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The Doorways’ Jim Morrison had ‘a fascination with loss of life’ earlier than passing away at 27, bandmate Robby Krieger says

It’s been 50 years since Robby Krieger misplaced his pal Jim Morrison – and now he’s able to set the file straight.

The Doorways’ guitarist has a brand new memoir titled “Set the Night on Fire: Living, Dying, and Playing Guitar with The Doors” the place he shares never-before-told tales about among the most notorious moments of the group’s profession.

Morrison propelled The Doorways to a number of main hits between 1965 and 1971, together with “Gentle My Fireplace,” “Hi there I Love You,” “Contact Me” and “Riders on the Storm.” The frontman stated that as a toddler, he witnessed a automotive accident on a Native American reservation, an occasion that loomed massive in his lyrics and poetry.

Robby Krieger's memoir was released on Oct. 12.

Robby Krieger’s memoir was launched on Oct. 12. (Courtesy of Robby Krieger)

Regardless of The Doorways’ success, the band burned out rapidly because the singer sank into alcoholism. He made his closing album with The Doorways, “L.A. Lady,” in 1971, after which moved to Paris. There, on July 3, 1971, he was discovered lifeless in a bath. No post-mortem was carried out and accounts of what brought on his loss of life are nonetheless disputed.


On the 20th anniversary of his loss of life in 1991, the Oliver Stone-directed biopic “The Doorways” was launched, starring Val Kilmer as Morrison.

Krieger spoke to Fox Information about his favourite reminiscence of Morrison, what occurred throughout their look on “The Ed Sullivan Present” and the way an intervention led to his sobriety.

Robby Krieger today.

Robby Krieger at this time. (Jill Jarrett)

Fox Information: What impressed you to write down your e book now?
Robby Krieger: , I began it about 25 years in the past, and simply by no means obtained round to ending it. When the pandemic got here alongside, I had a while and it was time to do it.

Fox Information: Wanting again, what do you imagine was the key behind the lasting success of The Doorways?
Krieger: Largely the guitar taking part in, I might say. That is a joke *laughs*. No, I feel the actual motive is that our songs are actually good. , most albums, particularly in these days, may’ve had one or two good songs on them. However we had sort of a rule that we might by no means put one thing out except it was actually good. And I feel even our deep tracks are fairly good.


Fox Information: When did you first understand that the band had turn out to be bigger than life?
Krieger: In all probability after “Gentle My Fireplace” got here out on the radio after which made it to primary. That was like a turning level for all of us. Every little thing began to get loopy proper after that.

Jim Morrison and keyboardist Ray Manzarek, a fellow UCLA film student, founded The Doors in 1965. At the time, Morrison was living in the Los Angeles’ bohemian neighborhood of Venice Beach and frequently taking LSD. Guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore joined soon after.

Jim Morrison and keyboardist Ray Manzarek, a fellow UCLA movie scholar, based The Doorways in 1965. On the time, Morrison was dwelling within the Los Angeles’ bohemian neighborhood of Venice Seaside and regularly taking LSD. Guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore joined quickly after. (Courtesy of Robby Krieger)

Fox Information: The place did the inspiration for “Gentle My Fireplace” come from?
Krieger: Effectively, up till then Jim was writing all of the songs. Then [one day] he goes, “Why do not you guys try to write some? Why do I’ve to do all of the work?” So I stated, “All proper, nicely, what ought to I write about?” And he says, “Write about one thing common. , one thing that will not exit of fashion actual fast.”

So I figured OK – earth, air, fireplace and water. The 4 components, they’re fairly strong. After which I at all times preferred that music by the Stones, “Play with Fireplace.” It’s one. So I began to write down about fireplace and the remainder is historical past. And , up till then, no person had put these three phrases collectively, “Gentle My Fireplace,” which is fairly loopy.

