Ray Manzarek, keyboardist of The Doors, passed away today of bile duct cancer. He was 74.
Manzarek and Jim Morrison were classmates at the UCLA film school and would form The Doors shortly after graduation in 1965. Guitarist Robbie Krieger and drummer John Densmore were quickly recruited to join the band.
When Morrison began missing live performances, Manzarek would often take over lead vocals as he did with “Soul Kitchen” during a 1968 concert in Amsterdam.
After Morrison died in Paris on July 3, 1971, Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore released two more albums as a trio but never replicated their earlier success. They broke up in 1973.
Manzarek occasionally reunited with Krieger and Densmore and spent the past decade touring with Krieger. In the late 1970s, Manzarek front a short lived band called Nite City. He also released six solo albums between 1973 and 2011. Over the years, Manzarek collaborated with the likes of Philip Glass, Iggy Pop and Echo & the Bunnymen.
While Morrison lived fast and died young, Manzarek was a devoted family man who was married to his wife Dorothy for over 45 years. Manzarek is survived by her, two sons and three grandchildren.
Here is an interview Manzarek did a few years back sitting at his keyboard. Manzarek begins the interview by saying, “You don’t make music for immortality. You make music for the moment, for capturing the sheer joy of being alive on Planet Earth.”
But as George Harrison wrote, “All things must pass away.” With that, I leave you with “When The Music’s Over”.
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