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 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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ANNOUNCING!

Read about Johns new upcoming book HERE: https://ew.com/books/john-densmore-shepard-fairey-book-cover/

Pre-order Johns new book HERE: https://www.amazon.com/Seekers-Meetings-Remarkable-Musicians-Artists/dp/0306846233/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=John+Densmore+seeker&qid=1597162980&sr=8-1

Comment on Facebook ANNOUNCING! Read ...

Close but no cigar! The ultimate psychodelic band is IRON BUTTERFLY!

Great Densmore!!! wonderful surprise!

definite "add" to my collection....can hardly wait

Ti voglio bene fratello... vi ho voluto bene dalla prima nota che ho ascoltato delle vostre straordinarie canzoni .

Will he be doing another book tour My son and I seen him in Boulder COLORADO for a book signing thanks Mr.Densmore plus got my picture with him and my book and vinyl record of the doors la woman signed

Gracias John... Gracias por tu bella música y gracias por tus libros Saludos desde Santiago de Chile

Aparece en la portada harrison ! Será de cusndo los visitó en la grabación del soft parade??!?!

John are you offering any signed books?

Ojalá haya una versión en español para México!

Thank to ur avace

John C. Harrison

Grande John !!!!!!!

Excelente John densmore esperemos que también salga tu libro a qui en guadalajara México

I can’t wait๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ™โœŒ๏ธ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿค˜

It will be available in italian?

A great cover design.

Versione in italiano?

Yo lo quiero, pero autografiado

Italy too??

Gary Bntl Nymaaa

I read one of John's early one's when he was with The Doors. Absolutely loved it!! I'm no drummer, but after reading John's book I was able to listen to and pick out the stuff he'd described. Awesome book, and maybe it's time for another.๐Ÿ˜

" We need to strengthen such inner values as contentment, patience and tolerance, as well as compassion for others. Keeping in mind that it is expressions of affection rather than money and power that attract real friends, compassion is the key to ensuring our own well-being. " ~ Dalai Lama ๐Ÿ’—๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฟ Congratulations John! Blessings from Spain ๐Ÿ™

i love what you say about music being the direct connection to spirit . . that is why music will save the world!! we need it! come back to Streetlight in Santa Cruz this fall for another book signing John.. .Santa Cruz loves you!!

Hello! Will we have possibly a signed edition???

The Doors: Best American Rock Band EVER!

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5 days ago

John Densmore

Black lives have always mattered to me. I've built my musical foundation being inspired by black musicians, poets, writers. So it feels good to be "bookended" by these two extremely talented artists. I hope you enjoy, john densmore ... See MoreSee Less

Video image

Comment on Facebook Excerpts from a Zoom...

PRO TIP: never go out of your way to "prove" you aren't a racist to anyone. Bonus tip: find out what a group like "Black Lives Matter" is about before chiming in with them. They are wicked & hide behind a thought-stopping, feel good moniker.

John, thank you. Thank you because so many Americans are oblivious to the many, deep cultural contributions of African Americans and other people of color. Country music, country & western and Western swing borrowed a lot from blues, gospel, jump jazz and music from Mexico.

I clicked liked before I even went to listen. But I will now and for what I allready heard: Billy Holiday...I'm happy to continue. ♥๏ธ

I enjoyed seeing/hearing this live at the time, John.

John, hope to see you again at The Great Mother in Maine next year with your new book!

All lives matter.

#nolivesmatter

Ir a los orígenes de la inspiración más grande. Blues, Jazz, Rock & Roll.. y THE Doors es todo lo mejor. La Leyenda continúa.!๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽผ๐ŸŽค๐ŸŽฌ๐ŸŽฅ๐Ÿ“–โ˜ฏ๏ธโ˜ฎ๏ธ๐Ÿท๐Ÿฅƒ๐Ÿ˜ท

There's no Jim???

Very cool

Sos grande john, un grande entre los grandes. Ídolo total..ojala te pudiera conocer..abrazo desde Argentina..

๐Ÿ’œ

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ TRUMP 2020 ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ because BLM supports Trump. Right?

I was in a thread here with some guy - Dave Elson. An obvious crazed trump supporter. He's blocked me but I'm sure my comments to him are visible. He made a final comment to me before blocking me. I'd appreciate it if any of you still see it - if it's abusive - please report it to Facebook as I am not able to. Thank you.

Best drummer! Peace Frog great shuffle

Reading you now.

Yeah loads of black musician influences myself , difference is a didnt start mentioning in the last few months

Thank you John, I enjoyed...

Wow. Jim loved ALL lives. So now you just love one certain type?

Thank you John ๐Ÿ™

We are having a benefit concert to defund Planned Parenthood because it was founded with the idea of eradicating blacks, and even today abort ten thousand black babies daily. Can you make it out? We have free Pepsi.

Babies lives matter. That's the BLM I'm for

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1 week ago

John Densmore

"And we're on our way
No we can't turn back, babe
Yeah, we're on our way
And we can't turn back
Because it's too late
Too late, too late..."

(Lyrics from "I Looked At You" / Photo Credit: Henry Diltz)
... See MoreSee Less

And were on our way
No we cant turn back, babe
Yeah, were on our way
And we cant turn back
Because its too late
Too late, too late...

(Lyrics from I Looked At You / Photo Credit: Henry Diltz)

Comment on Facebook "And we're on our ...

The song that doesn’t get any love but should is Take it as it comes because you want your love to last and you’ve been moving much too fast

Very appropriate song for the first Doors album....y’all were on your way to becoming the best rock n roll band EVER, and ya didn’t turn back!!

That one is a great rocker! Thanks for the appropriate photo! You are awesome!

Hello, I Love You is my all-time favorite song by The Doors! Your introductory drum riff is amazing!!! ;O)

good song and good job on drums John!๐Ÿ˜Ž

One of my favorite framings of the road.

Great pic. Great song! ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿป

Beautiful picture!! Perfect for the lyrics!

And were on our way!

Split van road tripped in my freinds in Cali fab times door on the cd

Driver...where you takin us

Very Cool photo Maestro

Il manquera toujours quelqu'un... Merci John

Bravo John!

Nothing like the view from a split window van.

Excelente foto John densmore

Great Song John, Take it as it Comes.

excellent song there was also queen of the highway๐Ÿ–ค

love that song..jim with the joy of new beginnings

our alchemy and your understanding has always resulted in interesting and never banal things. Always out of line. How I'd like to talk to John, not just about the Doors but about life in general or just about beers or simple things.

What a really inspiring picture ! Thank you.

Great song and great pic!

Perfect lyrics for that picture John!

I love this song with Take it as it comes

The face in the mirror won't drop! Wonderful shot!

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