Primary Wave Music have acquired an exhaustive slate of rights to The Doors’ publishing catalogue, master recordings, trademarks, merchandising options and even income, in what the indie publisher has dubbed a “monumental acquisition”.
As reported by Rolling Stone, the acquisition only covers rights owned previously by guitarist Robby Krieger and the estate of late keyboardist Ray Manzarek. Those owed to late frontman Jim Morrison and drummer John Densmore were not factored into the sale. To that end, Primary Wave have not yet disclosed how much they paid for the aforementioned rights.
In a statement, Krieger welcomed the acquisition. “After 58 years, and the most magical of times, I’ve decided to sell my share of The Doors to Primary Wave,” he said. “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.”
Manzarek’s interests seem to be accounted for as well, as his widow Dorothy said in a statement of her own: “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. 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.”
In 2021, Krieger released a memoir covering his time in The Doors, titled Set The Night On Fire: Living, Dying, And Playing Guitar With The Doors. As its synopsis boasts, the effort features “never-before-told stories from The Doors’ vital years”, as well as unique firsthand perspective of the band’s most iconic moments.
The Doors were originally active from 1965 to 1973 (two years after Morrison’s death in 1971), with a one-off reunion taking place in 1978. They released six albums with Morrison at the helm, and a further two after he passed (both featuring other vocalists). In 1978, too, they released ‘An American Prayer’, an album of original music soundtracking archival poetry readings by Morrison.