Musician Ray Manzarek, who is best remembered as keyboardist and founding member of the Doors, died on Monday at the RoMed Clinic inRosenheim,Germany, after succumbing to complications due to bile duct cancer according to the band’s Facebook page. He was 74.
According to the post, he was surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek along with his brothers, Rick and James Manzarek.
Both drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger have spoken up about the loss, and while doing so, remembered Doors frontman Jim Morrison, who died in 1971.
“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” said Krieger in the post. “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. 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." Krieger and Manzarek performed together under a variety of names over the past few years.
Densmore, meanwhile, wrote: "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."
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. Funeral arrangements are pending. The post says “The family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, please make a memoriam donation in Ray Manzarek’s name at www.standup2cancer.org.”