Taken from 'The Doors: Mr. Mojo Risin': The Story of L.A. Woman', watch this video where The Doors' keyboardist and vocalist Ray Manzarek explains how the band had come up with the famed track, 'Riders on the Storm'.
Robby Krieger also makes short appearances in the video.
In the video, Manzarek says they were jamming in the studio one day where Robby Krieger was playing on his guitar and the rest chimed in to sing Vaughn Monroe's 'Ghost Riders in the Sky' when suddenly, vocalist Jim Morrison excitely claims he has lyrics for that.
"We got to put some jazz into it, make it dark," he says. "And sure enough this is what happened." When Jerry Scheff heard the bass line of E minor to A major, he told Manzarek, "Oh man, that's impossible!" He says that it was very different to play on the keyboard versus on the bass guitar. Eventually, they stuck with the iconic bass line.
"It's riders on the storm! It's raining in the desert and he said we got to put in some rain and thunder. So, sure enough, the whole thing starts with thunder and that bass line."
[Jim] had an idea to make a movie about a hitchhiking killer with 'if you give this man a ride, sweet family will die, killer on the road.' But he couldn't leave it at that [as] the song was too haunted and too beautiful."
"It was almost he had a premonition. He hadn't told anybody before they recorded the vocals, but he knew he was going to Paris." He adds, "He was singing his love to Pam and trying to wipe out, in his mind and on the planet, that killer on the road. So he says, 'Girl you gotta love your man, girl you gotta love your man, take him by the hand, make him understand, the world on you depends. our life will never end, gotta love your man.'"
See Jim Morrison's handwritten lyrics below.
Ray Manzarek passed away in a hospital back in 2013 at the age of 74 from a rare bile duct cancer.