Fox Information: Which music did you initially imagine would not carry out too nicely however really turned out to be an enormous hit?
Krieger: “Love Her Madly.” I believed it was too industrial. I wished to place out “Riders on the Storm” as a single, they usually all wished “Love Her Madly.” So I stated OK. And to my shock, it did very well.


Jim Morrison and The Doors would burn brightly, releasing albums ‘The Doors’ and ‘Strange Days’ in 1967, ‘The Soft Parade’ in 1968 and ‘Morrison Hotel’ in 1970.

Jim Morrison and The Doorways would burn brightly, releasing albums ‘The Doorways’ and ‘Unusual Days’ in 1967, ‘The Delicate Parade’ in 1968 and ‘Morrison Lodge’ in 1970. (Courtesy of Robby Krieger)

Fox Information: Which has been your favourite music to carry out through the years and why?
Krieger: When Jim was alive, I cherished taking part in “The Finish.” It is like a 12-minute music and it has a number of guitar stuff in it. That was enjoyable to play. However after Jim, I feel possibly “L.A. Lady” is one among my favorites. That one at all times goes over very well. So we normally play it final or subsequent to final within the set.

Fox Information: “Contact Me” has extra of a pop high quality to it compared to the band’s different songs. The place did the concept for that monitor come from?
Krieger: Oh, no person’s ever requested me that. I at all times do the music first and the phrases come to me later. So I used to be writing that music a few recreation of blackjack. And it wasn’t “Contact Me,” it was “Hit Me.” Hit me, hit me, give me a 10, give me an ace, ? 

However Jim did not like that. He thought folks may take it actually and attempt to hit him as he was singing it *laughs*. So we modified it to “Contact Me.” And… on the refrain half, I sort of stole that from a Joan Baez music. It had the phrases, “I am gonna love you ’til the heavens cease the rain.”

In his memoir, Robby Krieger detailed his rise and struggles as an artist.

In his memoir, Robby Krieger detailed his rise and struggles as an artist. (James Fortune)

Fox Information: Is it true Jim wasn’t allowed to sing the lyric “we could not get a lot increased” from “Gentle My Fireplace” on “The Ed Sullivan Present”?
Krieger: Yeah, they did inform us to not say “increased.” However we thought they had been kidding. I imply, that is ridiculous. Come on. We did not imagine that they had been severe. And so we simply went out and did it the traditional approach. “The Doorways” film exhibits Jim sort of trying into the digital camera and saying “increased.” He did not try this. He simply did it usually.


Effectively, the producer man didn’t prefer it. He stated, “You will by no means play Ed Sullivan once more!” [Our response was], “We do not care, we have already performed Ed Sullivan.” However the viewers had no thought. They made the Stones change one among their songs, “Let’s Spend the Night time Collectively.” They stated, “Let’s Spend Some Time Collectively.” They caved in. [But] they had been a few 12 months earlier than us. So yeah, ’67 was 12 months.

Fox Information: What was your response when Jim was arrested onstage in New Haven throughout a center of a gig?
Krieger: Yeah, that was loopy. I by no means thought that may occur, ? However these cops, they [weren’t] messing round. Backstage, we had been simply hanging round and ready to go on. Jim had some girlfriend of his they usually had been sort of making out in some washroom or someplace personal. One way or the other a cop ran throughout them. He thought they simply snuck backstage from the viewers. 

Jim Morrison's mugshot taken on December 10, 1967 in New Haven, Connecticut. 

Jim Morrison’s mugshot taken on December 10, 1967 in New Haven, Connecticut.  (Photograph by Bureau of Prisons/Getty Photographs)

He didn’t realize it was Jim. So the cop began bossing him round, telling him to go get out of right here. Then Jim obtained a bit uppity and began mouthing off. And the man maced him. That doesn’t really feel good while you get that stuff in your eyes.

