As the drummer for the Doors, John Densmore’s name has been inexorably linked with that of lead singer Jim Morrison’s for more than half a century. Now those names are connected by signs as well, on a street not far from where the seminal rock band, arguably Los Angeles’ greatest, was formed in 1965.
On Thursday (Jan. 4), the second anniversary of LA’s annual Day of the Doors celebration, Densmore gathered with dozens of friends, family and fans to unveil a pair of street signs informing motorists they have just arrived at the corner of Morrison Street and Densmore Avenue.
“I’ve driven all the roads in this town,” the 73-year-old Los Angeles native told the crowd, adding it still came as a surprise several years ago when he happened to notice he was driving past Densmore Avenue in a quiet section of the city’s San Fernando Valley. It came as a much bigger surprise two years ago when he decided to actually drive down Densmore Street and take a closer look.
“I come up a few blocks. You’re kidding? Densmore Street crosses Morrison Street,” he recalled as the crowd laughed. The drummer wanted a picture of himself at the intersection but saw there was no way to get a good one: The street names were on signs placed on poles on separate corners.
City officials, who had declared Jan. 4, 2017, the Day of the Doors in honor of the 50th anniversary of the release of the band’s first album, took care of that problem this year. They put signs naming both streets on the same pole in front of a stately, two-story home.
The Doors formed in 1965 in LA’s beachfront community of Venice, where last year’s Day of the Doors celebration was held. Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger are the band’s only surviving members. Morrison died in 1971 and keyboardist Ray Manzarek passed in 2013.
Densmore, his long, white hair flowing in the breeze on a sun-splashed day, made sure Morrison was well represented on Thursday, however. Dressed in black jeans and a dark jacket, he quietly recited some of the words to Morrison’s poem “An American Prayer” before pulling the string to unveil the signs.
“Oh great creator of being, grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives,” he concluded.
— Katherine Picazo (@KatPicazoo) January 5, 2018