September 6, 2002: Doors Reunion Tour Begins

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From left: Manzarek, Astbury, Krieger & Copeland

From left: Manzarek, Astbury, Krieger & Copeland

Founding members of The Doors Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger join forces with Ian Astbury of The Cult and Stewart Copeland of The Police to perform for the first time on this day under an updated Doors name at the Harley-Davidson Open Road Tour at the California Speedway in Fontana, CA. The band’s expressed purpose is to perform the songs of The Doors. It’s reported that original Doors drummer John Densmore isn’t participating due to tinnitus. They play further shows until Copeland suffers a bicycle accident injury.

In early February of 2003 Densmore files suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against his former bandmates, seeking an injunction to prevent Manzarek and Krieger from performing under the name of The Doors. He states that he was not invited to be a part of the new group. A few days later Copeland also files suit against the two, claiming he was fired without cause and seeking $1 million in damages (the suit is amicably settled four months later). In April the estates of late Doors singer Jim Morrison and his deceased wife Pamela Courson Morrison – who control Morrison’s one-quarter ownership of The Doors – file suit as well to enjoin Manzarek and Krieger from using the Doors name for their new group.

Watch the revised lineup perform “Break on Through” on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn

That same year, Densmore also has a dispute with the onetime Doors keyboard player and guitarist over the use of the band’s music in a commercial for Cadillac, who reportedly offered $15 million for the rights. The Doors drummer cites how in 1968 Doors singer/lyricist Morrison was adamant that the band’s song “Light My Fire” not be used for a Buick commercial.

In 2005, an injunction is granted to Densmore and the Morrison/Courson families preventing the use of the Doors name by Manzarek and Kreiger. They continue their act as D21C and later Riders on the Storm. In 2007 Astbury leaves the band to regroup The Cult. The following year the California Supreme Court affirms the lower court’s injunction. Manzarek and Kreiger continue as a group under variations of their last names until Manzarek dies on May 20, 2013.

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  1. Paul
    #1 Paul 7 September, 2022, 00:36

    I saw this rendition of the New Doors at Jones Beach and let me tell you Ian Astbury did some real justice to Jim and if Jim was in his right mind (not sure he ever was) I’m pretty sure he would’ve been impressed because they knocked it out of the park! Kudos to them and Ray along with Jim may they R.I.P. I’ve also had the great pleasure of seeing The Cult many times and if you ever get the chance, they are a force and a must see with Astbury vocals, way underated Billy Duffy on Guitar!!! Amazing performances and you’ll never forget their shows!!! Leave everything onstage!!!!

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