A Door Closes

Ray Manzarek passed away, only 74. I’m in shock. About a thousand years ago, when my wife Lesley and I ran a small literary press called Broken Moon Press in Seattle, the Beat poet Michael McClure called me to say that he, Ray, and Alan Ginsberg would be in Seattle and invited us to their hotel on First Avenue to talk. We went, of course, thinking there would be some sort of reception with other media and publishing people, and it turned out to be just us. We spent an unforgettable evening, mostly with Ray and Michael (Alan arrived later that evening), discussing the launch of the Beat poets at the Six Gallery Reading that happened on 7 October 1955 (Six Gallery was on Fillmore Street in San Francisco). All ancient shadows now. Ray was just cool. Jazz cool. A Beat poet on the keyboard, who also changed history in one of the coolest bands ever.

Ray Manzarek