Riders on the Storm
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Riders on the Storm

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  3,097 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Before he met Jim Morrison, before he ever jammed with Ray Manzarck and Robby Krieger on "Little Red Rooster" or read the lyrics to "Break on Through," John Densmore took LSD. It was his first glimpse of the abyss.
but it wouldn't compare to the dark path he would follow as the drummer in the Doors... (from the dust cover)
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 1st 1990 by Delacorte Press
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Michael
Hi, I'm John Densmore, and I was drummer for the Doors! I know, I know. Thank you. Thank you. You may be seated.

Anyway, you should read my book. It is full of amazing insight, such as:

1. Jim Morrison = douche.
2. My genitals are really itchy.
3. We were so mistreated by that douche Jim Morrison.
4. But he was kind of a mystic shaman prophet douche.
5. And he made us rich.
6. The record company totally bastardized our music because they were so obsessed with making money. They didn't realize what...more
Jim Cherry
John Densmore wanted to be in The Beatles, he got Jim Morrison instead. As you read Riders On The Storm you get the idea that Densmore didn’t enjoy the trip he was on, and didn’t take full advantages of the opportunities life presented him. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a highly readable insiders look at The Doors from one of the principal actors.

I once read that drummers are the one chaotic element in a band, you would have thought John Densmore and Jim Morrison would have recognized that in eac...more
Jennifer
Going into this book, I thought Jim Morrison was a poet, a lover, and a Revolutionary. Though this is only John Densmore's side of the story (the drummer of The Doors), the book focuses on Jim's extrincities, madness, possesiveness, jealousy, and narcissistic rage. In fact, come to find out, many of The Doors' lyrics were written by fellow bandmates. Jim was just the front man; the good-looking, rocker they needed to be taken seriously.

Despite my thoughts of Jim as a free-loving, genius artist-...more
Becky
I heard John Densmore on the radio discussing his new book, The Doors Unhinged, and I realized I'd never read this one so I picked it up. It was an odd coincidence that Ray Manzarek died just after I finished it. I was a huge Doors fan in the 80's and only started listening to them again a couple of years ago after a long break. Last summer I reread No One Here Gets Out Alive, and I thought Riders on the Storm might give me further insight into the band. It did not. This book desperately needs s...more
R.Friend
I'd been meaning to read John Densmore's account of his life with The Doors for the longest time. Having just recently returned from Paris and having visited Jim Morrison's grave at Pere-Lachaise, I decided to finally read it.

I found it to be an incredibly engrossing story. Densmore does have his grievances, but his credibility shines through; and frankly, I think he's earned the right to tell the story any way he pleases. And all in all, he does a pretty great job.

It's amazing to read the expe...more
Miranda (M.E.) Brumbaugh
When I was 15 I bought this book at a church garage sale as my first, of too many, rebellious act during my teenage years. I discovered The Doors music which opened the doors to many other rock and roll bands, influential musicians and authors that were a result of the psychedelic era, i.e., Ken Kesey, Hunter S. Thompson, as well as the Beat generation writers. To say that the influence was strictly due to the wild life of Morrison is not a fair call, but reading his story did change my life, wh...more
Troy
John Densmore is a musician involved in multiple projects. He has also been involved in the theater. But like it or not, he will be forever remembered by millions of people as the drummer for The Doors, a rock band that had a 72-month run from 1965 to 1971. In this book, he recounts those days.

"Riders on the Storm" is a combination of his first person recollection of the events and a letter to Jim Morrison, the charismatic artistic leader of the Doors, who died in Paris in 1971 from drug/alcohol...more
Kashmir White
I never liked Densmore - until I read this book. Now I see his side of the story! It can't have been easy living with Jim, much as we all love him. Anyway I believe this book would be most enjoyed by Doors addicts who have read other biographies and are ready for the next level. Lots of cool insights and little known facts. Highly recommended.
Justin
Densmore comes off as a tight-ass, and its easy to see why he and his Wild Animal bandmate wouldn't get along. When Densmore isn't whining about Jim's (understandably) obnoxious behavior, he's lionizing him with New Age fervor. Densmore seems like the kind of person who takes himself and his story way too seriously, even going so far as to manufacture all sorts of similarities between Jim Morrison and his brother Jim, when from what I could tell from Densmore's writing the only thing they really...more
Paul Lyons
Heartfelt and very insightful autobiography by Doors drummer John Densmore. A must-read for any Doors fan, yet would also be of interest to those who are curious about the 60's...the culture that emerged from it, and the casualties left along the way.

