Robby Krieger rocks Berklee
Doors guitarist Robby Krieger came to Boston a week ago Monday as part of a tour promoting the newly released Doors live album Live in Boston ’70 (Elektra), a three-disc document of the band performing at the Boston Arena. He was supposed simply to answer questions about the album and the Doors. But being at Berklee, among all those hot-shot players, he couldn’t resist the temptation to join in with a student ensemble for a set of Doors covers. It was odd watching a guy in thinning hair strut about like Mr. Mojo Rising. The set highlighted Krieger’s improvisatory guitar lines — playing that was often overshadowed by the larger-than-life presence of the real Jim Morison back in the day.
“I’m speechless,” said 20-year-old Berklee student Aliza Brinton, who was turned onto the Doors by her parents (“your basic hippie farmers in Vermont”). “I saw the Doors at the Boston Arena in 1970,” added Howie Newman, a 57-year-old fan who wasn’t the only one present in his age bracket. “Robby’s still got it.”
Krieger himself was more muted afterward, but his “It was fun to play those songs again” made it clear he too had enjoyed the show. He also alluded, diplomatically, to some of the difficulties inherent in touring with a Lizard King who was as often an annoying drunk as he was (alleged, at least) a shaman. “Touring with Jim could be . . . difficult.”
Diplomacy doesn’t make for good journalism, however. “So,” I asked, “how annoying was Jim?”
Krieger suppressed a smile. “It’s a love/hate thing. Let’s just say that without him they wouldn’t have listened to the music, and without the music they wouldn’t have listened to him.”
Very tactful, that Robby. And a hell of a guitarist. Feel free to spray-paint your local brick wall with “Krieger Is God.” Better yet, sit down with those recently remastered hits and follow the guitar lines that snake so smoothly around the Lizard King’s jittery yelps.
: Live Reviews
, Robby Krieger, Lizard King