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EP 519: The Doors Drummer John Densmore

In his more than 50 years in music, drummer John Densmore has played with and gotten to know some of the greatest musicians of our time, from Janis Joplin and Paul Simon to Ravi Shankar and Willie Nelson, as well as some inspiring non-musicians from the Dalai Lama to screenwriter Joseph Campbell. He has managed to learn something from many of those interactions - lessons he writes about in his new book THE SEEKERS: MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MUSICIANS (AND OTHER ARTISTS). John Densmore discusses the many musical influences on The Doors, what he thought the first time he met Jim Morrison, and how Morrison’s tragic self-destruction served as a cautionary tale that kept John Densmore straight the rest of his life. We talk about Oliver Stone's movie about The Doors, the tense legal battle between John and his bandmates over the commercial use of The Doors songs, and how he made peace with Doors’ Ray Manzarek just before his death in 2013. John goes into the importance of space and silence in music, the power of improvisation to take him to a higher place, and the person whose drumming style he most emulates to this day. Plus we talk about his friendship with classical conductor Gustavo Dudamel, jamming with Rock n' Roll wild man Jerry Lee Lewis, and smoking weed with Willie!

Order John Densmore's book THE SEEKERS: MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MUSICIANS (AND OTHER ARTISTS) on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Follow John on Twitter at @JohnDensmore or at


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