March 17, 2017

The Doors..

Remember them? Sure you do!

OK, here's the real deal.

Four or five years before this video was made, Robby Krieger (called Bobby in those days) was a senior at a small boys' boarding school in the bay area known as Menlo School. He hung out with Bill Wolff (later of the Peanut Butter Conspiracy) and *barely* knew how to play the guitar. Bill -- into all kinds of eclectic music -- kept trolling Robbie by playing a Flamenco album during the evening break and the time before lights out.

Robbie only had a ukulele (you know, "my dog has fleas") so he retuned the bottom four strings the same as the bottom four strings of a guitar and, having an amazing ear, was quickly able to imitate the riffs on the record.

Getting bored quickly, Robbie went to Puerta Vallarta with class mates Pete Leanse (later killed in a 70s coke deal) and Steve George "Keoki" King where he bought a peg-tuned Juan Ramirex P. peg-tuned classic/Flamenco guitar and proceeded to literally master the art.

Robbie got bored of that and turned to funky black and folk music with Bill Wolff. In the early Spring of 1964 they formed a jug band (all the rage in those days) called The Back Bay Chamberpot Tarriers and started playing stuff by Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers and Jim Kweskin and Dave Van Ronk.

They all graduated and went on to college> Robbie and Bill went to UCSB and some of the others went to other schools in California where the 60s played out.

How do I know this?

I am the one on banjo and jug.

..about two year later -- in Spring 1965 -- I am standing in line for Spring registration at UCLA and Wolff and Krieger come up to me (to essentially cut in line) and introduce a spaced out looking guy with them -- who turns out to be Jim Morrison.

Didn't hear anything after that from them but used to go surfing with one of my good buds during the day -- Robbie's brother Ronnie Krieger (who later committed suicide at San Diego State) -- who kept telling me Robbie was getting into serious rock with a group call the Doors.

Who knew.

(It is just one of my very few intersections with fame in an otherwise pathetic, maudlin, ordinary life. Don't get me started on Bob Wier and The Dead, etc. He was also a classmate and, later, the owner of my banjo shown in the above picture. I still think he owes me $30 for it.)


  1. If you'd been able to shoe-horn your way into the Doors, you wouldn't have been able to plan wars, but you would have gotten laid a lot, and would have been filthy rich.

  2. ..yeah, you're correct but then where would the fun be in that? I mean, I'd much rather be setting the plans in place -- or, more correctly, writing software to support setting the plans in place -- to fry the enemies of the free world than sitting around some Pacific Palisades digs snorting coke with some burned-out beach bunny, listening to 70s rock, and dreaming of the used-to-was.

    Peace out, bro!