Ray Manzarek Dead: Keyboardist and Founding Member of The Doors Dies at 74

By Jon Niles, Mstarz reporter | May 21, 2013 10:58 AM EDT
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Ray Manzarek
(Photo : reuters)

Ray Manzarek of The Doors died last night in Rosenheim, Germany, surrounded by his family. The 74-year-old musician had been stricken with bile duct cancer according to his manager Tom Vitorino. As a founding member of the iconic rock n' roll group The Doors, Manzarek helped bring to life the psychedelic age of music along with Jim Morrison. As much as Morrison was known for his cryptic lyrics and baritone singing voice, Manzarek was known for his architectural approach to the keyboard.

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The Doors' guitarist Robby Krieger had kept a close friendship with Manzarek over the years. "I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today," Krieger said in a statement following last night's passing of Manzarek. "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."

"Well, to me, my God, for anybody who was there it means it was a fantastic time," Manzarek said about his experience with The Doors in an interview last year with The Republican in Massachusetts. "We thought we could actually change the world - to make it a more Christian, Islamic, Judaic Buddhist, Hindu, loving world. We thought we could. The children of the '50s post-war generation were actually in love with life and had opened the doors of perception. And we were in love with being alive and wanted to spread that love around the planet and make peace, love and harmony prevail upon earth, while getting stoned, dancing madly and having as much sex as you could possibly have."

His wife Dorothy, his son Pablo and his brothers Rick and James survive the legendary musician. Manzarek's funeral has yet to announced and arrangements are pending.

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