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Riders on the Storm: My Life with Jim Morrison and the Doors Paperback – September 1, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
Doors drummer Densmore, who had a love-hate relationship with lead singer Morrison, sympathetically chronicles the self-destructive Lizard King's rise and fall. "Densmore's detailed account . . . is often narrated in a glib style" but remains "indispensable for fans of one of rock music's most flamboyant and controversial groups," said PW . Photos.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Such is the mystique, the iconoclastic reverence, the enduring commercial success and marketability of Jim Morrison, enigmatic lead singer of the Doors, 19 years after his death, that Densmore, founding Doors member and drummer, is repeatedly upstaged in his own autobiography. Densmore's inside-out account of the group's history perceptively examines relationships, dynamics, creative evolution, difficulties, and artistry, but Morrison in his many guises--angst-ridden poet, Lizard King, pop icon, and alcoholic--invariably dominates every chapter, story, and anecdote. In fact, Densmore addresses significant chunks of italicized text directly to Morrison in a therapeutic attempt to reconcile his own ambiguous feelings, often becoming overly confessional. This book should be very popular, especially as filmmaker Oliver Stone's anticipated Doors movie will undoubtedly create a new wave of Jim Morrison/Doors mania. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/90.
- Barry Miller, Austin P.L., Tex.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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I was glad it did. I found it for the most part very absorbing, describing mainly Densmore's 6 years while the Doors were a force with Jim Morrison. The book got off to a slow start, using retrospective imagined conversations with Morrison that sprinkle the book, which I mainly found tedious. However, if one is patient, one gets into Densmore's conservative Catholic childhood, passion not only for drumming, but many different drum styles, which he brought to the enrichment of the Doors' recordings (and for which he deservedly received co-author credit).
The Doors start out exciting, Densmore is enamored of this initially shy poet who could improvise lyrics in the studio, and later on stage. How "The End" evolved is especially engrossing. (I mean, who other than Jim Morrison could make this kind of thing up? In 1966?)
But, as everyone knows, the story got out of hand, and after some time, Densmore could barely take it anymore, even as the art form of theater rock was evolving before his eyes. His sympathy was with the audience, who came to hear a good show, but for whom Morrison often came heavily intoxicated, or plain psychotic, and either lectured or berated the audience, or did little at all. (And of course, some came just for that kind of alien theatricity.)
I was disappointed that some events were left out, such as the details of some albums, the Ed Sullivan show, their appearance at the Toronto Pop Festival (headlined by the Plastic Ono Band--did they ever meet up with John Lennon?). Even Morrison's death is only referred to indirectly, I guess Densmore figures we've heard it all before anyway.
Interesting, though, are Densmore's personal travails with relationships (two failed marriages, a psychotic brother). Most touching is his description of what happened to him in his life after the Doors. You get the feeling of a very long come-down--which it was. After all, to go from an obscure house band in Los Angeles to among the top American 60s acts in a very short time, 4 powerful and distinct musicians working (mostly) cohesively, and then suddenly the carpet is yanked out.
Densmore himself comes across as a very creative, level-headed, fair-minded person, upset by intoxication. He writes very clearly. The book reads very quickly. I was sorry that the book had to end. Well recommended.
Incidentally, just the other day caught Densmore on Jimmy Fallon, he looks wonderful, going strong. And Fallon does an outstanding (as usual) Jim Morrison.
Interestingly, Densmore documents post-mortem dialogue and assessments of situations with Jim Morrison throughout the book, which presents the reader with a unique voice and many insightful details.
Densmore also shares several of his own personal highlights and the challenges life has presented him with, which allows the reader to appreciate the complexities of his life and how these experiences have contributed to his personal growth. He is a sensitive and personable narrator who gives so much of himself to the reader.
Nicholas R.W. Henning - Australian Author