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C o v e r

S to r y Photo courtesy of Guy Webster (

The Doors strike a pose for Guy Webster, who also shot the art for their first album

A Hero’s Welcome Los Angeles honors Robby Krieger and John Densmore in Venice to commemorate 50 years of The Doors

By Andy Vasoyan


xactly 50 years after the Jan. 4, 1967, release of their eponymous debut album, the City of Los Angeles proclaimed Jan. 4, 2017, The Day of The Doors — honoring Venice’s flagship cultural icons on their creative home turf. “We’re at our roots,” drummer John Densmore declared to more than 1,000 boisterous fans crowded together in the dark and the rain and the cold, most of them younger than the band. From a small stage in front of the Venice Sign at Pacific and Windward avenues, Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger briefly shared memories of the late Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek before leading the chanting crowd in a rendition PAGE 14 THE ARGONAUT January 5, 2017

of “L.A. Woman,” with Densmore at the microphone and Krieger on guitar. The Doors, L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin said during the proclamation, “put Venice on the map forever and transformed rock ’n’ roll around the world.” Earlier, inside the nearby Hotel Erwin, Densmore and Krieger credited Venice with shaping The Doors. “We insisted at our first club we ever played, the London Fog in Hollywood, that they put: ‘The Doors, a Band from Venice … ’” Densmore told The Argonaut. “… Which was kind of cool,” added Krieger, “because most bands were from Hollywood, you know. Venice was almost Outer Mongolia.”

*** As Manzarek would tell it decades later, The Doors began in the summer of 1965 with a chance meeting of two recent UCLA grads at the end of Fraser Avenue in Ocean Park. “There I am, sitting on the beach, not knowing what I’m going to do with myself. Walking down the beach is none other than James Douglas Morrison,” Manzarek recounts in a 2003 promo for his film “Love Her Madly.” Morrison told Manzarek he had been sleeping on the rooftop of 14 Westminster Ave. in Venice (now called the Morrison Apartments), dropping acid, looking out over the Pacific and writing songs.

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