The Doors' Robby Krieger on Bandmate Ray Manzarek's Death: 'I Will Always Miss Him'

Ray Manzarek in 2009. (Getty Images)
Ray Manzarek in 2009. (Getty Images)

Ray Manzarek, a founding member of the Doors, died yesterday at age 74, according to his publicist. He passed away in a clinic in Germany following a long struggle with cancer.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” Doors guitarist Robby Krieger said in a statement. 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.”

Doors drummer John Densmore expressed his sadness over the news to the New York Times. “There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words,” he wrote in an email. “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.”

Manzarek was born in 1939 and grew up in the South Side of Chicago. It was there that he began taking classical piano lessons, but it wasn’t until he moved to Los Angeles in the 60s to attend UCLA that he met Jim Morrison and founded the Doors. Their self-titled first album was released in 1967 and went on to achieve five platinum certifications. The band eventually became one of the top-selling of all time, producing timeless hits like “Light My Fire,” “Riders on the Storm,” and “Break on Through (to the Other Side).”

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