The Doors’ Robby Krieger has been working on getting a bunch of musicians together to memorialize fellow band member, Ray Manzarek, who died last year.
“We want to bring together those who Ray either idolized or guys who idolized Ray, maybe at the Greek or The Hollywood Bowl for a big concert this summer,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve teamed up with Live Nation and they are helping us get it all together. We just want it to be the best it can be.”
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Manzarek’s family and brothers will be present, along with The Doors’ John Densmore. “John and I will be there and we’ve had a lot of interest. Since he’s been gone, we really haven’t had any kind of real tribute for him, except at his funeral service. We want people to remember Ray for everything he has done. There are so many musicians and fans who have learned so much from him.”
Krieger has sent out letters to many musicians to check their availability to participate. “That’s the hard part, coordinating everyone’s schedules,” he said. “To get everyone together on one day, in the summertime, when they are not on tour for a big venue, that’s the challenge.”
While there was a falling-out between the remaining Doors members in recent years, Manzarek’s death has brought Densmore and Krieger together again — which should make Doors fans very happy.
“John and I haven’t been on the best of terms,” acknowledged Krieger. “Ray and I wanted to play as The Doors, and John didn’t want to, and so we had a big lawsuit. But now John and I are back on track…too bad it took Ray’s passing to cause that. But I am happy that we are.”
Krieger described Manzarek as a cross between a father figure and a big brother. “He was older than us. And when we started out, we needed someone like Ray, especially with Jim (Morrison) being the way he was. It wasn’t the easiest group to be together. But it was actually perfect; no matter what Jim did, he was balanced off by Ray being very calm.”
Krieger, who just played with his band, Jam Kitchen at the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show, has been busy with a lifelong dream of his: building a new studio for public use in Glendale. “It’s hard sometimes to make music at your home studio, since there are so many distractions. I think people are going to get tired of their home studios — I know I did. I’ve always been two to three years ahead of most musicians around here, so I’m hoping others will be interested too!”
The studio is a mix of old school and new technology. “We have some old mixing boards from the ’70s, and a Neve board that Michael Jackson made ‘Thriller’ on. For down time, a musician can use our golf simulator and actually play a course from anywhere in the world! More and more musicians these days play golf for some reason — and it didn’t use to be cool to play golf when I first started playing music! But over the years, golf is very much like music, it’s a mental thing where you have to get out of your own way. When you are playing music, you don’t want to have to think too much.”
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Krieger named the studio, Horse Latitudes, not just because it’s a Doors song. “We are right near the Glendale equestrian center, so I thought it was a good name!” he joked.
Krieger was just at Johnny Depp’s studio, working on Alice Cooper’s album of covers. “I’ve recently played guitar on the forthcoming Alice Cooper-Johnny Depp recording project, which a tribute to their ‘dead friends’,” he said.
- This article originally appeared in THR.com.