John Densmore


Welcome to the Official site of John Densmore. Click the below links or scroll down to see John’s Biography and read the latest updates from John.


Biography

Latest News





“I play the drums,” says John Densmore, with tangible pride.

He may be belaboring the obvious, considering that, as the rhythmic engine of The Doors, he’s responsible for some of the most famous beats in rock history. But Densmore still bristles at what he calls the “dumb drummer” stereotype.

“The drum was the first fucking instrument,” he declares. “The reason people move and dance is that they’re trying to get back to that heartbeat. It’s the heartbeat you hear in the womb that started the whole deal. An orchestra, a four-piece rock band, whatever it is, they’re trying to get back to that heartbeat.”

The universal, ancient call of this heartbeat has been Densmore’s obsession since his childhood in Southern California.

“I took piano when I was eight, and I loved it,” he recalls. “I liked improvising on songs I had learned, rather than learning new ones. I got turned on by the piano. My teacher would give me songs to play, simplified classical and pop, and I got off on it.”

Eager to try his hand at another instrument, young John at first fixated on the clarinet. His orthodontist, however, strictly forbade him to wrap his wired mouth around any reed instruments. The world has this medical professional to thank, then, for the fact that John Densmore headed for the drums.

“I was in the orchestra and the marching band with those stupid uniforms,” Densmore recollects. “I got a rush from playing with 40 musicians, no matter how amateurish–there’s power in a marching band.”

He became enamored, in his teens, with jazz–and particularly with the playing of drummer Elvin Jones, whose evocative, muscular grooves with John Coltrane’s band influenced a multitude of rock musicians. He also became a habitué of the L.A. club scene, where bands like The Byrds and Love were a foretaste of things to come.

He met guitarist Robby Krieger, and the two began writing and playing together in a band called Psychedelic Rangers. Densmore next hooked up with Chicago-bred keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who was then playing in a group known as Rick and the Ravens with his brothers and a shy Floridian named Jim Morrison, who knew Manzarek from UCLA film school.

Eventually, Manzarek’s brothers left the band, and Densmore brought Krieger in. The foursome gelled, despite lacking an element most bands took for granted. “We couldn’t find a bass player,” Densmore remembers. “We tried once or twice, but we sounded like the Stones. A white blues band. Who cares? We wanted to be different.”

Click here to read complete biography.



At the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Irvine, CA (5-22-16) ... See MoreSee Less

John Densmore from the Doors supports Bernie Sanders.

Dinny Penate, Anikó Szűcsné Szűcs and 334 others like this

View previous comments

Tom StierJohn has shown a lot of integrity over the years preventing the corporate co-opting of The Doors message, and he continues that integrity by backing Bernie Sanders!

5 days ago   ·  2
Avatar

Luigi Buccithat's what John is doing is fantastic, it's what every influential American society should be doing, supporting Sanders. Wow I did not think John was so extrovert !! ....Probably the times of the doors was too clouded by jim charisma ...

4 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Jasmine ThornbergOf course John supports Bernie! <3 So would Jim, Ray, and probably Robby! #FeelTheBern #NeverHillary #NeverTrump

5 days ago   ·  3

1 Reply

Avatar

Meester Effin FrancoThe acapella sing a long led by John to LA woman with a Bernie crowd claping to the beat was life changing haha

5 days ago   ·  2
Avatar

Michael AultSocialism isn't Freedom, it's constraint. Can you give me sanctuary, I must find a place to hide. It's simply a soft parade.

5 days ago   ·  9

3 Replies

Avatar

Bryan KovacsWell John, Jim would be disappointed, take a look at Venezuela and their social system..they are starting to eat each other.. socialism fails every time.. competition and failure makes a man strong

4 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Anthony AmorelliYou go John! I got stuck with Danny Glover at my Bernie rally lol

5 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

David SkanseJohn, we still love you despite your singing and well... Bernability

5 days ago
Avatar

Andy Andreas PapanicolaouJim's a Bernie supporter.

5 days ago   ·  2
Avatar

Jim McClureLove your musicianship, but don't agree with your politics.

5 days ago   ·  2
Avatar

Tama Teagota be a better choice than the 2 other weirdos thats on offer

5 days ago   ·  4
Avatar

Caio César RodriguesJohn Densmore doing politics! Cool.

4 days ago
Avatar

Tom DooleyChampagne Socialism at its finest...

5 days ago   ·  2
Avatar

Patrick McMathNever ceases to amaze me when a millionaire backs a socialist.

5 days ago   ·  6

1 Reply

Avatar

Johnny KilmisterI get inhabited by various souls of English Navalmen, travelers, dead rock musicians, wrestlers and comedians. Interesting back when Morrison would visit. But since Lemmy died he doesn't show up anymore. Not sure why.. Lemmy overpowered a lot of the other entities. Possibly consuming them. Specific alcohol brings specific spirits. Wrestler Sabu who is still alive has somehow gotten into the revolving door of the dead. Possibly hinting his demise is nearing.

4 days ago
Avatar

Ezequiel AguilarBreak on Through

5 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Dan HauseBernie has my vote in November John Densmore

5 days ago   ·  2
Avatar

David StewartEpic!

5 days ago   ·  3
Avatar

Lauren ZayacGo John Densmore!!✌🏼️✌🏼

5 days ago
Avatar

Robert AmicoThanks for doing that John... :)

5 days ago
Avatar

Arijit BasuGood on ya, John

5 days ago
Avatar

Patrice VincentieBrilliant! Greets and cheers from Sweden John!! 🍻

5 days ago
Avatar

Nathan T. TuccioJust stop. Just, stop.

