Posts Tagged ‘The Doors’

Memory is a funny thing. Our minds are constantly messing with us and we help our brains do this. If you don’t believe me go read this. This happened to me. For years I was telling people about the time Ray Manzarek told me a dirty joke about Mick Jagger. But that never happened. He was there, I did meet him, but he didn’t tell the joke though he did deliver the punchline. The story got warped for a few reasons as far as I can tell. One is that when other people retold it they told as if Ray had told the joke and then would bring it up to me in front of other people framing it that way. The other is it made the story short and sweet and had name recognition.

The Real Story

I used to work at a hotel that did a lot of work with bands and theater groups due to its proximity to multiple venues. One day I saw that Ray Manzarek was going to be staying with us!!!! I was so excited and freaking out waiting for his arrival day. It came. It went. No Ray.

Two weeks later Michael McClure and Ray Manzarek walk in to check in! Some one had the dates wrong! Here he was in front of me! All I could think to say was “We were expecting you two weeks ago.” And Mr. Manzarek said “But you aren’t now?” and he chuckled. I asked them to please wait while I got our events/bands/whatever reservations person. She said she would be out in a moment. While we waited I did my best to keep my cool, stay professional, and mostly not show I was spazzing on the inside.

Michael McClure, a very good poet, and Ray were on tour together. While we were waiting Mr. McClure started telling this…joke…well, sort of a joke. You’ll see what I mean as I try my best to recount what he said:

So there’s this girl and she loves Mick Jagger. Every time she has sex she has to think about Mick in order to get off. And then one day the Rolling Stones come to town and she goes to the show. She goes up to the roadies and gets backstage after the show and she meets Mick Jagger. They get to talking and then she winds up having sex with Mick.

It’s at this point that Ray Manzarek looks at me and says “And who do you think she was thinking about when she was with him?” And we all laughed. To this day I still don’t really get it. I get the philosophical implications of the set up(I think), but these two men were operating on a whole other level from me.

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I was watching a documentary on the making of the first Doors album recently. Perry Farrell was talking about how it’s one of the albums he’ll hand to his kids to listen to. That got me thinking about what I would want the two smallest Muffins to be exposed to. The criteria for me is really “What albums touched me or made me appreciate music differently?” This is not a “Best Of” or “The Top Albums to…” list. This is very personal, and as I see it there are no wrong answers. So here we go…

The Beatles-Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band: Too obvious? Whatever. It’s a great album with great songs and it stands as a hallmark to what musicians can do without radio-friendly constraints. The older Muffin already owns The Beatles 1 CD and loves it. The younger muffin is digging it too.

Led Zeppelin-Led Zeppelin IV: Yes another obvious one. I don’t think I can properly explain what this album did to my 6th grade brain when I first listened to the whole thing. Amazing highs and great mellow bits. Great musicianship all around. And did I mention iconic?

Psychotic Waltz-Into The Everflow: A little known, but almost huge, progressive metal band out of San Diego, CA. I believe this is there strongest and most well structured album. The guitar alone is worth it, but there are soaring vocals and complicated drum beats melded well with a solid bass sound.

Metallica-Master Of Puppets: Another seminal album. Metallica has done a lot of good, but none shine like this bad boy. Plus it’s the last album with Cliff Burton, who will always be the best metal bass player ever. Ever.

Teenage Fanclub-Bandwagonesque: I didn’t get hip to this one till quite a few years after it came out. It is a perfect album from start to finish and shows what great songwriting should be. The tonal structures of the guitar parts are awe inspiring.

Ben Folds-Ben Folds Live: This is our man on his own pounding the keys and singing his heart out. The best part? Hearing the harmonies Ben gets out of his audience. And the lyrics to his songs are some of the best you could ever hope to emmulate.

The Streets-Original Pirate Material: Not familiar with Grime? UK hip hop. This is one of those that changed me when I first heard it. The beats, the loops, the very personal lyrics, and placement in a specific time and location are just brilliant.

Well, I think that’s good for now. But this is definitely a list I will revisit. Look for future entries.

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