Krieger was born in Los Angeles, California. At the age of 10, he tried the trumpet. Later he began playing the blues on his parents’ piano with much more success than the trumpet. At 13, he enjoyed playing a friend’s guitar. While Krieger was a boarding student at a private school called Menlo School, there was study time at night that allowed him to teach himself to play the guitar. He bounced around genres, including flamenco, folk, blues, and jazz. At this time he played in a jug band—the Back Bay Chamber Pot Terriers—at Menlo.
Krieger became a member of the Doors in 1965, joining keyboard player Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore and vocalist Jim Morrison, after Manzarek’s brothers left the group. At an early Doors rehearsal Morrison heard Krieger playing bottleneck guitar and initially wanted the technique featured on every song on the first album.
Krieger occasionally sang lead vocal with the Doors. He can be heard on the song “Runnin’ Blue” He also sang on the last two Doors albums, recorded after Morrison’s death, Other Voices and Full Circle.
After Morrison’s death in 1971, Krieger, Manzarek and Densmore carried on as a trio. They released two more albums as the Doors before disbanding in 1973, though they did reconvene a few years later to create music for poetry that Morrison had recorded shortly before his death, released as the 1978 album An American Prayer.
After the Doors
After the Doors disbanded in 1973, Krieger formed the Butts Band with Densmore. He enjoyed some success as a jazz-fusion guitarist, recording a handful of albums in the 1970s and 1980s, including Versions (1982), Robby Krieger (1985), and No Habla (1989). For his first solo release in 1977, Robbie Krieger & Friends, Krieger worked with rock artist Jim Evans to create a painting that became the album package.
Krieger and Manzarek reformed as the “Doors of the 21st Century” in 2002 with vocalist Ian Astbury of the Cult. In April 2009, Krieger and Ray Manzarek appeared as special guests for Daryl Hall’s monthly concert webcast Live From Daryl’s House.
Robby Krieger performing “The Hitch” Live. The song is from his new album, The Ritual Begins At Sundown out now everywhere. https://amzn.to/3crICPy