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The Doors Biography
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Jim Morrison - Vocals

Ray Manzarek - Organ/Electric Piano

Robby Krieger - Guitar

John Densmore - Drums

 

The Doors' story began on Venice Beach of California in 1965 with Jim Morrison reciting the words of his ethereal poem "Moonlight Drive" to Ray Manzarek. Moved by his words, they set off to form a money making rock band, quickly shaping the structures to numerous songs. While Jim pioneered the rock n' roll dream with his book full of poems and vocals, Robby Krieger handled the guitar; his bluesy riffs and rhythmic genius would help pave the way to success. John Densmore provided the sturdy backbone to every recording on drums, previously acquiring his technical perfection from Jazz. With his classical background, Ray Manzarek could not only provide some beautiful organ and electric piano, but also played the bass lines.

They went to work playing in bars such as the Whiskey-a-Go-Go and the Sunset Strip. Although they were fired by the former for Morrison's outrageous performance of the experimental "The End", they drew attention from record labels. Once signed to Elektra records, The Doors quickly set to work releasing their debut, self-titled album in 1967. "The Doors" featured some of their most memorable and best songs, quickly sky-rocketing on the charts and going platinum. Considered a fabulous debut by any rock critics' standards, they scored huge with the hit song "Light My Fire", which dominated the airwaves in its edited form at around 3 minutes compared to its 7 minute album counterpart.

With their newfound mainstream success, The Doors continued to work on many compositions, following their debut album up with the psychedelic hit album entitled "Strange Days." Although perhaps they could not live up to the hype that their debut album had accomplished, The Doors were still producing radio-friendly hits at a high frequency. By 1969 though, they had to deal with another problem; Jim Morrison's antics caused by huge amounts of alcohol and drug consumption. He was accused of indecent exposure, public drunkenness and profane conduct in Miami of that year. Despite this setback, The Doors still managed to return in 1970 with arguably one of their best studio albums to date, entitled "Morrison Hotel". Less radio-friendly and more raw and stripped down, it featured bar rock classics such as "Roadhouse Blues" and "Peace Frog." Their final band effort would come the following year with "LA Woman", and may be perhaps The Doors at their most genuine. The self-titled song boasted a smooth, driving riff while the last song on the album "Riders on the Storm" has Manzarek sifting through beautiful piano melodies. The spirit of The Doors would be lost that year though, when Jim Morrison died of a drug overdose. He was found dead in a Paris hotel in his bathtub by his dear friend Pam. Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, and Robby Krieger continued the band's legacy with releases of compilations, including "Alive! She Cried" and a 1978 album entitled "An American Prayer", featuring music overtop of several of Morrison's poetry recitations.

 

Ben Lewis

September 2006

 


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