John Densmore: The Doors, San Jose, Janis Joplin and his book “The Seekers: Meetings With Remarkable Musicians”

Podcast Date:  August 26, 2022

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About this Podcast

Conversation Date:  August 26, 2022

Guest and Hosts

John Densmore

John Densmore sat behind the drum kit for The Doors. He saw many things. Mostly, he saw frontman Jim Morrison hypnotize audiences while Densmore and his bandmates created iconic rock music on stages from coast to coast — including at The Doors’ two gigs in Santa Clara County, which took place at vastly different venues.

The Doors in San Jose

The first Doors show in the South Bay was a 1967 appearance at the Continental Ballroom, a converted roller rink on Martin Drive in Santa Clara. The second was as the headlining act at a wild 1968 Northern California Folk Rock Festival in San Jose at the Santa Clara County fairgrounds. Densmore recalls both shows, although given that they took place more than 50 years ago, some of his memories are understandably more vague than others. But in this San Jose Rocks podcast, Densmore also relates how future movie star Harrison Ford ended up as a cameraman for the band’s film crew at the San Jose festival — and why The Doors played there and not at Woodstock or the Monterey Pop Festival.

John’s Book: “The Seekers”

It’s a fascinating and wide-ranging interview, which uses Densmore’s latest book, “The Seekers: Meetings With Remarkable Musicians” as a launching point. Densmore also discusses music’s technological advances over the past six decades and how his love of jazz infused his technique on such hits as “Light My Fire.” He even reveals how he helped create a key transition moment in that song. And upon request, Densmore takes a guess at why fellow rock star David Crosby has occasionally used his Twitter account to diss The Doors. It’s a compelling 45 minutes.

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