Ray Manzarek, the influential keyboardist best recognized for his handiwork with iconic Us rock band ‘The Doors’, has passed away at seventy four.
Ray manzarek was in Rosenheim, Germany, being treated for bile duct cancer.
Manzarek’s life reads like a rock n roll fairy tale, with the many pieces falling into place at precisely the appropriate time.
Ray manzarek had taken piano coaching since his childhood in Chicago, Illinois, but he also had a enthusiasm for movies. It had been this passion that led adolescent Manzarek to enrol in UCLA (University of California) and travel to Los Angeles in 1962.
At first, Ray performed in the group called ‘Rick & The Ravens’ along 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 the two decided to form a group together in ’65. He also met his future companion, Dorothy Fujikawa, at UCLA. The pair were hitched in 1967.
Manzarek and Morrison teamed up with guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore, forming ‘The Doors’ (they took the identity from a book 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 record on Elektra records; it is, naturally, a triumph.
The Doors went on to record several more albums, taking an iconic place within the annals of Rock n Roll and inspiring a generation. The group has ever since sold over 100 million records worldwide.
In 1971, lead singer Jim Morrison died under unexplained circumstances in Paris, France. The band lasting for two further victorious albums and tours, before ending in ’73.
Following the band’s break up, Manzarek went on to become a producer as well as 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 shows, Ray manzarek and Robby Krieger joined up with ‘The Cult’ singer Ian Astbury to create ‘The Doors of the 21st Century’. The group, though a extremely successful live draw, also suffered from controversy, due to some lawsuit from former Doors drummer Densmore.
Furthermore, Ray manzarek’s autobiography ‘Light My Fire’ made him a bestselling author upon its release in 1998.
He died with his wife Dorothy and his brothers at his bedside.