Hello Reddit, I’m Robby Krieger, the guitarist for The Doors. My new book, SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE , is coming out October 12th. I’ve never written a book before, I thought it was finally time to share my life story and my angle on Doors history. Today I’m here with my co-author, Jeff Alulis, who will be doing the typing for me. Go ahead and ask me anything about The Doors, Jim Morrison, playing guitar, writing songs, or how to improve your golf swing.

Check out SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE: https://found.ee/SetTheNightOnFire

Proof: https://i.redd.it/g01uyr06ybp71.jpg

EDIT: Thanks everyone for all the questions, this was a lot of fun. If I didn't get to your question I most likely answered it in my book, so be sure to check it out! I have to head over to the studio right now, but maybe we'll do this again sometime. Until then...

EDIT #2, Friday October 8th, 4:12pm: I just answered a bunch more questions for anyone still reading along. Thanks again!

Comments: 1131 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

Psychedelicized679 karma

Robby, thank you for everything. The Doors were the only band that mattered for a good chunk of my adolescence. I’ll always love you guys.

Which studio session(s) with The Doors do you hold closest and remember most fondly? Was it the recording of a certain song or was it working through a specific album?

RobbyFromTheDoors997 karma

Making LA Woman in our rehearsal place, because it felt like home. I wish we would've done all the albums like that.

I'm glad we mattered when you were growing up.

haloarh547 karma

My mom, who is the world’s biggest Doors fan, asked me to ask you why you think the band has remained popular after all of these years?

RobbyFromTheDoors1241 karma

Tell your mom it's because of the guitar playing haha. No, it's because of the amount of great songs. We never let a song be placed on an album unless we all loved it.

parkerfreezeframe484 karma

Do you know how much you mean to me?

Robby, I know this might sound trite as you get this a lot, but, you mean the world to me. I connect with you and your music on a whole other plane. The Doors music is the soundtrack to my life. I thank you each and everyday man. I don’t know where I’d be without you. Here is how I discovered The Doors:

I was on my dads iPod when I was about ten years old. We were in the car on a long road trip. I used to scroll through his music where I got turned into people like Pink Floyd, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Iron Butterfly, Neil Diamond, and Abba, among so many others. One day I saw this strange album named “An American Prayer”. I listened to the whole thing and I fell in love. I was so mesmerized — I never heard anything quite like it before. I felt at home. It felt right. Your sounds, your rhythms, your lyrics all feel like the pulse of my own being. I could feel what was coming next even though I never heard your songs before that day. And then right after that album, I listened to “Other Voices” and “Full Circle”. I loved those albums too! Since it was my first time listening to you guys, I had no idea it wasn’t Jim singing on those two albums, haha! But then after that I went through your entire catalogs from the beginning, and man, what a wild and beautiful ride it is.

Thank you so much for everything.

RobbyFromTheDoors479 karma

Thanks so much. You did it backwards! But that's the best review of our later albums that I've ever heard haha

TheSnakin387 karma

Hi mr Krieger! If you could describe the 60s by smell, what would it be?

RobbyFromTheDoors912 karma

Haha it would be the smell of marijuana. And less smog.

MaxTerrazos384 karma

Hi, Robby! I'm Max, keyboardist from Peru. I had the pleasure of playing Roadhouse Blues with you at the Newton Theatre in 2018. Best day of my life.

I know the last concert with Jim in New Orleans wasn't the best, but there is a stage recording of it. Would you consider releasing it? There you played L.A. woman, Love her madly, Riders on the storm, Hyacinth House and Palace in the canyon. http://mildequator.com/performancehistory/concertinfo/1970/701212.html

RobbyFromTheDoors531 karma

At some point we might have to release it if we get enough requests

poolside__convo295 karma

What's one 'lost' piece of Doors history you hope to see surface?

RobbyFromTheDoors748 karma

I'm actually hoping to find my first guitar. It's the one I wrote "Light My Fire" with and played on the first two albums and it went missing years ago. We're going to start a worldwide search very soon, stay tuned!

JDM-1943288 karma

Hello Robby, Much respect to you sir!!