The core of Densmore's book is coping with loss, and trauma. The author makes great pains to discuss his personal life...of his two troubled marriages, of his mentally unstable brother...yet its his relationship and mixed feelings about his old band...more
Sheri
Riders on the Storm: My Life with Jim Morrison and The Doors is an insider's perspective of living through the sixties as a member of an iconic band and knowing Jim Morrison well. Densmore paints Morrison as both a poetic genius who possessed extraordinary charm, and also a flawed man, very sick in the throes of a substance abuse problem and possibly serious and untreated mental health issues.
I've been a fan of Jim Morrison and The Doors for many years and somehow missed Riders when it was publ...more
Dixie Diamond
I thought this was interesting, sort of liked it, but didn't enjoy the writing.

Comparatively superficial complaint: Densmore is an uninspired, imprecise, and ineffective writer. This book would have been vastly improved had it even had the same content, but been written by somebody with any range of vocabulary, and any ability to convey feeling, at all. His conversational device doesn't really work, and trying to write out his drum patterns is just weird.

It's a whiny book. The whiny foreshadowi...more
Kelsey Bundra
(Spoiler added, although most of this you have probably known if you were a true Doors fan)

I was raised a Doors fan, so naturally I was drawn to Riders on the Storm. John Densmore does something no other author or historian can accomplish. He writes a truthful account of the band's progression and Jim Morrison's deterioration. He was there from the beginning as the band's drummer, after all.
(view spoiler)...more
sara
i have to say that luckily the infamous Doors lyrics cant be credited to John Densmore, because he is a terrible writer. obviously, its an interesting story and a time period that evokes curiosity, but he doesn't do it justice. he is unable to bring any of it to life with the vivacity that one would expect. especially because its his story and he lived it. i give him an E for effort, but i really had a hard time finishing this book, without throwing it down cringing.

According to him, he was an...more
Deadlift
John Densmore tells a tale of few but relevant facts but very emotionally charged with the bizarre and visceral experience of being in one of the greatest bands in history with what he repeatedly calls an insane person, a madman, and psychopath who would cast a shadow over their tremendous catalogue the surviving band mates would never get over nor let down. He is perhaps the more unrepentant of the band members to express his mixed feelings of Jim Morrison and a desire to move on from his untim...more
Steve
Having read this back to back with the Stephen Davis biography of Jim Morrison, it was interesting to get another perspective on the story of the Doors, this time from the band's drummer John Densmore. Since I read the Davis book first, I was curious to know why no one seemed to reach out to Morrison to intercede as he spiraled downward, but I recognize now with the completion of the Densmore's book, that the reality of the situation was that his bandmates were only in the early 20's themselves,...more
Linda
This biography of Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, by the drummer reads more like his memoir of growing up in the 60's with band members as siblings. The "letter" to Morrison interspersed throughout seemed a bit gimmicky and Densmore seems to bemoan his fate at not being in a flower-child band a bit much but the genius of the band members and Morrison does come through and speaks to why their music has remained viable in succeeding decades. A favorite quote from this book occurs about the...more
Matt
I read this book when I was younger.

I love the doors music, and really don't find Densmore to be a terrible writer by any means. Quite suprised actually that he could write as well as he does.

I find all the introspective thoughts on the symbolic nature of the doors themselves, and their music's effect on the rest of us.

Being a drummer, it is good to hear a band's story from on top of the throne.

