The Doors The End – tributes flood in as Ray Manzarek dies

Posted on 22 May 2013
By Michelle Gondry
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Tributes continue to flood in following the death of Ray Manzarek who died aged 74 after a battle with bile duct cancer.

Manzarek founded The Doors after meeting then-poet Jim Morrison in California. The band went on to become one of the most successful rock and roll acts to emerge in the 1960s and they continue to resonate with fans decades after Morrison’s death in 1971.

Taking the images they projected, the pair seemed to be polar opposites. The strikingly tall, dark and handsome Morrison looked the part of rock star, while Manzarek, with glasses, retained a more professorial look. Ray never tried to compete with Morrison’s Lizard King persona, much to his credit.

But they were kindred spirits, as Manzarek discovered when Morrison read him the lyrics for a song called Moonlight Drive.

“I’d never heard lyrics to a rock song like that before,” Manzarek said. “We talked a while before we decided to get a group together and make a million dollars.”

Ray’s signature keyboard sounds gave The Doors’ music a new depth and their own unique sound, with tracks like Light My Fire, LA Woman and This is the End.

A huge part of the band’s distinctive sound and what became a trademark, was that they had didn’t have a bass player, instead Manzarek supplied bass lines on the keyboard.

Former bandmate and Doors’ guitarist Robby Krieger said in a statement: “I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek,”

“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.”

One of the first to pay tribute was guitarist Slash, writing: “The Doors represent the LA sound to me. It was the 1st band I remember hearing when I came from England. Light my fire, I’ll never forget.”

Bily Idol wrote “Sad to here about Ray Manzarek passing. I was lucky to get a chance to rock out with him & the other two Doors..cheers mate say hi to Jim.” while other musicians like Simon LeBon, Chuck D and Krist Novoselic also payed their respects.

His manager said he died in Rosenheim, Germany surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek, and brothers Rick and James.