Ray Manzarek, the influential keyboard player well recognized for his handiwork with iconic Us rock band ‘The Doors’, has passed away at 74.
Ray manzarek was in Rosenheim, Germany, being treated for bile duct cancer.
Manzarek’s life reads sort of a rock n roll fairy story, with the many pieces falling into place at precisely the correct time.
Ray manzarek had taken piano coaching since his childhood in Chicago, Illinois, but he also had a passion for movies. It had been this eagerness that led adolescent Ray manzarek to enrol in UCLA (University of California) and go to Los Angeles in 1962.
At first, Ray performed in the group called ‘Rick & The Ravens’ together with his brothers Rick and Jim. The group had been moderately successful, releasing three singles.
Whilst studying at UCLA, Ray manzarek met impending Doors singer/poet Jim Morrison and the two planned to create a group jointly in ’65. He also met his future partner, Dorothy Fujikawa, at UCLA. The pair were hitched in ’67.
Manzarek and Morrison teamed up with guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore, forming ‘The Doors’ (they took the name from your book by Alduous Huxley).
Because of the deficit of a bass player, the multi-talented Manzarek regularly played the bass notes on his piano.
One year after creating, The Doors released their debut album on Elektra records; it was, obviously, a triumph.
The Doors went on to record quite a few more records, taking an iconic position inside the archives of Rock n Roll and inspiring a generation. The group has ever since sold over one hundred million albums worldwide.
In 1971, lead singer Jim Morrison died in unexplained circumstances in Paris, France. The band lasting for 2 more successful albums and tours, before disbanding in ’73.
Following the group’s break up, 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 really high-profile Doors followers as ‘Echo & The Bunnymen’ and Iggy Pop.
In 2002, following a handful of of sporadic reunion events, Manzarek and Robby Krieger joined up with ‘The Cult’ musician Ian Astbury to create ‘The Doors of the 21st Century’. The band, although a highly successful live show, also suffered from controversy, due to a court case from ex-Doors drummer Densmore.
Furthermore, Manzarek’s autobiography ‘Light My Fire’ made him a bestselling writer upon its release in 1998.
He died together with his wife Dorothy and his brothers at his bedside.