BY TODD GILCHRIST
Despite Oliver Stone’s best efforts to reduce the sum total of their contribution to popular culture to creating one of the earliest “sex, drugs and rock & roll” casualties, The Doors were and are an important and influential band: the late Jim Morrison’s existential poetry and polarizing persona, combined with the impeccable chops of keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore, galvanized the counterculture movement of the late 1960s and changed the face of popular music forever.
As such, it comes as little surprise that not only are fans still interested in exploring their troubled, transgressive history, but the band members themselves are still interested in talking about it. With the cooperation of the remaining band members, director Tom DiCillo (Living in Oblivion) assembled a collection of vintage interviews, unseen period footage, and experimental films by Morrison to create When You’re Strange, a painstaking documentary about The Doors’ glory days that qualifies as perhaps the definitive portrait of the band.
Earlier this week in Los Angeles, Calif., Hollywood News sat down with Krieger, Densmore, Manzarek, and DiCillo to discuss the development and production of When You’re Strange, which is being released on April 9. In addition to revealing their feelings about Stone’s 1992 biopic The Doors, Manzarek and Krieger reminded fans and newcomers alike of the inspiration for the band’s name, and reflected on the long, strange trip they’ve taken en route to becoming rock & roll royalty. Click on the video below to watch Hollywood News’ exclusive interview with Manzarek and Krieger:
Next, we spoke to DiCillo about mounting this monumental journey, and Densmore about his eagerness (or reluctance) to revisit a story that has been thoroughly documented. Additionally, the duo talked about the challenges both as artists and documentarians to make sure that the revolutionary context of the band’s rise to fame didn’t seem like the stuff of empty provocation, but a substantial challenge to the status quo. Check out our video interview below:
Finally, check out the film’s theatrical trailer. When You’re Strange opens in limited release on April 9.
“WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE” TRAILER