Ray Manzarek

Raymond “Ray” Daniel Manzarek Jr. (1939 – 2013) was an American musician, singer, producer, film director, and author, best known as a member of The Doors from 1965 to 1973, which he co-founded with singer and lyricist Jim Morrison. Manzarek was notable for performing on a keyboard bass during many live shows and some recordings, taking on a role usually filled by a bass guitar player.

In 2018 Medic sent an FOIA request to the National Archives and Records Administration requesting all releasable military records of Ray Manzarek. NARA replied with Manzarek’s military branch and dates of service and stated no other records were available without Manzarek’s written consent.

When Medic informed NARA by phone that Ray Manzarek died in 2013, a NARA rep stated that until the veterans records were made public, next of kin consent was required to release additional files.

According to Britt Leach, after dropping out of college, and following a difficult break up, while drunk in Times Square Manzarek enlisted in the Army Signal Corps to study film. He was eventually stationed on Okinawa at Torii Station, an Army Security Agency outpost, which intercepted and analyzed radio communication, where he befriended Leach.

Leach states that Manzarek (of Polish descent) would not sign a security clearance-required to analyze the intercepted radio traffic-as it would disqualify him from visiting Poland, at the time considered a communist country.

Leach states that the Army retaliated by assigning Manzarek to Torii Station’s casual or “holding” unit-where soldiers performed menial duties while awaiting reassignment or discharge-and frequently encouraged him to sign the clearance papers. Instead Manzarek grew long hair long and a full mustache.

The Army rejoined by sending Manzarek to Laos from where he wrote Leach “unhappy letters, about how the army was really working on him and how he still wouldn’t sign.” After nearly a year of resistance, PFC Manzarek was discharged and returned home.

While in Laos, Manzarek smoked and grew marijuana, returning stateside with a duffel bag packed with varieties of cannabis, which may have been used to fund his subsequent graduate education.


sources: wikipedia and Britt Leach