The Doors

The psychedelic and blues rock band “The Doors” got their name from a book by Aldous Huxley titled “The Doors of Perception”. They were in the bracket of bands that were influential and created a state of contention in the 1960s.

This group experimented with their music daring to introduce aspects of music that was not the norm of the day in pop/rock music.

The Doors
The Doors

This American band from Los Angeles, California in the US had a dominating sequence of personalities in their group that set them on the headlines.

The group consisted of these musicians:

  • James Douglas Morrison (Jim Morrison)
  • Raymond Daniel Manzarek Jr (Ray Manzarek)
  • Robert Alan Krieger (Robby Krieger)
  • John Paul Densmore (John Densmore)

Each band member had a varied musical style from the other, making them an authentic musical blend.


Band members Jim and Ray met in UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in 1965.

Ray was in a band at the time, Rick & the Ravens with his brothers while John (drummer) was in another band, Psychedelic Rangers. They met each other during one of their meditation classes.

Jim soon joined the brothers in their band and John joined them later in August 1965. Bass player Patty Sullivan also joined and they renamed the band to The Doors.

The group recorded a demo consisting of six songs on September 2, 1965 at a studio in Los Angeles. This six-song demo was later featured in their BOX Set CD release in October 1997. Ray’s brothers left the band later that year and Robby Krieger (guitar) joined.

The band became resident performers at the Los Angeles club, London Fog from February to May 1966. Though the band members each had very different styles and sense of music, they began to work together becoming a collective unit. This magically changed the band for good.

They moved from their residency to performing at well-rated shows. They started collaborating with bands and playing at the well-recognized club “Whisky a Go Go” playing some jam sessions.

They signed on the only record label they ever worked with, Elektra Records on August 18, 1966 after the prominent president, Jac Holzman and producer Paul Rothchild took notice of them during a few of their shows.

Jim Morrison got the band fired from “Whisky a Go Go” when he black famed a version of the Greek myth of Oedipus.

In the month of August 1966, they recorded their first album dubbed “The Doors” which they released in January 1967.

They had hit singles from the album such as Break on Through (To the Other Side) .They began participating in television prime show interviews where they performed the song “Light My Fire” from their album, which became a sensation selling over one million copies and reaching the Billboard Hot 100 single charts. They made their international television debut in May 1967 in Toronto, Canada. 

Unforeseen events occurred on December 9th of the same year when band member Morrison’s inappropriate behavior resulted in him being maced by a police officer and was unable to perform at the set at the New Haven Arena in New Haven.

The group had begun to face various tensions due to Jim Morrison’s alcohol addiction and the rejection of their single, Celebration of the Lizard by music producer Paul Rothchild in April 1968.

Morrison’s erratic behavior during performances began to cost the group more than it gained in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s. He would sometimes go silent on the stage during performances, assault police officers, and protest songs the band practiced to perform what was later characterized as his religious hallucination.

Morrison took some time off the band on March 13, 1971 to Paris with his companion Pamela Courson of whom he was in a tumultuous relationship. He was found dead by his girlfriend, Pamela in his bathtub on July 3 1971.

After Jim’s death, the band considered replacing him but later revised their decision. Manzarek and Krieger became lead vocalists and together with the band, recorded their album Other Voices from June to August 1971, releasing it in October that year.

The impact of Jim Morrison on the band was prolific and played such a key role in the band’s success that Manzarek and Krieger could not live up to. The band was struggling to separate themselves from the shadows of their dead colleague but failed to. The group disbanded after their contract with their record label Elektra ended.

Following their disbandment however, they continued to release albums that were written Jim Morrison from 1978 into the 2000s. These albums kept winning the group more accolades than they ever did together.

They reunited in 2000 to perform some live shows and continued in the subsequent years recording songs, instrumentals and albums.

Ray Manzarek died on May 20, 2013 at a hospital in Rosenheim, Germany.

Achievements of The Doors

This band earned many recognized accolades in so very little time that their efforts could not be undermined.

They were the first American band to earn the gold LPs eight consecutive times and are estimated to have sold about 33 million records in the United States and over 100 million records across the globe earning them the recognition of being one of the Best-Selling Bands of All Time according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Nearly a decade into their career, the group had sold over 4 million albums and almost 8 million singles.
Rolling Stone Magazine listed the band as one of the Greatest Artists of All Time.

The Doors were also honored with a Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1993. Even after his death, Jim Morrison was earning himself album covers in esteemed magazines such as the Rolling Stone.

Their iconic song, “The End” was released in 1967. This song appears in Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. It was placed at the 336th position of said list in 2010.

In 2007, they were honored with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the Grammys and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Interesting Facts

Their album “The Doors” was recorded from beginning to end in exactly six days.

Jim Morrison was approached by movie producer Andy Warhol to film a sex movie but he turned it down.

Jim was a nervous and very shy boy.

American photographer Linda Eastman (Late wife of Beatles band member Paul McCartney) broke a bottle of the American fruit-flavored liquor Southern Comfort over Morrison’s head when he tried to force her head into his lap.

Jim and his mates derived the band’s name from Alduos Huxley’s book titled “The Doors of Perception“.

The band was the first band in America to gain 8 gold LPs in a row.

Brief Conclusion

For a short life span, The Doors proved to be serious contenders in the music industry during the 1960’s. They are considered a part of the American rock legends that pushed rock music to the mainstream. Individually or as a whole, The Doors have made a name for themselves.

  • “Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor (The Severed Garden)”
  • “Break On Through (To the Other Side)”
  • “Changeling”
  • “Do It”
  • “Easy Ride”
  • “End of the Night”
  • “Get Up and Dance”
  • “Gloria”
  • “Good Rockin”
  • “Hello, I Love You”
  • “In the Eye of the Sun”
  • “It Slipped My Mind”
  • Light My Fire
  • “Love Her Madly”
  • “Love Me Two Times”
  • “Love Street”
  • “Moonlight Drive”
  • “Not to Touch the Earth”
  • “People Are Strange”
  • “Riders on the Storm”
  • “Roadhouse Blues”
  • “Runnin’ Blue”
  • “Ships with Sails”
  • “Tell All the People”
  • “The Crystal Ship”
  • “The Mosquito”
  • The End
  • “The Piano Bird”
  • “The Unknown Soldier”
  • “Tightrope Ride”
  • “Touch Me”
  • “Treetrunk”
  • “Unhappy Girl”
  • “Variety is the Spice of Life”
  • “We Could Be So Good Together”
  • “Who Scared You?”
  • “Wild Child”
  • “Wishful Sinful”
  • “You Make Me Real”
  • “You Need Meat (Don’t Go No Further)”

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