Fortunately any individual got here and defined the state of affairs. However Jim was pissed off. Then he lastly obtained the stuff out of his eyes. Then we went on stage. I can’t keep in mind if it was the third or fourth music, “Again Door Man.” Proper in the course of it, [Jim] begins to inform the story concerning the little man with the little blue cap. He was placing the cops down mainly. And so they’re all standing round close to the entrance of the stage, getting madder and madder.


Lastly, [the cops] went up on stage. Jim says, “Oh, you bought one thing to say? Right here.” He palms the man the mic. I forgot what he stated, however they grabbed him, together with a Life journal photographer who occurred to be photographing the entire thing. They grabbed him too and arrested him. [Jim] thought it was good as a result of we obtained our image in Life journal.

Jim Morrison’s dynamic stage presence was on full display during appearances on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ and at the Hollywood Bowl.

Jim Morrison’s dynamic stage presence was on full show throughout appearances on ‘The Ed Sullivan Present’ and on the Hollywood Bowl. (Courtesy of Robby Krieger)

Fox Information: Is it true that you simply later met the cop’s son who apologized?
Krieger: Yeah, that’s proper. This was most likely 10 years in the past with my band, Robby Krieger Band. The man comes as much as me and he’s good. I don’t suppose he was a cop. He may’ve been. Anyway, he stated, “I heard what occurred and I’m sorry.” I believed it was actually cool.

Fox Information: What’s one reminiscence of Jim Morrison that makes you smile each time you concentrate on it?
Krieger: Oh, gosh. One time we had been over at my home and we had some girlfriends over there. Jim is available in and he makes a beeline for the again window and jumps out the window. And everyone’s horrified, ? And there he’s hanging off the balcony, laughing. He used to do stuff like that.

Fox Information: What’s a false impression you are feeling folks nonetheless have about The Doorways and what is the actuality?
Robby Krieger: Most individuals haven’t seen The Doorways actually except they’re fairly outdated. So all they know is the Oliver Stone film and the books which have come out… It’s very simple to get sidetracked by the flicks, the books and rumors. That’s one more reason why I wrote the e book. To clear the air and ensure everyone is aware of precisely what occurred.


Robby Krieger (pictured here) said he was happy with Val Kilmer's portrayal of Jim Morrison in the 1991 biopic 'The Doors.'

Robby Krieger (pictured right here) stated he was pleased with Val Kilmer’s portrayal of Jim Morrison within the 1991 biopic ‘The Doorways.’ (Courtesy of Robby Krieger)

Fox Information: How did you are feeling concerning the film?
Krieger: I believed it was an amazing film. I believed Val Kilmer was actually good. He ought to’ve gotten an Academy Award for my part. However after all, it was a Hollywood film and it had exaggerations and issues that did not actually occur. 

However… I feel it actually helped The Doorways’ profession and Oliver Stone is a good director. On this case, I feel he ought to have let the author do his factor as a result of he ended up writing the script himself. He was actually into The Doorways. He was like an excellent Doorways fan. So I feel he obtained too personally concerned. He had this actually good author. I forgot his title, however he ought to have left it with that man.

Fox Information: Jim Morrison handed away when he was solely 27. How did you and the remainder of the band cope along with his loss of life?
Krieger: I don’t know. After Jimi Hendrix and Janis [Joplin] died, Jim saved saying he was going to be quantity three. We didn’t imagine him. But it surely was robust, ? He was our chief. He was our buddy. And while you’re that younger, you simply don’t understand how to deal with that.

Robby Krieger (left) said Jim Morrison had a fascination with death.

Robby Krieger (left) stated Jim Morrison had a fascination with loss of life. (Photograph by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Photographs)

Fox Information: Are you aware why Jim saved saying he was going to be the third one? Was he joking?
Krieger: We thought he was joking. However possibly he wasn’t. I feel he actually believed that he was not going to be right here a very long time. I do not know if he had some information that there was one thing mistaken with him, or one thing like that.


