R.I.P. Ray Manzarek, the Doors keyboardist who got the big picture

May 21, 2013

“We were in love with being alive and wanted to spread that love around the planet and make peace, love and harmony prevail upon earth, while getting stoned, dancing madly and having as much sex as you could possibly have.”

Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison, Robbie Krieger, random kid, and John Densmore. (Elektra Records)
Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison, Robbie Krieger, random kid, and John Densmore. (Elektra Records)

Ray Manzarek of The Doors describing the all-out idealism that “children of the ’50s post-war generation” experienced during 1967’s “Summer of Love,” in a 2007 interview with the Massachusetts Republican. The organist who propelled the band’s unique sound had a particularly vivid and honest way of discussing the era. He seemed to have long ago come to terms with the fact that the world would always be more focused on frontman Jim Morrison — “it’s been that way ever since we first met up on the beach in Venice in 1965 and decided to put together a band” — though he noted wryly that “as the keyboard player, one would think that the music might have had something to do” with their huge success. Manzarek died Monday of bile duct cancer, and his obituary is well worth your time: Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, dies at 74.

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Amy Argetsinger | May 21, 2013