“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and band mate Ray Manzarek today,” Krieger said in a statement. “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.”
“There was no keyboard player on the planet more appropriate to support Jim Morrison’s words,” Densmore said through a spokeswoman. “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.”
Creating a band with a neophyte singer, jazz-inclined keyboardist and drummer and a guitarist steeped in flamenco music wasn’t by any stretch a formula for rock ‘n’ roll success. Manzarek wound up pulling double duty, handling the bass parts by way of a keyboard bass, which he played with his left hand while working the organ accompaniment and solos with his right.
“We actually intended to have a bass player, and auditioned a couple of them,” he said in a 2011 interview with the Jerusalem Post. “With the first one, we sounded like the Rolling Stones, and with the second, for some reason, we sounded like Eric Burdon and the Animals. We knew there was no reason to have another band sound like either of them, so we kept looking.
“Then we auditioned at a club in Los Angeles, and I saw the Fender Rhodes keyboard bass onstage, which belonged to another band. And I thought, ‘Eureka, that’s it. I’ll play that,’” he said. “It worked out fine because it’s basically the way I play the keyboard anyway, with my left hand playing the bass line. And it kept the Doors as a four-side diamond, rather than an evil pentagram.”