John Densmore


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Biography

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“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.”

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John Densmore shared La Neta Noticias's video.

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👨🏻‍🏫El profesor de música les enseñó a sus alumnos "People Are Strange" del grupo The Doors🎶🎵 ¿Ya nos sigues en Instagram? 📸 👉http://bit.ly/2eUIr5z

Emiliano Miranda, Rulas Punk and 795 others like this

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Neto Cruzo'ob WailerI was the same age, the same country,the same fucking flute, but not the same teacher (who actually was bulling us) or year. Strugglin with the idea of authority, making my own personality, untill someone gave me a Doors album. The rest is history.

1 day ago   ·  6
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Jon RobereThat was bitchen... The Doors captured my soul while in my teens and they have been with me ever since... Only wish I could have seen them live... :)

22 hours ago   ·  3
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Jeho Nat HanMost teacher dont think like that good for him that get the young people to listen to good music not to thrash like todays music

1 day ago   ·  3
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Memo Perez HernandezAnd this is México I love you John Densmore!

23 hours ago   ·  6
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Jorge A. GutierrezMéxico loves the doors, I love the Doors thanks to my father...

9 hours ago   ·  1
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Nick Griffithsand the band..played on!

1 day ago   ·  1
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Cristina PezzarossaGrace Bennet noi a scuola invece Fra Martino Campanaro!! Ma ciao!

13 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

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Roy Abraham Rojas HuamanGonzalo puedes retomar tu fe en la humanidad por esto? :v

13 hours ago

1 Reply

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Oscar René MolinaHéctor Herrera lo compartió el buen John Jajajaja que loco

1 day ago   ·  1
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Piotr CzechOrchestra la The Doors :) maybe create?

18 hours ago
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Juan OrtegaI'm am Mexican and I grow up with your music , now I a Musicien. Vivan los Doors!!

16 hours ago
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Edo van HeeseJimmy van Heese, ken je hem nog ? "When your strange"...

19 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

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Francisco García CruzWhen the rock & roll is running in your veins

1 day ago
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Charlie PoirierAwesome John. Thanks for sharing. Made my morning.

9 hours ago
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Jorge C-rI sent this link to Mr John Densmore and he shared it!!!!!!! Thank you John!!

24 hours ago
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Bradley Le BoeufI'm waiting for the marching band version during halftime.

11 hours ago
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Raul Negrete UzetaGuillermo Chávez Rodríguez chingon!! buen trabajo de ese maestro!!!

18 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

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Mikel HernandezJohn Densmore Thanks for share! This is México :)

17 hours ago
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Javi Villaseñor VazquezMira comprade Noe Lino y Roberto Rockalma ya le gustó a John densmore este video

22 hours ago

3 Replies

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Alex Dalí Lennon RiveraYeah ! People are strange from THE DOORS , good song

22 hours ago
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Sebastian LeonXavier Vallejo Franco asi q hubiera sido el rayban jaja

1 day ago
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Andrómeda Electra GarciaKeila Salgado Ya viste quien compartió este video?

1 day ago   ·  3

6 Replies

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Bollo FluxALSO THEY PLAY LIGHT MY FIRE

1 day ago   ·  2
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Rean Nancooso cool

1 day ago   ·  2
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Mafer EspinosaY mira quien lo comparte que genial.!!

24 hours ago
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A great friend has passed... a great actor, too. It was a great thrill to sit in with Harry Dean Stanton at a club in Hollywood. We played Dylan's 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door." I felt that Harry Dean was knockin' on heaven's door his whole life! A deep soul...jd

(Photo from L to R: Johnny Depp, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Dean Stanton, Harper Simon, John Densmore)
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A great friend has passed... a great actor, too.  It was a great thrill to sit in with Harry Dean Stanton at a club in Hollywood.  We played Dylans Knockin on Heavens Door.  I felt that Harry Dean was knockin on heavens door his whole life!  A deep soul...jd

(Photo from L to R: Johnny Depp, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Dean Stanton, Harper Simon, John Densmore)

Dennis Ruddy, Tp Nowicki and 438 others like this

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Scott BerlinerGreat actor! I can't believe he was 91! I would have guessed him much younger. Good for him! I think the first movie I ever saw him in was Repo Man, but the role that I'll always identify him with was in Cool Hand Luke. His part in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as the sentencing judge was short, but also memorable. That might be because I've seen that film so many times though!

4 days ago
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Sandra SchulmanSaw him play at The Mint, he was juggling a cigarette, a guitar, harmonica, whisky glass. He kept bonking his head on the oversize microphone. It was brilliant.

3 days ago
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Brian LuxOne of my all-time favorites. A sad day but grateful for the man's excellent work. Best wishes and sorry for the loss of your friend, John.

4 days ago
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Paul MorrisonOne of my favorite actors, will miss him.

4 days ago
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Deborah Martin LareauI'm so sorry for your loss, John. R.I.P. Harry Dean Stanton.

4 days ago
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Mike LashmettCocktails and conversations with him at Dan Tana's I will never forget....

4 days ago
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John CollinsJohn good friend of Richie wright hit me up please

3 days ago
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Nick GriffithsMy condolence, on the passing of your friend John.

4 days ago
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David DiMatteoHe made every thing he was in better. Look at the talent on that stage!

4 days ago
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June SchalitJust watch "Big Love" He was very good in it.....

3 days ago
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Bedrich MohrPlaying that big gig in the sky.

4 days ago
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Jeannine RobertonSo sad to hear it. I loved his performance in Big Love.

3 days ago
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Peter Boris KolbohmA real legend,sadly missed

3 days ago
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Patrick BoyleI listened to The Doors last night....for the millionth time. just sayin'

13 hours ago
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Thomas RestelAVENGE ME!

4 days ago   ·  1
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Jim AllenGod Love Him!!!

4 days ago
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Edward Dillon"What do want Brain?"

4 days ago
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Rean Nancooso sorry God Bless.

4 days ago
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Gayle WilmouthSo sorry. Bless him

4 days ago
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Kerry HarpurSorry for your loss

4 days ago
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Tommy MartinHe will be missed! What a life. What a lifestyle!! ❤️🙏

4 days ago
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Julie CliffordRIP Harry Dean.

4 days ago
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Andrea Pamela Nicolas ZilliGrande jhon!!

3 days ago
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Rodrigo Alejandro Rojas Zuazagoitiaque genial momento

4 days ago
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AnnaMaria CritelliMy Condolences JD! 🙏🏼

4 days ago
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Sitting in with Lukas Nelson's band ... See MoreSee Less

performed at Charley's Saloon. John Densmore sits in on drums

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Marco SteinerJohn, your drumming is magic!

4 days ago
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Eliseo Hernandez OrtegaI got shivers up the back of my neck _at the slow down of the beat at the end.my Thanks to you John!

3 days ago
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Bart StarfunkleNice! You should consider sitting in at the Pappy and Harriet's show in the desert!

4 days ago
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Adam StephensHow lucky are you guys, having the legend John Densmore performing with you, amazing.

3 days ago
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Brian DowneyMy favorite Doors song!! 🤘🤘

4 days ago
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Gibrann Sánchez-RamosVery nice Master John Densmore 😌👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

4 days ago
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Rean Nancoosweet.

3 days ago
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Jai Sri Krishna ChaitanyaAllright buddy ..keep that torch lit

4 days ago
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Diego Jimenez SalazarJohn y su magia

3 days ago
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Dane KlassenWow , great to see you playing !

4 days ago
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Guglielmo MezzafavaGRANDE JOHN!!!

3 days ago
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John SenglerVery Good!

1 day ago
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