The Doors’ John Densmore Talks About the Band’s Ugly, Six-Year Feud

John Densmore Larry Busacca/Getty Images
John Densmore Larry Busacca/Getty Images

In his new book The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison’s Legacy Goes on Trial, Doors drummer John Densmore spins a funny yet lurid, behind-the-scenes tale of his six-year feud with former bandmates Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek – a greed-filled courtroom battle in which he was accused of being an anti-American, card-carrying communist who supports al Qaeda.

Densmore said the rift started in 2003, when Cadillac offered the band a record-breaking $15 million deal. Krieger and Manzarek wanted the deal but Densmore balked, recalling a studio session in 1968 when Jim Morrison, the band’s enigmatic lead singer who died in 1971, discovered the band was considering taking $75,000 for a Buick ad. In that commercial, the car company would use the band’s hit “Light My Fire,” changing the lyrics from “Come on baby light my fire” to “Come on Buick light my fire.”

“Jim told us he couldn’t trust us anymore,” Densmore tells Rolling Stone. “We had agreed that we would never use our music in any commercial, but the money Buick offered us had been hard to refuse. Jim accused us of making a deal with the devil and said he would smash a Buick with a sledgehammer onstage if we let them [change the lyrics].”

Then Krieger and Manzarek started touring under the Doors name. The band advertised themselves as The Doors of the 21st Century, with “The Doors” appearing in big, bold letters and everything else in small fine print.

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Retrieved on 14 December 2018 from

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