Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek dead

Manzarek, right, pictured with Jim Morrison in 1968, had his own iconic look, with his big glasses and big sideburns. (Photo by K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns)
When the music’s over: Manzarek, right, pictured with Jim Morrison in 1968, had his own iconic look, with his big glasses and big sideburns.
(Photo by K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns)

Doors founding member Ray Manzarek is dead at the age of 74. The keyboard player, who contributed greatly to the band’s signature sound on songs like “Light My Fire” and “Riders on the Storm” lost a battle to bile duct cancer in a clinic in Germany.

Ever since the death of Doors singer Jim Morrison in 1971, Manzarek was crucial to keeping alive the band’s legacy. He was opposed to Oliver Stone’s portrayal of the band in his 1991 film, saying, “That Oliver Stone thing did real damage to the guy I knew: Jim Morrison, the poet.” But during his life, Manzarek gladly shared his experiences in multiple projects commemorating the band.

We’d like to remember Manzarek with this poignant performance of “The End” from the band’s “Live at the Hollywood Bowl” performance.

The official statement, from the Doors Facebook page is below.

Ray Manzarek, Founding Member of The Doors, Passes Away at 74

Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away today at 12:31PM PT at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek, and his brothers Rick and James Manczarek.

Manzarek is best known for his work with The Doors who formed in 1965 when Manzarek had a chance encounter on Venice Beach with poet Jim Morrison. The Doors went on to become one of the most controversial rock acts of the 1960s, selling more than 100-million albums worldwide, and receiving 19 Gold, 14 Platinum and five multi-Platinum albums in the U.S. alone. “L.A.Woman,” “Break On Through to the Other Side,” “The End,” “Hello, I Love You,” and “Light My Fire” were just some of the band’s iconic and ground-breaking songs. After Morrison’s death in 1971, Manzarek went on to become a best-selling author, and a Grammy-nominated recording artist in his own right. In 2002, he revitalized his touring career with Doors’ guitarist and long-time collaborator, Robby Krieger.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” said Krieger. “I’m just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him.”

Manzarek is survived by his wife Dorothy, brothers Rick and James Manczarek, son Pablo Manzarek, Pablo’s wife Sharmin and their three children Noah, Apollo and Camille. Funeral arrangements are pending. The family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, please make a memoriam donation in Ray Manzarek’s name at www.standup2cancer.org


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