The California Supreme Court has ruled in favour of Jim Morrison’s estate, refusing a petition to review a lower court’s decision that blocked two of the surviving members of the Doors, guitarist Robby Krieger and keyboardist Ray Manzarek from touring under the name of the band that recorded Light My Fire, L.A. Woman and Riders on the Storm.
Manzarek and Krieger had toured under the name the “Doors of the 21st Century” and advertised their shows with images of Morrison, the rock icon who died in 1971. This resulted in the Morrison family, the family of Pamela Courson (Morrison’s common-law wife), and the third surviving Doors member, drummer John Densmore, to sue.
Back in the 1960s the four members of the band agreed that business deals required consensus. Densmore, claiming to honour the wishes of Morrison, refused to allow the use of Doors songs in television commercials. The new initiative of Manzarek and Krieger touring with the old hits and a new version of the name, had Morrison’s family joining the drummer in protest and also claiming a share of the profits of the tour.
Back in 2005, Los Angeles Judge Gregory W. Alarcon ruled that usage of the Doors name required written consent from the partnership. The denial of Krieger and Manzarek’s appeal confirms that decision.