The man who signed The Doors to Elektra Records in 1966, Jac Holzman, has paid tribute to the band's keyboard player Ray Manzarek, who died today aged 74.
Holzman, 81, submitted the below statement to Music Week this evening.
Ray Manzarek died in Germany at 12:31pm UK time last night, surrounded by his family, following a battle with cancer.
Manzarek was a founding member of The Doors, who were born in 1965 after singer Jim Morrison met film studies student Manzarek on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. The Doors split after Morrison's death in 1971, with Manzarek going on to release solo albums and form new band Nite City.
Said Holzman: "Ray brought enormous gifts of music savvy, plus a knowledge of classics and jazz, to the sound that was The Doors.
"Ray was the underpinning and the glue which supported and let fly both Robby's exquisite guitar and John's uncanny drumming and percussion. He was the runway from which Jim and Robby's lyrics soared. Theirs was a tight sound, extravagant in tonality yet clear of purpose.
"My fondest memory of Ray is his careful nurturing of young talent which included my son, Adam. Ray was his piano hero, and Adam was happiest when Ray would share technique and licks that Adam would practice over and over.
"Jim Morrison's simple prayer has special meaning today: 'Oh, Great Creator, grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives.'
"Ray and Jim, Robby and John are those Riders on the Storm who beckon and guide us through the power of their music, always in-the-moment but eternal in impact."