Remembering Ray Manzarek: Revisiting The Doors At Isle Of Wight In 1970


Today marks the anniversary of the death of keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who passed away at the age of 74 on this date in 2013. A prominent component of the popular late-1960s rock band The Doors, it was Manzarek’s signature organ playing, coupled with charismatic frontman Jim Morrison’s poetic lyrics that defined the Rock And Roll Hall Fame group’s sound.

Celebrate the life and music of Ray Manzarek and The Doors with the last known footage of the psychedelic rockers performing live. The band also featuring guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore performed at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970 and the video capturing that set is believed to the last visual evidence of the original foursome in concert. An ill-fated show in New Orleans in December 1970 would mark an end to the original lineup’s live performances.

In 2018, The Doors Live At The Isle of Wight 1970 was released on DVD and Blu-Ray. Press materials for the release contained a quote from Manzarek recalling the performance that came while Morrison was dealing with legal issues stemming from obscenity charges that resulted after a The Doors concert in Miami. Manzarek stated:

Our set was subdued but very intense. We played with a controlled fury and Jim was in fine vocal form. He sang for all he was worth, but moved nary a muscle. Dionysus had been shackled.

Several songs captured on the release that were played by The Doors when they took the stage at 2 a.m. on August 30, 1970 before a crowd of 600,000 are available to preview. Watch below as Manzarek, Morrison, Densmore and Krieger play The Doors classics “Light My Fire” (listen for a tease at 8:22), “When The Music’s Over” and “Break On Through (To The Other Side)” featuring Ray’s signature organ leads:

[Break On Through (To The Other Side)]

[Light My Fire]

[When The Music’s Over]

[Originally Published: May 20, 2018]