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Doors drummer wins suit against bandmates

Densmore, Jim Morrison's family sued to stop use of band's name on tour
/ Source: Reuters

The former drummer for The Doors won a court order Friday preventing his bandmates from using the rock group’s name while touring with a revamped version of the legendary 1960s act.

The Los Angeles Superior Court order also requires keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger, who have been touring as The Doors of the 21st Century, to turn over all the profits earned by the new combo to the original Doors partnership.

The decision represents a major victory for Doors drummer John Densmore, who teamed up with the parents of the band’s late singer, Jim Morrison, and of Morrison’s deceased wife, Pamela Courson, to launch a legal fight against Krieger and Manzarek in early 2003.

Under an agreement struck in 1971, the year Morrison died in Paris, all three surviving members as well as Morrison’s estate must sign off on any use of the Doors name and logo.

“I’m just so happy that the legacy of the true Doors, and Jim Morrison in particular, has been preserved by this decision,” Densmore said in a statement.

Manzarek and Krieger, along with British singer Ian Astbury subbing for Morrison, are touring Canada as headliners of the ”Strange Days” rock nostalgia festival, a reference to the Doors’ second album. A management representative in Los Angeles did not return a call.

The Doors rose to fame in the late 1960s with such songs as ”Light My Fire” and “Touch Me.” After Morrison, their provocative frontman and self-styled “lizard king,” died of a heart attack, and the band eventually folded.

Its mythology exploded with the 1980 publication of the Doors biography “No One Here Gets Out Alive” and then with Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie “The Doors.” The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.