You would be hard pressed to find anyone willing to argue that there would have been a Doors without keyboardist and true band leader Ray Manzarek. The true keeper of the Morrison flame since his death and the genius behind that certain sound The Doors unmistakably always had, Ray was the statesman from the very inception of the group. More than any the other surviving Doors, Manzarek was the cheerleader and historian who attempted to keep fiction from fact, even though he sometimes allowed his love for Jim to cloud what may have really happened, only endearing us to him more. His skills are to this day some of the best in the business and he will always be missed greatly by all. Thanks for everything Ray. Say, “Hello, I love you” to Jim and we will keep the flame going down here.
The Doors’ founding keyboardist, Ray Manzarek, died in Germany Monday after a long fight with cancer, his publicist said in a statement. He was 74. The artist had been diagnosed with bile duct cancer.
Drummer for The Doors John Densmore wrote: “There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words. Ray, I felt totally in sync with you musically. It was like we were of one mind, holding down the foundation for Robby and Jim to float on top of. I will miss my musical brother.”
Guitaris for The Doors Robby Krieger posted the following statement: “Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison were the two most unusual people I have ever known. It didn’t take long to realize this about Jim. He was obviously a genius, and he worked hard at being different. Did a good job of it too. Ray on the other hand, was a late bloomer. I guess it took all of his [and our ] energies to keep Jim in line. The real Ray didn’t appear until after Jim was gone. He was constantly doing projects with different people, producing, playing with different poets. He always saw the good side of people, and that was his genius. He was the only guy at UCLA that saw something good about Jim. Everyone else thought of Jim as a phony or worse. He saw the genius of Jim’s words and the rest is history. Ray sure did influence my life, and I hope yours to. I’ll always be grateful to John for introducing me to Ray and Jim, and I’ll never forget them.”