The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison's Legacy Goes On Trial

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Join Bob Dylan Center Director Steven Jenkins for an online discussion with John Densmore, legendary drummer for The Doors, eternally beloved for “Light My Fire,” “Touch Me,” “L.A. Woman” and many other classics. In his new book “The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison’s Legacy Goes on Trial,” the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award recipient reflects on his band’s tumultuous history and champions artistic integrity over profit motive. Densmore’s gripping account of his conflict with band members and legal battle to retain use of The Doors’ name—and thus the band’s heritage—is both a “behind the music” page-turner and a timely reminder that creativity must endure over commerce.

Zoom in on May 24, 2023, for this virtual chat as Densmore discusses “The Doors Unhinged” and fields questions from Jenkins and attendees. More info here.

"The Doors drummer Densmore rockets through his tumultuous six-year lawsuit against former bandmates Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger in this no-holds-barred account . . . Throughout, the author's initial question―at what point does money cheapen art's original message?―remains salient, even if he hammers it home a bit repetitively. Devoted fans will be eager to get their hands on this deep dive." ―Publishers Weekly

"Densmore's concerns about his band's legacy and its meaning in today's society are thought-provoking and worth pondering. Also impressive is his continued respect for his former bandmates' creativity and musicianship, despite the in-fighting, philosophical differences, and court battles. Not a typical rock memoir, but something more interesting to those who want to look past the hit songs and off-stage antics." ―Kirkus Reviews

"Part courtroom drama, part morality tale, The Doors Unhinged reminds us what happens when greed and deception get in the way of teamwork and the creative process." ―Booklist

IN THE DOORS UNHINGED, NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR and legendary Doors drummer John Densmore offers a powerful exploration of the "greed gene"―that part of the human psyche that propels us toward the accumulation of more and more wealth, even at the expense of our principles, friendships, and the well-being of society. This is the gripping account of the legal battle to control The Doors's artistic destiny. In it, Densmore looks at his conflict with his bandmates over the right to use The Doors's name, revealing the ways in which this struggle mirrors and reflects a much larger societal issue: that no amount of money seems to be enough for even the wealthiest people.

The Doors continue to attract new generations of fans, with more than one hundred million albums sold worldwide and counting, and nearly twenty million followers to the band's social media accounts. As such, Densmore occupies a rarefied space in popular culture. He's beloved by artists across the decades for his fierce, uncompromising dedication to art. His writing consistently earns accolades and has appeared in a range of publications, such as the Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone. As his friend and American novelist Tom Robbins recently said to him, "If you keep writing like this, I'll have to get a drum set."

This is an incredibly timely and important volume in a contemporary world that is increasingly consumed by an insatiable profit motive. John Densmore has given us a blueprint for an approach to life and culture that is not driven by greed.