However… I’ve by no means seen anyone like him that simply tempted destiny, tempted loss of life at many turns. Jimi Hendrix wasn’t like that. And Janis too. I don’t suppose these guys had a loss of life want. I don’t know. Jim simply had this fascination with loss of life. He at all times wrote about it. So in a approach, he most likely obtained what he wished.  

Fox Information: It will need to have been irritating so that you can hear among the conspiracy theories which have come up through the years. What do you make of them?
Krieger: What, that he’s nonetheless alive or one thing?

Fox Information: Effectively, that and every part else that has been stated to make sense of why he would cross away at such a younger age.
Krieger: The reality is no person is aware of. No one ever will. Jim took that secret with him.

Robby Krieger scoffed at conspiracy theories alleging Jim Morrison faked his death. In his book, the guitarist said that the singer wouldn't have been able to stay away from the stage for long.

Robby Krieger scoffed at conspiracy theories alleging Jim Morrison faked his loss of life. In his e book, the guitarist stated that the singer would not have been in a position to avoid the stage for lengthy. (Courtesy of Robby Krieger)

Fox Information: What’s your favourite reminiscence involving Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin?
Krieger: I met Janis up in San Francisco the primary time after we performed The Fillmore. I walked as much as the dressing room and there she is. I didn’t know who she was. All I knew was Massive Brother and the Holding Firm. I did not even know that they had a lady singer. So she says, “Hello, I am Massive Brother!” I stated, “Actually? What the hell.” And she or he’s simply chugging some Southern Consolation… Then later that evening, we obtained to see her play. And boy, what a present. She was so good. I used to be blown away.

With Jimi, I obtained to journey with him on an airplane over to England after we had been doing the Isle of Wight Competition. We sat subsequent to one another for the entire journey. That was nice. I used to be an enormous fan of his and I obtained to choose his mind about guitars and stuff. However all he talked about was getting medication. It was sort of unhappy. And I knew it wasn’t simply pot that he was speaking about. He stated, “Bear in mind, if I rating first, I’ll name you. For those who rating first, you name me.” That’s what he was speaking about the entire time. I simply wished to learn about his guitars.


Fox Information: In your e book, you described how you probably did onerous medication within the later years, after the ‘60s. When did you first understand that you simply wanted to get clear?
Krieger: After doing it for some time, my producer, all my buddies, they sort of realized one thing was off. So that they did an intervention, which was very early within the days of interventions. However boy, I used to be blown away by that. And that actually helped.

Jim Morrison passed away in 1971 at age 27 in Paris.

Jim Morrison handed away in 1971 at age 27 in Paris. (Courtesy of Robby Krieger)

I want we might have finished that with Jim. We did a bit one with Jim, simply… my dad and the opposite guys. However in these days, they didn’t know something about this sort of drawback. My dad was actually into… he went to see a shrink. He was into psychiatry, all that stuff. 

We talked Jim into going to see a psychiatrist. And that lasted a few week. However no less than he tried. It was the ’60s, every part’s cool. You do your factor, man. You simply did not speak to those who approach again then. Although we knew it wasn’t serving to him. We knew it was unhealthy. However… Jim Morrison, he wasn’t the kind of man you could possibly motive with, ?

Fox Information: What’s life like for you at this time?
Krieger: Effectively, it might be worse *laughs*. I’ve a cool studio pretty close to my home. I’ve obtained two albums prepared to come back out. With the pandemic, that’s all we might do – file. One [of them] is sort of an instrumental reggae album. 

Robby Krieger is still making music today.

Robby Krieger continues to be making music at this time. (Courtesy of Robby Krieger)

I am attempting to get any individual to do vinyl on them. The vinyl market is so tousled proper now. It’s virtually a 12 months’s wait to get on vinyl. So I am looking for any individual that has an in into the vinyl firm. But when that does not occur, I will simply put them out myself on the web. Spotify and all that.

The Related Press contributed to this report.


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