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Published: 2013/05/21

Doors Drummer John Densmore Comments on Ray Manzarek’s Death

Doors drummer John Densmore has commented on keyboardist Ray Manzarek’s death. The drummer’s comments are particularly noteworthy since Densmore and Manzarek have spent the past few years engaged in a bitter legal battle over the right to their band’s name.

“There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words,” Densmore said in a statement. “Ray, I felt totally in sync with you musically. It was like we were of one mind, holding down the foundation for Robby and Jim to float on top of. I will miss my musical brother.”

Manzarek died yesterday after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek, and his brothers Rick and James Manczarek. Until his death, he remained close with Doors guitarist Robby Krieger. In recent years, the longtime friends revived The Doors name for a series of tours.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” said Krieger. “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.”


There are 28 comments associated with this post

dave May 21, 2013, 12:00:27

I’m so sad to have learned of Ray’s death. I’ll never forget the Door’s concert I saw in Phoenix in ’69, just prior to leaving for Viet Nam. I enjoy the Door’s music immensely and listen to it nearly every day. The music world lost another great Doors member. Say “Hi” to Jim for us, Ray.

Lawrence Fisher May 21, 2013, 12:54:09

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 50 years since the DOORS made their Debut!! Over the years, a lot of great bands have come along, however, no band will ever compare to the music brought to us by the DOORS!! Been a Doors freak since my teen years :)
Ray, May God take you and bless you with eternal life!!

Mark Hitchcock May 21, 2013, 12:56:55

Let us not forget that was a foolish comment

Todd Maxwell May 21, 2013, 11:28:07

The blue bus is calling us

Thomas May 21, 2013, 11:29:05

I was wandering down a street in Minneapolis, MN USA a few years ago. I looked up and sign a sign that said
ONE NIGHT ONLY THE DOORS I was able to get the last ticket,walk in and watch the most amazing kekyboard player of my generation. It was great. Thanks for all the love RAY

MRR May 21, 2013, 11:37:50

This is not THE END – his music will live on. One the greatest American Rock Bands. Thanks Jim, Ray, John and Robbie

george May 21, 2013, 11:45:45

I’m sad to know that we have lost another Doors band member. I, to this day, play Doors music daily and believe if we continue to play this music, which talks to my soul, they will live on for ever !! LOVE the DOORS !!!

bill smith May 21, 2013, 11:50:17

Met Ray a couple of years ago. What a great guy! Total gentleman in every way.What an amazing performer.I will miss him and his vast talent. My heart felt condolences go out to his family.

Alice in the Palace May 21, 2013, 11:58:45

So long, Ray. You were very good, but let us not forget Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman.

David May 21, 2013, 13:11:42

The first Time I heard the doors music I was 17 years old. Now I am 41. I am living close to Paris then I went so Many Times to visit Jim’s grave at Père Lachaise’s cemetary. Then today I am deeply sad, big part of my Life is gone with Ray’s death. Sorry for my english, just a french guy who wanted to support ray’s family and friends, robot and John and all fans of one of the unforgettable DOORS!! Ray say hello to Jim and Pam

David May 21, 2013, 13:13:34

The first Time I heard the doors music I was 17 years old. Now I am 41. I am living close to Paris then I went so Many Times to visit Jim’s grave at Père Lachaise’s cemetary. Then today I am deeply sad, big part of my Life is gone with Ray’s death. Sorry for my english, just a french guy who wanted to support ray’s family and friends, robot and John and all fans of one of the unforgettable DOORS!! Ray say hello to Jim and Pam

Steve May 21, 2013, 14:09:20

Amazing musician. I went to hear him speak once and he was very cool as many people lined up afterwards for a photo or an autograph or short chat.
I shot a pic for the guy in front of me and when it was my turn Ray told the guy “He helped you, now you help him!” So the guy had to snap my pic which got destroyed in the wash. Cool guy! Densmore is also an amazing musician but his lawsuit was wrong. He should’ve let them play or join them on stage. Everyone knows Jim has passed so using name wouldn’t fool anyone. His explanation on NPR seemed petty.

David Shulman May 21, 2013, 18:29:36

Often forgotten are two fine solo releases, “The Whole Thing Started With Rock and Roll” and “The Golden Scarab”. If you haven’t heard them you might want to give them a spin. RIP Ray Manzarek.

