Drummer John Densmore was far more than merely the rhythmic engine of The Doors. Strongly influenced by jazz skinsmen like Elvin Jones and the supple grooves of the Brazilian wave, he brought a highly evolved sense of dynamics, structure and musicality to his beats.
Inexorably drawn to music from childhood, Los Angeles-born Densmore honed his sense of dynamics playing with his high school marching band. In the mid-’60s he joined guitarist Robby Krieger in a band called Psychedelic Rangers; shortly thereafter they hooked up with keyboardist Ray Manzarek and Morrison, and an explosive chapter in the development of rock & roll began. A raft of paradigm-shifting recordings and epochal live performances would follow.
Morrison’s death in 1971 marked the end of an era, though the surviving trio recorded two more albums of songs and an instrumental backdrop for the late singer’s recorded poetry.
The versatile musician explored reggae and jazz in subsequent projects, wrote books and articles and became active in L.A.’s adventurous theater community. He earned an L.A. Weekly Theatre Award for the music he created for the Tim Robbins-directed stage production Methusalem. He also co-produced the play Rounds, which was given the NAACP award for theatre in 1987.
Densmore’s autobiography, Riders on the Storm: My Life With Jim Morrison and The Doors, was published in 1991 and was a New York Times bestseller. He’s written articles and essays for Rolling Stone, London Guardian, The Nation, and many nationally syndicated newspapers. His most recent book The Seekers was published by Hachette in November, 2020.
The iconic drummer of The Doors investigates his own relationship with creativity and explores the meaning of artistry with other artists and performers in this compelling and spellbinding memoir.
Whether it's the curiosity that blossoms after we listen to our favorite band's newest record, or the sheer admiration we feel after watching a knockout performance, many of us have experienced art so pure-so innovative-that we can't help but wonder afterwards: "How did they do that?" And yet, few of us are in a position to be able to ask those memorable legends where their inspiration comes from and how they translated it into something fresh and new. Fortunately for us, this book is here to offer us a bridge.
In The Seekers, John Densmore-the iconic drummer of The Doors and author of the New York Times bestseller Riders on the Storm-digs deep into his own process and draws upon his privileged access to his fellow artists and performers in order to explore the origins of creativity itself. Weaving together anecdotes from the author's personal notebooks and experiences over the past fifty years, this book takes readers on a rich, thought-provoking journey into the soul of the artist. By understanding creativity's roots, Densmore ultimately introduces us to the realm of everyday inspirations that imbue our lives with meaning.
Inspired by the classic spiritual memoir Meetings with Remarkable Men, this book is fueled by Densmore's abundant collection of transformative experiences-both personal and professional-with everyone from Ravi Shankar to Patti Smith, Jim Morrison to Janis Joplin, Bob Marley to Gustavo Dudamel, Lou Reed to Van Morrison, Jerry Lee Lewis to his own dear, late Doors bandmate Ray Manzarek. Ultimately, the result is not only a look into the hearts and minds of some of the most important artists of the past century-but a way for readers to identify and ignite their own creative spark, and light their own fire.
The poetry's headiness and the rock's accessibility, bound together in a hazy acid fever-dream. The Doors' fusion of jazz, psychedelic rock and blues was elevated to mythic status by their love of chaos and the darkly volatile Morrison.EXPLORE
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