Ray Manzarek, keyboard player and founder member of the 1960s rock band The Doors died late Monday aged 74, following a battle with cancer.
Manzarek, who lived in Northern California's Napa Valley wine country for the past decade, had been seeking treatment for bile duct cancer at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany, the group's manager Tom Vitorino told Reuters.
Manzarek was of Polish descent, born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. In 1965, front man Jim Morrison and then-UCLA film student Manzarek formed The Doors after a chance meeting at Los Angeles' Venice Beach, NME recalls.
Manzarek’s trademark piercing electric organ sound defined some of the band’s cornerstone hits like Light My Fire, Break On Through to the Other Side or 1971’s mesmerizing Riders on the Storm, helping the psychedelic rock band sell more than 100 million records worldwide.
After The Doors disbanded following the death of Morrison in 1971, Manzarek continued to make music, releasing a number of solo albums and then as part of the group Nite City.
Artists from all over the world have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to the seminal keyboardist.
Sad to here about Ray Manzarek passing. I was lucky to get a chance to rock out with him & the other two Doors.. cheers mate say hi to Jim.
— Billy Idol (@BillyIdol) May 21, 2013
He helped oil the hinges on my squeaky Doors of perception. RIP Ray Manzarek
— Nick Frost (@nickjfrost) May 21, 2013
Thanks for the great music Ray Manzarek!
— Krist Novoselic (@KristNovoselic) May 21, 2013
An interview with Ray Manzarek youtube.com/watch?v=18RcxR… "we exist to make music together" rest in peace, Ray
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) May 20, 2013
Aw, I loved Ray Manzarek. He wrote the soundtrack to so many epiphanies. RIP Brother Ray
— Carl Barat (@carlbaratmusic) May 20, 2013
RIP Ray Manzarek words cannot express...
— Slash (@Slash) May 20, 2013