By: Nevra Azerkan
Rating: [The Breakdown]
John Densmore, the drummer for The Doors, penned the book The Doors Unhinged which was released earlier this year. He features testimonials from some powerful names including: Tom Petty, Tom Waits, Eddie Vedder, and Michael Blake (author of Dances with the Wolves) among other well-known figures. He also mentions that part of the proceeds from the sales of the book will go to the “Occupy” movement. That follows in the drummer’s typical fashion of always wanting to give back.
This isn’t the first book that he has written either. He also released an autobiography, Riders On The Storm, back in 1990 that became a best seller. This book, while it gives firsthand accounts of the band, is not an autobiography, but rather it sets the record straight on the many trials and tribulations that The Doors faced years after the death of their lead singer, Jim Morrison. Its main focus is the last trial over how the use of the name, “The Doors” by Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger, was misleading.
I literally could not put this book down after I began reading it and that only happens with a very small percentage of the books that I read. I am a huge Doors fan and I did get to meet John during this book tour. Having that experience and then reading about the band’s constant conflicts is just insane to me.
As I read the book, I almost felt as if I was sitting in a room with Densmore himself and he was relating the story to me in person. His words have such a personal feel that the reader gets caught up in the moment. He sets the stage perfectly for the trial and ties in other stories from the past. John ends the book with a letter to Ray and Robby with the same honesty that he gives the entire book.
This is a must-read for any true fan of The Doors, musicians and music lovers in general. It gives you insight to each member of the band, the tough times that they went through and the struggle to keep the integrity of the band alive. John Densmore doesn’t preach in the book, but rather shows how he is keeping the spirit of Jim Morrison alive through his loyalty to him and to their music. How often do we see that in this industry?