Today is Doors guitarist Robby Krieger’s 66th birthday. Krieger wrote most of The Doors more popular songs, such as, “Light My Fire”, reportedly written in 20 minutes, “Love Me Two Times”, “Touch Me”, (which was originally titled “Hit Me), “Love Her Madly”, and “Wishful Sinful”. He was also voted 91st in Rolling Stone’s list of 100 greatest guitarists.
Robby was born in Los Angeles. Developing an early interest in music, he played trumpet as a child and later after discovering the blues, he played the piano. When he was fourteen he starting surfing like many Los Angeles teenagers, his parents afraid that surfing was distracting him from school, enrolled him in a private school near San Francisco where he borrowed a friend’s guitar and was soon teaching himself to play and was soon enamored of flamenco guitar. After high school he came back to Los Angeles, enrolled in college mainly to avoid the draft and was into the folk scene where he was in a couple of bands. After seeing Chuck Berry play, Robby traded his acoustic guitar for an electric. Robby was in the band the “Psychedelic Rangers” with John Densmore who recruited Robby to The Doors after meeting Ray Manzarek at a meditation class.
In The Doors, Robby was responsible for the psychedelic roar of his guitar that was most visible in the song, “When The Music’s Over”. Kreiger’s eclectic and varied training also led him to use different styles, such as, in “The End”, or “Love Me Two Times”. Krieger also stepped into the creative breach of songwriting when needed for The Doors, he mostly employed the themes of Jim Morrison using archetypal imagery such as in “Light My Fire”. At times, Krieger’s copying of Morrison’s song writing themes makes his lyrics seem indistinguishable from Morrison’s, such as in “You’re Lost Little Girl”or “Spanish Caravan.” As Jim Morrison’s alcoholism and waning interest in The Doors recording process, during “The Soft Parade” sessions Krieger wrote half the songs on the album, which were given individual writers credits for the first time on a Doors album .
After the death of Jim Morrison, The Doors put out two more albums, “Full Circle” and “Other Voices”. After The Doors, Robby and Doors drummer John Densmore formed The Butts Band. Over the years Robby has continued playing in The Robby Krieger Organization (RKO), and has released CD’s such as “Cinematix”, his 2010 CD, “Singularity” was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Pop Instrumental. Robby hasn’t written a book about his time in The Doors or about his life, but in the past has said he was working on one. Robby also frequently appears at Los Angeles clubs and has been touring with The Manzarek-Krieger Band.
A little Rock ‘n’ Roll birthday trivia. Robby had a twin brother Ronald. Elvis Presley was also born on this day (1935) and he was also a twin.
Robby Krieger’s Facebook page.
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