5 days ago
Avatar

Stephen ScottEnjoy a little light-hearted music supporting Bernie. Please share.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozOKHS_NPeg

4 days ago
Avatar

Therese MaryOh boy

5 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

A shot from an earlier gig at the Will Rogers Exhibit building in Fort Worth, TX. 9-3-67 (Photo by: Tom Franklin) ... See MoreSee Less

A shot from an earlier gig at the Will Rogers Exhibit building in Fort Worth, TX.  9-3-67 (Photo by: Tom Franklin)

Jeff Campbell, Thomas Romer and 2182 others like this

View previous comments

Kurt EkstromJohn, this may have been one of the last gigs you did on the Gretch set. The mod orange set was used at the village theater on Sep 9 and there was a gig between Will Rogers and village theater and I'm not sure which set you had for that. Village theater pics show the original front head so I assume the mod oranges were new since you ditched the front head by the time you guys played Ed Sullivan on sept 17. Great shot!

1 week ago
Avatar

Jamie GiessFantastic unorthodox underated superb drummer up there with bonzo mooney mitchell baker as my favourite drummers

1 week ago
Avatar

Zach NewmanThat's so awesome! That's my city. Wish you could join Robby for the show in Austin this June! Seeing you two together at the Fonda was the best in LA! 🤘🏻

1 week ago   ·  3

3 Replies

Avatar

Kim PakulaA great classic shot! My husband was there, has vivid memories, and even has the original flyer. If you have other pics from this show, we'd love to see them!

1 week ago
Avatar

Anthony CokerI live a half mile from Will Rogers! I was born too damn late. Otherwise I would've been there

1 week ago   ·  1
Avatar

Brian BueWow... Three days before I turned 1 year old.

1 week ago
Avatar

Yo C KoCome back to Texas John! Austin to be specific. Would love to see you drumming. Come jam with my Doors tribute band, Strange Dayz - Austin Doors Tribute Band! ;)

1 week ago
Avatar

Alex KendallI didn't know you were in a band, we're they any good?

1 week ago   ·  2

2 Replies

Avatar

Cindy ClarkI was about 2 weeks old!! :-)

1 week ago
Avatar

Cody SwensenLagoon Patio Gardens, Farmington, Ut . Spring 1968

1 week ago
Avatar

Kris BowersThe Doors at LONDON FOG 1966

1 week ago

2 Replies

Avatar

Shawn SavageI like the mural behind you

1 week ago
Avatar

Jason HackettWhat I wouldn't give to see a show back then

1 week ago   ·  1
Avatar

Donna HauserAlways how I remember John.

1 week ago
Avatar

Danny PattersonKick looks like a Gretsch (silver sealer) and Pratt muffler.

1 week ago
Avatar

Erik DiGenioJohn, I was called a terrorist because I support Hillary Clinton.

1 week ago
Avatar

Marcelo CostaJohn, it was amazing how you could play a good beat on simple drums. You're a great drummer.

1 week ago
Avatar

Larry PikeYou are amazing bro!!

1 week ago
Avatar

Gayle WilmouthBrilliant

1 week ago
Avatar

Jamie ReidWhat a drummer

1 week ago
Avatar

Jess WestLook at all that hair

1 week ago
Avatar

David WeaverIs that a Ludwig set?

1 week ago
Avatar

Jason CruzCool drum kit!!

1 week ago
Avatar

Lucy HovaWhere did the time go! Okay I was not born! lol

1 week ago
Avatar

Juanj Julio Mio ParihuamanAmazing

1 week ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

With Shepard Fairey's latest print for water conservation and climate change awareness. (Photo by: Luka Densmore) #SNOTHISISNOTATEST #waterconservation Obey Giant ... See MoreSee Less

With Shepard Faireys latest print for water conservation and climate change awareness.  (Photo by: Luka Densmore) #SNOTHISISNOTATEST #waterconservation Obey Giant

Cata Peran, Salvatore Salmeri and 1298 others like this

View previous comments

Joseph CooleyNice! And ty for putting your money into art that supports change. Well done sir! :-) Excellent example, it's almost like "the writings on the wall".

2 weeks ago
Avatar

David RamatowskiI am aware of climate change. I also know that increasing the power of The State and engaging in yet more wealth redistribution will have no effect other than to lower the standard of living of many millions of people.

2 weeks ago   ·  2
Avatar

Mark Martinoclimate change = seasons..

2 weeks ago   ·  2

3 Replies

Avatar

Sylvester VasquezYou are an awesome drummer I would love to hang out with you get more information about drumming

2 weeks ago
Avatar

Curtis GregoryWell at least we know who's causing it big business

2 weeks ago

1 Reply

Avatar

John Andrewslove you john. keep safe.

2 weeks ago   ·  1
Avatar

Mike RimbaudNice.

2 weeks ago
Avatar

Luca Pelucchinot to touch the earth

2 weeks ago
Avatar

Monica Conejita VeraAplause!

2 weeks ago
Avatar

Katie WallerLooking good John♡

2 weeks ago
Avatar

Michele TangredaIl mondo è nelle tue mani!

2 weeks ago
Avatar

Daniel Alejandro Burgos Padillastarts with criples...through and though...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDrUNYltVxk

2 weeks ago
Avatar

Edwar ArangoLegend!!

2 weeks ago
Avatar

Sanchez Perez Jose MariaOk.john gracias

2 weeks ago
Avatar

Ava Crawford❤️

2 weeks ago
Avatar

Sean SmithDang good cause

2 weeks ago
Avatar

Janice Moore ApplegateGo Luka!

2 weeks ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook