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Ray Manzarek of The Doors, Dead at 74

May 20, 2013

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I’m very sad to report that Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist for The Doors, just passed away. Manzarek was a vocal band member after the ’60s, often giving interviews on The Doors and his time with Jim Morrison. The following message was posted to The Doors Facebook page not long ago:

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 http://www.standup2cancer.org

Ironically, I was planning on going to a book signing in Hollywood within a couple weeks For Doors’ drummer John Densmore’s new book The Doors: Unhinged. He supposedly elaborates on the band’s break-up and how greed instigated the split. In light of Manzarek’s passing, it’s unsure whether the book signing will continue. I’ll update as soon as I find out.

As a huge Doors fan, I’m very saddened to hear about Ray’s passing. R.I.P.
 
Watch Ray break down some of The Doors’ hits:
 

 
The Doors – “The End” (Live at The Hollywood Bowl – 1968)
 

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