I love it, though. I think it's fabulous. I can never get on the computer. My son Pablo's on it all the time."

Holy Sha asks "Why didn't you include the tunes paris Blues, studio version of celebration of The Lizard, or 66' Indian Summer?"

Ray Manzarek says "Indian Summer has already been released on Morrison Hotel. Celebration of the Lizard, studio, we can't find it. And Paris Blues we're gonna use it some other time."

Mojo/www.the-doors.com asks "Ray, what are your thoughts on noncommercial web sites that feature The Doors, specifically regarding the use of copyrighted pictures, lyrics, etc?"

Ray Manzarek says "I guess there's nothing wrong with it. Copyrights exist to protect the artists; so if you're using the artist's copyright, you're violating the artist's work. As long as you don't sell it, I see nothing wrong with it."

MelvinM asks "Ray, how did "Light My Fire" come about--both lyrically and musically? I understand that Robby Kreiger wrote the lyrics. How did you come up with the keyboard arrangement for it? I think the song still holds up 30 years later."

Ray Manzarek says "I studied music; I played piano for 20 years. I think that's what you have to do: you have to practice, practice, practice. So, Robby came in with the song and then we all went to work on it. The Doors' communal mind took over. John Densmore put the Latin beats on it; Jim put the second verse in it. I put the solos and the introduction to it and Robby was the original song writer. And that's how it all came about. There was a period of time where we had individual credits on songs staring with the Soft Parade. It was a communal group mind that created the songs. Someone would come in with the basicd idea and then the other three guys would go to work on it and create the final version. So we all did it together."

parasite asks "are there plans to release further unreleased materials in the future?"

Ray Manzarek says "Not at this particular time, but we do have other stuff. And. . . we may . . . or . . . we may not. . ."

SirZeus asks "What is so controversial about the "Gloria" video released on the new "Best of The Doors" video?"

Ray Manzarek says "Sex. The only thing controversial is sex. It's always sex. They wouldn't show it on MTV. It's always Sex. It's new footage. A newly produced video using footage from the 60s and new footage of people's body parts. The body parts were offensive: they implied sexual intercourse. There's a home video out called The Best of the Doors on Universal Home Video. It's about an hour and 20 minutes long and it's in the stores NOW! And it's $14.95. It includes the Doors on the Ed Sullivan Show doing Light my Fire. It includes, Touch Me, it Includes L.A. Woman, a new video for Strange Days."

Ray Manzarek says "From Ray in Los Angeles: Hi Ray! I really dig your piano playing: How did Robbie get a black eye on the Ed Sullivan Show, or the Smothers' Brothers show?"

Ray Manzarek says "Back in the 60's it was dangerous to have long hair. Rednecks would beat you up because you were considered un-American. If you had long hair, it meant you were against the war in Vietnam. And REAL "Americans" love killing! They love booze! Drinking! Whiskey! and they love guns! Instead, the hippies like to get high on pot and then they like to make love and dance and make music and sing and have a good time! Hippies were against killing. So, three rednecks got in a fight with Jim and Robbie down the street from the Doors' office at a bar and there was pushing and shoving and Robbie Krieger got whacked in the eye. Jim ducked a punch, Robbie wasn't able to duck the punch. That was 2 days before we went on the SMothers Brothers' Show. They said to Robbie on the show, let's put some make-up on that black eye. You don't want to be on national televisoin with a black eye. And Robbie said, Yes I do! No one has ever gone on TV with a black eye. I'm going to be the first! It's a badge of honor. The End!"

GoldenScarab asks "Ray: I recently heard you talking about Jim possibly faking his death. Robby seemed against this idea. How do YOU feel about this idea."

Ray Manzarek says "Well, he could have! But, I doubt it. I wish he would have because I would love to see him again! And I would love to make music with him again! And I miss him! The end. . ."

MuleShoes asks "Where do you think you'd end up if you were just starting college today?"

Ray Manzarek says "Hopefully in a rock group that used a lot of electronics and would be called the Doors! Based on a book by Aldous Huxley called The Doors of Perception and they would be a kind of an acid-head band. And I would hopefully graduate from UCLA: wait a minute! I already did that! Well, hell! I'd like to do it again!"

SirZeus asks "If you could see Jim one last time, what would you say to him?"

