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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2 days ago

John Densmore

(Photo Credit: Dave Dutkowski)Some additional shots from the Medlock-Krieger All Star Concert. ... See MoreSee Less

 

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Johnny boy, still goin’ strong:)

Looking very dapper there Mr D!

Like the set. Red seems to be your color.

Rodrigo Pinto look the legend! When i come back to home, we are going to play any Doors' song! I need it!

john looks frustrated and bored in these photos

John Densmore are you ever going to be in Chicago or anywhere near?

Genioo

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1 week ago

John Densmore

Provided to YouTube by Warner Music Group The Unknown Soldier · The Doors Waiting For The Sun ℗ 1967 Elektra Entertainment Group Inc. for the United States a... ... See MoreSee Less

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Breakfast where the news is read

Television children fed..

Protest song done right!!

Love the film as well

Fab!

I posted it too yesterday.

Hi John.. good vibes

Thank you, Mr. Densmore☺

Breakfast,☕🍳veteran's day... Josue Lozano Martinez look that bro!

Very appropriate for the anniversary of the First World War

Unborn living. living dead bullet strikes the helmets head.

Clean- clear- relevant

I haven't heard this song in a while, I used to listen to it all the time

FOR THE ARMISTICE , GENIUS OF THE DOORS !

Zajebiste.

Excellent

Greeting from oregon john. Where jim lives

❤️

👉👍👍👈

♥️

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlzDHUUGANk (Live at Falkoner Centeret, Copenhagen 9/17/68)

Excellent tune!

This song has whispered me to start searching my uncle, Filippo, young soldier scattered in the winter of 1942 in the land of no one near Kiev (Ukraine)

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2 weeks ago

John Densmore

40 million democrats didn't vote in 2016... need I say more...jd ... See MoreSee Less

40 million democrats didnt vote in 2016... need I say more...jd

 

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Good. Stay home. The rest of America doesn’t want to become the next Detroit, Portland, California or Venezuela. Please stick to your musical legacy.

Red wave is coming

Call me crazy.... But in some ways trump is the Jim Morrison of politics... Honestly if Morrison was alive it would seem he'd be more libertarian then anything if he even chose to partake in what is mainly a corrupt enterprise.... Should be interesting tonite.

Says Democrats are lazy as always.

60 million should stay home today

Just Vote. Some counties don't get the privilege

“They’ve got the guns, but we’ve got the numbers” after all. The Doors taught me that! GET OUT THE VOTE, people! ❤️💙🇺🇸

Shouldn't it matter more as to what policies someone votes for rather than who someone votes for? Democrat policies don't fit America.

Tax the rich feed the poor until there ant no rich no more...

It wont make a difference.voting is nothing more than the illusion of choice.

How would Jim have voted or voted at all John?

Thank God! Let’s hope they all stay home again.

Five to one baby, one in five.....

And of course the Democrats are the honest ones yes?

It's a shame that people choose not to vote. It happens here in Canada too.

Politics of the right is to depress the vote as the wealthy vote more than the poor , I it doesn't tend to get any more complicated than that.

Look at what happened to Flint, Michigan. They were poisoned to help reach the right wing goal of "saving money". If poisoning a community isn't enough reason for democrats across the country to get off their ass and fight back,then how bad to things need to get for people to wake up? I'm hopeful today is the first step in righting the wrongs of the last two years.

Dude reason and logic are not your enemy.

Enough said John....I always get my vote in!

We gotta pump those numbers up, those are rookie numbers!

It be great if they voted so the same shmendricks could have a higher vote total.

Same old rubbish, different day. Corruption capitalised the world, none for the establishment, freedom expresses beauty

You could say they did not play a note...

Pretty sure it was all the Millennials wanting someone else to do it for them...

After all these years and you still think you choose your leaders?

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