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Robby Krieger of The Doors celebrates his 68th birthday

Robby Krieger is the youngest member of The Doors at 68 having been born January 8, 1946, here’s a quick bio for Doors and Robby fans.

Robby Krieger with fan Alissa Williams at a recent show.
photo by Manny Dominguez courtesy Alissa Williams

Robby was born in Los Angeles. He developed an early interest in music, playing the trumpet as a child and later after discovering the blues, he played the piano. When he was fourteen he starting surfing, his parents afraid that surfing was distracting him from school, enrolled him in a private school near San Francisco where he borrowed a friend’s guitar and was soon teaching himself to play and was soon enamored of flamenco guitar. After high school he came back to Los Angeles, enrolled in college mainly to avoid the draft and got into the folk scene and played in a couple of bands. After seeing Chuck Berry, Robby traded his acoustic guitar for an electric. Prior to The Doors Robby was in the band the “Psychedelic Rangers” with John Densmore who recruited Robby to The Doors after meeting Ray Manzarek in a meditation class.

In The Doors, Robby was responsible for the psychedelic roar of the guitar that was most visible in the song, “When The Music’s Over.” Kreiger’s eclectic and varied training also led him to use different styles, such as Indian sitar, in “The End,” or a more of a blues in “Love Me Two Times.” Krieger also stepped into the creative breach of songwriting when needed for The Doors, he mostly employed the themes of Jim Morrison using archetypal imagery such as in “Light My Fire.” Krieger’s songs have become some of the biggest hits of The Doors including “Touch Me,” and “Love Her Madly.”

Some fast facts about Robby:

His parents were early supporters of The Doors enlisting the band to play at a party given by friends of Robby’s parents. Max Fink was Robby’s father’s attorney and later came to represent not only The Doors but Jim Morrison.

Robby shares his birthday with Elvis Presley (January 8, 1935) and they were both twins. Robby’s twin brother Ronnie appears in the Malibu U video in place of Jim Morrison because Morrison didn’t show up for the filming.

The songs “Touch Me,” and “Love Her Madly” were inspired by arguments with his girlfriend Lynn (who later became his wife). “Touch Me” was originally titled “Hit Me” but Morrison refused to sing that because he thought the audience would all to ready to take him up on the offer.

Robby also donates a lot of his time to charity work, lending his name and performing for charities that raise money for music programs. Robby also sponsors an annual golf outing to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s hospital (see related article below).

Robby also plays a lot of shows throughout the year, most recently he’s appeared with Gov’t Mule for special holiday show (again, see related articles and also includes upcoming shows). He’s also appeared with his jazz band Robby Krieger’s Jam Kitchen that have announced three appearances for this month including the 50th anniversary celebration of the Whisky a go-go.

In recent years Robby has been touring with the Manzarek-Krieger Band, but the passing of Ray Manzarek in May of 2013 has led to rapprochement with Doors drummer John Densmore that has led to at least one surprise performance at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on December 5, 2013 (see video above) You can also watch the Q and A session with Robby and John with host Elvis Mitchell. Krieger and Densmore have hinted that they would like to play a show on or around the anniversary of Ray Manzarek’s birthday (February 12) but so far no dates have been announced. Is anybody betting on the 50th anniversary show at The Whisky?

Happy Birthday Robby!

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