Ray Manzarek says "Where have you been, fool? Have you stopped drinking?"

Quebecois asks "At the Doors peak, did you guys believed that you were the very best band in the world?"

Ray Manzarek says "Well, we knew we were right up there. I think there's no such thing as a "peak", I think there's a level of expertise that one has to attain and at that level were Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, the Stones, Janice Joplin, Bob Dylan and the Doors."

Astralplane asks "What was your favorite song to do live?"

Ray Manzarek says "Light my Fire. We got to do the longest solos! And Jim got to take a beer break in the middle of the song. You could always count on Ray and Robbie playing at least 10 minutes. So there was plenty of time for Jim to get back stage and get himself a beer to wet his whistle." Tshark asks "Are you surprised by staying power of The Doors' Music?"

Ray Manzarek says "Yes I am! I knew the Doors were good, but when we first got started I had no idea we'd be talking about the Doors 30 years later. I'm very pleased and very happy that the fans are as smart as they are today, because it takes brains to appreciate Doors' music!"

IN4SER asks "Do you know what happened to Andy & Anne Morrison? Sister and Brother?"

Ray Manzarek says "Andy lives in Hawaii and Anne is happily married and lives in Orange County or San Diego County, California."

ricky38 asks "question What's Robbie doing these days?"

Ray Manzarek says "Robbie is playing jazz with the Robbie Krieger Organization."

Mr.GoodTrips asks "what tempted you to pick up a guitar when recording 'Been Down So Long'...did you dig playing guitar too?!"

Ray Manzarek says "Yes! Absolutely! I'm glad you caught that! I love playing the guitar. Not much, though. All I can play is an A, a B a D Minor. That song was my opportunity to play my half-dozen guitar licks. Thanks for noticing!"

Jinxed asks "What do you think of the music fads today?"

Ray Manzarek says "I like the music today. I like the teckno ambience, electronic dance music! I like Future Sounds of London and I like Chemical Brothers, Goldie, Tricky is good and my son has a band, Pablo, Nick and Zak Young, called Artificial Intelligence. Hopefully, you'll hear something from them soon."

CMarble asks "I love your solo in the song " Take it as it comes", and I think this is the hardest one. What can you say about this solo?"

Ray Manzarek says "That's Bach! That's classical studies! You have to study J.S. Bach. That helps to play that type of stuff. So, practice, practice, practice!"

Lizard Kiing asks "do you love to hear your music on the radio tv etc"

Ray Manzarek says "Of course! What musician wouldn't want to hear his music on the radio?"

Crystal Queene asks "Have you read P.S. Kiss the Duchess For Me...it tells the story of a real Unknown Soldier..."

Ray Manzarek says "I haven't read that."

spicoli asks "What was it like working with X? And, what is your favorite X album?"

Ray Manzarek says "X was fabulous! The best punk rock band in America! Nobody could play guitar like Billy Zoom! Nobody could write lyrics like Exene and John Doe. No one could crack a snare harder than Don Bonebreak. And, I don't know that I have a favorite X album, I think the four albums that I produced with X are all my favorites. But I do love the first one: Los Angeles because I got to play organ with them. What fun that was! Soul Kitchen's on that one."

TheChangeling asks "Ray what happened to Paris Blues?"

Ray Manzarek says "Paris BLues will be out some day; we're going to use it in another context. Paris Blues is an outtake from the L.A. Woman session and we had originally talked about including it in thte box set, but we're saving it for another use. It's a blues song; it's not that special, but it's going to fit in with another concept. I have in mind. It's a funky blues"

Tshark asks "Besides Jim's family, how involved were all of your parents in what you were doing?"

Ray Manzarek says "No parents were involved in anything we did! You know what? All of our parents did abrilliant job! They made us, they raised us, they fed us! Clothed us, birped us and cleaned our dirty little diapers! I love my mother and father and the rest of the guys love their mothers and fathers, too. They loved the Doors. Robbie's father and mother came to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. My mother and father came to Doors' shows. John Densmore's mother and father saw Doors' shows. Only Jim's parents never saw Doors shows. I Spoke to Jim's mother. She's a lovely woman. I've never met his father."

blackcoyote asks "are there anymore hidden jewels for another great video project"

Ray Manzarek says "We have a great video project coming up, but I'm not at liberty to tell you about it! It's going to be the story of the Doors, as told by Ray, John and Robbie! The real story! Psychedelic! Mystical and Rock!!!"

bluesunday asks "/ask According to Greg Shaw and his wonderful book, "The Doors on the Road," there are still a variety of excellent Doors soundboards from the 1970 tour that have never been released in their entirety. Doors fans are eager for more complete and unedited live Doors performances. Can we expect any future releases?"

