In January 1967 when John Densmore’s snare drum cracked like a rifle shot before Ray Manzarek’s nimble fingers made their intricate run of baroque-sounding notes on that reedy Farfisa organ, all on the introduction to jazz/flamenco guitarist Robbie Krieger’s composition “Light My Fire”, it clearly and boldly announced a unique approach to rock and roll that really has no peer. And all of that before Jim Morrison stepped up to the microphone to introduce one of the greatest voices and hedonistic personalities in rock history. Not unlike Creedence Clearwater Revival from the same period, no other American bands put out more albums in less time which were more influential in the last 50+ years. And like CCR, no one ever sounded like The Doors ever since. Here is Doors co-founder the late Ray Manzarek with me In the Studio to mark The Doors anniversary. -Redbeard
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It is the fiftieth anniversary of “L.A. Woman” by The Doors, one of the greatest albums ever made by an American band, one of the first great albums to usher in the Seventies decade, the last album ever by the incomparable Jim Morrison, and a personal “desert island disc” for me that never ages; with the late Ray Manzarek In the Studio.
The Doors’ co-founder Ray Manzarek In the Studio for Strange Days.
The Doors Absolutely Live performing “Who Do You Love”
John Fogerty talks In the Studio with Redbeard about the Grammy winner “.Blue Moon Swamp” on its twenty-fifth anniversary.
David Bowie’s “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust” changed the trajectory of rock music, fashion, and gender social issues in just 38 minutes. Here are the late David Bowie and guitarist Mick Ronson with me In the Studio.
To carve in three dimensions the zeitgeist of the Summer of Love in 1967 America, you would have to chisel the Jefferson Airplane’s second album “Surrealistic Pillow” into any Mt. Rushmore of Rock…Jefferson Airplane co-founder singer/songwriter Marty Balin (who passed away 2018), Grace Slick, and rhythm guitarist/songwriter Paul Kantner, who passed away in 2016, joined me for this landmark recording released the first week of February 1967.
Men At Work managed to occupy the peak slot in America for 15 weeks. The songs “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under” followed the Business As Usual debut album from Men At Work to #1 sales for all three in the U.S., something never before done by a rookie band, not even the Beatles.
The original Allman Brothers Band had to be seen and heard live to be fully appreciated, and in 1971 the band headlined four shows over two nights on March 13-14 at the Fillmore East that were recorded. My guests remember it well: one of two original guitarists, Dickey Betts, & the late great Gregg Allman.
It is clear on the thirtieth anniversary of R.E.M.’s “Out of Time” album that the song from it, “Losing My Religion”, has weathered the time in between exceedingly well. “Pop culture, particularly in the US, everything comes and goes in cycles, as things do,” points out R.E.M. singer/ lyricist Michael Stipe, “which we all realize as we all grow older and wiser, whether it’s politics or music or pop culture…I always wanted to have a song that would be considered ‘the song of the Summer’. As it was, that song kind of became the song of the year,” he chuckled. Ten million copies sold and three Grammy Awards later, nobody could argue the case.