Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 148. Thanks Ray Manzarek for the Doors and for Patti Smith

Ray Manzarek (2/12/39-5/20/13) died this week.  He hooked up with Jim Morrison after college on Venice Beach and they created one of the most recognizable sounds of the '60's.  I really don't need to write here about Ray's life, you'll find it all over the internet.  I'll talk about how Jim Morrison and reading "No One Here Gets Out Alive" caused me to take off to San Francisco when I was 19...another time, too.

(Here's an older Ray--a more interesting face with 
greater expression because of a lifetime earning lines.)

What I will write here, though, is about Patti Smith.  Because without the Doors, there might not be a Patti or maybe not the "same" Patti.  I guess in my rush to get this post out there, I can feel I'm not fully expressing what I'm trying to say, which is speaking of Patti Smith, I'm just showing one of the 1,000's of examples of the influence of the Doors.  Yes, I guess that's it.  So Ray Manzarek, you can't ever know how that kizmet run-in on a beach kept repeatedly changing lives and music and will continue to do so forever.  Rest in peace, Ray.

From Patti Smith's PHENOMENAL book, "Just Kids."

Below are Patti's remembrances of seeing The Doors:

I had a strange reaction watching Jim Morrison. Everyone around me seemed transfixed, but I observed his every move in a state of cold hyperawareness. I remember this feeling much more clearly than the concert. I felt, watching Jim Morrison, that I could do that. I can’t say why I thought this. I had nothing in my experience to make me think that would ever be possible, yet I harbored that conceit. I felt both kinship and contempt for him. I could feel his self-consciousness as well as his supreme confidence. He exuded a mixture of beauty and self-loathing, and mystic pain, like a West Coast Saint Sebastian. When anyone asked how the Doors were, I just said they were great. I was somewhat ashamed of how I had responded to their concert.

And here I am listening to Patti while I draw Ray Manzarek.  The Doors sang "People Are Strange," Patti sings "Ain't It Strange" live (here) in Amsterdam.  One of my favorite songs of hers.

Here's a young Patti Smith from my 2012 Limited Edition Sketchbook--"The Last Word Spoken"--for The Brooklyn Art Library.

(I just can't get this to load portrait-style.  I've flipped it around a million times, it just won't load correctly.)


  1. Thanks for sharing all that, Jill. Love seeing more of your work!

    1. Thank you so much, Lesley! I'm honored that you stopped by and enjoyed it! (-: