It’s not that we don’t know Robby Krieger. It’s just that some of us kind of forgot just how good he is.
The legendary guitarist for The Doors falls in the category of musicians who get lost in time — until one of the band’s songs come on the radio and you actually listen to his playing.
If you ask us, he never should fall off the radar.
(photo courtesy of experiencehendrixtour.com)
The Los Angeles-born Krieger was actually self-taught on guitar, developing a style based on flamenco, jazz, folk and blues influences. He’s among a small group of rock guitarists who are finger-pickers, along with musicians like Lindsey Buckingham and Mark Knopfler.
Krieger’s leap into rock immortality came in 1965, when he joined the band that came to be known as The Doors. Initially dubbed Rick and the Ravens, the band settled on a lineup of Krieger, Ray Manzarek on keyboards, John Densmore on drums and lead singer Jim Morrison. The band had the rare dynamic of not carrying a bass player, with Manzarek playing bass lines on the keyboards.
Although Morrison’s lyrics, on-stage antics and undeniable magnetic presence became the focus of the group, The Doors were a uniquely talented band musically on all fronts, most notably grounded by Krieger’s immense talent.
The Doors released a half-dozen albums before Morrison’s mysterious death in 1971, having already established themselves as one of the nation’s premier rock bands. The band actually continued as a trio after Morrison’s death, releasing two studio albums before finally calling it quits in 1973.
But Krieger was hardly done. He went on to release seven solo albums, including Singularity, released earlier this year. He’s also worked with a variety of other artists, including Eric Burdon, Billy Cobham and Edgar Winter.
Krieger has also remained close to his rock and roll foundation, playing with both Manzarek and Densmore over the years.
So, while he’s done his own thing he remains the guitarist who wowed us with The Doors so many years ago.
He’s not a man to be overlooked.
(NOTE: This is part of my ongoing series of reports on guitar players who fly under the mainstream radar. Keep checking The Listening Room for future installments of guitar players you should know – JF)
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