July 28, 2021

At 71, The Doors’ Hidden Bassist Has Died

On November 20, Doug Lubahn, who could now be named as the fifth member of The Doors, one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s. Many will say that this musical group only had four members. Jim Morrison, the frontman and singer; John Densmore, the drummer; Robby Krieger, guitarist; and Ray Manzarek on keyboard. But that statement is incorrect.

Yes OK there was never a bass player on stage next to the four visible faces and it is public knowledge that Manzarek was in charge of simulating the bass with the keyboard pedal, when recording they included a fifth person.

Producer Paul Rotchild, who was in charge of the group’s first five albums, felt that the bass / keyboard was not good enough for the recordings.. From there a number of musicians worked for The Doors.

Doug Lubahn was one of the phantom bassists. He was chosen because he played in a band called Clear Light, also produced by Rotchild. The musician was part of three albums: Strange Days (1967), Waiting for the Sun (1968) and Soft Parade 1969).

All the members of The Doors: Ray Manzarek, in front. To his left, Jim Morrison. To his right, John Densmore and Robby Krieger.

Lubahn was invited to be a permanent member of the band, but declined the offer.. “One day Paul Rotchild and I were on our way to a rehearsal of Strange Days”Lubahn explained a while ago. “He asked me if I would consider joining The Doors. I was also producing my band Clear Light. Then I was a little offended. It was like, ‘What? Are you working with my band and do you want me to leave my band and join this other band? And then I said no ”.

In his memoir My Days With the Doors and Other Stories (2007), drummer John Densmore praised Lubahn: “Bassists and drummers are like brothers cooking the beat in the basement. The main ingredient is solid timing, and Doug’s performance was rock-solid. Lubahn was there… beyond what he knew. I would have liked to date some of the artists mentioned in this book. Doug’s reflection is genuine and sincere. “

Drummer John Densmore in New York.  He presented his book in 2007. Photo: AP / John Carucci.

Drummer John Densmore in New York. He presented his book in 2007. Photo: AP / John Carucci.

“While it’s a shame he didn’t join the Doors when we invited him, he got the loyalty award for staying with his group at the time,” added guitarist Robby Krieger.

The causes of the death of the 71-year-old musician are unknown and the news was confirmed through his Facebook profile: “Doug Lubahn 12/19/1947 – 11/20/2019. Words could never express the pain. He was love of my life I’ll miss laughter more than anything RIP Pat Devanny.

Then the band dedicated a few words to him on social networks: “Our condolences to Doug Lubahn’s family, friends and fans. Doug made indelible contributions to rock and roll, and especially to The Doors.”.