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.



A great comedian is now making God laugh --

"I went into a cafe in the south & they said, 'we don't serve colored people here,' & I said 'that's ok, I don't eat colored people... give me some fried chicken!'" Dick Gregory

(Photo Credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
... See MoreSee Less

A great comedian is now making God laugh --

I went into a cafe in the south & they said, we dont serve colored people here, & I said thats ok, I dont eat colored people... give me some fried chicken! Dick Gregory

(Photo Credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Sime Medic, Cesar Olvera and 23 others like this

View previous comments

Maria Laura PanzeriCaterina Grasselli anche lui è morto, non lo conoscevo...ho visto che chuck d l'ha postato su instagram...in pratica è stato comico, attore, attivista, scrittore e critico o.O

14 hours ago

2 Replies

Avatar

James Clearwater MorrisonThanks for posting that on that "Instagram thing." Whatever that is. So I deleted this comment because of it's length. I see people only right a few lines on these "comment things." I'm learning. (And that was the short version). On the way to the police station, I looked at that other cop and said...Can it be....it is! Frank Zappa! Hey man.....I love that song Trouble Everyday......

9 hours ago
Avatar

Jasmine ValaI still have the 2xLP of his appearance at Kent State, ca. 1971. So important to have social commentary in the moment.

11 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Terry MaysThanks John. Wishing you all the best.

14 hours ago
Avatar

Michael ForeeR.I.P Man!!

15 hours ago

1 Reply

Avatar

Gino DeVirgoHis work for civil rights far outweighs his comedy, sir.

14 hours ago
Avatar

Reg IonNever heard of him having some white guilt John

11 hours ago
Avatar

Jeffrey StephensRest in peace.

2 hours ago
Avatar

David KerrSad few days for comedy

7 hours ago
Avatar

Joe KreiselR.I.P!!!!!

12 hours ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

John Densmore added 4 new photos.

Meeting Dan Rather was a thrill... here is a man who was fired for telling the truth... he found out Bush Jr. illegally got out of the Vietnam draft, exposed it, & got axed! We're talkin' integrity here...jd

(Pics from "The Big Interview" for AXS TV with Dan Rather along with Robby at the Whisky A Go-Go. Stay tuned for broadcast details).
... See MoreSee Less

Meeting Dan Rather was a thrill... here is a man who was fired for telling the truth... he found out Bush Jr. illegally got out of the Vietnam draft, exposed it, & got axed!  Were talkin integrity here...jd

(Pics from The Big Interview for AXS TV with Dan Rather along with Robby at the Whisky A Go-Go.  Stay tuned for broadcast details).

Roger Benetti, Darion Clah and 23 others like this

View previous comments

Mike Heuer"he found out Bush Jr. illegally got out of the Vietnam draft, exposed it, & got axed! We're talkin' integrity here...jd" No, he didn't. He waived around a forged piece of paper as "evidence" and rightfully was fired for pushing blatant fiction. I don't know who is posting this John Densmore stuff, but that person needs to learn facts, not lies. Pushing a lie is what got Rather fired. I know. I am a journalist with decades of experience. Rather has no integrity whatsoever.

5 days ago   ·  2
Avatar

David CalvertHi guys, I am an old guy and just loved your music and still do. Any chance of you two and the other band members touring down under to Brisbane Australia? You guys have such a big fan base here in Australia plus you could take a few days off to explore our great land, I will volunteer be your driver for the small cost of an autograph. Saw the revival show when one of you toured approx 12 years ago, still is my best live concert. David C

5 days ago   ·  2
Avatar

Robert PiercyDan Rathers was a Doors fan? Never would have guessed. Figured he was more of a pop crooner fan into like Johnny Mathis or Tony Bennet back then. Although, there is that Sinatra influence on Morrison.

5 days ago
Avatar

James NealThis is so cool! I hope you and Robby will play together there so the fans who weren't around yet when you were there originally, can see you there! Would be an excellent 50th Anniversary gift to the people!

5 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Eric GruisenI was there! I saw you ! Omg! And Robby! Big fan, was looking for a ipv of the whisky and into you guys.. imAgine that !

5 days ago
Avatar

Dan BurnhamLove u and the doors !!_your drumming was and still is a big impression too me John. Look forward too seeing the interview ..peace !!

5 days ago
Avatar

Kris Bowersthank you immensely for keeping The Doors fire alive, may they be many years to come and may it live on forever 🙂

5 days ago   ·  6
Avatar

Simone LopardoMartina Gianni l'avete perso per poco

5 days ago   ·  2

1 Reply

Avatar

Gino DeVirgoDan Rather is a great interviewer and I can't wait to hear the tale you & Robbie spin as he powers the loom. ✌

5 days ago
Avatar

Victor Revilla

5 days ago   ·  3
Avatar

Bill McGuireJohn, will you call some Nominating Committee members and champion LOVE for the Rock Hall of Fame ballot?

5 days ago
Avatar

James WalkerSweeeet! Please pass along the details when you have them. Thanks John

5 days ago
Avatar

Paul MorrisonGreat to see u guys together again , rock on!

5 days ago
Avatar

Gayle WilmouthLove you both and of course all the Doors. Thanks for the music

5 days ago
Avatar

Roger MayorgaO k deberían de venir a guadalajara México a tocar la gira del adios o algo

5 days ago
Avatar

Mark BuryFantastic John you guys have been such an inspiration to my music thank you

5 days ago
Avatar

Janice Moore ApplegateI'll look forward to seeing this interview. Thanks for 50 years of giving your good medicine to the world.

5 days ago
Avatar

Marco Di CesareJohn, please, come with Robby in Italy!

5 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Marco Vinicius D NovaesVitor Coral

5 days ago   ·  1

4 Replies

Avatar

Martin StephensHi, can't wait too see it! Love the Doors and the music!

5 days ago
Avatar

Raul Rosales"The Doors" Bienvenidos a CD.Juárez Chihuahua...one more time🎼🎵🎶🎧🎤🎹🎸

5 days ago
Avatar

Phillip CohenGreat to see!

5 days ago
Avatar

Therese MaryI love you guys...,but Dan Rather is a commie

5 days ago
Avatar

Murray GilkesonGreat series. Can't wait.

5 days ago
Avatar

Dean HenryWOW ! Can't wait !!

5 days ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook