Ray Manzarek, the influential keyboard player best recognized for his handiwork with iconic Us rock band ‘The Doors’, has passed away at 74.
Manzarek was in Rosenheim, Germany, being treated for bile duct cancer.
Manzarek’s existence reads sort of a rock n roll fairy story, with many of the pieces falling into position at exactly the appropriate time.
Ray manzarek had taken piano lessons ever since his childhood in Chicago, Illinois, but he in addition had a enthusiasm for movies. It had been this passion that led adolescent Manzarek to enrol in UCLA (University of California) and move to Los Angeles in 1962.
Originally, Ray performed in the band called ‘Rick & The Ravens’ together with his brothers Rick and Jim. The group had been moderately successful, releasing 3 singles.
Whilst studying at UCLA, Manzarek met impending Doors singer/lyricist Jim Morrison and the two decided 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 Morrison teamed up with guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore, forming ‘The Doors’ (they procured the identity from a paperback by Alduous Huxley).
As a result of scarcity of a bass player, the multi-talented Manzarek usually played the bass notes on his piano.
A year after forming, The Doors released their debut album on Elektra records; it was, of course, a hit.
The Doors went on to make numerous more records, taking an iconic position inside the archives of Rock n Roll and galvanizing a generation. The band has since sold in excess of 100 million albums worldwide.
In 1971, lead singer Jim Morrison died under unexplained circumstances in Paris, France. The band lasting for two more successful albums and tours, before ending in 1973.
Following the group’s break up, Manzarek went on to be a producer and also a Grammy-nominated solo singer in his own right, in addition to performing and recording with such high-profile Doors fans as ‘Echo & The Bunnymen’ and Iggy Pop.
In 2002, following a handful of of intermittent reunion events, Ray manzarek and Robby Krieger joined up with ‘The Cult’ singer Ian Astbury to form ‘The Doors of the 21st Century’. The band, although a highly successful live show, also suffered from controversy, due to a grievance from ex-Doors drummer Densmore.
In addition, Ray manzarek’s autobiography ‘Light My Fire’ made him a bestselling writer upon its release in ’98.
He died together with his wife Dorothy and his brothers at his bedside.