Happy Birthday To The Doors’ John Densmore

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(Photo courtesy of last.fm)

(Photo courtesy of last.fm)

Today is drummer [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]John Densmore[/lastfm]‘s 67th birthday!

And to mark the occasion, Jack FM is making [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]The Doors[/lastfm]‘ “Riders on the Storm” our Song of the Day!

A chance meeting on a beach in California led to the formation of one of the most controversial, yet successful bands of the 1960s.  Led by the unpredictable rock poet [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Jim Morrison[/lastfm], The Doors have sold nearly 100 million albums worldwide and were the first American band to score eight consecutive gold records.  They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, and today, the band’s popularity remains strong 40 years after Morrison’s death.

Beginning in 1965, The Doors were regulars on the L.A. club circuit, playing at such places as the London Fog and the Whisky a Go Go.  After an executive from Elektra Records saw one of their performances, the band signed with the label and released their self-titled debut album in January 1967.  The Doors was an instant hit, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart.  Success of the album was propelled by the second single, “Light My Fire.”  It spent three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 and sold one million copies.

Over the next four years, The Doors released such hit albums as Strange Days, Waiting for the Sun, The Soft Parade and Morrison Hotel.  They also racked up a handful of Top 40 singles, including “People Are Strange,” “Hello, I Love You” and “Touch Me.”

In April 1971, The Doors released their sixth album, L.A. Woman.  Infused with both blues and rock, L.A. Woman landed at #9 on the Billboard 200 and spawned two more Top 20 hits for the band:  “Love Her Madly” and “Riders on the Storm,” which is Jack’s Song of the Day.  However, the album would be the band’s last with Morrison.

Just three months after the release of L.A. Woman, Jim Morrison was found dead in his Paris apartment’s bathtub.  Many suspect he died from a heroin overdose, although the cause of death has been widely disputed since no official autopsy was performed.

Following the untimely death of their iconic frontman, The Doors continued as a trio, with keyboardist [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Ray Manzarek[/lastfm] and guitarist [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Robby Krieger[/lastfm] both taking over on vocals.  The band released two more albums before finally calling it quits in 1973.

Today, Manzarek and Krieger continue to tour together, exclusively performing the songs of The Doors.

Check out this live performance of The Doors’ “Light My Fire.”  They just don’t make rock stars like they used to.

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