Monday, 20 May 2013

Doors co-founder Ray Manzarek dies at 74 in Germany

Ray Manzarek performing  at the Sunset Strip Music Festival in August 2012 
 Manzarek's keyboard skills helped The Doors sell 100m albums

Ray Manzarek, keyboard player and founder member of the 60s rock band The Doors, has died aged 74.
He formed the band with lead singer Jim Morrison in 1965 after a chance meeting in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.

Manzarek, who had battled bile duct cancer for many years, died in a clinic in Rosenheim, Germany, with his wife and brothers at his bedside.
The Doors found fame in the 1960s with hits such as The End, Break on Through to the Other Side and Hello I Love You.

They sold more than 100 million albums worldwide and Manzarek became one of the best-known keyboardists of his era, his artistry colouring tracks like Riders on the Storm and Light my Fire.
In his latter years, Manzarek played in other bands and, in 1998, wrote a best-selling memoir, Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors.
Drummer John Densmore paid tribute to Manzarek, saying he felt "totally in sync" with his "musical brother".
"There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison's words," he added.

Guitarist Robbie Krieger, who continued to play with Manzarek following Morrison's death on 3 July 1971, said he was "deeply saddened" to hear the news.
"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," he said.
British rock musician Billy Idol ‏tweeted, "I was lucky to get a chance to rock out with him and the other two Doors. Cheers mate, say hi to Jim."

Bill Siddons, the band's manager in the 60s, told the BBC it was a "tremendous loss" to musical culture.
"He understood what Jim's talent was, and he put the band together to make it work," he said. "The Doors really had a huge impact, and still do, on our musical culture."
The original line-up, which included drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger, made six albums in their six years together.