Robby Krieger Recalls Move to Electric Guitar
Robby Krieger recalled the big move from acoustic guitar playing to an electric version of the instrument just weeks before he joined the Doors in 1965.
Born into a family who loved classical music, he’d discovered various styles of guitar playing including flamenco, folk and jazz. When the Doors opportunity came along he’d only recently embraced rock ’n’ roll, as he told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.
“I’d been playing electric for maybe a month, two months or something,” Krieger said. “I had played a little bit with another band but not for very long. I’d never played electric; I’d played only flamenco guitar, where you use your right hand a lot, and no pick. So that gave me quite a different sound electric-wise. I’d played folk music a lot, but always on nylon-stringed guitars. So it was a whole different deal for me.”
He added: “And the reason I did go electric was when I saw Chuck Berry play, back in ’64 – when he was still great!” After having witnessed Berry, he bought an old Gibson guitar in a pawn shop for $180, which he used in the Doors until it was stolen. His playing style, heavily influenced by his early years, is credited as one of the elements that made the Doors' sound unique.
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