St Joseph News Press
November 22 1981
AP Newsfeatures Writers
MORRISON’S DEATH LEFT VOID IN DOORS
DOORS DRUMMER NOW A DANCER
The Doors were together a short time. Their first recording came out in 1967 and the lead singer Jim Morrison died in 1971. The interest in them and in Morrison may be greater now than it was when they were performing.
A greatest hits album sold almost a million copies in 1980. A Morrison biography, “No One Here Gets Out Alive,” sold big. Morrison’s book of poems, “The Lords and the New Creatures,” published in 1969, will be reprinted next year.
Doors organist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger are working with rock groups in the Los Angeles area. And drummer John Densmore is dancing.
Interviewed in New York while Bess Snyder and Company was visiting to give performances, Densmore wore a Bob Marley T-shirt.
“Ray and I and Robby made two albums after Jim died,” he says. “We realized we didn’t have a focal point. Then Robby and I had another group, the Butts Band, which was together about a year. We went to Jamaica to record. I wrote an article about Marley and my experiences in Jamaica. I think Wet Magazine is going to put it out.
“When the group fell apart, I realized what special group I was in. In The Doors I shied away from being in another band.
“I studied acting for 2 ½ years. I wanted to break away from my drums. It was my security and I love it. I know how to do it. I’ve done it so many years. I wanted to get up and express myself.”
Of course the question arises, is Jim Morrison dead and buried in Paris. “He is there,” Densmore says. “The rumors stem from the fact it was a sealed casket. He died on a weekend and there was no autopsy. His wife Pamela was the last person to see him. She died in 1974. When I saw her after he died and looked into her eyes, I knew it was true he was dead. Of anyone I ever met, he would be the one to fake his death and go to Africa.
“Several years after Jim died, Ray and I and Robby listened to some tapes of Jim reading his poems. He wanted to make a poetry album; he was thinking of getting an orchestra.
“We did it as a tribute to him, backed up his poetry with our music. I’m real proud of An American Prayer. We put in natural sounds of wind and rain. It’s an esoteric album, not your top 40.
“Now we’d like to visualize it, using documentary footage and shooting some new stuff. We don’t want John Travolta to play Jim in a fictionalized movie. We lived it; we want to try and put it out how it was.”
“In the beginning,” Densmore says. Morrison was charismatic, as handsome as the statue of David and wrote incredible lyrics and melodies. The group knew they would become almost mythical.
“When your 17 you want to question authority and find out who you are and that’s why kids liked him and still like him. And we worked real hard on the music.
“But it was painful at the last to see a close friend self destruct. It was like he wanted to make an impression, move people and have them think and then pack it all in. He knew I disapproved. Was it worth a life. I’d quit the group trying to make a point, and I’d come back in a day or two. We were creating, recording, playing live and I couldn’t get enough of that.
“Nobody has affected my life more than Jim so after “Light My Fire” was No. 1, he’d stay in $6 motels. He was interested in ideas and universal questions. Some people might be thinking of buying a new car or relaxing or doing the laundry and he’d want to talk about does it all mean.
“It’s neat having a person who asks those questions. We need those people to remeind us what’s important.”
Morrison's Death Left Void In The Doors
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