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Showing 1-10 of 76 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 166 reviews
on June 16, 2015
I loved this book ! I had been wanting to order it for quite awhile before i finally did. I really enjoyed John's writing style which was partly talking to Jim, partly to the reader and partly to himself. There were a lot of great "behind the scenes" type stories which were totally eye opening. John reveals his true feelings toward the band, the business and his relationships and just tells it the way it is/was. I couldn't put this book down it was so engrossing. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you love the Doors as i do you'll enjoy John's story. I highly recommend "Riders on the Storm".
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on May 14, 2013
I had intended to place this book onto my Amazon wish list for later ordering, but then accidentally clicked on one-click ordering instead. Oh well. The book arrived, as usual, within a few days.
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.
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on September 25, 2016
This is a very detailed book. I feel like I know and understand Jim and the Doors very well now. It is sad and dark like the group's persona so don't expect a feeling of satisfaction when you put it down. It is a must for any collection on rock n roll. My only complaint is about 1/3 of the book could have been eliminated as it tends to ramble about halfway through. Otherwise, go for it.
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on January 18, 2012
I started reading books and seeing vhs documentaries about The Doors and Jim Morrison in the mid-80's. I've seen movies, bought albums, had t-shirts, given all of the above as gifts, but I think I got more factual info about the band's short-lived career (with Jim) out of this book than all of the other items put together. Manzarek really seems to look at the brighter side of things and Robbie Krieger seems too mellow and quiet, getting a full objective story out of them might be a challenge. John Densmore, was/is just firey enough,though, to put out what also SEEMS to be a fairly balanced and thorough history of the band and what went on after Jim's death, (including letters to Jim). It must have been really difficult to allow the reading public to read inner conversations Mr. Densmore had/has been having with his former band-mate all these years. This is a very personal and heartfelt book that I highly recommend to any Doors fan, Jim Morrison fan or anyone interested in the music of the 60's-70's or poetry and/or drumming (there are great bits of information as to how Densmore started out learning drums and getting his first gigs).
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on December 4, 2013
If anything about the Doors can be considered <fact> then this is as close as it gets. This book is where everyone gets their info. You can clearly see scenes in the Oliver Stone film straight from this book. Densmore was there. He is a sensitive writer - critical yet loving towards Morrison. Densmore makes the dangerous dice roll Jim was playing clear - but trespasses to ask <could he have been any other way>. This book is THE essential read for anyone interested in the Doors. It is where you should begin before branching out into other secondary literature. The clear, even-handed account that Densmore paints will provide a good comparison to other Doors books by journalists, and help you question where other writers might take liberties, exaggerate or BS.
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on March 6, 2014
I had just recently finished Ray Manzarek's book on the Doors, which quite frankly was nauseating!! So I took a chance on Densmore's book hoping for a more balanced retrospective about this legendary rock band.

And once I started--I could not put it down--finished it in less than a day!!

The first thing that I noticed is that it is a MUCH more comprehensive book about the band's career than Manzarek's. Densmore gives a very thorough account of the band's entire history--from the beginning days at Venice Beach until the final post-Morrison Doors albums. So much more is included! I was especially impressed at his recall of past performances, rehearsals, etc--the amount of detail is amazing!!

Secondly, and most important, Densmore does not come across as a pretentious snob out to absurdly mythologize the Doors and Jim Morrison. It is an intensely soul-searching retrospective and it's readily apparent this book was written as a form of therapy--an opportunity to candidly assess the highs and the lows about his time with the band along with his personal life-(which certainly had its fair share of tough times). He makes it clear that he truly struggled with his love/hate relationship with Morrison--yet I don't find any semblance of bitterness or "whining" like some reviewers have suggested. In fact, what I find so refreshing about Densmore's approach is his complete honesty. He does not shy away from his own critical self analysis as he fully acknowledges his shortcomings and insecurities. As you read this book you'll hear it all--the good, bad, and the ugly--no punches are pulled.

Ultimately, I think Densmore's account is far more genuine and realistic than Manzarek's. If you are wondering which band member wrote the better book about the Doors it's Densmore's by a LANDSLIDE!!
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on January 6, 2014
This book takes you inside the making and dynamics of one of the greatest rock bands of all time. John Densmore gives you his unique experience of his relationship with Jim Morrison and other members of the Doors during a powerful and creative period of rock and gives you his perspective of the rise and fall of one the greatest rock icons of all time, as well as the personal debris he was left to reconcile following the death of Jim Morrison and the dissolution of the band. A very insightful and entertaining read.
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on May 13, 2017
great read, engaged writing
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on June 5, 2015
Interesting read, but it appears that he and Morrison never really got along. Comes across as a misty selective memory sort of thing that really doesn't tell the full story of the Doors.
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on December 17, 2013
John Densmore's book "Riders on the Storm: My Life with Jim Morrison and the Doors" provides a detailed account of his development as a musician, contribution as a Doors band member, and his various interactions with Jim Morrison and the band. He also examines his musical and acting career following the break up of the group.

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
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