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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4 days ago
John Densmore

An excerpt on Janis Joplin from John's book "The Seekers: Meetings With Remarkable Musicians And Other Artists". If you haven't got your copy, you can get it here:

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John, please do an audio book of Riders on the Storm! I loved hearing your voice and drumming in The Seekers.

Do you have signed copies around

I loved Janis from Big Brother more than Pearl

I love Janis. Thanks, John, for this.

I still own a copy of the Riders on the Storm book you put out. I read it everynow and then when I want to take a trip to a time thats seems so...unreal. I'm looking forward to this one πŸ™‚

Cool page, Jim Morrison lives and the struggle will go on

Hey John, your boy Biden is really doing a bang up job. Are you still happy you voted for him?

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1 week ago
John Densmore

The time to hesitate is through. Follow the official John Densmore Instagram now: ... See MoreSee Less

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Cool T shirt. Interesting that we know who they all are just from the first names ! (Apart from Art, of course !) Keep on drumming !

On the back of the T-shirt it should say DENSMORE BONHAM PAICE MASON STARR TRUCKS JAIMO MOON

I love how John just floats around social media. It's nice to be scrolling thru and be reminded of the Doors in any way!

Good to see you looking so well John A testament to positive energy carrying the light of the a great synergy Charon is waiting for us all if there be such a thing,As for me this light of awareness has become a lightening bolt and vaccum that I travel through eternity within each physical manifestation that is this sensation that is my perception I believe this physical is just an echo of some spiritual light's exstention as we travel through the black void we are just pure awareness but there is the key to it all hmm we make our mark in the physical to leave an impression in the kozmic sensation reflecting into the physical reality that others may learn from and perhaps teach them upon their journey to eternity.Well as i said good to see ya looking so well take care man . peace brother .Viva The Doors ! Jim,Robby,Ray,John . The perfect synergy of human made music. πŸ’–πŸ»πŸ€ 

Troubadour circa 1983?

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain✌️

Did you know drummer Ron bushy from Iron butterfly ?

Genio John Densmore, saludos desde Argentina

and John Poole, great brush player

Best band ever ! Keep going John

Great shirt John!

J'adore John

Te quiero mucho John Densmore<33

Love this 😍😍


Still kicking

I do!

I like your T-shirt

Hi master

Master πŸ€—

Miss ya, John Densmore🀟✌️🌈🎼

Glasses are you man πŸ‘ŒβœŒοΈ

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1 week ago
John Densmore

Happy 90th birthday Jac Holzman. ... See MoreSee Less

Happy 90th birthday Jac Holzman.

Comment on Facebook

Happy Birthday to the man that gave my favorite band their big break!

For Jac to see potential in a fledgling band & the myths & legacies that have came from that moment…epic!

Love the Doors, love Electra and John Densmore's book is ringing home truths to me 30 years after reading it

Happy birthday Mr. Holtzman and hi to you too John

Al máximo Jhon!! De lo más fúnebre a lo más circense!!! Genial, Único!

Grande Jac Holzman

Densmore <3 πŸ™‚ <3

Felicidades, saludos desde desde Nezayork, México.

una de las puertas 🀘🏾🀘🏾🀘🏾🀘🏾🀘🏾

Elektra Discos

Any consenting noteworthy gossip from you about this? "Wow", I thought.

Ils sont en pleine forme

Hey John! πŸ˜‰

Happy birthday

Jac looks amazing for 90!


Happy birthday JacπŸŽ΅πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽΆ

Happy birthday!

...killer threads JD....

Happy birthday!!

Happy Birthday πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰

Snazzy Birthday, Jac!

Happy birthday

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