The Doors’ Robby Krieger Plays His Favorite Riffs + Tells LSD Guitar Story
We've got a treat for you with this edition of Loudwire's Gear Factor, powered by Sweetwater. Our own Josh Bernstein caught up with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer -- the Doors' Robby Krieger -- to reflect on the riffs and licks that have played the biggest role in his career as a musician.
Krieger reflects back to the pioneers of rock and roll for his earliest inspirations. "The first thing I heard, I think, was Elvis. I didn't know it at the time, but it was 'Don't Be Cruel,'" says Krieger, playing a little bit of that Elvis sound that first captured his ears.
He also credits Chuck Berry for the inspiration that eventually changed his career path. "I loved Little Richard and Fats Domino and Chuck Berry. He was really the reason I went to electric guitar. Before that I was playing flamenco and folk music and stuff like that and I loved Bob Dylan so I had the harmonica holder and the whole thing," says Krieger.
The guitarist has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Gibson, dating back to before he was even repped by the company. "The first one I got, the Melody Maker, it was just the cheapest guitar in the shop, you know? But when I got it home and started playing, I just loved how it looked and how it felt," says the guitarist. "[It's got] the two cutaways, and I was on this acid trip one time and it reminded me of the devil. For some reason, it just looked very devilish, which I liked."
We couldn't let Krieger get away without sharing some of his favorite musical works, so the six-stringer pulled out riffs from three Doors classics as among the ones he's most proud of. Watch as he serves up bits of "Love Me Two Times," "20th Century Fox" and "Roadhouse Blues."
When asked for his favorite cover of all time, Krieger points to Jose Feliciano's version of "Light My Fire," though admittedly revealing he didn't initially much care for it." "At first I didn't like it. I said, 'Jeez, he did it totally different than us,'" recalls Krieger. "It's kind of jazzy, which is okay. It's almost MOR, I could say, but then the more I heard it, the more I started liking it. I just really ended up liking it, especially the guitar stuff that he does at the end." As his ultimate show of respect, Krieger riffs through a portion of Feliciano's version.
Check out our full chat with The Doors' Robby Krieger, including the guitarist rocking some of his favorite licks, in the video above. And if you're inspired to pick up a guitar and try to master some of Krieger's favorites, be sure to check out Sweetwater for your gear needs.
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