News Segment


July 22, 2005

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The former drummer for The Doors won a permanent injunction on Friday preventing his bandmates from using the rock group’s name while touring with a revamped version of the legendary 1960s act.

The Los Angeles Superior Court order also requires keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger, who have been touring as The Doors of the 21st Century, to turn over all the profits earned by the new combo to the original Doors partnership.

The decision represents a major victory for Doors drummer John Densmore, who told Reuters he was concerned that the band’s legacy was being tarnished by its reincarnation as an oldies act.

Manzarek and Krieger, along with British singer Ian Astbury subbing for the late Jim Morrison, are touring Canada as headliners of the “Strange Days” festival, which also features such bands as Steppenwolf, the Yardbirds and Vanilla Fudge.

“They’re playing Doors songs and calling themselves the Doors of the 21st Century. I kinda think it’s the 19th century, it’s looking back,” said Densmore, who plays original music with his own band Tribal Jazz.

He teamed up with Morrison’s estate — represented by the parents of both Morrison and Morrison’s late wife, Pamela Courson — to sue Krieger and Manzarek in early 2003.

Under an agreement struck in 1971, the year Morrison died in Paris, all three surviving members as well as the Morrison estate must sign off on any use of the Doors name and logo.

“I’m very pleased that, in my opinion, the legacy is preserved,” added Densmore. “I never intended for Ray and Robby to stop playing — they’re great musicians. I hope Doors fans keep going to see them — it’s just the name is owned by me and them and the estate of Jim Morrison, and they kinda ran off with stolen property.”

Densmore estimated that Manzarek and Krieger have earned “millions and millions of dollars” on the road in recent years, more than the original band ever made.

A management representative for Krieger and Manzarek in Los Angeles did not return a call.

The Doors rose to fame in the late 1960s with such songs as “Light My Fire” and “Touch Me.” After Morrison, their provocative frontman and self-styled “lizard king,” died of a heart attack, the band eventually folded.

Its mythology exploded with the 1980 publication of the Doors biography “No One Here Gets Out Alive” and then with Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie “The Doors.” The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, with the three members reuniting for a few songs behind Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder.

Courtesy of