Author Topic: Riders On The Storm (Which Specific Rhodes Was Used)???  (Read 18507 times)

Offline Bandit

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Riders On The Storm (Which Specific Rhodes Was Used)???
« on: April 25, 2009, 03:42:13 PM »
Hello All,

Like most everyone out there, I've been haunted for many-many years now by the gorgeous, reverb-drenched Rhodes EP used by Ray Manzarek of The Doors to record (and perform) 'Riders On The Storm' back in 1971. However, perhaps unlike others, I'm prepared to do (spend) whatever it takes to obtain this vintage sound for a small home-studio based operation with some light gigging mixed in.

The problem is, as a novice keyboarder with very limited knowledge of Rhodes or Fender Rhodes units, it is proving difficult for me to identify with any degree of certainty just what keyboard Ray Manzarek actually used on the song. I've seen threads here on the forum claiming that it was a suitcase model, while others claim it was a Mark I, and still others have claimed that it was a 'Stage' unit. The matter is further complicated by frequent assertions that the units made in the 60s sound significantly different than those manufactured in the 70s and later.

Clearly, I'm just beginning the learning curve with respect to Fender Rhodes pianos, and I'm good with that (its been fun learning), but can anyone help enlighten me on this subject of Riders On The Storm? Can anyone identify with confidence just what model of Rhodes EP that Ray used for that? And can you provide me with any advice or pointers regarding a future purchase (i.e., things to be concerned about, etc.)?

The other question I have is this . . . if Ray Manzarek played a Fender Rhodes Mark I on 'Riders On The Storm' and a Fender Rhodes Piano Bass on 'Break On Through', then those two units would have made simultaneous use of a Vox Continental or Gibson G101 impossible, right? Thus, the reason for my confusion.

Many Thanks Everyone.

Offline MikeMalone

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Riders On The Storm (Which Specific Rhodes Was Used)???
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2009, 06:48:07 PM »
I also agree that this is one of the sweetets Rhodes sounds ever. I always thought it was a suitcase, but it's not. I have a book with lots of pictures from the LA Woman recording sessions. It's definitely an early Mark 1 Stage model with the blank namerail and the Fender amp style knobs. Many classics were made with this particular model. Despite the fact that it's known for having tough action, I think this first stage model was the best of them all...even over a Mark V.
1976 Rhodes Suitcase 73
1966 Fender BandMaster Blackface
1955 Hammond M3
1966 Wurlitzer 140B
Yamaha Motif 6
Nord Lead 3
Casio CDP-100 (pretty good Rhodes sound!)

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Riders On The Storm (Which Specific Rhodes Was Used)???
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2009, 12:20:32 AM »
I'm not sure exactly what you are asking about simultaneous use with a vox or Gibson organ... Basically as far as THAT goes, He 1st used the Vox with Pbass on top, but kept breaking keys, so he switched to the Gibson with the P bass on top. He also had the full Rhodes, and he used Acoustic piano ,a Hammond on a track or two later on and he used a Wurltzer on Queen Of The High Way and on 'Eye Of The Storm" (post Morrison)

He didn't use other keyboards at the same time as the Pbass/organ if that is what you are asking.

Mike, What book has the LA Woman session shots??
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline Bandit

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Riders On The Storm (Which Specific Rhodes Was Used)???
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2009, 12:45:03 AM »
The second part of this question wasn't asking the total number of instruments that Ray may have used throughout his nearly 50-year career. It was about how many different ones could he have conceivably used in a single circa 1971 live performance (i.e., L.A. Woman), and which ones were they?

You've cited seven (7) different instruments here, and I'll assume that the "full Rhodes" you've referenced would necessarily have been one of the units needed for 'Riders On The Storm', but the questions remains . . . .

1) Which specific model of FENDER Rhodes was the "full Rhodes" that you've referred to it as here, and

2) What other keys (which of the other six instruments you've listed) are likely to have been included in that specific tour?

Is that any clearer?

Thank you!

Offline MikeMalone

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Riders On The Storm (Which Specific Rhodes Was Used)???
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2009, 12:59:14 AM »
The book is called Jim Morrison:An Hour For Magic by Frank Lisciandro. The Rhodes he uses which is in every picture is the top one on this page http://www.fenderrhodes.com/models/mark1a.php. It certainly sounds like the Suitcase with vibrato. The tremolo effect on Riders is AWESOME. Just the right amount. It may very well be from a Fender amp. My Stage model sounds great with the vibrato channel on my Bandmaster (although not stereo, of course)
1976 Rhodes Suitcase 73
1966 Fender BandMaster Blackface
1955 Hammond M3
1966 Wurlitzer 140B
Yamaha Motif 6
Nord Lead 3
Casio CDP-100 (pretty good Rhodes sound!)

Offline Bandit

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Riders On The Storm (Which Specific Rhodes Was Used)???
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2009, 01:14:58 AM »
Excellent. Many thanks Mike! That helps a lot.

Can one assume then, that if he needed a Piano Bass for 'Break On Through' and a Mark IA for 'Riders' on the same performance, that those were the only two boards he'd have set-up? Or is it likely that he had several other keys along (and setup) as Planotuner has suggested?

Its hard for me to imagine that he'd be dragging six or seven different keyboards around all the time on tour. In other words, I'm still struggling with where and when the Vox Continental and Gibson units came into play relative to the Piano Bass and the Mark IA?

Offline MikeMalone

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Riders On The Storm (Which Specific Rhodes Was Used)???
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2009, 01:24:46 AM »
On LA Woman they had a bass player (Jerry Scheff, Elvis' bass player and father of Jason Scheff, lead singer and bassist for Chicago) so I don't think he was really using the Piano Bass much at this point. They didn't really do ANY touring for LA Woman because Morrison went off to Paris before the album was released and never came back, sadly. On this clip from the post Morrison days in 1972 you can see the only 2 keyboards Ray was using was the aforementioned Mark 1A Stage Rhodes and what appears to be a Vox Super Continental organ.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Otkw2uCVEaE&feature=related

P.S. When I saw the new Doors in 2004, he was using a Korg Triton 88. SUPER LAME! I was so disappointed. I understand for people like us who have to carry our own equipment but he has roadies to do that! Bring out the real thing! He put a lot of these vintage keyboards on the map. He certainly is the most prominent piano bass user ever! I was kinda hoping he was gonna have a great vintage keyboard rig but he just had that one Korg.
1976 Rhodes Suitcase 73
1966 Fender BandMaster Blackface
1955 Hammond M3
1966 Wurlitzer 140B
Yamaha Motif 6
Nord Lead 3
Casio CDP-100 (pretty good Rhodes sound!)

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Riders On The Storm (Which Specific Rhodes Was Used)???
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2009, 12:43:03 PM »
I don't know exactly which Rhodes it was, but I believe Mike just answered that..So he would have had that, the Gibson Organ, and the Piano bass in 1971 on stage. I don't think he had anything else but I could be wrong. It's been 10 years since I met Ray,so I'm not sure if we discussed his road setup.

I did confirm those 6 instruments at that time when I met him.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...