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.



Join host Maggie LePique with KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles / 98.7 FM Santa Barbara starting @ 11am PST May 24th for an extra special fund drive. John will be the guest at 12PM (Noon PST) celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the release of the legendary rock album - The Doors. Maggie will also be offering a commemorative box set recordings (The Doors 3 CD + Vinyl set which will be signed by John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger) LISTEN LIVE HERE! www.kpfk.org/listen-live#.WSWpT9QrJWc ... See MoreSee Less

Join host Maggie LePique with KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles / 98.7 FM Santa Barbara starting @ 11am PST May 24th for an extra special fund drive.  John will be the guest at 12PM (Noon PST) celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the release of the legendary rock album - The Doors.  Maggie will also be offering a commemorative box set recordings (The Doors 3 CD + Vinyl set which will be signed by John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger) LISTEN LIVE HERE! http://www.kpfk.org/listen-live#.WSWpT9QrJWc

John Scadova, Andres Mendez and 23 others like this

View previous comments

David CalvertJohn. Thank you for for blogs, to me, you are a legend along with your three band brothers. You guys, THE DOORS, will always hold a place in my life.

3 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Jose PenaLet me tell you about west coast radio and the big beat!!!🦎

3 days ago   ·  3
Avatar

Brian RodriguezShow me the way to the next whiskey bar, oh don't ask why...

2 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

David LegalThe original mono mix is amazing , great job and thank you .

2 days ago
Avatar

David HewittYou know that it would be untrue, you know that I would be a liar. If I was to say to you... This sounds great!

3 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Gayle WilmouthOh yeah

3 days ago
Avatar

Raymundo Fernandez VargasOne of the best albums in music history!!

2 days ago
Avatar

William BuonincontroYeah!!!

3 days ago
Avatar

Benny SinLeague

3 days ago
Avatar

Robert Eugene Roman JrBitchin.'

3 days ago
Avatar

Eliana EspinozaN

3 days ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

John on The Doors playing Las Vegas:

"I think we were playing at an ice skating rink, and they put wood over the ice and it was real cold. I hope that’s not an image of another city.That’s all I remember. We were the psychedelic Rat Pack."
... See MoreSee Less

The Fremont Street Experience tribute to The Doors. Recorded in April 2010. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremont_Street_Experience

Douglas Brandl, Renee Milena and 23 others like this

View previous comments

Mary DoyleSounds great, just wish they hadn't re-edited RHB....

5 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Paul HarperI was there. Loved it!

5 days ago   ·  3

2 Replies

Avatar

Allison Dame RyanSo George T and the Destroyers there so cool!

5 days ago
Avatar

Doug LindsayHere's an acid trip waiting to happen!

5 days ago   ·  3
Avatar

Sere FaBeen there it's just amazing

5 days ago
Avatar

Clint ViersSinatra baby!

4 days ago
Avatar

Darlene HanksFantastic!

5 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Amick J Dyer CaldwellI've seen it! It was baaaaad ass!

5 days ago   ·  2
Avatar

Rean Nancooin my Heart I Really love the Doors

5 days ago   ·  3
Avatar

Thenty FrangoKool

5 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Rosemary StehlikBrilliant!

5 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Gayle WilmouthOh yeah!

5 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Scott BloseViva La Doors

5 days ago
Avatar

Richard Vancilawesome

5 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Shane FieldsWhat year was thus

5 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Rootz ManDoors on Ice

5 days ago   ·  1
Avatar

Hatije Lika-merhoriFantastico !!!

5 days ago
Avatar

Sebast Tkachyes ir tres bonne tounne

3 days ago
Avatar

Damiano CunegoWowwwwwww

5 days ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Thanks to Matthew E. for sending us this photo of an overpass while driving near Temple, TX. ... See MoreSee Less

Thanks to Matthew E. for sending us this photo of an overpass while driving near Temple, TX.

Lilliana Ferraro, Glenn Fox and 23 others like this

View previous comments

Jessica KurosawaI've passed this a 1000 times on my way back from Dallas to Austin and never took a pic.

3 weeks ago   ·  9
Avatar

Lynn LowwJohn, your old body guard Tony Funches is currently in the hospital in ICU and they are thinking it may a tough fight for him to put up with. Letting you know, incase you would like to reach out and make a visit or something.

1 week ago
Avatar

Katy MurphyThat is sooo kewl! Thx for sharing John and thank you for all of the music and books ~ 💙💙💙✌

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Paul RowlandGood luck getting under that overpass when they shut down 35 for construction at night

3 weeks ago   ·  2
Avatar

Greg WelchI just passed this the other day driving from Ft. Worth to Austin. Obviously the song popped into my head instantly.

3 weeks ago   ·  2
Avatar

Caleb NothI saw this when a took a road trip a while back. Made me wonder if they specifically named it that after the song.

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Luca ChiacchiarettaThank you John,"alive she cried" it was my first mono-cassetta

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Jim NashPenetrate the evening that the city sleeps to hide

3 weeks ago   ·  4
Avatar

Vikram Singh RajpurohitThanks for all the music John!

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Bob McCabeFalling thru wet forests....

3 weeks ago   ·  1
Avatar

Lisa LorenzI've never seen that!!

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Gayle WilmouthLove this.

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Rean NancooI feel so at peace from the Doors

3 weeks ago

1 Reply

Avatar

El HicksI think of taking that photo every time I pass it.

3 weeks ago
Avatar

John SmithVery Cool - "Let's swim to the Moon..."

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Bindi Lou KalachoffCome on baby gonna take a little ride...

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Ginger CatapanoOh this is soo cool!

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Daniel ConnollyLet's swim to the moon....

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Ciaran Cathasaighone of my favourite songs

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Dave NealBobbie Ann Adair White, you ever see this highway sign?

3 weeks ago

1 Reply

Avatar

Steve FincherJust south of waco

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Eric GruisenFar out!

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Tim JarzabekR A D

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Teryl EvansOne of my fav songs! ❤

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Mary DoyleOh, love it!!!!

3 weeks ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook