Drummer John Densmore's 1990 memoir of his experiences with the Doors, the formidable 1960s quartet that blended rock, poetry, and psychedelic mysticism, is a refreshingly clear-eyed look at the complex tangle of relationships that bound the band's personnel together. Densmore doesn't wholly subscribe to the Jim Morrison as godlike genius theory, which makes for a more down-to-earth appraisal of Morrison's obvious talents and equally apparent eccentricities--exposure to which caused the drummer to suspect that his singer was unbalanced, if not psychotic. It's obvious from RIDERS ON THE STORM's opening chapter, which describes a visit to Morrison's grave five years after the singer's death, that Densmore holds Morrison in high regard, and is also still furious at him for dying and thereby abandoning the band. Densmore's stories of drugs, girls, and excess will be familiar to most devoted Doors fans, but here they gain a realistic edge far removed from the esoteric commentary and psychological analysis of many Doors biographies. Racy, entertaining, and poignant, RIDERS' narrative is given extra depth by its author's adherence to the idealism and passion of the'60s, which have survived intact in the two decades since the death of his story's main protagonist.
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Riders On The Storm
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