John Densmore: ‘Bandmates’ lawyers painted me as a terrorist’

The Doors drummer John Densmore felt like “a terrorist” as he attempted to stop his former bandmates from cashing in on the name of the band and signing a lucrative ad deal with Cadillac – because their lawyers attempted to paint him as un-American in court. The rocker teamed up with late frontman Jim Morrison’s family to launch a legal war against Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek as they hit the road with Stewart Copeland and The Cult’s Ian Astbury as The Doors of the 21st Century a decade ago.
Densmore also wanted to prevent the duo from signing a deal with Cadillac, which would allow bosses at the car firm to use the group’s music in commercials, after recalling Morrison’s opposition to a similar deal with Buick in the late 1960s.
Krieger and Manzarek countersued, claiming their old bandmate and Morrison’s estate were preventing them from making a living as musicians.
Densmore has just released a book, titled Unhinged, about the ugly trial, and he admits he’s still sore about the way he was portrayed in court.
He tells, “They tried to convince the jury I was an eco-terrorist because I am involved with a handful of peaceful, credible environmental organisations.
“I couldn’t believe some of things I heard them say. I felt betrayed, hurt and very alone… Now, you can probably Google my name and al Qaeda will come up… It was really disturbing.”
But Densmore had his celebrity supporters throughout the ordeal – Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Tom Waits and Randy Newman all defended the drummer’s actions, and Eddie Vedder has offered a few choice words about The Doors star’s new book, writing, “Though it’s something I don’t like to think about, there will come a time when I will be a Dead Rock Star. I can only hope that in my inevitable absence there will be someone with the integrity and principled behavior of Mr. Densmore looking after whatever legacy our group may leave behind.”