Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, has died at the age of 74.
According to a note posted on The Doors’ Facebook page, Manzarek passed away today at 12:31 PM PT at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek, and his brothers Rick and James Manczarek.
Manzarek founded The Doors alongside Jim Morrison in 1965 following a brief encounter on Venice Beach in Los Angeles, CA. Widely considered one of the most controversial rock acts of the ’60s, The Doors went on to sell 100-million albums worldwide, receiving 19 Gold, 14 Platinum and five multi-Platinum albums in the U.S. alone.
Following Morrison’s death in 1971, Manzarek turned to writing and continued to produce music to much success. In the aughts, he performed on-stage alongside friend and former Doors bandmate Robby Krieger.
Krieger commented on his passing: “I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today. 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.”
Drummer John Densmore also commented: ”There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words. Ray, I felt totally in sync with you musically. It was like we were of one mind, holding down the foundation for Robby and Jim to float on top of. I will miss my musical brother.”
Currently, the family is asking fans to make a memoriam donation in Manzarek’s name at www.standup2cancer.org.
Below you can revisit footage of Manzarek performing with The Doors, in addition to the video he directed for “L.A. Woman”. Wax nostalgic shortly after with a brush through their discography here.