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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Morrison’

Died On This Date (May 20, 2013) Ray Manzarek (May 20, 2013) Keyboardist For The Doors

Posted by themusicsover on May 20, 2013

Ray Manzarek
February 12, 1939 – May 20, 2013

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Ray Manzarek was the co-founder and keyboardist for legendary rock band, the Doors.  Born in Chicago, Manzarek moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA film school during the early ’60s.  It was there that he met Jim Morrison who told him he had written some songs and sang him a rough version of  “Moonlight Drive,” and the Doors was born.  In January of 1966, John Densmore and Robby Krieger were added to the mix, and the group soon became the house band at The London Fog in Hollywood.  Unfortunately, the group did very little to bring new patrons into the dingy bar so they were eventually fired only to be picked up by the Whiskey a Go Go the very same day.  Their first gig at the Whiskey was opening for Them which got them some notice, and lead to a contract with Columbia Records. After languishing there for a few months they asked to be released from their contract and were soon signed by Jac Holzman to Elektra Records.  The band’s first album, simply titled The Doors debuted in January of 1967 and soared to  #2 on the Billboard charts on its way to selling over 12 million copies.  The album  included the band’s biggest single, “Light My Fire.”  The Doors went on to become one of the most important rock bands all time thanks to their brilliant compositions and Morrison’s dynamic stage presence.  After Morrison’s untimely death in 1971, the band forged on as a trio until calling it quits in 1973.  In later years, the Doors occasionally reformed for special engagements.  Outside of the band, Manzerek released several solo albums and formed a group he called Nite City.  He also collaborated with the likes of X, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Iggy Pop.   On May 20, 2013, Ray Manzarek died from bile duct cancer.  He was 74.

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Died On This Date (January 5, 2005) Danny Sugarman / Manager Of The Doors & Author

Posted by themusicsover on January 5, 2012

Danny Sugarman
October 11, 1954 – January 5, 2012

If there was such a thing as a “5th Door,” Danny Sugarman would likely have been it.  Besides being the Doors’ second manager, Sugarman the two definitive books on Jim Morrison and the band, No One Here Gets Out Alive (1980, with Jerry Hopkins) and Wonderland Avenue: Tales Of Glamour And Success (1989) .  Born and raised in Los Angeles, Sugarman was a rabid fan of the band, and when given the opportunity at the age of 13 to respond to fan mail on their behalf.  He quickly became a close friend and confidant of Morrison’s.  After Morrison’s death, the band and original manager, Bill Siddons parted ways so Sugarman took over managerial duties.   He also served as consultant on Oliver Stone’s 1991 biopic, The Doors.  Also that year, he married Fawn Hall of Oliver North/Iran-Contra affair fame.  Besides the above-mentioned books, Sugarman authored The Doors (1983), The Doors: The Illustrated History (1983), and Appetite For Destruction:  The Days Of Guns N’ Roses (1991).  He also managed Iggy Pop at one point.  Danny Sugarman died of lung cancer on January 5, 2005.  He was 50.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.

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Died On This Date (July 23, 2011) Amy Winehouse / English Pop Singer, Member of 27 Club

Posted by themusicsover on July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse
September 14, 1983 – July 23, 2011

Member of the 27 Club

Amy Winehouse was an English singer-songwriter who burst on to the scene in 2006 and quickly built a legion of fans for her soulful and sultry songs that offered a mix of R&B, Jazz, Rock, Pop, and Soul.  During a relatively short and troubled life in front of the masses, Winehouse opened the door for such white neo-soul divas as Duffy and Adele.  Born in north London, Winehouse quickly took a shine to music and soon found herself being scolded by her teachers for constantly breaking out into a song during classes.  By 13, she had her first guitar, and within a year she was writing her own songs.  Shortly after that she was signed by Simon Fuller’s 19 Management.  Fuller of course, is of American Idol fame.  In October of 2003, Winehouse released her debut album, Frank, likely in a nod to one of her idols, Frank Sinatra.   The album was critically acclaimed and did well across the U.K., but it wasn’t until the release of 2006’s Back To Black and its instantly iconic first single, “Rehab,” that Winehouse’s popularity skyrocketed around the globe.  The album entered the U.S. charts at #7, and was the biggest selling album of the year in the U.K.  Back To Black and Winehouse won several Grammys that year, including Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist.  The album also sat in the Top 10 of most credible year-end best-of lists of 2006.  But the spotlight was harsh on Winehouse who was dealing with her own internal demons.  She admitted to struggling with eating disorders, depression and self harm, while abuse of illegal drugs contributing to a life that seemed to be quickly spiraling out of control.  There were also a handful of legal issues – drug related and otherwise, along with health problems that were keeping Winehouse’s often sadly frightening images in the media, no thanks to paparazzi who were documenting her fall from greatness.  On July 23, 2011, Amy Winehouse was found to be not breathing in her bed by her security guard who immediately called paramedics who were not able to revive her.  Cause of death was attributed to alcohol poisoning.  Like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and so many great 27 Clubbers before her, Winehouse was 27 when she passed away.

