John Densmore, co-founder and drummer of the Doors, filed suit against former band members Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, charging that a tour organized by the pair represents a breach of contract and trademark infringement.
On the tour, due to play the Universal Amphitheatre on Friday, Stuart Copeland, formerly of the Police, substitutes for Densmore, and Ian Astbury, formerly of the Cult, stands in for singer Jim Morrison, who died in 1971. The filing cites misleading advertising and promotion of the new group as the Doors without the consent of Densmore and the estates of Jim Morrison and his widow, Pam Courson.
"This has been brewing for a month, ever since the first ad for the amphitheater came out in the Los Angeles Times," Densmore said. "It was identical to our first album cover -- and our original logo appears on Stuart Copeland's bass drum, which makes me sad and hurt. While I admire Stuart and Ian as musicians, the Doors are John, Ray, Robbie and Jim ... just like John, Paul, George and Ringo are the Beatles. When Maurice Gibb died, his two brothers said they'd continue playing -- but not under the name Bee Gees, out of respect for the band's legacy. The only concession Ray and Robbie are making is changing the name to the Doors: 21st Century, which is obviously not enough. I've gotten calls for tickets from friends and fans on the assumption that I'm playing."