Ray Manzarek says "Greg Shaw is wrong. The book is wonderful, but as far as unrelesaed stuff, there's not that much. However, we'll see if we can come up with what you guys are looking for. On the other hand, that's why you have all those damned bootlegs! Those French and Italian "coke money bootlegs"! That's the French connection. Laundering money by making bootlegs. But, you guys get to hear them; unfortunately, a lot of the money goes to the Mafia. And that's the truth."

perception123 asks "how come Light my fire isn't on the box set...Did you actually not do that in New York or was it omitted!??"

Ray Manzarek says "We didn't want to have it twice. It's on the disc called "Band's Favorites" and it was so long, we didn't want to have it twice."

blackcoyote asks "how was it like creating your solo spoken words album?"

Ray Manzarek says "That was fun! That was a lot like this. Just talking about the Doors."

tgrisier asks "What was the most difficult song to record. Both personally and technically."

Ray Manzarek says "Celebration of the Lizard. We never did get that great studio take. But we played the hell out of it live! Studio life: focusing on the music. You're in the studio to make music. Partying, you can do anywhere. I think bands that party too much in the studio are ridiculous."

The Crystal Ship asks "Are there any of Jim or your films from UCLA hangin' around somewhere?"

Ray Manzarek says "Jim's film is gone; lost. My student movies are on the Doors' laser disc called, the Doors' Collection. On Universal Home Video! The laserdisc has two of my movies and Jim appears briefly in one of them."

Holy Sha asks "What was it like jamming to "Gloria" with you guys along with Van Morrison at the Whiskey in 66'?"

Ray Manzarek says "Absolutely incredible! Jim Morrison and Van Morrison on the same stage at the same time singing Gloria. Man! It was unique. It may have been the best time I've ever had! Well, almost . . . making love to Dorothy is better than that!"

second coming asks "what would Jim think of the corporate beast the doors have turned into today?"

Ray Manzarek says "Who says it's a corporate beast? Let me put it this way: Second coming we don't need you this time, we're all the Messiah this time. You're obsolete; In the new age, all of us are the Messiah and it's the first time around. There will be no second coming. I resent your question."

SirZeus asks "what book do you think gives a strong accurate account of the doors the best? (Besides myth and reality which I commend you strongly on)"

Ray Manzarek says "Thank you. Myth and reality is an album I made talking about the Doors and Jim. My book gives the best account which will be coming out next summer. I just finished the first draft four days ago. It's going to be out on Putnam in the summer of '98. It will tell you about the Doors from Ray Manzarek's perspective."

SundayTrucker asks "What are your plans for the future? Films? Music? "

Ray Manzarek says "The book of course. I'm planning on directing a movie. If everything goes right. I might do one called "L.A. Woman". It'll be independent! I've got another one called The Road Man about 3 college boys going to the desert to take peyote. And meeting ujp with some Native Americans who are members of the Native American church. One more film I want to do is called The Art of Murder. It takes place on a college campus; 3 guys are all in love with the same girl; one is a teacher, two are art students; one a sculptur, the other a TV Video artist. And the Girl, THE FOX, is an actress who has driven them all mad with lust and a murder has been committed."

Moderator says "That's going to wrap it up for the evening. Our thanks go out to Ray Manzarek for taking the time to chat with us tonight! Be sure to check out the latest Doors CD box set and home video releases!!!!"

Ray Manzarek says "Thanks everyone! Thanks for being Doors' fans; Thanks for being good people! Thanks for being smart people! Now: Just LOVE One another! As Jim said: Love, Love, Love, is The Answer. Over and Out."

Moderator says "Thanks again chatters. And remember, the best chats can be found only on the Universal Chat Network!!! Be sure to tune in tomorrow night when sci-fi and horror guru Forry Ackerman will be chatting live!!! All chats occur at 6:00 PM PST/9:00 PM EST!!! Thanks again chatters….this has been a great event. This has been a production of the Universal Chat Network."