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Back to Black - Amy Winehouse

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Died On This Date (July 4, 2011) Jane Scott / Beloved Cleveland Rock Journalist

Posted by themusicsover on July 4, 2011

Jane Scott
May 3, 1919 – July 4, 2011

Jane Scott was, simply put, a rock critic’s rock critic.  For 50 years, she covered nearly every major concert that came through Cleveland, Ohio for the city’s major daily, the Plain Dealer.  Born in Cleveland, Scott graduated from the University of Michigan and served in the U.S. Navy before taking up a career in journalism.  In March of 1952, just three days after Cleveland DJ, Alan Freed put on what has been called the world’s first rock concert, Scott was hired by the Plain Dealer to cover local society events.  In 1958, she took over a column that was aimed at what now would be called “tweens,” and soon morphed it into one of the world’s first rock columns.  Scott’s earliest major rock story came in 1964 when she covered the Beatles‘ first show at Cleveland’s Public Hall.  She soon found herself covering the band’s tour through Europe.  When the Fab Four returned to Cleveland in 1966, it was Scott who scored one of Paul McCartney’s first American interviews ever.   By her retirement in 2002, Scott estimated that she had been to over 10,000 concerts, and along the way she earned the love, friendship and respect from everyone from Mick Jagger to Jim Morrison to David Bowie to Bob Dylan.  So beloved by the rock community, it took her 80th birthday celebration in 1999 to reunite the Raspberries.  And to help celebrate the occasion, Glenn Frey of the Eagles sent a note saying “Jane, you never met a band you didn’t like,”  while Lou Reed wrote “I must confess, I love Jane Scott. When I was in the Velvet Underground in the ’60s, Jane was one of the only people I can remember who was nice to us.”  Scott was 83 when she retired, but she continued to attend concerts by her favorites – the Rolling Stones, the Who, and Bruce Springsteen.  Jane Scott was 92 when she passed away on July 4, 2011.

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Died On This Date (June 15, 2011) Wild Man Fischer / Unconventional Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on June 15, 2011

Larry “Wild Man” Fischer
November 6, 1944 – June 15, 2011

Wild Man Fischer was a cultish singer-songwriter whose unconventional music and actions could be attributed to mental illness.  He’s been called severely paranoid schizophrenic, manic depressive, and an acid casualty.  Fischer was kicked out of high school for singing in class, and at 16 was institutionalized after attacking his mother with a knife.  Upon his release the following year, he landed on the  streets of Los Angeles where he continued to sing his outlandish songs to pedestrians at just 10 cents each.  Another venue he enjoyed was Dodger Stadium where he serenaded fans while selling peanuts.  He also entered area talent shows, and it was at one of these that he caught the attention of Solomon Burke who took him on tour with him.  By the late ’60s, Fischer was hanging out along West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip where he opened for the likes of Iron Butterfly and Bo Diddley.  He was soon spotted by Frank Zappa who recorded his first album, An Evening With Wild Man Fischer in 1968.  He went on to perform with Art and Artie Barnes and recorded additional albums on his own through the ’80s.  His 1975 Go To Rhino Records was the first album ever released by the esteemed Rhino label.  Throughout his career, Fischer worked with such luminaries as Linda Ronstadt, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Tom Waits, and oddly enough, Rosemary Clooney, with whom he dueted on 1986’s “It’s A Hard Business.”  In recent years he has performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, while making other random appearances.  He is also the subject of a recent documentary, Derailroaded: Inside The Mind Of Wild Man Fischer.  Wild Man Fischer was 66 when he passed away on June 15, 2011.  Cause of death was not immediately released, but he was reportedly suffering from heart issues.

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