(originally posted 5/21)
Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away on Monday at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74.
Monday night The Whisky A Go Go, The Roxy, The Viper Room and The House Of Blues on The Sunset Strip dimmed their lights at 9:31PM PDT in honor of Ray Manzarek. The LA strip of all those clubs is where they honed their craft.
"I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today," said Robby Krieger in the Facebook posting. "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." John Densmore called Ray his "musical brother."
Just last week Krieger said Ray was sick, but was hoping to play a show they had scheduled in Los Angeles in August.
At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek, and his brothers Rick and James Manzarek, according to the Doors Page Facebook post.
In addition he survived by his son Pablo, his daughter-in-law Sharmin and their three children. Funeral arrangements are pending. The family asks that its privacy be respected at this time. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Ray’s name to Stand Up 2 Cancer at StandUp2Cancer.org.
The Chicago-born Manzarek moved to Los Angeles to study film in 1962. He formed the The Doors in 1965 with singer Jim Morrison, drummer John Densmore and Krieger shortly after finishing UCLA film school, and dropped the “c” from his last name to make it “Manzarek.” A chance encounter on Venice Beach with Morrison, who was also studying film at UCLA and had written some lyrics, led them to put the band together.
The keyboardist and organ player revolutionized the rock sound with his Fender Rhodes piano playing the part of the bass notes instead of the band having a bass player.
The Doors themselves became one of the most influential bands in the world due to their mix of rock & roll, blues and psychedelic tendencies that took in a whole range of genres.
On Jim Morrison being alive, Ray would say, "Don't you think he would've called me by now!"