Stop The Presses!

The Doors’ Keyboardist Ray Manzarek Dead at Age 74

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

Ray Manzarek [photo: Matthew Peyton/Getty Images]

Ray Manzarek, co-founder and keyboardist of legendary Los Angeles rock band the Doors, has died, according to a post on the band's official Facebook page.

According to the band's statement, Manzarek passed away Monday, May 20 at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany, after a long battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74.


Manzarek formed the Doors in 1965 after meeting iconic singer/poet Jim Morrison on L.A.'s Venice Beach. Manzarek's playing was integral to the band's sound, since the band had no bass guitarist and Manzarek played most of the basslines on his keyboards.

"I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today," said founding Doors guitarist Robby 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."

During their run from 1965 to their official breakup in 1973, the Doors sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. After Morrison's death in 1971, Manzarek wrote three books, including his 1998 memoir, Light My Fire. In 2002, he relaunched his touring career with Krieger.

Manzarek's other many post-Doors collaborators included Philip Glass, Iggy Pop, X, Echo & the Bunnymen, Pearl Jam, and even Weird Al Yankovic.

Manzarek is survived by his wife, Dorothy Manzarek; his brothers, Rick and James Manzarek; his son Pablo; and his three grandchildren, Noah, Apollo, and Camille.

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