Reporting Brian Ives
The news of Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek’s death spread quickly, with several major artists expressing respect and sadness via Twitter and Facebook.
Doors drummer John Densmore battled with Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger in court in recent years over the rights to the Doors name, but that did not stop him from sharing a tribute on his Facebook. “There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words,” Densmore wrote. “Ray, I felt totally in sync with you musically. It was like we were of one mind, holding down the foundation for Robby and Jim to float on top of. I will miss my musical brother.”
Krieger, who toured often with Manzarek over the past decade said, issued his own statement. “I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” he wrote. “I’m just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him.”
Slash, who got his start in L.A. rockers Guns N’ Roses – who played many of the same Sunset Strip clubs that the Doors did two decades later tweeted:
The Doors represent the LA sound to me. It was the 1st band I remember hearing when I came from England; “Light my fire,” I’ll never forget.
— Slash (@Slash) May 20, 2013
Joe Perry of Aerosmith (who covered “Love Me Two Times” in 1990) tweeted:
I am very saddened by loss of Ray Manzarak now he’s with Jim. They mean as much to me today as they did 40 years ago.
— Joe Perry (@JoePerry) May 20, 2013
American Idol‘s Randy Jackson added:
Wow, r I p ray manzarek .one of the greatest artists ever.
— Randy Jackson (@YO_RANDYJACKSON) May 20, 2013
De La Soul’s DJ Mase pointed out that Manzarek’s keyboards reached hip-hop:
R.I.P Ray Manzarek (The Doors)De La sampled The Doors (Bro’s a Basehead) & they were sampled by Hov & Kanye on this: youtube.com/watch?v=xMHtwy…
— DJ Maseo(De La Soul) (@DeLaSoulsDugout) May 20, 2013
Hard rocker Dave Dramian of Disturbed weighed in as well:
RAY MANZAREK OF @thedoors HAS PASSED AWAY TODAY. ANOTHER VISIONARY MUSICIAN HAS BEEN LOST. LOVED HIS MUSIC SINCE I WAS A LITTLE BOY. RIP
— DAVID DRAIMAN (@DAVIDMDRAIMAN) May 20, 2013
Fellow keyboardist Benmont Tench from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers expressed gratitude for Manzarek’s influence:
Ray Manzarek. His playing showed me the path to, and the joy of, improvisation. Indescribably important. Rest well. Rest well…
— benmont tench III (@benchten) May 20, 2013
Los Angeles punk rock legends X – who enjoyed a close relationship with Manzarek, as he produced their first four albums – posted a note to Facebook: “we are very saddened by the news that Ray Manzarek has passed away today. he was not only a musical icon but a close friend. he will be sorely missed. RIP Ray.”