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Ray Manzarek Dies: Doors Keyboardist Was 74

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Sad news for the music community, as influential keyboardist and Doors founding member Ray Manzarek has died due to complications from bile duct cancer. He was 74.

Manzarek met Jim Morrison while studying film at UCLA, and the rest is history. After liking some early songs that Morrison had written, Manzarek and Morrison met up with drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger at a transcendental meditation lecture.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” said Doors guitarist Robby Krieger in a statement. “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.”

“There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words,” said Densmore. “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.”

Manzarek is being remembered on Twitter, where fans and fellow musicians are sharing their condolences and memories.

Manzarek had a crucial part in many of The Doors’ greatest hits, but it’s hard to think of him without thinking about his blistering keyboards in the 1967 song “Light my Fire.”

Ray Manzarek Dies: Doors Keyboardist Was 74
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