The guitarist Robbie Krieger tried to avoid imitating

Robbie Krieger

Every artist must, at some point, take inspiration from their sources. Those few licks that sound exactly like songs from your record collection will always find their way in, no matter how creative you try to be. Wearing their favourite artists’ badges with pride is a calling card for some musicians. At a time when it was fashionable to imitate guitar icons in the 1960s, Robby Krieger recognized something important. He saw that The Doors required more than classic blues themes to move them forward.

At the time, though, having a few blues-inspired licks in your repertoire was a must for anyone hoping to be regarded as a guitar hero. Jimi Hendrix didn’t solely earn his legendary status through his remarkable persona. He was also able to break through musical boundaries. He drew on his back catalogue of classic blues hits, such as “Red House” and “Purple Haze.” These songs reimagined the blues.

Mike Bloomfield was the one pointing him in the right direction even when musicians like Bob Dylan were turning towards rock music. A song like “Like A Rolling Stone” primarily focuses on Dylan’s timeless lyrics. However, throughout Highway 61 Revisited, Bloomfield is utterly distraught from the bottom of his heart. He feels this way alongside the folk legend.

Initially, Robbie Krieger obsessed over that style of playing. He desired to collaborate with producer Paul Rothchild. This was due to Rothchild’s connections to Bloomfield and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. However, Krieger’s guitar-playing style prevented him from producing the same incredible bends that Bloomfield had become known for.

Robbie Krieger told Classic Albums that he purposefully tried to avoid adopting any of Bloomfield’s habits because he played fingerstyle the majority of the time. And for that reason, in an attempt to escape the blues, I end up doing all those wild slide things.

Songs like “Love Me Two Times” and “Break On Through” still make the Doors easily identifiable as a blues group. However, some of the best parts occur when Krieger picks up his slide guitar. Years before George Harrison turned his focus to slide guitar. Krieger’s sound operated more like a ghost attempting to re-establish contact with the physical world. It was more like a ghost than a human voice.

The fact that not everything is always in tune makes every track more eerie. Krieger’s slide guitar is used in songs like “LA Woman” like how sound effects producers use foley instruments. When creating “End of the Night,” hearing Krieger’s slide guitar is the ideal complement to Jim Morrison’s lyrics about people born on the dark side of life.

Krieger’s sound was still centred around the blues, but he ventured into new musical ground by utilising a slide, stepping out of Bloomfield’s shadow. Yes, it sounded weird. That gave rise to a whole new wave of musicians. They wanted to sound just a little bit more varied than the rest of the Flower Power generation in their music.

Leave a Reply

You May Also Like