Brandt Hardin May 21, 2013, 14:32:50

Ray’s playing was a staple of The Doors. He’ll certainly be missed after such a long and fruitful career helping to create such haunting music. The Doors’ songs opened my mind to other realms of possibilities and cleansed my perception. I paid tribute to Ray when I heard of his passing by creating a new portrait of him and some melting doors which you can see on my artist’s blog at Drop by and let me know how The Doors influenced you too.

Mark Harrigan May 21, 2013, 15:45:37

The Doors had a strong stage prescense and a unique sound that has not been imitated, very well. Mr. Ray Manzarek was predominately responsible for this. RIP.

Uncl Sticky May 21, 2013, 16:24:12

“So long, Ray. You were very good, but let us not forget Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman.” Who is forgetting them? The last I checked, both of them are still alive. What a moronic comment.

John Huffington May 21, 2013, 16:04:37

John Densmore should be ashamed of his book that he just released last month. A large part of the book slams Ray and throws all sorts of insults his way. The fact that John accused Robby and Ray of exploiting The Doors legacy by continuing to play the music for the fans is crazy and ironic since he was cashing in, and in my opinion, hurting the legacy the most by slinging dirt. John Densmore had the worst relationship with Jim Morrison out of the whole band but used Jim to his advantage after his death. I can’t wait for his next book entitled “Robby” in which he’ll detail how Robby Krieger manipulated his very good friend Ray Manzarek into exploiting The Doors name. John Densmore is a moron.

Jack Conrad May 21, 2013, 20:01:47

You hit that on the head JH!

Brian Francis May 22, 2013, 00:53:24

Ray’s keyboard style is unmistakable, unforgettable, and truly other-worldly. It seems like he really was the key element that tied everything together and made it so they were a complete band, with or without Jim. I am grateful for all of the music Ray created and shared, and think he is one of the most under-rated musicians of his generation.

Jeff May 22, 2013, 12:40:32

I will miss u ray I never had the chance to see the doors play for I was born in 79 but I love there music been a hippie all my life I believe I died in Vietnam and came back ten years later well the doors r like the best N thanks everybody this band has helped my family n me thru rough times Peace

David Houlgate May 23, 2013, 12:56:35

I speak as a younger brother to the hippies. Being a classicaly trained musician, I’ve always been fascinated by their eerie sounds, dark literary references and Ray’s ostinato bass figures in his left hand. I’ve studied several of Ray’s transcriptions over and over till I got them right while playing along with their recordings. I was allied with certain family members of the Doors at 1 time. 4 discretion they remain unnamed. We all love the Doors music as misunderstood as they were. Pity that there weren’t more intellectuals in rock’s art form. I share Ray’s fascination with Coltrane, Brubeck, Evans and Debussy. God, Krishna, Zues, Odin and Allah be with you Ray. U will be sorely missed.

cosmicbein May 28, 2013, 12:16:35

Ray’s keyboard playin on Riders On The Storm could be the best of the best,his solos and lead playin on keyboards can only be matched ,never beat.We lost another pioneer of rock n roll,but his playin a lives on.

john wolff May 29, 2013, 16:10:14

i will never forget doing bong hits while on acid at my neighbors house , then he put on THE DOORS LIVE ......need i say more … RAY .

SCOTT CAMPBELL May 30, 2013, 17:28:39

It’s a great pity that Densmore did so much harm to Manzerek and Krieger in recent years when they attempted to carry on while Densmore gave up. Krieger wrote most ot the hits by himself and all of them tried continuing without Morrison, who everyone knew was dead. They had a right to play their music, from which Densmore profitted so much. I hope Krieger can play without further interference, but it’s too late for Manzerek. Densmore should be ashamed of himself.

B Price May 31, 2013, 06:56:34

Back in the ’80s me and several friends would drink a bottle of robitussin each and wander through the neighborhoods of Madison Wi and play tapes of the Doors over a boombox. The eerie and melodic sounds would waft through the darkness and into the recesses of parks and lakeside strolls indefinately through the early morning hours. Jim was our hero but Ray was probably the biggest influence of the Doors sound. Rip Ray.

peter September 4, 2013, 21:27:31

ray was a man of unlimited talent, incredible personality, and as humble as a man could be. he surely was the glue that held the band together. who else played a fender keyboard base with his left hand and keyboards with his right? phenominal! and emerson and wakeman would tell you so!

Lamon Hayhurst October 5, 2013, 00:43:30

Its sad that he has passed away, but the drummer next to get another life, at least they were keeping the music of the alive. “Live”

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