Tough news to pass along this afternoon. Ray Manzarek, co-founder and keyboardist of The Doors, has passed away at the age of 74.
Manzarek’s work on the Fender Rhodes piano and the Vox Continental organ was one of the defining traits of The Doors; in particular, the opening keyboard lines of “Light My Fire” are arguably among the most famous in rock history. Just as importantly, in the 40 odd years after Jim Morrison‘s death, Manzarek served as the unofficial spokesperson of the band and the keeper of the Doors flame; along with guitarist Robbie Krieger (both as The Doors and Manzarek-Krieger), Manzarek has maintained the legacy of the band and won over legions of new fans, many of whom were born years after Morrison’s untimely passing in 1971.
Manzarek passed away this afternoon at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany following a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer.
Our sincere condolences go out to Ray Manzarek’s family and friends during this difficult time, and please stay tuned for word on how VH1 Classic will pay tribute to the life and career of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame member.
[Photo: Getty Images]