As reported earlier this week, Ray Manzarek, founding member and keyboardist of THE DOORS, passed away at the age of 74 in Rosenheim, Germany from bile duct cancer. Here is the bands official statement.
His band-mate and guitarist Robby Krieger, reflected on how Manzarek took the chance of meeting with Jim Morrison at Venice Beach in 1965 and how this lead to the formation of the band.
Manzarek, who was born in Chicago, moved to Los Angeles to study film at UCLA. While at UCLA, he met Morrison on the Westwood campus during the singers short stint at college.
“[Manzarek] was the only one at UCLA who was smart enough to know that Jim Morrison wasn’t just a jerk, like a lot of people thought. To me, that make him a genius.” – Doors guitarist Robby KriegerAfter Manzarek graduated in 1965, him and Morrison met again at Venice Beach and decided to start THE DOORS. This is when they added guitar player Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore. Since the band lacked a bass player, Manzarek usually played the bass lines on his Fender Rhodes piano. Manzarek was the oldest in the band and occasionally sang as well.
“[Manzarek] was relentless in his pursuit of the vision. And you have to give Ray a lot of credit because he understood what Jim [Morrison] was and what was magic about Jim, and he just never backed down from that.” – Bill Siddons, former manager for The Doors
In lieu of flowers, please make a memoriam donation in Ray Manzarek's name at www.standup2cancer.org
Rock In Peace Mr. Manzarek, your music will surely live forever!
The Doors' official site