The Doors were my first true experiential rock love. I drew Jim Morrison’s face on everything while my contemporaries were doodling Marvin the Martian. Being a sheltered suburban teen, Morrison’s sexuality was challenging and mystic, and Manzarek’s keystrokes were demonically cool. But cool in an approachable way because they sprang from and complimented Morrison’s crooning, which made their music more attainable for a tyke like me as opposed to jam bands that sputtered out impressively obscure psychedelic guitar goobledygook that I can appreciate now but had no hope to then.
So here’s to you, Ray: the genius behind The Doors who was eclipsed by a less talented lethario who had the good fortune of dying young. Your image may not be emblazoned on lunch-boxes and T-shirts the world over, but the historical narrative of your genre will treat you far more kindly in…The End.
Rest In Peace, brother. Thank you for being the professor that ignited the fervor of my ongoing music education.