Bummer, man. No joke. Ray Manzarek, Doors keyboardist and Tonto to Jim Morrison’s Stoned Ranger, has died after a battle with bile duct cancer.
RayMan, as he was known to at least a few of us, brought much joy and laughter to the Halls of Rock—not to mention some actually cool musical contributions, both with the Doors and as producer of the essential albums by X!
The guy’s insufferable proselytizing of his allegedly late partner in crime and their band’s works began to charm me as the years passed. It’s rare that an artist is willing to talk in detail about the process of making music—and do so with an enthusiasm and belief in the greatness of his or her mates’ achievements that is usually only expressed among fellow bandmates. Let’s face it, whether it’s the Beatles, the Stones, the Doors, X, Jedward, or Nixon’s Head hunkered in their rehearsal space or studio, hammering out their latest creations, musicians experience a sense of godliness during the creative act. Most gods have the good sense to keep details of their creative process mysterious; Manzarek practically ran down Mount Olympus to tell us how the magic was made…man. We’ve got to learn how it’s done somehow.
Over time, the loyalty and love shown toward friends count for a lot, too. You know what I’m talking about, E. Pluribus Gergely!