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OBITUARIES : RAY MANZAREK, 1939 - 2013

Keyboardist for L.A. rock band the Doors

May 21, 2013|Randy Lewis

"The punks were the next generation after the psychedelic era," he said. "After the stoners came the punks, and it was great. I thought it would be bigger in the U.S. than it was, but it never really caught on like it did in England. The punk scene in California, though, was as exciting as what happened in the '60s."

In 1991, after Oliver Stone's film biography of the group came out, Manzarek was openly critical of his portrait of the band.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday, May 22, 2013 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 2 inches; 69 words Type of Material: Correction
Ray Manzarek: The obituary of the Doors' keyboardist Ray Manzarek in the May 21 LATExtra section said that Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder was among the guests who sang with Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger when the pair resumed touring over the last dozen years. Vedder sang with Manzarek, Krieger and drummer John Densmore when the Doors were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

"Oliver Stone has assassinated Jim Morrison," he said at the time. "The film portrays Jim as a violent, drunken fool. That wasn't Jim."

Manzarek said in interviews that he'd rather that Morrison had lived and that they would still be making music together, even if it meant the singer had to sacrifice the mystique that developed around him because of his death at such a young age.

"If you're going to become a legend -- one of the immortals, a god," Manzarek said in 2011, "then you have to die. That's the tragedy."

Manzarek and Krieger resumed touring over the last dozen years, playing Doors music with other singers and drummers -- including the Cult's lead singer Ian Asbury, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and the Police's drummer Stewart Copeland -- which prompted a lawsuit by Densmore against Manzarek and Krieger to stop them from touring under the Doors' name. Densmore eventually won.

In the course of that proceeding, Manzarek and Krieger countersued Densmore for $40 million, alleging that he had rejected proposals to use the Doors' songs in commercials.

Densmore's new book, "The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison's Legacy Goes on Trial," details both suits and his staunch opposition to advertising uses of the band's music.

Manzarek, the book says, supported such uses as a way to keep that music in front of new generations of listeners. The countersuit was dismissed.

Manzarek also became an author, writing "Light My Fire: My Life With the Doors" in 1998 and "The Poet In Exile" in 2002.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; a son, Pablo; three grandchildren; and two brothers, Rick and James Manczarek.

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randy.lewis@latimes.com

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