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Wallowing in an earful of charming mumbo jumbo


The Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek (right). Photo: William Brown / Reuters

The Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek (right). Photo: William Brown / Reuters

The Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek (right). Photo: William Brown / Reuters

'We knew we had entered the Zen space," said the late Ray Manzarek (on this week's The Green Room).

"There was a space of oneness in a way beyond time." Ray was, of course, The Doors' mystical organ tickler. And being a mystical organ tickler (especially one who frequently tickled in the vicinity of Jim Morrison) he used to say things like "a space of oneness in a way beyond time" quite a lot.

The interview, I should stress, was lifted from the Newstalk archives and rebroadcast to mark Manzarek's death earlier this month, aged 74. So Ray wasn't communicating with host Orla Barry from beyond the grave (or from the ethereal halls of the Lizard King, as Jim probably would have put it). But, listening to Ray, you got the feeling that all things were cosmically possible.


That whole entering the "Zen space" business was in response to a question about how aware the band were of their own supposed "revolutionariness". But Ray had much more to say on the subject of afterlives. Jim Morrison's. His own. What happens us all after our clogs are popped.

"You go into the energy," said Ray. "You came from the energy. You are the energy. And you will return... to the absolute divine joyous energy that is all things."

"It's a circle," Ray added, getting shape-specific. "Life is... a great circular infinity."

Listeners with a low tolerance for (old-school) psychedelic mumbo jumbo were probably rolling their eyes (in motions of great circular infinity) at this point, but it was hard not to be charmed by the old rascal.

Or maybe my judgment was clouded by the intoxicating vapours of nostalgia. For I was, I admit, a teenage Doors fan. Earnest. Zealous. Convinced that Jim Morrison's craptacular The Lords and the New Creatures was the most unjustly neglected volume of poetry ever published. You want a sample verse? Of course you do. "Snakeskin jacket, Indian eyes, Brilliant hair, He moves in disturbed, Nile insect, Air."

Hey, don't judge me too harshly. I was 16... and squeezed into disturbingly tight leather trousers. Blood flow to the brain was impaired. I could hardly stand up without passing out.

And besides, Jim DID have brilliant hair (or above average hair at least). Ray Manzarek, who finished the interview roaring "You're living in the garden of Eden, people!" at a startled radio audience, would, I'm sure, have agreed. RIP Ray. Hope you're happily wallowing in all that "joyous energy".

From death to sex. Jilly 'Queen of the Bonkbuster' Cooper was George's guest on Monday's The Right Hook. "It has been a matter of massive regret my entire life," groaned George, "that I missed out on the swinging Sixties." George had, he explained, spent most of the decade in London, where things were definitely swinging. They just weren't swinging in George's direction. He was, as it were, swinging adjacent. "That's terrible," sighed Jilly (sounding genuinely devastated). "I'm so sad."


Jilly changed the subject and asked him how his book was going. "Well my book... is just a rugby book," said George. "Why don't you write a sexy novel about rugby?" asked Jilly. "Oh God, please don't encourage this!" said everyone at home. "I have that plan," said George, brightening. "I've got all the sex planned in my head for the book. I just haven't worked out whether it takes place in a radio station or a rugby club."

"Both!" said Jilly. "Neither!" pleaded everyone at home. But the wheels, I fear, are in motion.

Improbable radio moment of the week? Mairead Farrell interviewing 'lookalikes' on Wednesday's The Ray D'Arcy Show.

A guy who (we were told) resembled Hugh Jackman. Another who (apparently) looked like Danny from The Coronas. And a third who may or may not have looked slightly like Tommy Tiernan. It was all a bit hard to tell what these lookalikes actually, er, looked-a-like, because we couldn't, like, look. Epic fail, as the kids say.