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Report: Doors of the 21st Century lose name in court

Old 07-25-05, 10:54 AM
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Report: Doors of the 21st Century lose name in court

Doors Drummed Out of Court
By Charlie Amter
Mon Jul 25,12:36 AM ET

John Densmore has slammed the door on his former Doors mates.

The original Doors drummer scored a permanent injunction against two of his former cohorts in the legendary 1960s rock group--effectively shutting down their "new" version of the band, dubbed the Doors of the 21st Century.

Per a Los Angeles Superior Court ruling handed down Friday, keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger must cease using any form of the Doors moniker for future tours. It was a decisive victory for Densmore; in addition to shutting down the new incarnation of the Doors, the drummer will receive a quarter of all profits earned by the Doors of the 21st Century since they began touring in 2002. An equal portion will also go do the heirs of the band's late frontman, Jim Morrison.

"I'm very pleased that, in my opinion, the legacy is preserved," said Densmore. "I never intended for Ray and Robby to stop playing--they're great musicians. I hope Doors fans keep going to see them--it's just the name is owned by me and them and the estate of Jim Morrison, and they kind of ran off with stolen property."

Led by the iconic Morrison, the Doors topped the charts throughout the late '60s with hits like "Light My Fire," "L.A. Woman," "Break on Through," "The End" and "Riders on the Storm." They released seven albums before Morrison's death, all of which at least went gold, and have sold more than 50 million albums to date.

Manzarek and Krieger recruited former Cult singer Ian Astbury and Police drummer Stuart Copeland for what was supposed to be a one-off New Year's Eve show in Las Vegas in 2002. The gig was such a success that the quartet scheduled a full-blown tour in spring of 2003. (Copeland filed his own $1 million suit when he was fired and replaced by another drummer, Ty Dennis; that case was amicably settled before going to trial.)

Densmore filed his breach-of-contract lawsuit shortly after the 2003 tour was announced; Morrison's parents and Morrison's late wife, Pamela Courson, eventually joined as coplaintiffs.

The stick man claimed that after Morrison OD'd in 1971, the members agreed not to use the Doors name unless all three jammed together, and that they would share any future profits.

For their part, Manzarek and Krieger claimed they had Densmore's blessing to hit the road without him, noting that he would have joined them if it weren't for his chronic tinnitus, or ringing in the ear.

Densmore's suit got off to a rocky start. Shortly after he filed his complaint, a judge rejected the drummer's petition for a preliminary injunction, allowing the "new" Doors to continue touring with the similar sounding name.

Manzarek and Krieger have yet to comment on the setback, but an appeal is likely.

Manzarek initially called the suit "frivolous." He even suggested the Lizard King himself would have approved of keeping the band going. "Morrison would be very happy with this regrouping of the Doors," Manzarek told a reporter two years ago. "Because these are Jim Morrison's words, and Jim Morrison's words are now alive and being sung to an audience one more time."

In happier days, the three surviving members played with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, when the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

The Doors of the 21st Century have a number of dates scheduled in Canada this month, including a weekend stop in Calgary. There was no immediate word on whether they would change their name prior to the gig to comply with Friday's ruling.


I'm glad to see Densmore finally won this case. They we're a glorified cover band without Morrison. Now, if only somebody would stop Queen from tainting the legacy of Freddie Mercury.

I wonder what their new name will be.
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Old 07-25-05, 11:14 AM
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if only they could have started a reality tv show. then it'd be ok.
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Old 07-25-05, 11:47 AM
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The agreement that they apparently have should naturally lead to less members wanting to tour. If you get a quarter of the profits whether or not you actually hit the road, then why bother?
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Old 07-25-05, 03:18 PM
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The Doors,

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Old 07-26-05, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by automator
Now, if only somebody would stop Queen from tainting the legacy of Freddie Mercury.

I wonder what their new name will be.
they could go for 2 lawsuits with 'Queen of the New Age'..

i know...

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Old 07-26-05, 07:24 PM
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What could they call themselves now....?

.... The Poors?

The Lizard Kings?
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Old 07-26-05, 07:28 PM
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The Windows...

then they get sued by Bill Gates
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Old 07-26-05, 07:53 PM
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The Bores?
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Old 07-27-05, 01:43 AM
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Some things should be left alone.
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Old 07-27-05, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
The Bores?
They'd get sued by Coldplay.
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Old 07-28-05, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Elldubtoo
They'd get sued by Coldplay.
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Old 07-28-05, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mndtrp
Some things should be left alone.
Tell that to Brian May and Roger Taylor too.
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Old 06-04-13, 05:09 PM
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Re: Report: Doors of the 21st Century lose name in court

Anyone check out the new book?

The youthful Doors of the 1960s made a pact never to sell out. The precedent was set in 1968, when Morrison was horrified to learn that his bandmates were considering a $75,000 offer from Buick to use “Light My Fire” in an ad to sell their new Opel line. When Jim began to talk about smashing a Buick on stage every night as part of his “new act”, the ad men quickly backed off.

It was not exactly a subtle point Jim was making, and for Densmore it still echoes loudly today. So when Cadillac offered the group $15 million (the largest ad deal in history at that time) to use their song “Break On Through (To The Other Side)”, the answer seemed obvious: No way. But Manzarek and Krieger both seemed on board for the idea. Because the band had been founded on the idealistic four-way split “All-For-One, One-For-All” principle, Densmore held out, and effectively vetoed the project.

In the end Led Zeppelin walked away with the record busting deal for their track “Rock and Roll”, but Densmore walked away with his sense of artistic integrity intact. “For us, anyone can record our songs. Anyone can cover our songs. Sometimes I’ll be in an elevator and I’ll hear a corny instrumental version of ‘Light My Fire’. But it’s not selling cigarettes or deodorant, and that’s where we draw the line.”

Watch Musician John Densmore on PBS. See more from Tavis Smiley.

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