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Robert Alan "Robby" Krieger (born January 8, 1946) is an American rock guitarist and songwriter. He was the guitarist in The Doors, and wrote some of the band's best known songs, including "Light My Fire," "Love Me Two Times," "Touch Me," and "Love Her Madly."
He is listed as number 91 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
Robby Krieger was born in Los Angeles, California, to a Jewish family. His first exposure to music was mostly classical, as his father was a big fan of marching music, until he heard Peter and the Wolf, which was the first music that really caught him. When he was seven, Krieger accidentally broke his record player, but the radio began to reach his ears playing the likes of Fats Domino, Elvis Presley, and the Platters. At 10 he tried the trumpet, but found it wasn't for him. He began playing the blues on his parents' piano with much more success than the trumpet. At 14, he began to surf and it became an integral part of his life. Krieger's parents began to worry that his surfing was distracting him from school and they enrolled him in a private school.
While Krieger was attending a private school, there was study time at night that allowed him to teach himself to play the guitar. He began by learning flamenco, borrowing a friend's guitar. When Krieger was 18, he got his own flamenco guitar and took lessons for a few months. He bounced around genres, including flamenco, folk, blues, and jazz. After high school, Krieger attended the University of California, Santa Barbara (reportedly first experimenting with LSD in neighboring Isla Vista).
Krieger was in The Doors with keyboard player Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore and vocalist Jim Morrison. 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's fingerstyle approach to the electric guitar, eclectic musical tastes, and songwriting helped establish The Doors as a successful rock band in the 1960s. His only singing with the early Doors can be heard on the album The Soft Parade, on the song "Runnin' Blue".
After Morrison's death in 1971, The Doors continued as a trio and released two albums, Other Voices and Full Circle. Krieger shared lead vocal duties with Manzarek. After The Doors disbanded in 1973, Krieger formed The Butts Band with Densmore. He enjoyed some success as a jazz guitarist, recording a handful of albums as The Robby Krieger Band in the 1970s and 1980s, including Versions (1983) and No Habla (1986). For his 1977 solo release Robby Krieger & Friends, Krieger worked with rock artist Jim Evans to create a painting that became the album package.
In 1982, Krieger made an album with the Los Angeles group Acid Casualties. Their album, Panic Station, was released by Rhino Records and included a new version of the rare 1968 Pink Floyd single Point Me at the Sky. In the early 90s, Krieger formed a trio called the 'Robby Krieger Organization' featuring Skip Van Winkle (electric organ,organ pedal bass) and Dale Alexander (drums, backing vocals). In 1996, Krieger formed a new band simply known as the 'Robby Krieger Band' which featured his son Waylon Krieger (guitar), Barry Oakley Jr. (bass, backing vocals), Dale Alexander (keyboards) and Ray Mehlbaum (drums). The band performed shows in North America and Europe between 1996-1998. In 2000, Krieger released Cinematix, an entirely instrumental fusion album, with guest appearances from Billy Cobham and Edgar Winter.
Krieger and Manzarek reformed as the Doors of the 21st Century in 2002 with vocalist Ian Astbury, formerly of The Cult. Following a dispute with Densmore over The Doors name, the band is now known as Riders on the Storm. For a brief period, the reformed band also included Police drummer Stewart Copeland.
Krieger played guitar on a few tracks by Blue Öyster Cult and has worked on a number of tribute projects organized by Billy Sherwood. In recent times, Krieger has made some guest appearances with the band Particle and appears on the album Transformations Live. Together, they cover many of The Doors' songs.
In April 2009, Krieger and Ray Manzarek appeared as special guests for Daryl Hall's monthly concert webcast "Live From Daryl's House". They performed several Doors tunes ("People Are Strange", "The Crystal Ship", "Roadhouse Blues" and "Break On Through"), with Hall providing lead vocals. Krieger also played lead guitar on the Hall & Oates track "Kiss On My List".
Krieger has participated in the "Experience Hendrix" series of concerts over the last two years (2008–09), joining a number of high profile guitar players paying tribute to the musicianship and songwriting of Jimi Hendrix.