Use of Doors name needs all band members to agree – dead or alive

September 2008


The Calilfornia Supreme Court has decided that two surviving members of the 70s group, The Doors, Raymond Manzarek And Robert Krieger, who wanted to continue to perform under that name and then under the name Doors of the 21 st Century can use neither name. The original band featured John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison and Robert Krieger but after the Manzarek/Krieger tour grossed $8 million and used photographs of the original Doors in publicity Densmore and the family of Jim Morrison and his estate joined forces to prevent the use of the name. In reports, Densmore states he is simply fulfilling the wishes of Jim Morrison, having refused other lucrative offers for commercials and other use. The IPKAt reports that this is possible due to a “veto power” common in music contracts of the 1960s which requires all members of The Doors to be unanimous in any business agreements. As a result, each band member has a vote and the Morrison estate the fourth. Densmore and the families claimed that if the pair continued to use the name, The Doors of the 21st Century, it would compromise the band’s legacy. The Los Angeles Superior Court agreed and the Court of Appeal upheld this decision. The pair were subsequently prevented from performing, touring, promoting or otherwise holding themselves out to be The Doors, The Doors of the 21st Century, or any other name that includes the words The Doors without prior written consent of all partners of the Doors partnership (although Manzarek/Krieger used the name D21C. Manzarek/Krieger went on to petition the California Supreme Court but review was denied 13 August. The Supreme Court agreed. The pair have been ordered to pay damages and costs estimated at US$5 million. They will now be touring as Riders of the Storm.

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