Book Review: Twisting by the Pool

Rock & roll summer reading

Twisting by the Pool

The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison's Legacy Goes on Trial

by John Densmore
Percussive Press, 296 pp., $14.95 (paper)

Ironic that, upon my finishing this engaging account of the Doors' recent legal entanglements, the book's primary protagonist and band keyboardist Ray Manzarek succumbed to cancer. A visionary musician and architect of the infamous L.A. quartet's psychedelic-jazz sound, Manzarek gets portrayed as a greedy, egotistical opportunist eager to parlay the group's music and image into financial gain. Enter drummer John Densmore, who invokes iconic frontman Jim Morrison's edict that all bandmembers have equal standing and veto power to quash, say, attempts to lease Doors' songs for commercial use or tour as "the Doors" without permission from all parties. While providing a few insights into the band's history, Unhinged scripts a courtroom drama in which Densmore and the Morrison estate sues Manzarek and guitarist Robbie Krieger, who then countersue Densmore. It's not pretty. Densmore protecting the Morrison/Doors legacy sounds a tad self-righteous at times, but he provides excellent analysis of the nature and value of art and the constant struggle of both in commerce. Those looking for a definitive band history can turn to Densmore's Riders on the Storm or Manzarek's Light My Fire.

READ MORE
More The Doors
Box Sets
The Doors
Live in New York (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Dec. 11, 2009

More Music Reviews
Rock & Roll Books
Seduced by Sound: Austin
Seduced by Sound: Austin – 100 Musicians on Why They Make Music

Kevin Curtin, Dec. 9, 2016

Rock & Roll Books
I Am Brian Wilson / Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy
I Am Brian Wilson / Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy

Neph Basedow, Dec. 9, 2016

More by Jay Trachtenberg
<i>American War</i> by Omar El Akkad
American War by Omar El Akkad
This dystopian novel of a late 21st century America split by civil war shows how vengeance survives down the generations

April 21, 2017

An Intimate Look at Guitar Virtuoso Bill Frisell
An Intimate Look at Guitar Virtuoso Bill Frisell
Film showcases an oeuvre of remarkable diversity

March 10, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

The Doors, John Densmore, Jim Morrison, Robbie Krieger, Ray Manzarek

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)