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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 116
Sat. May 25, 2013

“Bedbugs & Ballyhoo”
Echo and the Bunnymen


“♫ That’s
the way

After Jim Morrison passed away in Paris and the three remaining members of The Doors finally spit up, keyboardist Ray Manzarek spent the rest of his time trying to promote the legacy of Los Angeles most mystical rock band. Ray attempted to recruit Iggy Pop to join Robbie Krieger and John Densmore for a Seventies punk version of The Doors. Speaking of Punk, Manzarek also produced the first two seminal albums for L.A.’s legendary Punk Rock outfit X. Former Doors manager Bill Siddons said this about Ray, “[Manzarek] was relentless in his pursuit of the vision. And you have to give Ray a lot of credit because he understood what Jim [Morrison] was and what was magic about Jim, and he just never backed down from that.”

In the 1980’s, Ray went to England and help reintroduce The Doors to a new generation of New Wave artists. One of the bands that Ray collaborated with was Liverpool’s Echo & The Bunnymen, re-recording on of The Doors most familiar Strange Days cuts, “People are Strange” for The Lost Boys soundtrack. Ray also was featured on Echo’s 1987 cut, “Bedbugs & Ballyhoo.” One of the most underrated collaborations Ray ever recorded; you can definitely feel the unity between Liverpool’s rockers Echo and The Doors former keyboardist. Manzarek sounds renewed with his sly piano lyrics, turning “Bedbugs” into a timeless canvas of greatness on this Bunnymen track.

Lead Singer Ian McCulloch said this about why Echo and the Bunnymen worked with Ray when he said, “Even though I prefer the Velvets as a group, The Doors are the most perfect and compatible four musicians in the history of time. The stuff they were doing was unbelievable. Even some of the madder stuff I can handle. If you listen to the musicianship, Ray Manzarek’s keyboard playing is so recognizable from just being a bluesy player, and it never gets on your wick. Some keyboard playing you’re like, “oh, fuck off”. The band had the best drummer, keyboardist, guitarist and front man – and it never got muso.” Ray returned the favor in 1987 by saying this about working with Ian McCulloch and Echo and the Bunnymen, “They’re one of my favorite bands. Ian McCulloch is an excellent poet. He’s dark moody & mysterious.”

Relive the moody and mysterious uniting of The Doors and Echo and The Bunnymen on 1987’s “Bedbugs & Ballyhoo.” Strange Days with Echo & Ray Manzarek never sounded like this. Today we honor the passing of Ray Manzarek as we resurrect this Echo gem. Keeping the legacy of The Doors alive while collaborating with Echo, unleash one of The Bunnymen’s most underrated track; Featuring Ray Manzarek, this Liverpool meets Los Angeles timeless collaboration is one definitely of the ages. One of Los Angeles’ finest sixties icon Ray Manzarek giving new life to Liverpool’s Echo and the Bunnymen. Relive their Ballyhoo and brilliance today.
R.I.P Ray