John Densmore, the feuding drummer for the legendary rock group, The Doors, is set to release an explosive new book, UNHINGED-JIM MORRISON’S LEGACY GOES ON TRIAL on April 17. Strangely while Densmore has had problems with his two other fellow surviving members of The Doors over their wanting to commercially market the band’s music, and has championed a string of lawsuits against them, and has no problem marketing a book for profit about all of this.
Densmore even sued the other band members from touring under the old Doors name as well, and was even able to recruit members of Jim Morrison’s long estranged family and Pamela Courson’s family to join him, although they could have profited from royalties from TV ads by Cadillac using the “Break On Through” song, for example.
Densmore claims that he was trying to preserve the good “name” of The Doors from bad commercial exploitation, but he was sharply branded as a “communist and anarchist” for these heavy handed efforts to prevent his fellow band mates, Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger from their promotion of the band’s name on their new group with a new lead singer. An effort a few years ago to bring back The Doors with new singer Ian Astbury from The Cult was quickly quashed by Densmore with lawsuits and other problems.
One problem with Densmore’s efforts is that Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison had their longest relationship together, dating back to their college days at UCLA and Morrison invited to sing as backup singer in Rick And The Ravens, an old group with the Manzarek brothers, before the new band centered around Jim Morrison’s songs and poetry emerged as The Doors. It would seem that Ray Manzarek would be the best person to determine any business decisions for The Doors legacy. Both Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger have also displayed the best business instincts for this band as well. John Densmore may be a top flight drummer, but his fellow band members simply have done a far better job commercially promoting the band and ensuring new releases of obscure lost recordings through Bright Midnight, Rhino and Elektra Records.
Despite certainly inflaming old wounds with his fellow band members, John Densmore tries to hold out an olive branch at the end of the book. But, whether his fellow band members want to accept that is a good question. There are no doubt many hurt feelings here, as the aging Manzarek and Krieger just want to move on and play good music, and probably lament all of the problems with their estranged drummer.