May 20, 2013
Ray Manzarek's cause of death was complications from bile duct cancer, according to doctors who pronounced the rock star dead in Germany.
Out of the four legendary Doors band members, two now remain as Ray Manzarek joins Jim Morrison in Rock and Roll Heaven.
"I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend," cried Doors guitarist Robby Krieger. "Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him."
Raymond Daniel Manczarek Jr. was born on February 12, 1939 in Chicago. After earning a university degree in economics, young Ray headed west to Los Angeles, California.
While studying cinematography at UCLA in the early 1960s, Ray Manzarek became friends with classmate Jim Morrison before the two founded the rock band The Doors at Venice Beach.
After adding band members Robbie Krieger and John Densmore, the quartet began playing clubs on the Sunset Strip. Shortly afterward, international rock superstardom followed on Elektra Records.
Manzarek and Morrison were L.A.'s counterpart to Lennon and McCartney, but with a subliminally-heavy psychological edge that was light years beyond groovy.
The Doors' classic hit songs include "Break On Through," "Light My Fire," "The Crystal Ship," "When the Music's Over," "People Are Strange," "Love Me Two Times," "Moonlight Drive," "The Unknown Soldier," "Hello, I Love You," "Love Street," "Touch Me," "Wild Child," "Roadhouse Blues," "Love Her Madly," "L.A. Woman," "Riders on the Storm," "The Changeling," "People Are Strange," "Not to Touch the Earth," "Gloria," "Waiting for the Sun" and "Ghost Song" among many others.
Rather, he invested in rock's next generation, producing the UK's Echo & The Bunnymen and L.A.'s edgy punk band, X.
Manzarek had a golden ear for distinctive sounds that rocked, sold millions, and defined generations.
Ray was a refined artiste in a world of pop stars and a level-headed friend to many L.A. musicians.
The legendary rock band Manzarek co-founded in '65 was celebrated, awarded and inducted repeatedly, but The Doors would not have formed without him, nor would the surreal "Doors Sound" have ever been heard.
The late Ray Manzarek is survived by wife Dorothy Manzarek, brothers Rick Manzarek and James Manzarek, son Pablo Manzarek, three grandchildren, and countless friends and fans who mourn the death of a kind and creative genius.
Ray Manzarek 1939-2013