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Ray Manzarek Of The Doors Is Dead at 74

Posted 5/21/2013 5:30 am by
Ray Manzarek tickling the keyboard during a live performance.

Ray Manzarek tickling the keyboard during a live performance.

The Doors were a distinctive band, but there were two aspects that stuck out more than others in their awesome sound.  The first was the baritone caterwaul of poetry coming from the mouth of Jim Morrison.  The other is the awesome keyboard work of Ray Manzarek.  Morrison died in 1971, but Manzarek was able to live on, continue performing, write books, produce music, work on films, and generally have a rich full life for many years.  Now, that life is over.  Ray Manzarek has died at age 74.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O6x_m4zvFs

Ray Manzarek met Jim Morrison at UCLA film school in 1965.  Morrison read Manzarek some song lyrics, and that was the lynchpin for the legendary rock band getting together to push against boundaries both musically and lyrically.  The Doors were a blend of rock, blues, jazz, and poetry, and the work of Manzarek, guitarist Robbie Krieger, and drummer John Densmore were at least as important to the band’s success as Morrison, though they tend to be overlooked in the shadow of Morrison’s genius.

Manzarek died surrounded by friends and family at his home in Rosenheim, Germany.  He had been struggling with bile duct cancer.

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