The founding member of “The Doors,” Ray Manzarek, died Monday, at the age of 74, after a long battle with bile duct cancer. He died surrounded by his wife Dorothy and his brothers at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany.
The Doors are of course one of the greatest bands to come out of L.A., and their songs include such classic rock hits as “L.A. Woman,” “Break On Through to the Other Side,” “Hello, I Love You,” and “Light My Fire.”
The two surviving band members spoke about the death of their friend and band mate. Drummer John Densmore said, “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.”
Guitarist Robby Krieger made the statement that “Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison were the two most unusual people I have ever known. It didn’t take long to realize this about Jim. He was obviously a genius, and he worked hard at being different. Did a good job of it too. Ray on the other hand, was a late bloomer. I guess it took all of his [and our] energies to keep Jim in line. The real Ray didn’t appear until after Jim was gone. He was constantly doing projects with different people, producing, playing with different poets. He always saw the good side of people, and that was his genius. He was the only guy at UCLA that saw something good about Jim. Everyone else thought of Jim as a phony or worse. He saw the genius of Jim’s words and the rest is history. Ray sure did influence my life, and I hope yours to. I’ll always be grateful to John for introducing me to Ray and Jim, and I’ll never forget them.”
His family is asking instead of flowers that interested fans should donate in Ray’s name to Standup2cancer.org.