His post got me to thinking about the music that shapes us, individually. It's the "what you are is where you were when" artifact I cited last year in a post to my spouse. For many, it's the music of the 80s that forms a kernel of consciousness for a generation. For others, it will be the [insert 50s, 60s, 70s, or 90s here]. Which leads me back to the earlier driver of the post, the song that seemed to frame a portion of my social growth (outside of The Beatles, of course). It is the aptly titled Riders on the Storm from 1971 by The Doors. So many times it was this tune that came over the car radio late at night while I or someone else drove to or from some party, dance, or event as a teen (the exact eerie sort of creature that now walks my house). As clumsy and anxiety prone as those high school era gatherings could be, it was the music that seemed to hold me together. I guess it couldn't help but mold me. Recently, I drove home one night and it reappeared on my radio:
Though it never topped the charts in the U.S. or the U.K. (#14 and #22, respectively), it was still inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in November 2009. It remains a haunting track from the L.A. Woman album, in more ways than one. It proved to be the last song lead singer Jim Morrison recorded before heading for his final resting place in France some weeks later. It was released shortly before his death. Many see the song as autobiographical for the talented but troubled lead singer. Even the band's drummer, John Densmore, used the title in his biography of the band. As well, the rain storm sound effects and evocative electric piano playing by Ray Manzarek really added to that wistful feeling. As cited by DeeTheWriter, "when the 71-year-old Ray Manzarak was asked by the Somerville Journal in March 2010 if he turns up or turns off Doors music when he hears it on the radio, Manzarek said",
"Oh, God, turn it up! Are you kidding? Living up in northern alifornia, it rains a lot, so they play the heck out of 'Riders on the Storm.' And when that comes on, I crank that sucker, man."I know what he means. This forgotten song deserves to be cranked up, especially at night. I hope you all have a great weekend.