Ray Manzarek: Keyboard Player For the Doors Is Dead at 74

Sad news shook the world of music on Monday as one of the founding members of The Doors, Ray Manzarek, lost his battle with cancer. Manzarek, 74, was receiving treatment for long-term bile cancer at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany when he passed away at 9:31 p.m. local time. At his bedside were his brothers Rick and James and his wife, Dorothy.

In 1965, Manzarek joined forces with Venice Beach, California poet Jim Morrison to form the rock band The Doors. With Manzarek at the keyboard and Morrison as the frontman, The Doors became one of the most influential and controversial bands of the era, selling over 100 million albums worldwide, including 19 gold, 14 platinum, and five multi-platinum albums in the U.S.

After Jim Morrison’s shocking death in 1971, Manzarek changed careers and became a best-selling author, as well as remaining an active recording artist.

In 2002 he and Doors guitarist Robby Krieger teamed up touring again. In the wake of Manzarek’s death, Krieger said, “I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today. I’m just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs again with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him.”

Manzarek is survived by his wife, Dorothy, his brothers, Rick and James Manczarek, his son, Pablo Manzarek, daughter-in-law, Sharmin, and three grandchildren.