Ray Manzarek, co-founder and keyboardist of the rock group The Doors, has died

Ray Manzarek, keyboard genius and co-founder (with the late Jim Morrison) of The Doors died yesterday in Rosenheim, Germany.

A chance meeting on a California beach in 1965 between Morrison and Manzarek sparked one of the most successful rock bands in U.S. music history. After Morrison's death in 1971, Manzarek stayed busy in the music world, working with the punk band X and collaborating with Michael McClure on the documentary Obscene: A Portrait of Barney Rossett and Grove Press (2008).

Manzarek loved to tell the story about how The Doors seriously aggravated Ed Sullivan on September 17, 1967 for their first and only appearance on his variety show. Sullivan made the band swear they would NOT sing the word 'higher' when performing Light My Fire ("You know that it would be untrue, You know that I would be a liar, If I was to say to you, Girl, we couldn't get much higher"). The group promised -- "Yeah, yeah, sure, sure." -- and then performed it as written. Sullivan cancelled all their future performances.

Mr. Manzarek, who was 74, had been battling bile duct cancer.


Nothing compares to the keyboard on 'Light My Fire'