Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of the influential rock group The Doors, died in Germany at the age of 74. He died after a prolonged battle with cancer in his bile duck according to his publicist announced May 20, 2013.
Ray Manzarek meet the charismatic lead singer of the group in Venice, California in 1965 and started The Doors. The four member rock group became one of the most successful and influential bands of the 60s and beyond selling over 100 million record worldwide. Their hit “Light My Fire” became an anthem in the late 60s. They released 5 multiplatinum albums in the 60’s and early 70s before Jim Morrison died in 1971.
Ray Manzarek continued the band’s legacy, wrote several books and worked as a musician with his former band mates and many others.
“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” said Doors guitarist Robby 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 produced the infulential LA band “X”. Bassist John Doe said, “To have someone like Ray — like rock ‘n’ roll royalty — embrace what we do, it was great for our confidence,” Doe said in a 2004 interview. “In the studio, he knew what to try to do. He went for performance. He was smart enough to realize that the band had the arrangements all worked out.”
Manzarek is survived by his brothers Rick and James, his wife Dorothy, his son Pablo, and three grandchildren. Instead of flowers, the family’s asked that a donation be made in Manzarek’s name at www.standup2cancer.org.