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John Paul Densmore


1965-1973 The Doors - drums, percussion (as John Densmore)  

Personal information

Born on: 01.12.1944

Official website

John Densmore (born John Paul Densmore, December 1, 1944, in Los Angeles, California) was the drummer of the rock group The Doors from 1965 to 1973.

He is a drummer and songwriter and attended Santa Monica City College and Cal. State-Northridge.

John Densmore left the world of rock-and-roll in the 1980s, moving to the world of dance as he performed with Bess Snyder and Co., touring the United States for two years.

In 1984, at La Mama Theatre in New York, he made his stage acting debut in Skins, a one-act play he had written. In 1985, he won the L.A. Weekly Theatre Award for music with Methusalem, directed by Tim Robbins. The play, Rounds, which he co-produced, won the NAACP award for theatre in 1987. In 1988, he played a feature role in Band Dreams and Bebop at the Gene Dynarski Theatre. He developed and performed a one-man piece from the short story, The King of Jazz, at the Wallenboyd Theatre in 1989. With Adam Ant, he co-produced Be Bop A Lula at Theatre Theatre in 1992. He has acted in numerous TV shows, most memorably as himself in the show Square Pegs, working as a drummer for Johnny Slash's band Open 24 Hours. His film credits include: Get Crazy with Malcolm McDowell, Dudes directed by Penelope Spheeris, and The Doors directed by Oliver Stone.

John wrote his best-selling autobiography, Riders On The Storm; and as drummer and an influential member of The Doors, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He and the other surviving Doors members worked as technical advisors on the 1991 film, and while they were impressed with Val Kilmer's singing, they were not happy with the film as a whole. The film questionably depicts Densmore as growing to hate Morrison as Morrison's drug and personal problems begin to overwhelm and dominate his behavior.

Interestingly, according to Ray Manzarek in his book Light My Fire, Morrison did not personally like Densmore. Manzarek theorized that this was because Densmore failed to look Morrison in the eyes when they first met. At one point, Manzarek actually had to talk Morrison out of firing Densmore. Densmore still stayed with the band throughout its life. It is worth noting that Densmore is almost constantly painted in a negative light in Ray Manzarek's book, which would indicate the two were not on good terms when the book was written.

Densmore is the singular surviving member of The Doors who applies the group's democratic founding to veto licensing the band's songs to be used in commercials. Densmore vetoed an offer by Cadillac for 15 million dollars for Break on Through (To The Other Side). He has only broken his belief in this once, by allowing "Riders on the Storm" to be used to sell Pirelli Tires, in England only. Densmore later stated that he "heard Jim's voice" in his ears and ended up donating the money earned to charity.

He is reported to be working on a first novel, producing a documentary film, an after-care program for ex-criminal offenders titled Project Return directed by Leslie Neil. When time allows, he lectures in colleges throughout the United States.

John's official website is located at The website also contains a unique forum where fans can post questions directly to the drummer.

Trivia: John is left handed.