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December 5 @ 12:00 pm
John Densmore in conversation with Johnny Temple
celebrating the publication of
The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison’s Legacy Goes on Trial
By John Densmore
Published by Akashic Books
In The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison’s Legacy Goes on Trial, New York Times best-selling author and legendary Doors drummer John Densmore offers a powerful exploration of the “greed gene”—that part of the human psyche that propels us toward the accumulation of more and more wealth, even at the expense of our principles, friendships, and the well-being of society. This is the gripping account of the legal battle to control The Doors’s artistic destiny. In it, Densmore looks at the conflict between his bandmates and him as they fought over the right to use The Doors’s name, revealing the ways in which this struggle mirrored and reflected a much larger societal issue: that no amount of money seems to be enough for even the wealthiest people.
In recent years, artists ranging from Bob Dylan to Stevie Nicks have sold their songs or recording rights for astronomical amounts of money—Bruce Springsteen did so to the tune of a reported $500+ million. Conversely, Patti Smith wrote in Just Kids: “We feared that the music which had given us sustenance was in danger of spiritual starvation. We feared it losing its sense of purpose, we feared it falling into fattened hands.”
The Doors continue to attract new generations of fans, with more than one hundred million albums sold worldwide and counting, and nearly twenty million followers on the band’s social media accounts. As such, Densmore occupies a rarified space in popular culture. He is beloved by artists across the decades for his fierce, uncompromising dedication to art. His writing consistently earns accolades and has appeared in a range of publications such as the Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone. As his friend and American novelist Tom Robbins recently advised him, “If you keep writing like this, I’ll have to get a drum set.”
John Densmore is the drummer for the legendary rock band The Doors who have sold over a hundred million albums worldwide. In 1993, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and since then, he has earned a Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition to his two books, the best-selling Riders on the Storm: My Life with Jim Morrison & The Doors and The Seekers: Meetings with Remarkable Musicians (and Other Artists), his writing has also been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, the Guardian, the Nation, and Chicago Tribune, among others. He lives in Los Angeles.
Johnny Temple is the publisher and editor in chief of Akashic Books, an award-winning Brooklyn-based independent company dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction. He plays bass guitar in the band Girls Against Boys, which has toured extensively across the globe and released numerous albums on independent and major record companies. He has contributed articles and political essays to various publications, including the Nation, Publishers Weekly, AlterNet, Poets & Writers, and BookForum. He is also the chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council, which works with Brooklyn’s borough president to plan the annual Brooklyn Book Festival in September.
This event is made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation. To learn more visit: https://citylights.com/foundation/