What's the true story of how you got that black eye seen on the Smothers Bros Touch Me Performance?

RobbyFromTheDoors526 karma

Believe it or not that's the one question I've been asked the most over the years. I will finally reveal the full true story in the book.

parkerfreezeframe282 karma

What was it like playing to a small crowd at the London Fog and then being catapulted into true stardom, where millions of people knew your name? In other words, what’s it like becoming famous?

RobbyFromTheDoors675 karma

To me it wasn't that big of a deal. Because Jim got all the baggage that came with becoming famous. I felt like I was in the background, along for the ride. Which was fine with me.

BroodingElegantly277 karma

What kinda of odd jobs did you and the band have before becoming full-time rock stars? I can’t picture Jim at a 9-5 job 😂

RobbyFromTheDoors1042 karma

I was a bus boy at the Bel Air Bay Club. And John worked in a Chinese laundry. Ray was in the army. I don't think Jim had a job. Not that he ever told me about. Jim didn't need money, he would live at different girls' houses every night.

letmetellyalater256 karma

I love Riders on the storm. Amazing stuff. What’s your favourite guitar line that you came up with?

RobbyFromTheDoors612 karma

When The Music's Over, the solo

RobbyFromTheDoors590 karma

If you put headphones on you can hear that it's two different solos at the same time.

mmurp36227 karma

Why do you think Mike Bloomfield is not recognized among the list of greatest ever guitarists?

RobbyFromTheDoors643 karma

Because the people who vote on those things don't know shit. He really was an innovator. He brought the sound to the blues that is still copied today. Which then became the sound of rock 'n' roll guitar.

robalvord214 karma

Was there ever serious thought given to adding a bass player as a permanent member of the band?

RobbyFromTheDoors454 karma

Yes. We tried out maybe half a dozen bass players over the years. And we even asked Doug Lubahn to join. He played on the second and third albums, he would've fit in really good but he didn't want to leave his band. Biggest mistake he ever made haha.

robrighteous206 karma

Mr. Krieger, what’s the fondest memory you have of Jim and with the rest of the band?

RobbyFromTheDoors486 karma

Probably when we got asked to play the Whisky for the first time. It was the best club in town where everybody wanted to play and once you were there you pretty much made it.

MichiganBeerBruh164 karma

"A Cat's Tale" album featuring Mel Blanc that you made is one of the rarest classic rock gems I've ever found. Can we expect a release of it someday?

RobbyFromTheDoors266 karma

You found it? Where?

Our archivist has been talking about putting it out. We're trying to find an animator to make a film to go along with it. It was written for my son, as a soundtrack to a Disney-type cartoon, but the record company thought it was too sophisticated for kids.

poolside__convo148 karma

What do you remember about playing guitar behind Jim's poetry reading at Cinematheque 16 in 1969? Will we ever hear that tape in full?

RobbyFromTheDoors227 karma

It was really fun. Michael C. Ford and Michael McClure were there. We actually played a couple of blues songs as well. We might've done Back Door Man, but I'm not sure. Mostly I just played along while he recited his poetry, kind of like the American Prayer album. I wish I had a tape of it.

chambo143143 karma

Hi Robby, thanks for doing this!

One thing I like about your playing with The Doors is that you don’t sound like a typical rock guitarist; you seem to draw more from classical and jazz influences. Was it a deliberate choice to play in this style, or did it develop naturally?

Also, what do you hope your legacy is among the musicians of today (both the band’s and your own)?

RobbyFromTheDoors292 karma

When I first played guitar I was playing flamenco and folk music. Stuff like that. But I started playing electric guitar about a year before The Doors, and playing with The Doors really molded my style.

I hope the band is still as popular 50 years from now, and I hope that people realize that my guitar playing has gotten better as the years have gone by. Even though it might not be Doors music that I'm playing.

Leenis12140 karma

Do you feel as though the evolution of guitar playing has stagnated over the decades? The 60’s through the 90’s saw so many changes in style and technique but I think the last 10-20 years have been fairly stagnant

RobbyFromTheDoors284 karma

I agree. It's been fairly stagnant since Van Halen. With the advent of digital studios people don't have to be inventive with their guitars so much.

dennismarr107 karma

Hey Robby! One my favorite songs by you guys is Mystery Train and how it slowly descends into “Away in India” and then “Crossroads”. Is there any backstory about how those three songs came to light? as they were only performed live. You guys were absolutely mind-blowing when you played Crossroads.

