Doug Lubahn performing with the Billy Squier Band in 1982
Photo: Ebet Roberts/Getty Images
Doug Lubahn, Studio Bassist For The Doors, Dies At 71
Doug Lubahn, a celebrated bassist and session musician best known for his work with psychedelic rock pioneers The Doors, died Nov. 20. While details surrounding the cause of his death have yet to be released, his surviving wife, Pat Devanny, confirmed the news in a post shared on Lubahn's Facebook page, writing, "Words could never express the sorrow. He was the love of my life. I'll miss the laughter more than anything. RIP." Lubahn was 71 years old.
The Doors commemorated Lubahn and his work with the band in a post shared on the group's official Twitter page, noting, "Doug made indelible contributions to rock and roll, and especially to The Doors."
Our condolences go out to the family, friends, and fans of Doug Lubahn. Doug made indelible contributions to rock and roll, and especially to The Doors. He played bass on Strange Days, Waiting for the Sun, and Soft Parade. #RIP, Doug. pic.twitter.com/6buV4uPNxT
— The Doors (@TheDoors) November 24, 2019
Lubahn, who's featured on The Doors' early iconic albums Strange Days (1967), Waiting For The Sun (1968) and The Soft Parade (1969), first began working with the group in the mid-'60s during the recording sessions for their second album, Strange Days. Paul A. Rothchild—who produced the self-titled debut album from Lubahn's previous band, Clear Light—introduced the musician to the group.
While The Doors never employed a full-time bass player, instead hiring studio musicians to work on their various albums, Lubahn was a regular figure in the band's official recordings, with founding member and keyboardist Ray Manzarek dubbing him "the fifth Door." (The Doors extended an offer to Lubahn, via producer Rothchild, to join the band as a full-time member; however, Lubahn famously declined, citing his refusal to leave his main project, Clear Light.)
In 2007, Lubahn published "My Days With The Doors," a memoir chronicling his time during the early days of The Doors and retelling the inside stories during the band's recording sessions.
Following his work with The Doors, Lubahn formed multiple groups, including the jazz-rock band Dreams as well as Pierce Arrow and Riff Raff; he served as bassist and lead vocalist for the latter two acts. He also performed and recorded on multiple albums from Billy Squier, including Emotions In Motion (1982) and Signs Of Life (1984), as well as Ted Nugent's Penetrator (1984).
John Densmore, the original drummer for The Doors, remembered Lubahn in a touching post on Twitter, saying, "I loved playing with Doug Lubahn."
Bass players & drummers are brothers... I loved playing with Doug Lubahn. - John Densmore #RIP
— John Densmore (@JohnDensmore) November 25, 2019