The story goes something like this: It was the 1960s, man, and everybody was expanding their minds by taking acid and turning on Alan Watts records and music by Jim Morrison and The Doors. Even the corporate bigwigs at Buick wanted to make the hip scene, and in attempt to appeal to younger, more stoned drivers, the automotive giant decided to buy rights to the song "Light My Fire," and change the lyrics to "Come on Buick Light My Fire." Catchy, right? There was only one problem. Morrison thought selling your art to a car company was like selling your soul to Satan.
Buick put $75,000 on the table, which was enough bread to make the three core musicians in this anti-establishment garage band put down the bong, turn off UCLA basketball, and reconsider its culture jamming ethos. Guitarist Robbie Krieger, keyboard player Ray Manzarek, and drummer John Densmore were ready to sell, but never Morrison, who threatened to destroy a Buick on stage with a sledgehammer if the deal went down.
That's when The Doors robbed future YouTube addicts of what could have been the greatest rock-and-roll clip of all time and collectively swore they'd never sell their music to The Man.
Flash forward to the 21st century: Morrison is long dead and Cadillac is now offering $15 million. Krieger and Manzarek like the deal, but Densmore and the Morrison estate resist. The ugly lawsuit that followed is chronicled in John Densmore's 2013 book, The Doors Unhinged: Jim Morrison's Legacy Goes on Trial. The Doors' drummer will read and sign copies at the Booksellers at Laurelwood on Saturday.
John Densmore, drummer for The Doors signs and reads from "The Doors Unhinged" at the Booksellers at Laurelwood Saturday, March 8th, 2 p.m.