Also, When you were recording The Soft Parade, did you guys expect the dislike from the people? I personally believe it’s a masterpiece, and I can’t quite understand why people didn’t like The Soft Parade as much as the other albums.

Thank you for the legendary music!

RobbyFromTheDoors198 karma

That particular performance was at the Isle of Wight and it was just an off the cuff thing. We had been playing Crossroads lately, just for fun. But Jim took us by surprise when he started doing it at the festival. It kinda threw me for a loop because we started playing The End, which is in a total different tuning haha. When he went into Crossroads it took me like 5 minutes to get it right. But that's what it was like playing with The Doors.

papashrek4life95 karma

What are your opinions on the bands that came after you guys such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin? And do you think that Jim would've liked punk and heavier music?

RobbyFromTheDoors186 karma

Yeah I think he would've, for the same reason Ray liked X. They had the poetry and it wasn't just thrash music. I didn't like Led Zepplin when I first heard them just because it was so different but I think like The Doors it takes people a while to start liking something new.

KRM1693 karma

Hello Mr Krieger, I have been a huge Doors fan since my Dad introduced me as a teenager. I have a few questions If you wouldn't mind answering them.

How confident are you that "The Doors will never sell out"? Do you see the bands wishes being kept in the future that the music will never be used for commercials?

Do you see The Doors story gracing our screens once again? Whether it be as another film or a TV series, with Oliver Stone's version reaching it's 30th anniversary year, and the growing popularity of biographical films for musicians (which as usual, The Doors were ahead of the curve), it seems like the perfect opportunity to introduce a new generation to your music. Although it looks like Family Guy just beat me to this question.

Do you have a favourite use of one of your songs in a film?

Did you feel it was important in that Ray and John had both released autobiographies in the past, that you wanted to have your side of the story heard too?

And speaking of Ray, If I remember rightly, he wrote something in his book about "if Jim were alive he hoped he would have challenged Ronald Reagan for the presidency in 1980", is this something that you had discussed before, even in a light-hearted manner? And do you think President Morrison would have been leaving the Oval Office in handcuffs?

Also, when Ray passed, the late Norm Macdonald said "The Doors curse strikes again", is it safe to say The Doors curse struck back?

I really do love your music, it's helped me through many a tough days and years, thank you for your time, I hope your experience on Reddit is pleasant and you have a wonderful rest of your day.

RobbyFromTheDoors396 karma

The most satisfying thing about being in The Doors is when people like you tell me that it changed their lives for the better.

In terms of commercials, if John and I have anything to say about it, it will remain the same. We're gonna try to put it in our wills that our music can never be used for commercials.

I'm sure there will be more and more films and tv shows about The Doors as time goes on. As young people become producers and directors they'll have been turned onto The Doors.

Favorite use of songs in a film: Apocalypse Now

I waited a long time to put out my book because I didn't want to cause trouble like Ray and John's books did, but I wanted to get my two cents in before it's too late.

Jim as President would've been a bad idea.

TheSnakin87 karma

Mr Krieger, I look forward to your book, but apart from it, what is the best and most truthful book about The Doors in your opinion?

RobbyFromTheDoors232 karma

There is no best except for mine haha. Most of the books were written by people who weren't even around at the time. John's book was pretty accurate, Ray's book had a few too many exaggerations, but at least both of them came from guys who were there.

parkerfreezeframe82 karma

What’s it like to wake up and realize you’re Robby Krieger?

RobbyFromTheDoors176 karma

Probably no different than waking up like anyone else. But sometimes people will recognize me in public, even though I have a mask on. That's pretty cool.

