The first album I ever bought was by The Doors. I was young, still in the single digits of years, and I needed a song to play over and over again, ‘The Unknown Soldier’ by The Doors. My mother had to drive me to the music store to get my own because my brother wouldn’t let me play his copy of it anymore.
I found ‘The Unknown Soldier’ on ‘The Doors 13′, it was a greatest hits collection, not a proper album but it was perfect for me to get a sample of what this band had been about. I listened to that tape over and over and over again. ‘Light My Fire’, ‘Love Me Two Times’, ‘Hello, I Love You’, ‘You’re Lost Little Girl’, they were all so exciting to my young impressionable mind.
The weird thing is, I never bought another Doors album again, I quickly branched off into other bands and albums and styles. I would listen to the Doors on the radio and still loved them, but I hadn’t purposefully pressed play on their music much more in my life since, especially in comparison to other music I love. But when I look back on my life and how much that record probably influenced some of it is clear and stark, and I am deeply grateful to the band that created it.
Ray Manzarek may not have been the front man of The Doors, but his keyboard defined so much of The Doors sound and feel that you could never imagine the band without him. A little online research about him will tell you a lot more about him than I can here, his accomplishments are impressive, I only have my personal gratitude to share. My path in music, living in Venice Beach, my love of rock-and-roll keyboard, and much more, may have all been shaped by that first record. I don’t know if the older generation of rock-and-roll performers know how much they mean to us, and how much we hate to see them go.
Thank you Ray Manzarek, R.I.P.
I now own gloves. I know you may think to yourselves, “yes, and?”, well, I admit it’s not really that monumental of a statement. Doesn’t everybody own gloves? My hands have accepted some very hot cups of tea in my life and perhaps I’ve cursed myself for not having some sort of hand protection for the occasional lava-hot brew. But I have lived in southern California for so long now I can’t even remember needing gloves for cold weather. I haven’t even owned a heavy coat since I was very young. I wear standard issue t-shirts of varying colours and flip-flop sandals almost all year round in the nearly endless sunshine of Venice Beach. But at the moment, I am more northerly than our species should probably permanently inhabit. This Canadian southern California boy is in Seattle, Washington.
Maybe I’m not mushing sled dogs through the arctic, but fekk, it’s damn cold here, especially for my SoCal thinned blood. So I bought gloves (and a scarf, and a heavy wool jacket) to survive my stay here. I didn’t want future humans to discover my frozen carcass in some archaeological dig and be designated ‘Wallingford Man’ (Wallingford is a Seattle neighbourhood, in case you needed a guide). I have my own personal mental challenge to not lose the gloves, but their loss is just as inevitable as my eventual return to the easy weather of Venice Beach.
Seattle also has its treasures that I’m starting to discover and appreciate. I’ve met so many lovely folks this time around, I’m starting to think of Seattle as a second home. I have some family here, and my legendary guitar-wielding collaborator Peter Buck records with me here, and now that I’m out exploring Seattle’s unique neighbourhoods and playing shows here, it’s becoming much more familiar to me. And I have to say it is a lovely city, with some great music talent and venues, and some very interesting people.
I just slid my new gloves off to go on the trusty laptop and look for some flights back to California, but I’ll be back to Seattle soon, and hopefully I won’t lose my gloves in the meantime.
PS. Please have a listen to our newly minted version of Make A Fuss, it’s been one of the songs I’ve played most here in Seattle, I guess it’s just been on my mind:
Lots of ukuleles today. Lots.
Fog rolling in on Venice Beach
Lord Jagannatha returns to Venice Beach
I snuck through a minor clash of religions on the Venice boardwalk yesterday while the Krishna Festival of Chariots paraded their colourful floats past very upset Christian zealots. I wasn’t sure if the Krishna devotees were performing third-trimester abortions on the floats as tourists took pictures, but whatever was going on sure made the Bible-thumpers upset.
Maybe they were just trying to convince Krishna to reprise his role in Avatar 2.
The sunshine and free veggie food was lovely.
Sunset on Venice Beach with the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing their new song live on a rooftop. 12,619 times.