John Densmore filed a lawsuit against fellow Doors founders Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek Tuesday (February 4) claiming they are infringing on the band's trademark by using the name for their new supergroup.
The suit, which names Krieger, Manzarek and their bandmates Ian Astbury of the Cult and Stewart Copeland of the Police, also charges breach of contract and unfair competition.
"It's misleading to the fans," Densmore said in a statement. "My partners are free to play under any other name and any other logo, as the members of many bands from the same era are doing. I am seeking only to end the confusion caused by the deceptive ad campaign they are using on this tour in order to preserve the legacy of the Doors, and to set the record straight."
A spokesperson for Krieger and Manzarek said the musicians had no knowledge of Densmore's allegations until Tuesday, and had no comment on the lawsuit.
Densmore's suit, which seeks an injunction and damages, notes that advertisements for Krieger and Manzarek's band have used the original Doors logo, and that Jay Leno introduced the group on "The Tonight Show" as the Doors. It also describes numerous telephone calls the drummer received from family and friends assuming he had reunited with his former guitarist and keyboardist.
According to Densmore, under legal agreement, all business decisions pertaining to the Doors, such as reissues and reunion events, must be made unanimously with the living members of the band and the estate of late frontman Jim Morrison, who died in 1971.
"There has been a drummer playing with that band who is not [Densmore] [that] has minimized and diminished the reputation and stature of [Densmore] by causing people to believe that he was not, and is not, an integral and respected part of the Doors band, or [that he is] one member who easily can be replaced by another," the lawsuit also notes.
Krieger and Manzarek invited Densmore to join a reunited version of the band with Astbury last fall, but he declined due to a brief illness.
Densmore, who is performing at a fundraiser in Santa Monica on Saturday, will, according to his spokesperson, release the debut album from his new group, Tribal Jazz, this summer.