Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek dies

21 May 2013, 15:52

Los Angeles - Ray Manzarek, co-founder of legendary 1960s group The Doors and creator of their signature organ sound, died on Monday after a long battle with cancer, his manager said. He was 74.

Manzarek formed the group - whose worldwide hits included Light My Fire and L.A. Woman - with Jim Morrison in 1965 after the two met by chance in Venice Beach, California.

He died surrounded by his wife Dorothy and brothers Rick and James in a clinic in Rosenheim, Germany after "a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer", said a statement on the Doors Facebook page.

"I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today," The Doors' guitarist and long-time collaborator Robby Krieger was quoted as saying.

"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," he added.

'He made things happen'

Tom Vitorino, the keyboardist's manager, told AFP: "Ray Manzarek was larger than life. He will be missed."

The Doors were one of the biggest acts of the 1960s, selling over 100 million albums worldwide and earning 19 Gold, 14 Platinum and five multi-Platinum albums in America alone.

Morrison impressed Manzarek, who moved from Chicago to Los Angeles to study film, with an early version of Moonlight Drive during their chance meeting on Venice Beach.

Manzarak was responsible for the band's trademark sound, including the rolling organ on songs like Light My Fire. Other hits included Break On Through to the Other Side, The End and Hello, I Love You.

He was "really the driving force behind (the band) to make it all happen", former band manager Bill Siddons said. "He was the guy behind the curtain that made things happen."

'RIP Ray Manzarek'

Morrison's untimely death in 1971 aged 27 effectively ended the band's iconic phase, although the group continued to perform and release music with various band line-ups.

Manzarek wrote a best-selling book about his life, Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors, in 1998. He was played by Kyle McLachlan in the 1991 Oliver Stone biopic The Doors.

Slash, the former lead guitarist of Guns N' Roses, was among the first to pay tribute, posting on his Twitter account: "RIP Ray Manzarek words cannot express."

Morrison's sudden death - he was found in a bathtub in his Paris apartment - stunned fans of the band, which broke fresh ground in psychedelic rock with such hits as Riders on the Storm and People are Strange and Light My Fire.

There was never an autopsy, giving rise to multiple conspiracy theories, as Morrison's remains were buried in the French capital's Pere Lachaise cemetery, alongside other such notables as Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein and Oscar Wilde.

Faked his death

Morrison moved to Paris after the 1971 release of L.A. Woman and lived in the then-not-yet-hip Marais district with partner Pamela Coulson. It was she who found him dead, with a heart attack officially cited as the cause.

Manzarek, who did much to keep the Doors flame burning, once suggested another possibility. Recalling a 1970 conversation with Morrison, he wondered if the intense frontman had just faked his death to start a new life incognito.

In 2011 Manzarek and Krieger marked the 40th anniversary of the singer's death with a sell-out concert at the Bataclan club in Paris.

The Doors were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where flowers were placed on Monday in Manzarek's memory.


Join in the conversation on our Facebook page. Also get the latest news by following us on Twitter.


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...