8952259868 karma

Hey Mr. Krieger, I’m a huge fan of yours and of The Doors as a group. Listening to your songs was one of the main things that inspired me to become a guitarist myself. Something that I’ve noticed from being a Doors fan for a while is that people naturally assume Jim wrote all of the Doors’ songs, or all the hits anyway. It shocks some people when I reveal to them that Robby Krieger wrote Light My Fire or Love Me Two Times or Love Her Madly or Touch Me, the list goes on. My question is specifically about the song Runnin’ Blue. This song has always been one of my favorite Doors songs, and I’ve always thought of it as very underrated. equally interesting to me is the story of the song’s existence. Runnin’ Blue is notable for being the only Doors song with a singer other than Jim on lead vocals while he was alive. I’ve heard before that this is only because Jim showed up drunk to the studio and you had to sing in his place. Is it true that the opening line was improvised by Jim at a concert at the Winterland Arena in 1967? What was your inspiration to write the song, beyond the tragic passing of Otis Redding? Did Jim really show up too drunk to sing the lead, or had you planned to do it yourself earlier? Sorry for the length of my question, and thanks for reading.

RobbyFromTheDoors117 karma

I think Jim just didn't want to sing it because it was too country for him, so Paul Rothchild told me to sing it. I thought I was sounding pretty good and then Paul says "are you trying to sing good?" Haha. He said "Just sing like yourself." Unfortunately when I did that I sounded like Bob Dylan. But it kinda worked.

And actually I didn't think of it as a country song. But when Paul got the McReynolds brothers to play fiddle and mandolin it did come out pretty country. So I don't blame Jim for not wanting to sing it.

f00lonthehill67 karma

Hey Robby, huge fan here— my question is, when writing a song, if it’s not coming to you naturally do you chase the idea or do you take a break and come back to it? Which do you think is best?

RobbyFromTheDoors137 karma

Some songs come quickly, other times I've got a bunch of them in my head that I still haven't finished even though I started them 20 or 30 years ago. Can't force it.

Evil_Pizz65 karma

I want to ask you the same thing I asked John Densmore when he did his AMA:

  1. What was your favorite concert with the Doors?
  2. What was your favorite line or lines that either you or Jim wrote in one of The Doors' songs?

Thank you for everything you've done! I am only 27, and the Doors have been my favorite band since high school. I always thought you deserved more credit for your guitar playing and song-writing abilities!!!

P.S. I bought your book and I CAN'T WAIT for it to arrive!!

RobbyFromTheDoors141 karma

Favorite concert was probably the first Fillmore show. We knew we had to be good to compete with The Young Rascals.

I can't pick a favorite line, there's too many of them. One of my favorites that I wrote is "I promised I would drown myself in mystic heated wine" in "Yes The River Knows" because it means so many different things to so many different people. And I don't even know what it means haha.

There's another line in there, "Free fall flow / River flow / On and on it goes / Breathe underwater 'til the end" It's about water, one of the four elements. Jim loved that line, too.

Thanks for supporting the book, I talk more about my lyrics and Jim's lyrics in there!

Kimbernerd61 karma

What do you do when your not in the studio?

RobbyFromTheDoors136 karma

Golf and paint.

NoinePiecesOfVinyl54 karma

Robby, to say I’m a fan would be an understatement. The first time I was bit by the musical bug was about 15 years ago when I was in middle school and a girl I was crushing on played “Touch Me” on her iPod. From then on, I was hooked on The Doors.

My musical tastes vary wildly, and I enjoy classical music as well, including classical guitar and flamenco style pieces, which you’ve said before is how you got your start.

A few years ago I heard a classical piece called “Suite Española No. 1” by Isaac Albéniz, and it reminded me of the guitar work you had on “Spanish Caravan”, another one of my Doors favorites.

I’m wondering if you remember how you came up with the guitar work for that song, maybe it’s just a coincidence I found a classical piece that reminds me of “Spanish Caravan”

Also, I’ve been playing guitar just for my own fun for a few years now, and a lot of your chord progressions from Doors songs have really helped me grow as a player along the way. Any pieces of advice for a relatively new player? I’m not looking to become famous or anything.

RobbyFromTheDoors127 karma

You have a good ear. In my book I admit that I stole the progression for Spanish Caravan from Isaac Albeniz haha. Anyone who studies flamenco will try to learn that song eventually.

