Ray Manzarek, a founding member and keyboardist of 1960s rock group The Doors, died on Monday at a medical clinic in Germany at age of 74 following a battle with cancer. Manzarek had been seeking treatment in Germany for bile duct cancer. He died at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany, surrounded by his wife and brothers.
The Doors are nothing short of a legendary band that inspired so many musicians for decades. To this day, there are still a ton of Jim Morrison clones. If you are a fan of The Doors, you will also know what an amazing musician Ray Manzarek was.
“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” The Doors guitarist Robby Krieger said 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.”
Singer Jim Morrison and Manzarek formed The Doors in 1965 after a chance meeting at Los Angeles’ Venice Beach, and Manzarek’s keyboard work would go on to be a touchstone of hits like “Break On Through To The Other Side” and “Light My Fire.”
The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and sold more than 100-million albums worldwide. The Doors broke up shortly after Morrison’s death in 1971, but their mythology exploded following the 1980 publication of the biography No One Here Gets Out Alive and the 1991 film, The Doors by director Oliver Stone.
After the band’s break up, Manzarek released two albums with the rock band Nite City in the late 1970s and six solo albums, most recently Translucent Blues in 2011 with blues-rock guitarist Roy Rogers. Manzarek is also the author of two novels and most notably the 1998 memoir, Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors.
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.