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Riders on the Storm: My Life with Jim Morrison and the Doors
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Riders on the Storm: My Life with Jim Morrison and the Doors

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  5,688 ratings  ·  148 reviews
Here is the book that Rolling Stone called "the first Doors biography that feels like it was written for the right reasons, and it is easily the most informed account of the Doors' brief but brilliant life as a group".
Paperback, 322 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Delta (first published August 1st 1990)
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Dec 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1990s
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
Jim Cherry
Feb 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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
Eirini Proikaki
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Μου άρεσε πάρα πολύ αυτό το βιβλίο γιατί εκτός απο τα πολύ ενδιαφέροντα στοιχεία που δίνει και τις αναφορές στην πολιτική κατάσταση της εποχής,η γραφή του John Densmore έχει μια δύναμη,σε κάνει να νομίζεις οτι είσαι εκεί μαζί τους στο δωμάτιο που γράφτηκε το Light my fire.
Kashmir White
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: music
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
Aug 23, 2009 rated it liked it
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-
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Densmore wrote his best-selling autobiography, Riders On The Storm about his life and the time he spent with Morrison and The Doors, in the first chapter Densmore describes the solemn day in which he and the band finally visited Morrison's grave around three years after he had actually died; and as drummer and an influential member of The Doors, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He and Robby Krieger worked as technical advisors on the 1991 film, The Doors, but while they were ...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
Jacob Burdette
The book “Riders on the Storm” was a thrilling look at what it’s like to be in a rock and roll band in the 60’s! Author John Densmore gives a unique prospect on what it is like to be in a band “from the drum stool.” Densmore played drums for the famous rock band The Doors from 1965 to 1973. He is also a well-known film maker and avid writer. John Densmore even refused a 15 million dollar offer from Cadillac to use one of his songs in a car commercial because of his views on environmental conserv ...more
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who is a fan of The Doors and biographies in general.
Recommended to Jeff by: Discovered on my own.
1st Read: October 9, 1992 - October 14, 1992 (**** Rating)
Up to this point in my Doors reading material, this is the second book I've read about them. I found John's book to be brutally honest and a compelling read. He never held back on what he was feeling in the love/hate friendship he had with Jim. Such a cliche but I guess you had to be there to know what he, Robbie and Ray had went through. A page turner for sure. It didn't take long for me to digest this one and wanting more of it. Robbie
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
Julie Barrett
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Riders on the Storm, My Life with Jim Morrison and the Doors by John Densmore
I recall hearing one of the songs waiting in traffic in NY on our way back from NJ and they were playing the longer version and you could really get into hearing the lyrics and what the song was really about.
Took me by surprise what it was about-so strong and open in the 60's.
Some really beautiful lyrics and some raunchy ones, never understood why all the drugs, guess he didn't like the world he was living in. Great un
May 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, music
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
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
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
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've read a lot of books about The Doors, and am amazed at their popularity after all these years. John seems to have the most realistic attitude towards Jim Morrison. He was a very intelligent, sensitive guy, but had so many demons, and couldn't conquer them. Of course, the guys were young and afraid to confront him, and there weren't so many groups for addicted people in those days.

Ray Manzarek idolized Jim, and in his story, is always the Apollo to Jim's Dionysus. Too bad Jim paid such a heav
Ronnie Cramer
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
A mostly fun history of the Doors by the bands' drummer. Despite all the 1960s trappings, Densmore often comes across like a nerd who unexpectedly finds himself seated with the cool kids. He also seems to have missed a lot despite being in the eye of the storm, with numerous observations like "I wish we'd learned a little bit more about each other."
Pete daPixie
Feb 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poptastic, autobiogs
Enjoyed this one. John's childhood and intro to the 'skins', and then his details of how the band formed, worked and found their fame. A good view of Jim too.
Bodies scattered across the highway.
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. John Densmore is as good a writer as he is a drummer. I totally dug this book and its honesty.
Deia Skitalica
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This, I think, sums of Densmore's book, and the reason he wrote it, being: "to defuse the myth of invincibility a little. Unfortunately, the myth busting was too little, too late".
I found it interesting that Densmore was such a 'straight-shooting arrow', as a musician in one of the biggest rock bands in the US. His writing is candid, his take on The Doors and Morrison are unequivocal, which is such a contrast to their image and the whole spell that they projected as a band. This is also why he
Nov 09, 2016 rated it liked it
I had friends in Coronado who claimed to know Jim Morrison and the word was that he was a NAVY brat. Coronado has a heavy sprinkling of retired admirals and I always took the stories with a grain of salt. Densmore's book helped straighten out some of the mystery of this icon of the rock world.

The author did a good job of describing the almost unbelievable story of the bands rise when the band members were barely old enough to buy booze. The familiar drug rituals were in full play and it was pro
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
(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)
Eric Gardner
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it
As a fan of the Doors music, the book, while not particularly enlightening in that regard, was nonetheless interesting. Clearly, this was John Densmore’s attempt to come to grips with Jim Morrison and his impact on his life. Not a paean to Morrison, more of a reckoning. As you might imagine, Manzarek and Krieger play central roles in the narrative yet for some reason, Densmore is unable to really bring them to life. This book is about Densmore in the context of Morrison.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have a Doors podcast called Defending The Doors where I try to convince my friend that The Doors are an amazing band by making him listen to all 6 albums. We go track by track and talk about the music, the lyrics, and more! Check it out!
Barron Dalton
Sep 12, 2018 rated it liked it
A first hand account from the drummer of the 60's super group The Doors. The book gives a close up of all things Doors. One point that I do get from the book is the unfortunate character of Jim Morrison. He was even forcing the band into trouble with his unpredictable, sociopathic behavior. The premise of the book is a bit of stretch (chatting with Jim). Not a bad read but not a great one either.
Kim Korich
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Insightful & personal

Another perspective from a band member of the Doors. Interesting to read how this band member felt and saw the events that unfolded. Worthwhile read if you are a Doors fan.
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
John Densmore is an average writer (can't blame him), but I do believe the book is pretty much the truth in his point of view. His grieve and sadness can be felt between words. It's still a great book if you want some backstage stories of the Doors' musical experience.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only took about 4 years to read, great book!
James Dimini
Nothing new that I didn't know from No One Here Gets Out Alive by Sugarman.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I started reading this book several years ago in preparation for a phone interview with Densmore. I came back to it when I was bored a few weeks ago. This book stands out because Densmore is brutally honest and soul-searching. He feels super conflicted about his role in Morrison's demise. Meanwhile, he discusses his love of music in a way that made me love music more.
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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