Door Jam

The Doors obviously would not have been the special band they became without Jim Morrison, but it’s equally valid to say that, without keyboardist and musical director Ray Manzarek, the Doors would have been little more than Big Brother and the Holding Company to Morrison’s Janis Joplin (which is in no way to disparage that still-underrated band). Manzarek gave the Doors a distinguishing sound as a keyboard-led group, rather than a guitar-first group, and he brought and integrated jazz and blues influences more directly than most in his field. Manzarek died this week, and we remember him with this Jam (the genesis of which the group explains here):

Time to retire #27?

When British singer Amy Winehouse died late last month of as-yet-unknown causes, media sources were surprisingly quick to note the significance of her age at death, twenty-seven years old, the same age at which a number of the most famous Western musicians died. The following is a briefly annotated list of the members of the so-called “27 Club,” with a couple notable mentions for those who nearly qualified.

(Unsurprisingly, the cause of death of many of these individuals is not entirely clear, so I’ll include the official cause of death, along with any other rumored causes, as available.) Keep reading…