Ray Manzarek, the influential keyboardist well acknowledged for his handiwork with iconic Us rock band ‘The Doors’, has passed on to the great beyond aged 74.
Ray manzarek was in Rosenheim, Germany, being treated for bile duct cancer.
Manzarek’s life reads like a rock n roll fairy tale, with each of the pieces falling into position at exactly the correct time.
Manzarek had taken piano coaching ever since his childhood in Chicago, Illinois, but he also had a enthusiasm for film. It had been this eagerness that led young Manzarek to enrol in UCLA (University of California) and travel to Los Angeles in 1962.
Originally, Ray played in a group called ‘Rick & The Ravens’ together with his brothers Rick and Jim. The group was moderately successful, releasing three singles.
Whilst studying at UCLA, Ray manzarek met upcoming Doors singer/lyricist Jim Morrison and both planned to form a band jointly in 1965. He also met his future wife, Dorothy Fujikawa, at UCLA. The pair were hitched in 1967.
Ray manzarek and Jim morrison teamed up with guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore, forming ‘The Doors’ (they procured the name from your paperback by Alduous Huxley).
Because of the lack of a bass player, the multi-talented Manzarek usually performed the bass notes on his piano.
One year after forming, The Doors released their debut record on Elektra records; it’s, naturally, a success.
The Doors went on to make several more albums, taking an iconic spot in the archives of Rock n Roll and galvanizing a generation. The group has ever since sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.
In 1971, lead singer Jim Morrison died in strange circumstances in Paris, France. The band continued for 2 further successful records and tours, before ending in ’73.
Following the band’s split, Manzarek went on to become a producer as well as a Grammy-nominated solo performer in his own right, as well as playing and recording with such high-profile Doors followers as ‘Echo & The Bunnymen’ and Iggy Pop.
In 2002, following several of sporadic reunion shows, Ray manzarek and Robby Krieger tied up with ‘The Cult’ musician Ian Astbury to form ‘The Doors of the 21st Century’. The band, though a highly successful live draw, also suffered from controversy, due to a lawsuit from ex-Doors drummer Densmore.
Additionally, Manzarek’s autobiography ‘Light My Fire’ made him a bestselling writer upon its release in 1998.
He died along with his wife Dorothy and his brothers at his bedside.
Legendary musician Ray Manzarek, passes away at 74