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R.I.P. Ray Manzarek

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RIP Ray Manzarek

Keyboardist Ray Manzarek, a founding member of The Doors, passed away yesterday after losing a battle with bile duct cancer. He was seventy-four.

I know that The Doors aren’t exactly metal from a musical standpoint, but they certainly were in terms of their attitude and performance style, and I have no doubt that Manzarek and The Doors influenced countless metal musicians. In fact, I know as much, because so many metal covered The Doors over the years.

The metallic Doors cover that always stands out in my memory is Prong’s version of “Strange Days,” which they recorded with Manzarek for the 1995 cyberthriller of the same name. My dad had pretty much the most awesome collection of old vinyls ever, including multiple releases from The Doors, and remember my adolescent mind being below by both what Prong had done with the song, and that they had managed to get Manzarek to participate — I think, in my mind, this somehow justified my love of metal at a time when my parents kept insisting I’d outgrow the genre some day (they obviously never won that battle).

There’s also Ministry’s version of “Roadhouse Blues,” another Doors classic. I’m kind of surprised at how little I hate this, actually:

And finally, MSN’s Headbäng has helpfully collected some other metal versions of Doors songs; I’ve posted the two I really like — Nevermore’s cover of “The Crystal Ship” and The Atlas Moth’s cover of “Five to One” — below, but you should head over there to hear more, including an Amorphis version of “Light My Fire” that’s so bad it makes Otep’s version of “Not to Touch the Earth” sound like a goddamn masterpiece.

R.I.P., Mr. Manzarek. You will be missed.

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