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From left to right:

John Densmore, Ray Manzarek,
Jim Morrison et Robbie Krieger.





The band The Doors starts in Los Angeles in 1965. It's formed by Jim Morrison (born James Douglas Morrison on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida) on vocals, and Ray Manzarek (born Raymond Daniel Manzarek on February 12, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois) on keyboards. They hire Robbie Krieger (born Robert Allen Krieger on January 8, 1946 in Los Angeles, California) on guitar, and John Densmore (born John Paul Densmore on December 1, 1944 in Santa Monica, California) on drums. Krieger and Densmore were in a band called Psychedelic Rangers.


The quatuor signs a first record deal with Elektra in 1966 and releases its first album, The Doors, the following year, album which contains the hit "Light My Fire". With their blues and classic roots, The Doors is one of the most creative pop bands in the psychedelic era of the late 60's. This great talent, added to the incredible charisma of Morrison, brings quickly the band among the most famous bands in the world.


The Doors comes back with a second album, Strange Days, before the end of the same year and again in 1968 with the album Waiting For The Sun. Even if those 2 albums have some success, they are very far from the quality of their first album, because they were pushed to quickly release new material, without taking attention to the quality of the product. On The Soft Parade in 1969, the band takes the decision to do experiments with a brass section. The critics don't agree about the result of it, but the rock purists accuse them to have been bought by the pop industry.


On stage, the arrogance and vulgarity of Morrison, mixed up with his bad tendencies to drugs and alcohol bring problems to the band in many venues throughout the world.


With Morrison Hotel in 1970, the band takes a blues/rock turning point with a certain depth which will stop complains by the purists. That same year, they release a live album, Absolutely Live. In 1971 is released the last album with Morrison, L.A. Woman. It's the most blues album of the band and probably their best since their self-titled one of 67.


After the release of L.A. Woman, Morrison is tired of everything and, depressive, he takes the decision to escape to Paris, France with his wife Pamela. He dies on July 3rd 1971 from a possible drug overdose (the official version: heart attack). He was only 27. He is buried to the Père Lachaise cemetary in Paris with a few other poets (Balzac, Molière and Oscar Wilde).


After the death of Morrison, the three remaining members of The Doors receive a great offer from Elektra to continue their career on records. On Other Voices, released at the end of 1971, and on Full Circle in 1972, the music is not completely bad, but the big hole left by Morrison won't give possibilities to the band to survive. The Doors completely disintegrates in 1973.


In 1978, they release An American Prayer on which we can hear Morrison poems on music by The Doors. A lot of compilations and live albums are issued through the years and the movie by Oliver Stone, The Doors, in 1991, accompanied by a soundtrack album, gives a new breath to the band and to his legendary singer.


In 2002, Manzarek and Krieger take the decision to bring The Doors back to life for a tour. They hire the singer Ian Astbury from The Cult, the drummer Ty Dennis and the bassist Angelo Barbera, those two from the Robbie Krieger Band.


Richard Dion


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