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 habituΓ© 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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3 days ago
John Densmore

Happy Birthday Perry Farrell!

(Photo Credit: Leah Hogsten)
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Happy Birthday Perry Farrell!

(Photo Credit: Leah Hogsten)

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Very Cool! Happy Birthday Perry! Loved Jane’s Addiction! πŸ‘πŸ˜ŽπŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

This looks... so fun....

Hi John. I'm sitting here with Bob Sherlock. He said you were his best man at his wedding and your parents were great friends. He wanted to say hi and say, it's been a long time

Happy birthday, Perry!!! Greetings from Bs As, Argentina!!! Love you and Jane's for ever and ever!!!

Love Jane's addiction's music. Happy birthday Perry 🀘

Happy Birthday Perry!!!

Happy Birthday, Perry!

I took my sibling to see you, Robby, and Ray at the Bay front in St Pete. Those were "Strange Days"

Happy birthday!!!

Happy Birthday Peter 🎀 🎢

Happy birthday

Happy Birthday! πŸ™‚

Happy birthday!!

Happy birthday

Would love to be there!

Hippy Birthday

Super 😎 pic!

Hi John. How are you doing? I hope everything is going great and your having a great time. Love hearing from you. Have a truly wonderful evening. ❀️ From Floridaβ€οΈπŸŒ΄πŸŠπŸŒΊπŸŠπŸŒ΄πŸŠπŸŠπŸŸπŸ‹πŸŒ΄

Hope you didn't get caught stealing.

Dionysus walked among us.

John Densmore jamming along

I would love to hear this jam! ❀️❀️❀️


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1 week ago
John Densmore

"Waiting For The Sun" studio session pics. Enjoy!

(Photos by Paul Ferrara)
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Great album πŸ’Ώ great pics πŸ™Œ

Great album πŸ’Ώ great pics πŸ™Œ

Great pics !! Love that smile ❀️😍

Thank you Happy Friday!!

Great group. Great times. Will live on forever in your music. Love Doors

Muito louco ......que doideira .....

Great fashion in '68!

Love the Doors!

Most unique Rock band of all time!

Lots of joy making the greatness of rock n roll, thanks for sharing!

Got ma shoes John πŸ‘‹

hella album John!


You and Elvin Jones: drummers in turtlenecksοΏΌ. Way cool.

Good times John Densmore


Rock and roll yeah

With the, philosophy of mind, not to the ocean!...We raced down to the sea...

One of my favorite songs.

Do you have any photos of you and Harry Chapin together? I would love to know your thoughts about why he is not in the R&R Hall of fame.

Like that look!!

Los amooooooo

Estupendo, John!


Beautiful Pictures John!!!!!!!! Love ya much❀️🌴🍊🌺🐊From Florida

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2 weeks ago
John Densmore

1967: The band and I play a stint of shows at the Ondine, from March 13th through April 2nd. We’re red-hot off the release of our self-titled debut album, THE DOORS!

Photo courtesy of
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1967: The band and I play a stint of shows at the Ondine, from March 13th through April 2nd. We’re red-hot off the release of our self-titled debut album, THE DOORS!

Photo courtesy of

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I remember you guys in 1967. Lots happening besides getting our asses kicked in that sorry ass war they called Viet Nam. We never should have been there. The DOORS however brought us much happiness in your music. Keep Posting John....You are an inspiration to us all. I still Listen to your fantastic beat and rythum to LA WOMAN almost daily. It really gets my heart and blood pumping. Keep rocking amigo!! Were can I get your book??? Need Robbies as well.

We are so glad that "The Doors" existed. The music will live forever!

John what's the possibility of getting an autograph from you

Were any of these shows recorded?

Ciao John, How was the impact of your sound on the generations of the time? I believe the same in current or post-era generations

Thanks for sharing that John Densmore! By the way, your book is great!

What did ya make, about $50? Or was that just the troubadour residency stint?

They amazingly also played there in late ‘66 and really made an impact underground… those ondine shows were vital in setting up such a good reputation in nyc. The east coast had a strong doors following, ondines set up the path for that.

Before my time as I was born in the 70s but would’ve loved to have seen you all ❀️

Take the highway to the end of the night, end of the night ❀️

Awesome. Wish I was alive to see this!

hella first album.

Yes miss those days thanks for sharing rip jim and ray

Thanks for the music John, the music is like nothing before or after

I was only 8 years old but I think they were the best ever.

I was born too late!

Dam I was only 6 years old

Still have my vinyl record. An epic debut album.

John I got the berotone jm

Texas Radio n Big Beat

Beleza πŸ‘♥οΈπŸ‘

Cuando se pueden reunir los 2 sobrevivientes de l0s the doors

What an Era! A band! Long live THE DOORS!

Wow , so cool!! Love this 😍

πŸ”₯ NoDoubt 🏁 BadAssCo πŸ”₯

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