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Manzarek Eyes Doors Documentary, Other Projects

Marking the 41st anniversary of the release of the Doors’ classic self-titled album are several band-related projects already in shops and on the horizon. Tops on the list is an as-yet-untitled documentary that will chronicle the group’s entire career.

“We have plans for a big Doors documentary film in the works,” Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek said. “I saw the first cut of it yesterday, and it’s looking real good. But that won’t be out ’til another six months.”

Although Manzarek is keeping a tight lip at the moment on specifics about the documentary, he did confirm that it would feature a large amount of rare footage. “Absolutely — that’s the whole point of it. Never before seen! This is the anti-Oliver Stone [referring to Stone’s 1991 film, ‘The Doors’]. This will be the true story of the Doors.”

Already out is a “Classic Albums” DVD from Eagle Rock that focuses on the Doors’ aforementioned 1967 debut. “Everybody’s there — Densmore, Manzarek, Krieger, Bill Siddons, Bruce Botnick. It’s very insightful,” Manzarek says. Also interviewed for the DVD are longtime Doors fans Henry Rollins and Perry Farrell.

Another just-issued Doors release is the 16-track live CD, “Live in Pittsburgh 1970,” via Rhino. Recorded on May 7, 1970, the album captures the group during its final U.S. tour with late singer Jim Morrison.

Manzarek is getting ready to hit the road for a European tour in July as part of Riders On The Storm, a group that also features ex-Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger (and former Fuel singer Brett Scallions).

The keyboardist also recently issued a collaborative CD with guitarist Roy Rogers, “Ballads Before the Rain,” via Friday Music. “It’s all-instrumental — me playing the piano, and Roy playing some absolutely beautiful guitar. It’s lovemaking music. It’s ‘a glass of white wine as the sun is setting’ kind of music.”

And lastly, Manzarek is working on several movie scripts. “I’ve got four scripts. So what, who doesn’t have four scripts,” he says with a laugh. “I’ve got a film script based on ‘L.A. Woman,’ and another one in which three UCLA film school guys go to the desert to take peyote with the Native Americans at the Native American Church.”

“And they run into the people from the Native American Church — the peyote church,” he continues. “And all the sh*t that happens to them, you can imagine. Out in the desert, rednecks, psychic visions and reincarnation visions. Raymond White Eagle Daniels is the old wise man running the peyote ceremony. And that will of course never be made into a film, because it’s about peyote [laughs]. It’s a journey into manhood.”