"The Robby Krieger Guitar,How a Flamenco Guitarist Became a Rock Star."
Robby Krieger - The Doors
The Robby Krieger guitar epitomized the Doors sound. And no... don't get him confused with Freddy Kruger that was the guy in the slasher films. Their last names just sound alike.
The Doors we're formed in Los Angeles,CA in 1965.
Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek knew Jim Morrison from UCLA film school and accidently met him one day on venice beach and that was the start and formation of the band. Manzarek knew drummer John Densmore from a meditation class and Densmore knew Robbie Krieger.
Manzarek has called it a revalation that these 4 individuals came together to form the doors,who have become a legendary iconic rock band. And the Robby Krieger guitar became an essential element in the band.
Robby was an unlikely choice to become a rock star because he started off as a flamenco guitarist,and had only been playing electric guitar for 1 year before the formation of The Doors.
But as a youngster he also listened to the radio and heard musical acts such as Elvis,Fats Dominoe,and the Platters this is where Robby Krieger got alot of his rock influences.
And what a legacy Robby and the Doors have left. Did you know that Robby wrote some of the Doors biggest hits? Songs like Light My Fire,Touch Me,Love Me Two Times, and Love Her Madly.
If you haven t heard these songs you ve been living under a rock,for the Doors are one of Americas and the Worlds most beloved rock bands of all time.
Songs by the Doors have been used in many major film soundtracks sine the 1970s. The band is still very popular even by todays standards That shows you the great songwriting that band had.
So if Jim Morrison who was one of the most electrifying frontmen in rock history was the fire in the Doors then the Robby Krieger guitar is the catalyst...and no a catalyst is not a guy who herds cattle or sheep around that's totally different but anyways listen to some of the Robby Krieger guitar classic anthems such as Hello I Love You and Roadhouse Blues.
It's amazing that 40 years after The Doors last played together that the six studio albums they produced in the late 1960's and early 70's still sell over a million units a year....Gosh a million I' ll bet that makes the surviving Doors members and their Bankers very happy. A million is a big number that's more times than Jim Morrison swore live on stage.
Now a little bit of information on the Robby Krieger guitar . Since he has a flamenco background he played exclusively with his fingers which allowed him to simultaneously cover bass,rhythm,and lead guitar parts and he could also drink a beer and juggle while doing this....just joking on that last part.
This guitar method came in handy because the doors didn t have a bass player Ray Manzerick covered it on keyboards when they played live. But in the recording studio they would sometimes use a bass player.
Robby Krieger usually played a Gibson SG going thru a Fender Twin Reverb Amp and he is listed at #91 on Rolling Stone magazines 100 greatest rock guitarists of all time.
The Robby Krieger guitar really gave the Doors a unique sound considering that he's actually a flamenco trained player.
But Mr.Krieger also dabbles in jazz,folk,and rock. So the Robby Krieger guitar is versatile in quite a few musical genres.
Robby and Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek still play together in the band“The Doors of The 21st Century” but unfortunately the drummer John Densmore refuses to play with them due to legal issues and disagreements within the band and the Doors name itself.
So they have been calling themselves Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger of the Doors.
And of course lead singer Jim Morrison has been dead for many decades so he obviously has no say in the band anymore. The doors members were 4 equal parts and any member had veto powers.
When he played with the Doors the Robby Krieger guitar was such that all intros were split between either guitar or keyboard.
Now if I were to ask 100 guitar players to perform let's say... the intro to “Light My Fire” I would probably get 100 different answers or versions some of them right,some of them wrong...because after all it's a keyboard intro right?...and no I haven't lost my mind
The intro can be played on the guitar.
The intro is in the key of A major in 4/4 time. it starts off G-D7-F-Bb-Eb-Ab-A...2 beats on each chord...till you get to the A then 2 bars. You can add the melody notes to the intro and fingerpick them.
The verse is Am7...1 bar...F#m7...1 bar...The chorus is G... 2 beats-A6...2 beats-D...4 beats...G...2 beats....A6...2 beats...D...2 beats...B...2 beats....G...2 beats...A6...2 beats...E...2 bars.
Remember it's your job as a guitarist to be versatile,just because a song is played on the keyboard,a saxophone, or a violin, that doesn't mean it can't be adapted to the guitar.
I know that the Robby Kreiger guitar could easily fingerpick this song after all he wrote it. And right after that he could also fingerpick Riders on The Storm which is also a keyboard song.