Robby Krieger

Robbie Krieger biography photos and artwork

Robby Krieger joined The Doors in 1965 as their lead guitarist, writing and co-writing many of their songs. He is listed as one of the best guitarists ever by Rolling Stone magazine.

Family life and influences

Robert Alan Krieger was born in 1946 to a Jewish family in Los Angeles. He was fascinated early on by classical music, but at seventeen started playing guitar. His musical style moved through flamenco to blues, then to jazz before settling into rock and roll. However, we can still see these different styles in songs by the doors such as ‘Spanish Caravan’, where Krieger’s flamenco playing comes through.

Robby mentions that he was influenced in his playing by flamenco records by Sabicas, Mario Escudero and Carlos Montoya, only really getting into blues at high school. He liked Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Mace Lipscomb, and Robert Johnson, for his blues themes. Krieger professed his love for Bob Dylan and folk music, as well as Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Bud and Travis, and Woody Guthrie.

Early Career and The Doors

Robby studied physics and Indian music at UCLA, and encountered John Densmore during his time there. They began playing together, John on the drums, and Robby on the guitar, improvising blues melodies. Whilst at a class on meditation, Robby Krieger met Ray Manzarek, and the two halves of the band were brought together as Manzarek and Jim Morrison invited Krieger and Densmore to join the band.

Robby Krieger’s broad musical tastes and skilled playing were combined with his flair for musical composition, and went a long way into helping The Doors to establish themselves as a unique brand of music.

After Jim Morrison’s death in 1971, Robby Krieger continued playing with Ray Manzarek and John Densmore for two years, sharing lead vocals with Manzarek on their two subsequent albums.

Career after The Doors

After The Doors disbanded in 1973, Krieger played in the Butts Band with Densmore, releasing a couple of albums. In 1977, he released his first solo album, Robby Krieger and Friends, which enjoyed some success.

Since then, he has been in various bands, and has also had steady success as a solo artist. In 2002, he joined Ray Manzarek in forming ‘Doors of the 21st Century’, but following a court case against them from John Densmore, they became ‘Riders on the Storm’.


Krieger has been married to Lynne Krieger since 1972, and they have had one son, Waylon Krieger. Although Lynne briefly had a relationship with Jim Morrison before Robby, they have been together ever since.


Robby Krieger is most known for having played a Gibson SG Standard, which he only ended up using as it was the best guitar that he could afford at the time. Since then, his net worth has risen to $15 million, so he certainly no longer has that problem. Although he has played with a Gibson ES-335s and ES-355s, he has always found the SG most comfortable, and been drawn back to it.

Unfortunately, Krieger no longer has the original SG which he bought so many years ago, as it was stolen. However, he says that the ’67 which he uses is practically identical, so he still uses this all the time.

Additionally, Gibson recently reissued a Robby Krieger SG, copying his current 1967 SG, but using the neck of a ’61, as he preferred it. The guitar is made out of Grade A tonewoods, with a Maestro Vibrola tailpiece for performance versatility, and a traditional Lyre plate to complete the retro look.

In terms of amps rigs, when with The Doors, Robby used a Magnatone with two 12″ speakers. After a deal with Acoustic, he and Ray used the Acoustic 260 model for a time, switching later to some Twin Reverbs rebuilt with JBL speakers. However, Robby currently uses two Fender Hot Rod Devilles.


Krieger still plays guitar, in albums and at concerts. The Rolling Stone call him one of the greatest guitarists of all time, as he had such “improvisatory flair” in The Doors.

“Schooled in flamenco and jazz, Robby Krieger pushed beyond rock at a time when most players were still bound to the blues.”

Not having a bass or rhythm player meant that Krieger had to, in some ways, be three players simultaneously. However, this allowed him to really develop his skill and style, and will be remembered as one of the best guitarists of all time.