John Densmore

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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 habituรฉ 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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1 week ago

John Densmore

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAY! Your present is this film "Break on Thru...jd

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAY!  Your present is this film Break on Thru...jd

TODAY IS THE DAY.  TICKETS HERE: www.thedoorsfilm.comImage attachment


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Happy birthday Ray .. congratulations for each of the members who surely have already crossed the physical limit of time to be at THE DOORS,

Happy birthday Ray. You are missed.

I saw the movie yersterday here in Cologne. I was very touched and thankful about this wonderful movie. Thank you all and especially Ray. <3

Happy Birthday Mr .Ray Manzarek ๐Ÿฅ‚๐ŸŽ‚...and see you...๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope this will be available on Netflix etc ..

Congratulações celestiais a meu ídolo.

Complimenti Buon compleanno

donde se transmitirá??? O después la podremos ver????

Tnxu for the movie. Hope to see all the feast of friends in Paris 3 july 2021... Happy Birthday Rayโค R.I.P

Just finished watching... incredible tribute!!! Re-realizing how truly talented each member of this band is. Thank you so much.

i saw the movie last night. how great was that! ..the umpteenth example of the doors' great songs and musicianship! robby and you play like the clock hasn't struck past 1971. looking forward to th dvd. happy birthday ray!

Very happy to have been able to see such a remarkable performance. It was an incredible experience and I felt such a profound energy... thank you for sharing with the world ๐Ÿ’›

Happy belated birthday Ray Manzarek R.I.P, I hope this will come on DVD.

Ray and I share the same birthday. Went and saw the tribute movie last night and really enjoyed it. John, I met you back in 1967 in Ann Arbor. Always stayed with you guys. Great music

Can’t wait to see the movie!! Happy birthday Ray๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ”ฅJJ๏ฟผ

Happy birthday Ray!!! Loved the film!!! Thanks John x

Happy Birthday! I have my ticket! Looking forward to it

Just saw movie. Great film. Wondering why John wasn’t playing on more songs?

Happy birthday Ray. We will paying homage to you in the theater tonight.

That was an awesome day, honored to have been there, got to see Ray and Robbie at the whiskey the year they played during the Sunset Strip Festival also and met you John at UCLA when you spoke years back. Love you guys

Happy birthday Ray! โฃ๏ธ

What an amazing movie. So glad I went๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ’•

booked, thank you. Peace Ray. AMC Loews, seat K-12, Danbury, CT. (19:30 est).

Happy Birthday Ray

Happy birthday Ray

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1 week ago

John Densmore

We are just one day away from the worldwide premiere of THE DOORS: BREAK ON THRU - A CELEBRATION OF RAY MANZAREK. The film will be in theaters tomorrow February 12, Ray Manzarek's birthday.

You can still grab tickets at
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Only Paris in France :/ I hope there will be a DVD/BluRay release later this year.

Saw it at my local cinema tonight. What an awesome film. A fitting way to celebrate the lives of Ray, Jim and the epic timeless music of The Doors!

Please don't mock me, don't keep up with all bands. But who was the drummer when John wasn't playing? Thought he was excellent!

Their music will live forever

What a beautiful tribute! You are all so amazing & talented! Thank you for sharing this with us! We love you!

It was great tnxu from holland ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿพ

I'm 36, your music It was very important for me. Thank you so much, a big kiss from Rome (Italy)

Wood have loved to been born a few years earlier to see the DOORS in concert wish I could have met all of you I'm 49 years old now and listen to the doors ever day as soon as I get in my truck listen to live concerts all the time I am in my truck to the best percotionest ever would mean the world to me to here from you and the ROBBIE KRUGER have a great time man

Very cool filming.

What a awesome movie must see

That was awesome!!

Gutted I am missing this ๐Ÿ˜ข

the greatest

Its too bad alot of hardcore doors fans cant see the movie. Nearest cinema is about 150 miles..

I'll be in the building in Manhattan tommorow night

Pierre Gauthier

Brutti strunzi ma a Roma do cazzo se vede ๐Ÿค”

Auston Walden

Uscirà anche in Italia ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น?????

Ricky Mora

Svij Meiden Marcel Goudje

Josue Lozano Martinez...vamanass.......

Va estar muy chingon

Quando in Italia?

México City?

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2 weeks ago

John Densmore

THE DOORS: BREAK ON THRU - A CELEBRATION OF RAY MANZAREK premieres in theaters for one night only in just 4 days on February 12... is everybody in?

Don't miss this special evening, grab your tickets now at

The Doors
THE DOORS: BREAK ON THRU - A CELEBRATION OF RAY MANZAREK premieres in theaters for one night only in just 5 days on February 12... is everybody in?

Don't miss this special evening, grab your tickets now at
... See MoreSee Less


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I could watch this short clip a few hundred times, John, just to hear one of two people alive being able to say they're in The Doors! Wonderful!

Counting down the days Where going to Amsterdam ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Got them earlier today!


Tickets are booked, John! Looking forward to it. Can't wait.

The only video worth watching on Facebook! So happy that i can see one of my idols speak. Thank you for the music john. You d made my life better!

Please come to Europe and make million of us happy. Love you forever

Can't wait ๐Ÿ˜Š

John....I worked with Nancy Zirbil, the woman who used to house sit for you back in the day. ( I hate that expression ) Anyway, she and I worked at the Chart House in Aspen, in the early eighties

What an experience it would be.

Wish I could be there



Come to Colorado Springs!!!!

Hey John

How you be John



Sri Chaitanya ....Nityananda


All matey now he is dead

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