Primary Wave Music has acquired the rights of two founding members of the Doors, guitarist Robby Krieger and late keyboardist Ray Manzarek, as they pertain to the band. The acquisition includes their interests in the group’s music publishing catalog, recordings, trademarks, and merchandise rights and income, among other things. The deal does not include the interests of late singer Jim Morrison or drummer John Densmore.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although a source tells Variety the numbers were “big.”
While the original band was only active from its 1965 formation through Morrison’s death in 1971, it racked up a formidable number of hits, including “Light My Fire,” “Break on Through (To the Other Side)” “Hello, I Love You,” “People Are Strange,” “Riders on the Storm,” “L.A. Woman” and others. The Doors have continued in various configurations over the years.
Primary Wave’s marketing, digital strategy, branding, licensing, and synch teams will work closely with the Doors’ manager Jeff Jampol (Jampol Artist Management, Inc.) to help drive opportunities across the catalog.
John Branca, David Byrnes, and Kelly Vallon Ciccotti negotiated the deal on behalf of the sellers.
“After 58 years, and the most magical of times, I’ve decided to sell my share of The Doors to Primary Wave,” said Robby. “This will enable me to help the many charities I’ve been involved with, and some new ones too. I know Primary Wave cares about music, art, and about helping legacies go to even bigger levels. Our longtime Doors manager Jeff Jampol will still be protecting our legacy in partnership with Primary Wave, so I’m comfortable and happy with the future of The Doors.”
“Ray and I spent a lot of time discussing the future of The Doors’ legacy, and how to handle things after he departed this plane,” said Dorothy Manzarek. She continued, “Our family has worked patiently to find the right partners to continue Ray’s lifelong efforts in protecting and promoting his art, and now we are happy to have finally come to an agreement with Primary Wave. Under the continued guidance of our manager, Jeff Jampol, Primary Wave will be the right partners in this endeavor to build future generations of new Doors fans.”
“The Doors are one of the most legendary rock bands of all time. We are looking forward to growing the legacies of Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek,” said Larry Mestel, CEO & Founder of Primary Wave Music. He continues, “We are also very happy to be working alongside such an industry icon as Jeff Jampol to tastefully grow opportunities for The Doors.”