No Doors without Jim Morrison, US court rules

 

Two of the surviving members of The Doors – keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger – have lost a legal battle in California to be allowed to tour under the group’s name.

 

They are now likely to have to pay out more than $5 million in damages and legal costs for using The Doors’ name without proper permission during a 2003 concert tour.

 

Manzarek and Krieger toured under the name “Doors of the 21st Century” – with Ian Astbury of The Cult as lead singer – and allegedly used pictures of the late Jim Morrison to promote the group.

 

According to US media reports, John Densmorethe other surviving member of The Doors – had been opposed to Manzarek and Krieger presenting the group’s tour as a “Doors reunion” because Morrison, who died in Paris in 1971, would not be a part of it.

 

“You can’t call yourselves The Doors because you can’t have The Doors without Jim Morrison,” argued Densmore‘s attorney.

 

Manzarek and Krieger had asked the California Supreme Court to review a 2005 decision by a judge that barred them from using the word “Doors” in the title of any group.

 

The original court also ordered Manzarek and Krieger to pay $3.2 million, plus $2 million in legal costs, to Densmore, Jim Morrison’s parents, and the parents of Morrison’s deceased wife, Pamela Courson, who died in 1974.

 

The basis of the legal wrangle was a 1970 agreement – signed by the four original band members, including Jim Morrison – stating that all four of them would have to agree to any business deals.

 

The 1970 agreement was hammered out, it seems, after Morrison and the three others got into a “violent disagreement” over using ‘Light My Fire’ in a TV commercial for Buick cars. Morrison vehemently disagreed and the commercial was never made.

 

The court’s decision means Krieger and Manzarek must now continue to perform under the name “Riders on the The Storm.”

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