The Doors exploded onto the music scene 46 years ago with their eponymously titled debut album. No other band sounded as muscularly visceral in those days. I remember hearing their music over the PA system when I attended the Monterey Pop Festival at the ripe old age of 15. The band didn’t play the festival, but their spirit was strongly felt there. They were the raw, dark, sensually and sexually charged sound of The Summer of Love. An adult-oriented contrast to the album that most represents that time, The Beatles opus, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.
Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist who founded the group with vocalist Jim Morrison, was responsible for much of the band’s signature sound. The album version of their first single, “Light My Fire“, features one of the most deservedly famous organ solos in rock history. I think there is no more fitting statement to Mr. Manzarek’s mastery of the instrument. Only a few, rare times in popular music have artists joined to make such a lasting impact on the sound of an era. In the rebellious California music scene of the late 60s The Doors was just such an amazing confluence of talent.