Ray Manzarek, keyboard player for The Doors, died of cancer in Germany today at age 74. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ray a few times, and have dug up one of those conversations from my archives.

It was May 7, 2007, when Ray and I talked about The Doors and his new band, Riders On The Storm, in which he was touring with Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger. We discussed the rift (and lawsuit) between Ray and Robbie and their former bandmate, drummer John Densmore, who refused to let them use the name The Doors or allow their music to be used in commercials.

I also asked Ray if he’d ever be a mentor on “American Idol” or allow Doors music to be performed on that show, what it was like the first time he heard one of his hits on the radio, how he felt about rappers and others sampling bits and pieces of Doors songs, and who influenced him in becoming a rock and roll keyboard player.

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