John Densmore (born December 1, 1944 in Los Angeles, California) was the drummer of the rock group The Doors from 1965 to 1973.
He is a drummer and writer and attended Santa Monica City College and Cal. State-Northridge.
"I've been playing for six years. I took piano lessons when I was ten. They tried to get me to play Bach. They tried for two years. When I was in junior high I got my first set of drums. I played symphonic music in high school (tympani, snare drum), then I played jazz for three years. I used to play sessions in Compton and Topanga Canyon."
John Densmore is the only surviving member of The Doors who always uses the groups democratic founding to veto licensing their songs to be used in commercials. Densmore even vetoed an offer by Cadillac for 15 million dollars for Break on Through (To The Other Side). Densmore has only broken his belief in this once with allowing "Riders on the Storm" to be used to sell Pirelli Tires in England only, but he claimed he "heard Jim's voice" in his ears and ended up donating the money earned to charity.
John Densmore left the world of rock-and-roll in the 1980s, moving to the world of dance as he performed with Bess Snyder and Co., touring the United States for two years.
In 1984, at La Mama Theatre in New York, he made his stage acting debut in Skins, a one-act play he had written. In 1985, he won the L.A. Weekly Theatre Award for music with Methusalem, directed by Tim Robbins. The play, Rounds, which he co-produced, won the NAACP award for theatre in 1987. In 1988, he played a feature role in Band Dreams and Bebop at the Gene Dynarski Theatre. He developed and performed a one-man piece from the short story, The King of Jazz, at the Wallenboyd Theatre in 1989. With Adam Ant, he co-produced Be Bop A Lula at Theatre Theatre in 1992. He has acted in numerous TV shows, and his film credits include: Get Crazy with Malcolm McDowell, Dudes directed by Penelope Spheeris, and The Doors directed by Oliver Stone.
John wrote his best-selling autobiography, Riders On The Storm; and as drummer and founding member of The Doors, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He and the other surviving Doors members worked as technical advisors on the 1991 film, and while they were impressed with Val Kilmer's singing, they were not happy with the film as a whole. The film questionably depicts Densmore as growing to hate Morrison as Morrison's drug and personal problems begin to overwhelm and dominate his behavior.
He is reported to be working on a first novel, producing a documentary film, an after-care program for ex-criminal offenders titled Project Return directed by Leslie Neil. When time allows, he lectures in colleges throughout the United States.
John's official website is located at www.johndensmore.com. The website also contains a unique forum where fans can post questions directly to the drummer.