Robby Krieger

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Robby Krieger
Krieger in 2007
Krieger in 2007
Background information
Birth nameRobert Alan Krieger
Born (1946-01-08) January 8, 1946 (age 77)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationsMusician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1964–present
LabelsElektra Records
Member of
  • Krieger & The Soul Savages
  • Robby Krieger Band
Formerly of

Robert Alan Krieger (born January 8, 1946)[1] is an American guitarist and founding member of the rock band the Doors. Krieger wrote or co-wrote many of the Doors' songs, including the hits "Light My Fire", "Love Me Two Times", "Touch Me", and "Love Her Madly". When the Doors disbanded following the death of lead singer Jim Morrison, Krieger continued to perform and record with other musicians including former Doors bandmates John Densmore and Ray Manzarek.

Krieger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Doors and is listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time in the magazine's lists of 2003 and 2011.[2][3] In the 2023 edition, he was repositioned at number 248.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Robby Krieger was born on January 8, 1946, in Los Angeles, California to a Jewish family.[5][6] His father, an engineer, was a fan of classical music, while his mother enjoyed "Frank Sinatra and stuff like that".[7]

Krieger attended a Hebrew school with his twin brother Ronny.[8] While Krieger was a boarding student at a private school called Menlo School in Atherton, California, there was study time at night that allowed him to teach himself to play the guitar. He began by first de-tuning a ukulele to the bottom four strings of a guitar and mimicking a record he had. Later, in the mid-1960s, scholar Frank Chin taught Krieger how to play the flamenco guitar.[9]

After graduating from high school, Krieger attended the University of California, Santa Barbara. His musical development included listening to guitarists Wes Montgomery, Albert King, and Larry Carlton who influenced his style.[10] Krieger's flamenco guitar playing can be heard in the song "Spanish Caravan".[11]

The Doors[edit]

Krieger became a member of the Doors in 1965, joining keyboard player Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore and vocalist Jim Morrison, after Manzarek's brothers left the group. At an early Doors rehearsal Morrison heard Krieger playing bottleneck guitar and initially wanted the technique featured on every song on the first album.[12] Krieger's fingerstyle approach to the electric guitar, broad musical tastes, and songwriting helped establish the Doors as a successful rock band in the 1960s.[13] Together with Densmore,[14] he studied under Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar at the Kinnara School of Music in Los Angeles.[15][16]

Krieger occasionally sang lead vocal with the Doors. He can be heard on the song "Runnin' Blue".[17] He also sang on the last two Doors albums, recorded after Morrison's death, Other Voices and Full Circle.[18]

After Morrison's death in 1971, Krieger, Manzarek and Densmore carried on as a trio. They released two more albums as the Doors before disbanding in 1973, though they did reconvene a few years later to create music for poetry that Morrison had recorded shortly before his death, released as the 1978 album An American Prayer.[19]

Later career[edit]

Krieger performing in 2006

After the Doors disbanded in 1973, Krieger formed the Butts Band with Densmore. He almost enjoyed some success as a jazz-fusion guitarist, recording a handful of albums in the 1970s and 1980s, including Versions (1982), Robby Krieger (1985), and No Habla (1989). His first solo release was Robbie Krieger & Friends in 1977.

In 1982, Krieger appeared on four tracks of the album Panic Station by the Los Angeles group The Acid Casualties ("Shadow Street," "Solid Sound," "Armies of the Sun," and "She's a Lost Soul").[20]

In 1991, Krieger formed a new band simply known as the Robby Krieger Band, which featured his son Waylon Krieger (guitar), Berry Oakley Jr. (bass, backing vocals), Dale Alexander (keyboards), and Ray Mehlbaum (drums).[21] In 2000, Krieger released Cinematix, an entirely instrumental fusion album, with guest appearances from Billy Cobham and Edgar Winter.

Krieger and Manzarek reformed as the "Doors of the 21st Century" in 2002 with vocalist Ian Astbury of the Cult.[22] (Astbury had also performed a solo cover of "Touch Me" and a cover of "Wild Child" with the Cult on the tribute album Stoned Immaculate: The Music of The Doors).

Krieger played guitar on a few tracks by Blue Öyster Cult. In June 2008, ZYX Studio released his concert with Eric Burdon, called Live at the Ventura Beach California. They also played "Back Door Man" and "Roadhouse Blues".

In May 2012, Robby Krieger toured with the Roadhouse Rebels, a trio side-project consisting of founding members Particle's (and Rich Robinson's keyboardist) Steve Molitz (hammond organ, keyboards) and Oingo Boingo/Mutaytor's John Avila (bass), only this time with two additional musicians, the Black Crowes's Rich Robinson (guitar/vocals) and Rich Robinson's drummer Joe Magistro. The shows' setlists featured a range of material, including Doors standards, classic soul and rock 'n' roll covers from the '60s and '70s, and material from Robinson's new Through a Crooked Sun album. The group performed on May 25, 2012, in Los Angeles, on May 26, 2012, at the Bella Fiore Music Festival at Harmony Park Music Garden in Clarks Grove, Minnesota, and on May 27, 2012, at the Oriental Theater in Denver.[23]

On December 31, 2013, Krieger played alongside Southern rock band Gov't Mule at the Beacon Theatre (New York City).[24] In July 2017, Krieger tossed out the first pitch at a Dodgers game in Los Angeles.

