Founding Member of the Doors Dead at 74

'Light My Fire' organ riff remains rock legend
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2013 6:31 PM CDT
Founding Member of the Doors Dead at 74
Ray Manzarek   (Chris Pizzello)

Ray Manzarek, a founding member of the Doors whose versatile and often haunting keyboards complimented Jim Morrison's gloomy baritone and helped set the mood for some of rock's most enduring songs, has died. He was 74. Manzarek died today in Rosenheim, Germany, surrounded by his family, said his publicist. His manager confirmed Manzarek died after being stricken by bile duct cancer.

Manzarek's spidery organ on "Light My Fire" is one of the most instantly recognizable sounds in rock history. Manzarek continued to remain active in music well after Morrison's death in 1971 and briefly tried to hold the band together by serving as vocalist. He played in other bands over the years, produced other acts, became an author and worked on films. (Read more Ray Manzarek stories.)

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