Subject: Latest News from The Doors: Jan 7, 2005
Date: 1/7/2005 4:40:33 PM
Danny Sugerman, who first saw The Doors in concert in 1967 and landed a job at their West Hollywood office answering fan mail, eventually becoming the group's manager, died last night, at the age of 50, after a long struggle with lung cancer. Born in L.A. in 1954, Sugerman attended Westchester High School and immediately became involved with The Doors. He co-wrote the 1981 New York Times best-selling Jim Morrison biography, No One Here Gets Out Alive, with Jerry Hopkins, then followed up with the autobiographical Wonderland Avenue and books on Guns N' Roses and The Doors. Sugerman also consulted Oliver Stone on his 1990 movie The Doors, which starred Val Kilmer as Morrison. Danny had been co-managing The Doors with Jeff Jampol and the L.A.-based management company The Firm.
'From the time he joined our fold -- as the 14-year-old kid Jim Morrison suggested we hire to do our scrapbook -- until his passing, Danny Sugerman has been a driving force behind The Doors,' said the band's drummer, John Densmore. 'He wrote a bestseller about the band and guided our career for over 30 years. I was with Danny a couple of hours before he passed; he knew he was going. I only hope that when my time comes, I face it with as much courage and dignity as Danny did. He crossed over as a Bodhisattva.'
'Danny Sugerman was a great friend of mine, and a fantastic manager for The Doors,' said keyboardist Ray Manzarek. 'His mind was sharp as a tack, with a very high IQ -- I loved creating with him. Danny and I set out to keep the name and the poetry of Jim Morrison alive back in 1973, and we continued working together until his death. I will miss him deeply. Now he's gone into the light, into the arms of the Buddha whom he so loved. Danny is standing side-by-side with his great friend, Jim Morrison, and the two of them will now be laughing together into eternity.'
'Danny was the original, number one Doors fan right up until the end,' noted guitarist Robby Krieger. 'He was so obsessed with Jim Morrison and The Doors that he never stopped to realize what an amazing life he had. Danny never ceased to amaze me: That annoying little kid who hung around the Doors office finally talks his way into answering fan mail. Next thing, seemingly overnight, he becomes a best-selling author. Danny takes Jerry Hopkins' research on the Doors and crafts it into possibly the best rock-and-roll book ever written. It's amazing how many lives have been changed (hopefully for the better) by No One Here Gets Out Alive. Then Danny lands a nice little job for himself: manager of The Doors. Pretty neat. But the smartest thing he ever did was to marry Fawn Hall. Theirs was one of the best marriages I knew of. Danny, wherever you're going, I hope you end up with Jim again. Lynn and I loved you until the end.'
'Danny Sugerman was more than a friend and a business partner to me,' said Jeff Jampol, The Doors' co-manager. 'He was an awe-inspiring mentor, a cherished, loving advisor and a living, breathing example of honesty, giving, service and, above all, grace and dignity. He taught me so much. It's funny -- I thought it was about business, but it was actually about life, spirit, and how to be a better human being. I'm going to mourn him terribly, but I have the very enviable duty of keeping his light and his legacy alive, through the music of The Doors, the words and poetry of Jim Morrison and the principles Danny instilled in me. I'll consider myself doubly blessed if I can pass on to others even a sliver of what I received so freely from him. I miss him so much already.'
Sugerman is survived by a brother, Dr. Joseph, sister, Nan, and wife, the former Fawn Hall. A recovering addict, he was active with organizations like the Drug Policy Foundation, Musicians' Assistance Program and NARAS' MusiCares Foundation.
Private services are being planned. The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in Danny's name to the MusiCares/MAP Fund, 817 S. Vine Street, Hollywood, CA, 90038.
- January 6, 2005