Last week the world of music lost an incredible pioneer and i lost one of the musical heroes of my childhood. Ray Manzarek, The Doors keyboardist and architect of their signature sound passed away after a long battle with cancer at the age of 74.
In 1966 Ray was a classmate in college with Jim Morrison. The two started a friendship and a few years later, met up again on a beach in California. A few years later, the Doors were the number one band in the United States.
Their heavy keyboard driven music is still a staple of radio rock including 'Light My Fire', 'Touch Me', 'Peace Frog' and so many more amazing songs.
When I fist discovered the Doors music it was during the time of the big Doors revival in the early 1980's and they became my favorite band behind the Beatles. They were one of the only bands that i could listen to every song on every album and more than Jim Morrison's haunting voice and pressence it was Ray Manzarek's keyboards that pulled me in and kept me a fan some 40 years after their last album with Morrison. There was no other musician who could have made Morrison the legend he became.
More amazing than his musical career is the fact that he and his wife Dorothy, who he met in college, remained lovingly by his side until his death in Germany.
Thank you Ray for the incredible music you were a part of. You helped make the world a better place.