I just heard my all-time favorite song by The Doors the other day on my local classic rock station, and was just thinking about how I need to introduce my piano-playing daughter to their timeless rock, especially as it pertains to keyboardist Ray Manzarek‘s contributions. Jim Morrison of course received the bulk of the glory, but Manzarek was a big reason why The Doors were such a unique band from 1965 to 1973, and one of the leaders of the psychedelic era. They eschewed a traditional bass guitarist, relying on Manzarek’s talents on the organ to drive the rhythm section along with drummer John Densmore and axeman Robby Krieger.
Mr. Manzarek unfortunately passed away today, May 20th, after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74 years old, but was still fairly active in music, most recently dabbling in EDM with Skrillex and the song “Breakin’ a Sweat”. On TheDoors.com, longtime collaborator Kreiger stated , “I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today…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.”
Oh, and that favorite Doors song of mine BTW is “When the Music’s Over”. I’ve included a live version below from the Hollywood Bowl in 1968 – If anything, enjoy the trippy, prolonged intro by Manzarek! #RIPRay