Legendary Doors drummer John Densmore will publish his third book tomorrow, (November 17th), titled, The Seeker: Meetings With Remarkable Musicians (And Other Artists). The book collects Densmore’s once-in-a-lifetime experiences with such major players as Lou Reed, Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Willie Nelson — not to mention his time in the Doors with the band’s infamous frontman, the late-Jim Morrison. Densmore spoke about the book, which marks his first foray outside of the Doors’ orbit, telling The Los Angeles Daily News, “There are various musicians, writers, artists that have fed me artistically through the years and I’m hoping that the reader will also get fed artistically by these stories.” One of the key meetings described in the book is when Densmore and Doors guitarist Robby Krieger check out Janis Joplin at Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady’s urging. Densmore descrobed the sound of Joplin fronting Big Brother & The Holding Company at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom: “That was about sound, which is the thread to the whole book. We don’t see her but we are hearing her. You could hear and feel this soul, someone who had pipes like Aretha (Franklin) and then we got up to the stage and saw her and wow, she was incredible, I knew she was going somewhere.”
Of course John Densmore’s loving insight into Jim Morrison is all over the book, as he explains, “Not only did he have these words but he said he thought of melodies so he could remember the words, so that’s already a gifted songwriter, even though he didn’t know how to write a song and we helped him with that.”
- John Densmore’s two previous books were his 1991 autobiography, Riders On The Storm, and 2013’s The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison’s Legacy Goes On Trial, which chronicled his long legal battle with surviving Doors members Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger over the use of the band’s name.
- Recently released is the Doors’ is Morrison Hotel “50th Anniversary Deluxe” collection, a two-CD and single LP edition. The set includes the original album newly remastered by the Doors’ longtime engineer and mixer Bruce Botnick, plus a bonus disc of unreleased studio outtakes, and the original album on 180-gram virgin vinyl.
- For the set, the original album has been expanded with more than an hour of unreleased recordings taken from the sessions for Morrison Hotel. These 19 outtakes “transport listeners into the studio with Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, and Ray Manzarek for an unprecedented perspective on the making of the album.”
CHECK IT OUT: The Doors on July 5th, 1968 performing “Moonlight Drive” live at L.A.’s Hollywood Bowl: