The Doors — Not Without Morrison!
In 1970, The Doors got into a fight over Buick, the lumbering auto manufacturer that wanted to use the apocalyptic Los Angeles quartet’s “Light My Fire” to sell cars. The agreement that resulted demanded that no business decision be made without approval from all the of band members. Decades after Morrison’s death, that detente has just been fortified by the California Supreme Court.
The remaining Doors have been embroiled in a rerun of that earlier dispute ever since keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger hit the road in 2002 with The Cult vocalist Ian Astbury and clumsily called themselves The Doors of the 21st Century, grossing $8 million in the process. Drummer John Densmore complained, arguing that “of the 21st Century” was barely visible on the tour’s promotional materials and that it used Morrison’s image at length, a clear no-no. Then he sued.
On Friday, according to the Associated Press, he won.
When the music is over/Turn out the lights, the Lizard King once sang. Time to hit those halogens
It is bizarre that nearly 40 years after its first copyfight, The Doors are still at war with each other over money. But Manzarek and Krieger have run out of options, now that Densmore and Morrison’s estate have teamed up to convince the California Supreme Court not to take up the case.
Densmore’s rationale was simple: Jim wouldn’t have approved. Morrison was the lone holdout against the Buick deal, and it was shelved over his disapproval. And while Densmore was originally for the Buick deal, when General Motors offered the surviving members of The Doors $15 million to use “Light My Fire” in 2001, he kept Morrison’s wishes alive by killing the offer. He did the same for a proposed iPod campaign with Apple.
“You can’t call yourselves The Doors because you can’t have The Doors without Jim Morrison,” argued Densmore’s attorney S. Jerome Mandel, summing up the legal conclusion of the disagreement that has torn the already fragmented legend into further shreds.