For advice, when you're learning something, learn it at half speed. We didn't have that back in the day. But I use the Amazing Slow Downer app a lot today.

JayBeHigh51 karma

Do see any resemblance between the times we are living now and the times the Doors where playing? Love you mate!

RobbyFromTheDoors141 karma

When Nixon came in it seemed like all we had done in the '60s was for naught. And now, the current situation doesn't seem much better. The same feelings we had about Vietnam is all coming back with Afghanistan. It does feel very similar. There's too many people and it's unsustainable to keep on going the way we're going. At least we weren't worried about that back then.

FreeHelthcareforall45 karma

Can’t wait to read the book. I have the Doors on the Road. What are your memories of meeting Mick Jagger before the Hollywood Bowl ?

RobbyFromTheDoors95 karma

Thanks for supporting the book. We just had dinner with Mick before the show, but I didn't get to pick his brain about his songs which I really wanted to do. He was at the other end of the table talking to Pam haha

themisprintguy44 karma

I’m a huge Married With Children fan, can you tell us about your guest appearance on the show?

RobbyFromTheDoors86 karma

It was fun to hang out with John Sebastian again and Richie Havens, and meeting Peter Noone. The premise of the show was pretty silly, we were supposed to be old guys and we were only like 40 years old. They made us sing this song, "We are the old, we have arthritis." We weren't old enough to have arthritis! But people seem to love that particular show.

Electronic_End557340 karma

Hi Robby! I have a massive amount of respect for you and I'm a huge fan!

Anyway, I've had this burning question for over a year: If you could be any kind of bread, what would you be?

RobbyFromTheDoors160 karma


bektour35 karma

Hi, Robby! Sending you warmest greetings from Kyrgyzstan: yes, I think there are Doors fans literally everywhere in the world.

I grew up with your music, thank you for being part of the band that made my life more beautiful. One of my most favorite songs is Yes The River Knows, your guitar solo there blows my mind every time I listen to it. As far as I know, The Doors never performed it live. Why? Also, which songs do you wish you played live with The Doors among the ones you never did?

RobbyFromTheDoors82 karma

Greetings from Los Angeles! Yes The River Knows is also one of my favorite songs. Not just because I wrote it, but because I think Ray played one of his best piano parts of any Doors song, right up there with Riders On The Storm and people don't realize that. I actually did an instrumental version of that song on my last album, The Ritual Begins At Sundown.

I'm sure we must've played it live here and there but nobody ever got it on tape.

I wish we had gotten to play Cars Hiss By My Window and Texas Radio and the Big Beat live. We only played LA Woman a few times. L'America we never played live. I just played it the other night up in Santa Barbara with my band at a fireman's benefit, which was right next door to Oprah and Ellen Degeneres's houses.

a_pope_on_a_rope35 karma

I collect vintage Acoustic Control Corp solid state amps. I remember a story about their first delivery for a major concert was The Doors at Hollywood Bowl. They admitted that they weren’t sure if they’d blow up on stage or not. Wanna talk gear? Do you still own anything from those days?

RobbyFromTheDoors54 karma

I have two Acoustic amps at my studio. They say "The Doors" on them but I'm not really sure if they're from our batch. I have a 360 bass amp as well as the normal one with the two 15s and the horn. They really were not good guitar amps so I goosed mine up with JBLs and extra power.

I tell the full story of that wall of Acoustic amps at the Hollywood Bowl in my book, and the movie of the Hollywood Bowl show is coming to theaters for one day on November 4th.

mandyalmondjoy31 karma

Obviously you’re a great guitar player, but have you ever aimed to be the type of rock guitar god that Page and Clapton are painted as? Do you consider your playing style to be more rhythmic or do you like shredding?

RobbyFromTheDoors209 karma

I think I'm a better guitar player than those guys, but they're better looking haha

mandyalmondjoy31 karma

Do you find yourself reminiscing on the past during the Doors era often? Is there anything you would change about your time in the band if you had a time machine?

RobbyFromTheDoors66 karma

I would go back to when I was 10 years old and not make all the same mistakes I made growing up.

TechN9neStranger31 karma

Hey robby, what was it like to work with rap artist Tech N9ne? Regarding your collaboration to Strange 2013, or how he named the label in respect to the bad?

