It would seem that another incredible musician has left us as the news circulated earlier about the passing of the great Ray Manzarek, legendary keyboardist and founding member of The Doors.
I’ve copied the official statement from his publicist Heidi Ellen Robinson Fitzgerald;
LOS ANGELES, CA – May 20, 2013 — Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away today at 12:31PM PT at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek, and his brothers Rick and James Manczarek.
Manzarek is best known for his work with The Doors who formed in 1965 when Manzarek had a chance encounter on Venice Beach with poet Jim Morrison. The Doors went on to become one of the most controversial rock acts of the 1960s, selling more than 100-million albums worldwide, and receiving 19 Gold, 14 Platinum and five multi-Platinum albums in the U.S. alone. “L.A.Woman,” “Break On Through to the Other Side,” “The End,” “Hello, I Love You,” and “Light My Fire” were just some of the band’s iconic and ground-breaking songs. After Morrison’s death in 1971, Manzarek went on to become a best-selling author, and a Grammy-nominated recording artist in his own right. In 2002, he revitalized his touring career with Doors’ guitarist and long-time collaborator, Robby Krieger.
“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” said Krieger. “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.”
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 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
While I was too young to see The Doors in concert based on my vintage, I can honestly say that the keyboards of Manzarek were probably the very first that I remember hearing as a young fan of music and while I eventually moved into the Metal side as time went by; there was no mistaking the undeniable influence and magic of his signature sound. As a matter of fact, as I write this sentence down I hear his influential notes in my head. It seems as though it just comes to you. Thank you Ray Manzarek for being such a player and for setting a standard that has inspired so many and will continue to do so long after your passing. May you Rest In Peace and may your family, band mates and worldwide friends find some comfort despite the sadness. Please say hello to Jim for all of us.
Learn more about the great Ray Mazarek via his Wikipedia entry HERE.