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Doors keyboardist Manzarek dies at age 74

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Ray Manzarek, founding keyboardist for the Doors, has died at age 74.

The Chicago-born musician passed away from cancer this morning in Germany, according to a statement from his publicist and posted to the band's official web site.

Before starting the Doors, Manzarek grew up on the South Side, attending Everett Elementary School and St. Rita High School before enrolling at DePaul, where he graduated with an economics degree.

After that, he headed west to UCLA where he met poet Jim Morrison in 1965 and formed the Doors. Until Morrison's death in 1971 the moody, often psychedelic band was enshrined in the pantheon of 1960s rock stardom thanks to songs such as "L.A.Woman," "Break On Through to the Other Side," "The End," "Hello, I Love You," and "Light My Fire." In 2002, Manzarek began touring again with Doors guitarist and long-time collaborator Robby Krieger.

"I'm just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade," Krieger said today in a statement. "Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him."

A couple of years ago, Manzarek was featured in a documentary, "RE:GENERATION," in which five popular DJs and producers were matched with artists from different genres to record new music. The Doors' Manzarek, Krieger and John Densmore collaborated with EDM pioneer Skrillex for a new song.

Manzarek is survived by wife Dorothy, son Pablo, and three grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Manzarek's name to standup2cancer.org.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on May 20, 2013 4:31 PM.

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