Ray Manzarek of The Doors dies aged 74

The founding member of the band and keyboardist passed away in Germany from cancer

Ray Manzarek of The Doors has died aged 74.

The news was broken by The Doors’ official Facebook page who wrote that the keyboardist and founding member of the classic rock band passed away at 12:31pm (PT) today (May 20) at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany. They add that Manzarek was surrounded by family, his brothers Rick and James and his wife Dorothy at the time of his passing.

His bandmate Robby Krieger paid his respects to Manzarek in a statement, saying: “I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today. 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.”

Read NME‘s guide to Manzarek’s five greatest keyboard riffs here.

The Doors formed in 1965 after frontman Jim Morrison met film studies student Manzarek on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. After The Doors disbanded following the death of Morrison in 1971, Manzarek continued to make music, releasing a number of solo albums and then as part of the group Nite City.

He also authored a number of books, including Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors and the novels The Poet in Exile and Snake Moon.

The Facebook post adds: “Manzarek is survived by his wife Dorothy, brothers Rick and James Manczarek, son Pablo Manzarek, Pablo’s wife Sharmin and their three children Noah, Apollo and Camille. Funeral arrangements are pending. The family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, please make a memoriam donation in Ray Manzarek’s name at Standup2cancer.org.”