Morrison and Manzarek conceived The Doors in 1965 after deciding to collaborate on songs. Morrison named the band the Doors, from Aldous Huxley’s book on mescaline, The Doors of Perception.
Signing with Elektra Records in 1966, the Doors released eight albums between 1967 and 1971. All but one hit the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 and went platinum or better. Their self-titled debut album in 1967 was their first in a series of Top 10 albums in the United States, followed by Strange Days, 1967, Waiting for the Sun, 1968, The Soft Parade, 1969, Morrison Hotel, 1970, Absolutely Live, 1970 and L.A. Woman in 1971. They had 20 Gold, 14 Platinum, 5 Multi-Platinum and 1 Diamond album awards in the United States alone. By the end of 1971, it was reported that the Doors had sold 4,190,457 albums domestically and 7,750,642 singles. The band had three million-selling singles in the U.S. with “Light My Fire”, “Hello, I Love You” and “Touch Me”.
Morrison was, arrested several times from 1967 – 1968 for obscenity and disorderly conduct, but in 1968, he was arrested for lewd and lascivious behavior by exposing his private parts and simulating masturbation and oral copulation onstage. His behavior began to effect the band. Charges were dropped but, promoters feared similar incidents.
Morrison died in 1971 in his bathtub.
The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, swears this is a true story. It’s about how Jim Morrison, who had a well-known fascination with the spirit world, came to visit him and Doors guitarist Robbie Kreiger, in their dreams.
“I have a recurring dream,” Manzarek said in a 2008 interview. “Jim has just returned from France where he died and has accomplished what he went there for in the first place – to rest, get clean, and change his rock star lifestyle. We talk about where he’s been and what he’s been doing.
I ask him if he’s been working on any new material, and just before he answers, I wake up. When I first told Robbie about it, he said, ‘Yeah, me too!’ He had had the same dream. ”
In 2002, Manzarek and Krieger started playing together again, renaming themselves as the Doors of the 21st Century, with Ian Astbury of the Cult on vocals. Densmore opted to sit out and, along with the Morrison estate, sued the duo over proper use of the band’s name and won. After a short time as Riders On the Storm, they settled on the name Manzarek-Krieger and continued to tour until Manzarek’s death in 2013 at the age of 74.