JIM MORRISON'S LEGACY GOES ON TRIAL
The subject of the book is the “greed gene”, and how that part of the human psyche propels us toward the accumulation of more and more wealth, even at the expense of our principles and friendships and the well being of society. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, THE DOORS, fractured because of this. In his book, drummer John Densmore looks at the conflict between him and his band mates as they fought over the right to use The Doors’ name. At the same time, Densmore examines how this conflict mirrors and reflects a much larger societal issue - that no amount of money seems to be enough for even the wealthiest people. - AMAZON.COM
"John Densmore is not for sale and that is his gift to us." - Tom Waits
I was on the fence for a long time on whether I should buy/read this book. On one hand, I've always been a huge Doors fan. But the thought of reading a book about a civil suit even though it involved The Doors and how they are marketed seemed to me like it would be boring as a turd in a punch bowl. You can count me wrong on that.
For one thing, John Densmore is one hell of a good writer. He intertwines the trial with his experiences as a member of the Doors and the final product is fascinating.
Even though the three remaining members of the band (as well as the Morrison and Courson families) are very well off, Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger continued touring as either The Doors or The Doors of the 21st Century even though there had been an agreement years before where Jim Morrison and the band had agreed that all contract negotiations had to be agreed upon by all four members. Since Jim Morrison has been long gone, that left the three remaining members and both Krieger and the late Manzarek totally disregarded the pact. So in a nutshell, Densmore and Morrison and Courson families took them to court to prevent any further use of the Doors logo and name and also a huge image of The Lizard King that was used during the shows. Ray Manzarek even claimed at one time that he was broke and needed to tour which had to be bullshit since the Doors albums, CDs, and videos still have a huge market and the band itself still has a massive following.
When John Densmore turned down a 15 million dollar offer from Cadillac to use the song Break On Through, Manzarek and Krieger filed a 40 MILLION DOLLAR counter suit against Densmore which sets the stage for the book.
There are all sorts of reviews where Densmore is called a liberal or an old hippie for basically turning down 15 million bucks but those reviewers are idiots! It is rare in this day and age to see a person who has the guts to stand up for his principles as well as the principles of the late Jim Morrison and what rock and roll is all about.
I highly recommend this book for fans of The Doors and really for anyone who is interested in the financial wheeling and dealings of the rock and roll industry.
I myself almost gave in to seeing Manzarek and Krieger when they toured as The Doors back in 2002. The lead singer was from The Cults and Densmore had been replaced on the drums by the drummer from The Police (Good God!) - I didn't realize at the time that John Densmore was not touring with them.
I was living down in Galveston and the band was playing in Houston and the only thing that kept me from going to the show was the prices. Holy shit!! You would have thought that Morrison had faked his death and was going to do a guest a appearance, so I passed.
And after reading this book, I'm glad I did. But to be be honest, if the band had toured with Manzarek, Krieger, AND Densmore and either Eddie Vedder or Billy Idol (who I think would have done a hell of a job filling in), I would have shelled out the bucks.