On August 29, 2018, Krieger joined Alice in Chains onstage at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles to close out their sold-out concert with a performance of their hit song "Rooster".[25] On August 14, 2020, Krieger released his solo album, The Ritual Begins At Sundown. On September 10, 2020, Krieger was announced as a headliner featuring Maki Mae in the Asian Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, Krieger began uploading guitar tutorials for various Doors songs to the band's official YouTube channel.[26]

On October 12, 2021, Krieger released a memoir Set the Night on Fire: Living, Dying, and Playing Guitar With the Doors, cowritten with author and musician Jeff Penalty Alulis.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Krieger is married to Lynn Krieger and has one child: Waylon Krieger.[28][29][30]

In 2022, Krieger's custom-built home in Bel-Air, California was put up for sale by its current owner for $13.9 million. The property features 1.4 acres of land, a pool, spa and 6,600 square feet of living space. At one time it had been owned by Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst.[31]

Guitars used[edit]

Krieger performing live at Roundhouse in London September 1968. Krieger used various guitar models, most notably Gibson SG models.

Krieger used a variety of electric guitars models during his time with the Doors, most notably the following ones:[32]


with The Doors[edit]

with Butts Band[edit]

with Red Shift[edit]

  • Red Shift (album) (1979)
  • Shifting On Strong (album) (1980)


with poet Michael C. Ford[edit]

  • Look Each Other in the Ears. Hen House Studio Album includes the Doors—Robby Krieger, John Densmore, and Ray Manzarek. 2014

Guest appearances[edit]

  • "Puppet Strings" on Puppet Strings, by Fuel (2014)
  • "ZUN – Burial Sunrise" (2016, Small Stone Records) Electric Sitar on 'Nothing Farther'
  • "Forest Full of Trees" and "Stagger Lee" on Rock 'N' Roll Animals (2016) and "Big Brown Dog" w/ Brant Bjork on Bunny Rumble (2018) by Bunny Racket
  • "All the Time in the World" on Alphabetland (2020) and "Strange Life" on Xtras (2021), Alphabetland outtakes), by X

In fiction[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UPI Almanac for Monday, Jan. 8, 2018". United Press International. January 8, 2018. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. Retrieved September 21, 2019. ...Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Robby Krieger (The Doors) in 1946 (age 72)
  2. ^ "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". Rolling Stone. September 18, 2003. Archived from the original on April 9, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  3. ^ "100 Greatest Guitarists". Rolling Stone. November 23, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  4. ^ "The 250 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". Rolling Stone. October 13, 2023. Retrieved October 14, 2023.
  5. ^ "Robby Krieger Interview: The Doors, Gibson guitars and Jim Morrison". Guitar International Group, LLC. Archived from the original on February 27, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  6. ^ Kirsh, Elana (July 6, 2011). "Concert review: Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  7. ^ Wall, Mick (August 13, 2020). "Robby Krieger interview: life in the Doors, The Wonder of acid, and Dealing with Crazies". Classic Rock. Louder Sound. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  8. ^ Fishbach, Brian (January 6, 2022). "New Memoir by the Doors' Robby Krieger Sets the Record Straight". Jewish Journal. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  9. ^ Davis, Stephen (2005). Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-59240-099-7.
  10. ^ Medeiros, Jotabê (October 31, 2012). "Guitarrista dos Doors fala sobre show inédito da banda que sai em DVD". O Estado de S. Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  11. ^ Fanelli, Damian (January 8, 2018). "Watch Robby Krieger Play the Doors' "Spanish Caravan" with a String Quartet". Guitar World. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  12. ^ Robby Krieger, an interview of Ray Manzarek (@40"). Archived from the original on November 18, 2021 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ "Stories of Rock – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame".
  14. ^ Kubernik, Harvey (June 16, 2015). "Ravi Shankar: A Life In Music Exhibit at the Grammy Museum May 2015–Spring 2016". Cave Hollywood. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  15. ^ Prato, Greg. "Robby Krieger". AllMusic. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  16. ^ Lavezzoli, Peter (2006). The Dawn of Indian Music in the West. New York, NY: Continuum. pp. 158–59. ISBN 0-8264-2819-3.
  17. ^ Weldman, Rich (2011). The Doors FAQ: All That's Left to Known About the Kings of Acid Rock. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 167. ISBN 978-1-61713-114-1.
  18. ^ Allen, Jim (October 18, 2016). "When the Doors Continued Without Jim Morrison on Other Voices". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
  19. ^ Ruhlmann, William; Unterberger, Richie. "The Doors – Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  20. ^ Panic Station (liner notes). The Acid Casualties. Rhino Records. 1982. RNLP 850.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  21. ^ Arkush, Michael (February 24, 1991). "Movie Opens Up Past for Doors Guitarist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  22. ^ Ross, Mike (July 24, 2005). "Long live the Lizard King". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  23. ^ "The Roadhouse Rebels: Krieger, Molitz, Robinson and More". March 2, 2012.
  24. ^ "Gov't Mule Setlist". December 31, 2013.
  25. ^ Bienstock, Richard (August 31, 2018). "Watch Alice in Chains Perform "Rooster" with The Doors' Robby Krieger". Guitar World.
  26. ^ Breathnach, Cillian (April 10, 2020). "Learn Roadhouse Blues from Robby Krieger himself". | All Things Guitar. Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  27. ^ Kreps, Daniel (July 12, 2021). "The Doors Guitarist Robby Krieger Readies First-Ever Memoir". Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  28. ^ The Music of the Doors:Interview with Waylon Krieger 2015
  29. ^ Waylon Krieger IMDB
  30. ^ The Doors’ Robby Krieger releases trio of reggae-flavored instrumentals, new music video Cool 103.5, April 15, 2022
  31. ^ Fleming, Jack (July 14, 2022). "Bel-Air Midcentury built for Doors guitarist Robby Krieger asks $13.9 million". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 6, 2022.
  32. ^ "The Doors Equipment List – Music – The Doors Guide". June 16, 2013. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2018.

External links[edit]