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.
Very sad to hear of the death of Ray Manzarek, founder & keyboards with The Doors. Played a Fender Rhodes like some funked up Bach. MCO
— Simon Le Bon (@SimonJCLeBON) May 21, 2013
Very sad to hear of the passing of Ray Manzarek – The Doors were a huge influence on all of us when we started out, especially on Ian. RIP.
— Peter Hook (@peter_hook1) May 21, 2013
Sad to here about Ray Manzarek passing. I was lucky to get a chance to rock out with him & the other two Doors.. cheers mate say hi to Jim.
— Billy Idol (@BillyIdol) May 21, 2013
He helped oil the hinges on my squeaky Doors of perception. RIP Ray Manzarek
— Nick Frost (@nickjfrost) May 21, 2013
One of the greats in one of the greatest bands. Ray Manzarek R.I.P.
— Bill Burr (@billburr) May 21, 2013
For those who don’t know: Ray Manzarek was the keyboardist for The Doors; passed away today. Describes his work here. youtube.com/watch?v=OoRFAb…
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 21, 2013
Working with Ray Manzarek was one of the biggest thrills of my life. Thought it might be a good time to share this: bit.ly/12qhWDa
— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) May 21, 2013
RIP Ray Manzarek of the DOORS!
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) May 21, 2013
Thanks for the great music Ray Manzarek!
— Krist Novoselic (@KristNovoselic) May 21, 2013
RIP Ray Manzarek words cannot express…
— Slash (@Slash) May 20, 2013
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.”