- Paperback: 296 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace (April 17, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1479263133
- ISBN-13: 978-1479263134
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Doors: Unhinged Paperback – April 17, 2013
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The subject of the book is the “greed gene”, and how that part of the human psyche propels us toward the accumulation of more and more wealth, even at the expense of our principles and friendships and the well being of society. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, THE DOORS, fractured because of this. In his book, drummer John Densmore looks at the conflict between him and his band mates as they fought over the right to use The Doors’ name. At the same time, Densmore examines how this conflict mirrors and reflects a much larger societal issue - that no amount of money seems to be enough for even the wealthiest people.
About the Author
An original and founding member of the musical group “The Doors,” John co-wrote and produced numerous gold and platinum albums and toured the United States, Europe, and Japan. His autobiography, “Riders on the Storm,” was on the New York Times bestseller lists. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. He has written numerous articles for Rolling Stone, London guardian, the Nation, LA Times, Chicago Trubune and Utne reader. In film production, he co-produced “Road To Return,” narrated by Tim Robbins. It won several prestigious national awards and was screened for Congress, resulting in the writing of a bill. He also Executive Produced “Juvies,” narrated by Mark Wahlberg which was aired on HBO. It won numerous awards (2004 IDA for excellence, U.S. International Film Fest – creative excellence).
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is important if you love Doors' music and want a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of the band. But it's also important if you care about our country's decline from a republic into a corporate state. It's important if you care about principled action.
Densmore is a hero, but he doesn't think of himself as a hero. He doesn't write in a self-aggrandizing way. He's as worried about money as you or me, and though he almost certainly has more than most of us, he put what he has on the line to defend his values and his music.
John is an ordinary guy and an extraordinary guy. More importantly, he's a mensch, a whole man. His tale is cold water in the face of cynicism. Reading it will make you feel better.
This is, first and foremost, a sad book. One feels disgust as drummer John Densmore describes the circus like atmosphere of a modern courtroom, particularly when the prosecution and then defendant--the 86 year old drummer--isn't trying to make any money or sue anyone for his personal gain.
Densmore was trying to prevent his fellow bandmates, organist Ray Manzarek (now deceased) and guitarist Robbie Krieger from making a mockery of The Doors legacy with their Ian Astbury led charade "The Doors of the 21st Century". All he wanted them to do was not call it The Doors. The geriatric embarrassment of that "group" is now evident for all to see; if you want a laugh, YouTube it.
Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam renown tried to contact Manzarek and tell him not to do it. He comments on the back of the book: "When I am a Dead Rock Star, I hope there's someone like John Densmore looking after whatever legacy our group leaves behind."
Once, early in their career, Jim Morrison either heard or saw the commercial or the radio ad for "C'mon Buick Light My Fire", which in fact did air because for about two weeks, before Morrison threatened to quit the band (that or smash a Buick to dust onstage) if it continued to be played.
This was a turning point in the relationship between the four members, because Morrison had in place a non official contract that, if one member didn't agree with something the The Doors wanted to do as an entity, it would be resolved privately. In other words: an actually democratic process. During the chaos of the the Miami incident, he did say to a couple of people: "Let's see Buick use "Light My Fire" now."
As time passed, of course, and the centrifugal force of the band was gone, things changed. Particularly Ray Manzarek. Anyone remember reading his comments on The Doors Box Set? About the Golden Doors? And his triage of melodies about "The Golden Girl, The Golden Man", meaning Jim Morrison and his girlfriend Pamela Courson? That guy.
Without Manzarek the Doors would never been possible, probably, but he took greed--and this is what Densmore is addressing in the book, "the greed gene"--to a level unseen amongst the "Golden 60's" bands, suing--and probably coercing Krieger, who is sort of along for the ride-- into getting revenge on the drummer. They redirected by suing him for *forty million dollars.*
The rust of egalitarian ideals, ideals of individuality coupled with community, community ethos--it's all in this book, particularly in the silk tongued responses of Mr. Manzarek to Densmore's lawyer. Both Manzarek and Krieger tried to paint Densmore as a red pinko commie, someone who associated with "undesirables".
He really wanted what would have amounted to 10,000 dollars for doing a Doors cigarette ad in Japan, but backed out. He also prevented Apple from having "a Doors commercial" for ITunes.
It's almost as if after the 60's people got this urge to start singing the praises of those who attempt--successfully often--to control us; the corporations. But why? This is what John Densmore addresses (from his perspective). An excellent book.
Kind of gives insight into the individual personalities of Robbie,John and Ray not detailed in any other book that I'm aware of.I never have liked John or been too interested in him after reading "riders on the storm" so I had put off reading this and never really planned on it, and did by a fluke.He really painted himself as a whiney old woman in his memoir,just in the way he explained things or presented them to the reader.
I understand the position of both sides in the case.ray and Robbie want to go tour for the big bucks,but the only way it can be done is by using the doors logo and name(because of the notoriety).On the other hand,Johns(and estates) side I understand as well about artist integrity.You cant have it both ways,and according to the contract written and verbal "all for one , one for all agreement" theyd all have to agree to use the name and logo, or not use it at all.
The whole situation was really pretty complex with good points from both sides,as they all had interests and ownership in the band.Ray was original member and kind of discovered Jim and crafted and encouraged him, so I can kind of see his stance.But also on the other hand regardless of this they would of not achieved success without john, or Robbie for that matter.
Some of the claims from Ray and Robbie about johns communism and alqueda ties were exagerations.He does have some questionable ties thru his activism(,by his own admission),but I don't believe he has any malicious intent just by knowing a guy who knows a guy.Hes just a bongo playing hippie with some pretty skewed views that he continually makes public.None of the groups hes involved with are actually making any difference to the world,never will, and are just a waste of time,nothing to worry about.
As a side note..I was behind Ray at a convenience store about 10yrs ago and asked him if he was who I thought he was.He said "NOOO" in that unmistakeable deep, concerned grandpa voice with a devious smile,and I knew it was him.I asked for his autograph,and he said he would do it for 20 dollars,and he wanted to make something off it since itd eventually end up on ebay anyway.He finished up with the cashier and walked out,and I did the same.He was standing outside the door,and told me he was just joking,and to get something for him to sign..I walked to my car and gave him the finger before I got in and drove off.He seemed to be taken aback.I thought he might mention this story in an interview, but iv not read where he mentioned it.
I did think it was funny when he was crying in the end of the book,,i just had this image of him weeping over his bongos, like the hippy teacher on beavis and butthead.My opinion of ray has really changed after reading this, and not for the better.Robby just seems like a quiet pushover in the background,but uses that to his advantage when he can.
Overall good read and id recommend if your into the doors.What the guys personalities are really like, and their legal proceedings are not important to me, but I will always like their music.
Read and approved by the Crackpipe79,,,,,,4 out of 5 stars
Most Recent Customer Reviews
**I need to preface this review; I'm both a Huge doors fan & (between you and I) am a recovering addict - and I have met John, Ray & Robby.Read more