I feel he offers poetic notions towards the monumental career the Doors had and you can tell the...more
Myrna
Más que ver desde adentro el mundo de The Doors sin pretensiones, este libro autobiográfico de John Densmore es un viaje a través de la pérdida de su inocencia, su despertar hacia la apreciación de la música que fuera su boleto de viaje psicodélico.
Con este libro se viaja por los tiempos de excesos y qué más intensidad que haberlos vivido junto al Rey Lagarto; tan atormentado como genial, tan genio como loco..aunque al fin y al cabo para mí es lo mismo.
¿Que John Densmore siempre quiso ser un B...more
Grant
Quite good. Loved the Doors back in the 70s, but am pleased that at least one ex-member was able to relate their story in an unsentimental, relatively objective way particularly so as to show that while Morrison was a real poet steeped in the traditions with his roots in Blake, Artaud, Rimbaud , Nietzsche and various other 19th century poets and philosophers tortured white middle class boys like to immerse themselves in. he was also a thoroughgoing pig, a junkie, abusive to women, bent on his ow...more
Katrin
John, the drummer of the doors, tells us his side of the story of the rise and demise of the Doors, of the vision they once shared and how that was shattered because of Jim's selfdestructive nature. I loved the book for a many reasons. Because of the story of the Doors, the descriptions of Jim, but also and maybe even more because of the views on California of the 60's, the revolution, the flower power generation, the war in Vietnam and all the controverse of that time. I really loved the insigh...more
Maria
I enjoyed this book as an insight into the world of The Doors, but I have to say that Densmore comes across as a little jealous of Jim and I felt as if he wanted the Doors to be HIS band. He was a bit put out because he was the drummer and wasn't at the forefront like Jim. He seems to have a love/hate relationship with Morrison and that comes across strongly throughout this book. The story is being told from his point of view and sometimes, it irritated me as he complained about certain things....more
Linn
I borrowed this book from my local library shortly after getting into The Doors, and found it to be a good crash course of both Jim Morrison and the band. I actually didn't finish the whole thing, but that had little to do with the contents of the book. I had several other books I had to read for school, and had to deal with them first. Anyway, written by a member of the band, the book gives the reader an insight in a lot of the things The Doors did during their time. I would absolutely recommen...more
Gerry
I read this book in July of 1994 and though I am a fan of The Doors and John Densmore, I thought the book was a little too on the emotional side for me personally. I liked the book (don't get me wrong) and I had the pleasure to have met John Densmore in 1998 just before Ray Manzarek's book became available in hard back. For any person interested in The Doors this is a good book to read in addition to others, John has a sensitive side that can't be denied. A great percussionist and a good humanit...more
Al Redman
Really great autobiography, it gave me a very intimate insight into the group, their personalities and sudden rise to fame.There is so much Turmoil in both the Doors career and John's personal life that the book really turns into a page turner and after reading it I have a far greater respect for the Doors and their music, truly one of the greatest bands of all time, each members personality is distinctly unique, while their musical contributions are all of the highest quality.
Jerry
very personal and honest.
Terri
La vita del Re Lucertola raccontata, per una volta dal compagno di avventura John Densmore, batterista dei Doors non sempre in rapporti idilliaci con Jim. Tra i tanti libri sui Doors è forse quello che presenta Jim sotto la luce meno magica, tuttavia, cosa non da poco, sentire raccontare la storia dei Doors da uno di essi ha qualcosa di impagabile: sentire il sapore della musica che suonavano, che producevano, che volevano essere e che ha divorto il Re Lucertola
Amanda Larcinese
I absolutely love this book.. But I'm a sucker for anything Doors related
J.
It's an okay book. Not magnificent, but not too bad. To those of us that have seen Stone's film, this seems like rehashing (try to remember that the book came first, though). I wish he'd have ended it at the logical ending place (pg. 296) rather than continuing on and on (to pg. 319) about his involvement with Robert Bly's ridiculous "men's movement" and the endless circling back to points he'd already made earlier.
Charles
Quite well written, straightforward, and a lot of very engaging information about the music, as well as the stories behind the music.
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John Paul Densmore (born December 1, 1944) is an American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the drummer of the rock group The Doors from 1965 to 1973.

Born in Los Angeles, Densmore attended Santa Monica City College and Cal. State-Northridge. In 1965, he joined The Doors and remained a member until the band's dissolution in 1973. According to Densmore's own book, he quit the band on one...more
More about John Densmore...
The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison's Legacy Goes on Trial

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