Keyboardist and founding member of the Doors, Ray Manzarek, died Monday night—at the age of 74— after losing a battle with bile-duct cancer. Manzarek founded the band after meeting Jim Morrison, whose writing he admired, at UCLA in 1967. Largely influenced by jazz phenomenon John Coltrane, Manzarek is also responsible for the song that became the Doors’ anthem: “Light My Fire.” Speaking through a spokeswoman Monday, the band’s drummer John Densmore captured both Manzarek’s skill and mission. “There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words,” he said.
LIGHT MY FIRE Ray Manzarek of The Doors performs in Aug. 2012 (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)