The Doors: Unhinged Paperback – April 17, 2013
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Having said this, the narrative is marred by John going off on tangents that break the narrative, including his political opinions, his activistism, etc. It’s as if there wasn’t quite enough material for a book and it needed to be padded. While the book could have been more focused, I thought this was still a good read.
John Densmore is not a perfect man (who is?) but what Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger put him through in the name of their own greed and revenge was unconscionable. This book explains it.
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.
like em more? Yes, the more I learn the more complex they are, the more I am a fan.
The books not for everyone but I dug it quite a bit. These guys are getting older, the more time we can listen the better for us. Qould love to interview Jim today, right?
Top international reviews
John Densmore has written an extraordinarily eloquent book describing the reasons behind his decision to sue Ray and Robbie for touring as The Doors and their counter suing of him for £40m for vetoing opportunities to sell Doors music to advertise products as wide ranging as tobacco, cars and computers. It is a well considered discourse on the issues of brand - what is 'The Doors' - and the commercial licensing of music for both advertising and other creative endeavours particularly in films. Not only that, it is a stark account of a deeply flawed legal system where anything can be manipulated and presented as evidence.
This is a must read for Doors fans but also for anyone interested in or concerned about the misappropriation of music to sell products.
Having seen Ray and Robby perform under different names three times I am grateful that I was able to see the songs I love performed by half of the original line up. I even made the short trip to Paris in 2011 to see the guys perform for the fortieth anniversary of Jim's death, truly a remarkable experience.
I was firmly on John Densmore's side from the moment I read about the court case and the action taken against him, the drama of the court room was captured well and John has really translated his 'voice' to the page, it is distinctly Densmore.
Unfortunately, and this is nothing to do with either the book or John's ability as an author, Ray and Robby don't come out of this book looking good. Manzarek in particular coming across quite appallingly.
John offers a helping hand to anyone not familiar with the history of The Doors and I think this is a book that anyone who is frustrated at seeing their favourite songs end up selling or plugging something.
The Doors have been one of my favourite bands for a long time. They were great musicians, led by an iconic symbol of the dark edge of 60's Flower Power.
Here John Densmore tells the story of the death of the myth. Where friends fall out over money and try to co-opt the legacy of their leader. A man greedy for money, the one mystical about what The Doors, and Jim Morrison, stood for; the self appointed Keeper of the Flame.
Thus us well written and paced. It doesn't feel like a dry story of a legal battle but a story that tells of betrayal, lies and greed. At the centre of the story is Densmore desire to retain desire to protect the legacy and Manzarack's desire to milk it for every penny he can.
I was constantly suspicious of Ray's recollections of Jim and their work. It also seemed to show him in the best light and raise his profile above all. Now we see that he wanted to keep the cash rolling in because he put the acquisition of wealth over all else.
More than a story one example of integrity until the end.