The Doors members sell catalogue rights in ‘monumental acquisition’

Primary Wave Music has acquired the rights of two founding members of The Doors – guitarist Robby Krieger and late keyboardist Ray Manzarek – in a deal that includes the band’s publishing catalogue, trademarks, and merchandise rights among other things.

The Doors

The price of the deal has yet to be disclosed, but the music publishing and management company have described it as a “monumental acquisition” that includes hits across six studio albums.

These include ‘Break on Through (to the Other Side)’, ‘Hello, I Love You’, ‘L.A. Woman’, ‘People Are Strange’, ‘Riders on the Storm’, and ‘Light My Fire’ – all tracks which were released between the band’s formation in 1965 and the death of lead vocalist Jim Morrison in 1971.

The latest deal, however, doesn’t include the late Morrison’s entities, nor drummer John Densmore’s interests in the band.

The Doors

After Jim Morrison’s death, at the age of 27, Densmore, Krieger and Manzarek went on to release three more albums as The Doors: Other Voices, released just three months after Morrison’s death; Full Circle, the following year; and An American Prayer in 1978, which went on to be nominated for a Grammy in the Spoken Word category.

The latest deal will see The Doors’ long-time manager, Jeff Jampol, involved in the preservation of the band’s catalogue and branding, which Primary Wave Music CEO and Founder Larry Mestel has said will help “tastefully grow opportunities for The Doors”.

Krieger, meanwhile, has said in a statement: “After 58 years, and the most magical of times, I’ve decided to sell my share of the Doors to Primary Wave. This will enable me to help the many charities I’ve been involved with, and some new ones too.

“I know Primary Wave cares about music, art, and about helping legacies go to even bigger levels. Our longtime Doors manager Jeff Jampol will still be protecting our legacy in partnership with Primary Wave, so I’m comfortable and happy with the future of The Doors.”

The Doors

Manzarek’s widow, Dorothy has also said: “Ray and I spent a lot of time discussing the future of The Doors’ legacy, and how to handle things after he departed this plane.

“Our family has worked patiently to find the right partners to continue Ray’s lifelong efforts in protecting and promoting his art, and now we are happy to have finally come to an agreement with Primary Wave. Under the continued guidance of our manager, Jeff Jampol, Primary Wave will be the right partners in this endeavor to build future generations of new Doors fans.”

The sale of back catalogues has proved immensely profitable in the past couple years, although has notably cooled somewhat in the past nine months or so, owing in large part to higher interest rates making it more expensive to finance big sales.

That said, there have been some recent deals, and not just for legacy artists such as Bob Dylan (£225 million), Bruce Springsteen (£367 million) and Tina Turner (£225 million). Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea recently sold her back catalogue for a reported eight-figure deal, whilst a reported $200 million (£160 million) deal for Justin Bieber’s was reported to be on the verge of completion in December.

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