Ray Manzarek Passes Away Following Hidden Battle With Cancer
The iconic keyboardist has passed away in Germany
Ray Manzarek, the keyboard player and co-founded of The Doors with Jim Morrison, passed away at a clinic in Germany Monday (May 20), according to a post on the band's Facebook page. He was 74-year-old.
Manzarek death was caused by bile duct cancer, which the music legend had kept quiet from the public in the build up to his untimely demise. Ray was a founding member of the legendary rock group that formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, effectively ending with the death of iconic frontman Jim Morrison in 1971. The band did perform and release music again in various other guises after, with a variety of differing frontmen. He is portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan in the Oliver Stone biopic of the band.
He also co-founded the rock supergroup Nite City, featuring vocalist Noah James and former Blondie bassist Nigel Harrison, and was active in a number of other musical acts over the years. His later years say him branch out into poetry and writing, with the keyboardist publishing his memoirs, titled Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors, in 1998. He followed it up with The Poet in Exile in 2001, which explores the theory that Morison faked his death; and in 2006 released his second novel, Snake Moon, a Civil War ghost story.
His Doors bandmate Robby Krieger, with whom Manzark would form the duo Manzarek–Krieger and it's many Doors-related incarnations, released a statement which reads, "I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek. 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."
The keyboardist passed away in a hospital in Rosenheim, Germany, where he had moved to seek treatment. He is survived by his wife Dorothy Fujikawa, to whom he had been married to since 1967, his son Pablo, and three grandchildren.
Manzarek–Krieger stayed together long after Morrison's death