RobbyFromTheDoors48 karma

He had already named the label before we met him. It was very cool to work with someone from that genre. He seemed like a really cool guy. Just the fact that he named the company after one of our songs I thought was really cool.

noresbo28 karma

What’s in your golf bag?

RobbyFromTheDoors111 karma

Srixon clubs. A Sik putter. My dad's old Daiwa 7 wood, which is great for getting out of the rough. And a vape pen.

PaddyPat1227 karma

If Ed Sullivan called you up today and asked you to play on his show, would you do it?

RobbyFromTheDoors79 karma

I would. It was the biggest show you could play on at that time. If there was a show of that caliber today I would definitely play on it. But only if we had total control over the lyrics. Hopefully Ed has learned his lesson by now haha.

TheEggman0027 karma

Hello Robby! How was working with the very talented Jerry Scheff during L.A. Woman sessions? Did The Doors ever cross paths with Elvis Presley around that time and did Jerry have any cool stories to tell about working with The King?

RobbyFromTheDoors55 karma

I never met Elvis but my wife did...I tell the story of her encounter in the book!

TheGreenGhost026 karma

Hello Robby, Thank you for all your music! Has helped me a lot over the loneliness of quarantine.

I would like to know, how do you approach writing songs? Do you come up with a melody in your head, or do you create it on the spot on your guitar?


RobbyFromTheDoors63 karma

It starts with the guitar. And then if there's words, they'll come second. It's always been like that ever since writing "Light My Fire."

Ovni-tete26 karma

At the beginning of "Rock is dead" Jim says "Hi ya Matey".

Who is Matey?

RobbyFromTheDoors52 karma

I think we had just been recording Land Ho which is about his grandfather being a sailor. His grandpa probably used to call him Matey, I'm guessing.

mixedmuffins25 karma

Hey Robby, I recently became a fan of the Doors and I wanted to ask, did you have any other songs written that never saw the spotlight?

Also, how did you come to play guitar?

RobbyFromTheDoors57 karma

Not really, they never rejected one of my songs

Jack_Holmes_21 karma

Which is your favourite flavour of Ice Cream?

Who is your favourite comedian?

RobbyFromTheDoors104 karma

Favorite flavor of ice cream: Caribbean Coconut

Favorite comedian: George Lopez. I've never laughed as hard at a comedy show as I did at his. I played golf with him and Joe Pesci yesterday. That was fun.

dn4114421 karma

Jim is rumored to have written a song called "Luthar and the Apostles." Do you have any recollection of such a song?

RobbyFromTheDoors52 karma


parkerfreezeframe18 karma

What are some of your favorite chords? It’s hard to choose, but some of mine are em7b5, B major, dm7.

RobbyFromTheDoors52 karma

I like diminished chords and augmented chords. They call them passing chords because if you're in a normal chord and you go to another normal chord, you stick one of those in the middle and it passes from one section of the song to the other. I could be wrong about that haha.

irenehaha17 karma

Hi Robby, hope you're taking it easy ☺️ I've a short, simple, non-music question but I hope you give a long, complex, music-related response: How do you bring yourself to carry on when(ever) you have no strength to carry on?

Much love from all around the world🤍

RobbyFromTheDoors66 karma

Music always helps you carry on. That's the one thing that everybody relates to. Listen to some music.

Da_Bones10 karma

Did you ever feel that the last album
for The Doors, being 'An American Prayer,' ever feeling slightly jarring to
make or deserving of its creation? Or was there something you wanted to change
about it due to its touchy subject? Since the reception was polarising at best,
the albums itself being Morrison posthumous poetry readings with instrumental
music mixed in.
The general conception of the
album is something that sort of stuck in my mind, since it seems more for those
who were around Jim in some sense yet being polarising at the same time mainly
due to Jim's passing.

RobbyFromTheDoors29 karma

It's one of my favorite albums. I think we had grown as musicians and we still had Jim's wonderful words to work with.

Brom126-5 karma

How often do you go to the toilet for the number two?

RobbyFromTheDoors12 karma

Not enough.