Ray Manzarek of the Doors, black and white portrait

Ray Manzarek of the Doors, black and white portrait

The brilliant keyboard player from the Doors Ray Manzerak has died.

Ray Mazarek, co-founder and keyboardist from the Doors, has died aged 74 following a battle with bile duct cancer.

Manzerek met Doors singer Jim Morrison in LA and they formed the band, along with guitarist Robby Kreiger and drummer John Densmore, in 1965.

They recorded their debut album for Electra Records and as they didn’t have a bassist Manzarek became adept at playing the bass at the same time as his Vox Continental organ.

Following the death of Jim Morrison in 1971 and the Doors break-up in 1973 Ray remained in music producing albums for bands including Echo and the Bunnymen.

Manzarek’s musical genius lives on in the iconic sound of the records he made. LTW editor John Robb celebrates his legacy in our top 10 countdown of his finest musical moments.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. As singularly remarkable Morrison was a vocalist Manzarek’s keys were the song i heard first as a radio listening 14 year old.A pub acquaintance replied to this comment ‘tuther night -“Well Morrison said Ray Manzarek WAS The Doors”.The Doors will resonate with teenagers equally as the Beatles as long as there’s teenagers.I’ve seen the cyclic fanbase ebb and flow enough times but the sheer gamut of fluent vibrance they put down…I TELL YOU THiS NO ETERNAL REWARD WILL FORGIVE US NOW FOR BINNING OFF THE DOORS IN FAVOUR OF A ONE TRICK PONY FILM DIRECTOR AND A ONE HIT WONDER COMIC.Densmore and Krieger were similarly tremendous and so musically charismatic that on repeated listening there’s usually a nuance they riffed that you haven’t quite heard a hundred times later.


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