DCM:     Good evening Doug! You have been referred to as "The Fifth Door" because you played bass on the second, third and fourth albums, "Strange Days," "Waiting For The Sun" and "The Soft Parade."
As I read from your book, back in 1965, you were a ski instructor in Aspen, CO and at one point, you had a chance encounter with Cass Elliott that changed your life….

Doug:     Correct. There was a group from L.A. that came in called The Candy Store. It was the first big musical moment in Aspen because we were used to local bands. All of a sudden there was this band from L.A.! So I started sitting in with them. They really liked my bass playing a lot. Mama Cass was part of the entourage. First she asked me for skiing lessons which I was happy to do. We had a lot of laughs up on the mountain. Then she finally pulled me aside one night and said, "What are you doing here? Get out to L.A. There are so many bands looking for bass players. Get on the plane with me and let's go. Just come with me back to L.A." So I thought about it, and I thought about it and I decided to do it. I turned in my skis, turned in my parka, said goodbye to my wonderful boss who is a giant of skiing and jumped on the plane and went to L.A. with her.

DCM:     She got signed just a couple of weeks after you arrived in L.A. didn't she?

Doug:     Oh no, it's not that she just got signed; she already had that thing in progress. But it hadn't hit the radio yet, so I had no idea who she was. She loved my playing. She would get up and sing and I loved her singing. We just became very good friends and we hit it off very well.

DCM:     Did you remain friends after you decided to stay in L.A.?

Doug:     Absolutely. She was very nice. I think I stayed with her for a couple of weeks. She took me to some very interesting places. You know, meeting different people-to introduce me. She always had the most wonderful things to say about my bass playing.

DCM:     This was another interesting part of your book. How did you get from this point into your band Clear Light?

Doug:     I went to Cantor's Deli; you should have seen it back in 1966. All the bands looking for other members would go to Cantor's with little signs on their shirts "Looking For Singer," "Looking For Lead Guitar W/ Vocals." I was wandering through the crowd; there were a lot of people there. But we were outside the deli and I saw a sign on one guy that said "Need Bass Player." So I started to talk to him. As soon as they told me they had a band house I was like, "I'm In." "Come with us." "I'm in!" We jumped into their car and went and got my stuff and it turned out to be Dallas Taylor who ended up as drummer for the super group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and Bob Seal who was just a great teacher. We hit it off immediately. There was no question that I wasn't going back to the basement.

DCM:     How long was it before Clear Light were signed by Elektra?

Doug:     I guess it would be about nine months. Something like that.

DCM:     So what was your first experience with Elektra Records? Was Jac Holzman the one that signed you guys?

Doug:     Well actually, hmmm, that's a good question. I don't know if I met with him or whether Paul Rothchild just kind of brought the deal to us, "Here's the deal, we want to sign you." Maybe we'd done some demo or something but the condition was that Paul would become our manager. We were tired of dumpster diving for cans and everything. So we said, "Okay, let's go." That's how it happened.

DCM:     Clear Light was together for about two years?

Doug:     Yeah, about two years.

DCM:     While you were with Clear Light you started doing session work…

Doug:     With The Doors.

DCM:     Was that the only band that you were doing session work with at the time?

Doug:     Yeah.

DCM:     Did you get that session gig through your association with Elektra and Paul Rothchild?

Doug:     Yeah. It was kind of an interesting moment. I mean they had given us [Clear Light] the money to rent this kind of run-down mansion in Hollywood, up near Griffith Park and so we started having all sorts of jam sessions. One day Paul came up to me and he said, "Hey, I'm working with this group called The Doors and they're looking for someone to play bass on their records." He didn't say "to join," he said "on their records." So I said, "What the hell." I'd seen The Doors one time on Sunset Strip at a place called the Sea Witch and I loved them. There were three people in the place. And then there was me and my four friends. None of the other people there were doing anything other than sucking down their drinks. And I was just sitting there looking at this band and thinking My God, these guys are unbelievable. There was this tiny little stage. But they were amazing. I said, "Oh, what the hell. Let me go meet them. If they love me, they love me. If they hate me, they hate me. I don't care." They were nobody. There were the Byrds back then. You know. And Love. There were so many groups out there. But The Doors were unheard of. They really were nobodies. So I went up and I met them and rehearsed with them. After about one hour, they asked me "Hey, do you want to play bass on our records?" I said, "Yeah, why not?"

DCM:     So, did they hire you then as a freelance, an independent or a session musician?

Doug:     I don't quite know how to define it but they were going to pay me per session and that was the deal.

DCM:     They were working on "Strange Days" at the time?

Doug:     Yeah.

DCM:     This was at John and Robby's duplex? The rehearsal sessions?

Doug:     That's correct.

DCM:     Do you know where Jim and Pam lived at this time?

Doug:     Right next door. The other half of the duplex. I remember working many times at Jim's place. We became friendly very quickly. He'd be sitting at this large table and he'd have lyrics just strewn across this table and he'd be writing away. Right at this point I guess he was obsessed with writing and writing. He was always so friendly. I would just knock on the door.

DCM:     I know you kind of grew to resent being a session player for The Doors and especially since they had previously asked you to join The Doors.

Doug:     Now, that's one of the stories in the book. One day Paul Rothchild and I were on our way to a "Strange Days" rehearsal. He asked me if I would consider joining The Doors. He was also producing my band Clear Light. So it kind of offended me. It was like, What? You're working with my band and you want me to quit my band and join this band? And so I said, "No."

I guess, you know, he had actually discussed it with The Doors. He was the one that was supposed to ask me. At the time I thought Whoa! None of the guys in the band asked me. It's Paul that's asking me. So I thought maybe I was being manipulated a little bit. Plus the fact that Clear Light was a very close band. We were family. There was no way I was going to do it.

DCM:     You would have been kind of stabbing your friends in the back.

Doug:     Oh, my God, are you kidding? If I'd shown up at that Clear Light house and said, "By the way guys, I'm leaving the band." Laugh They would have lost it. They would have probably murdered me on the spot. But that's the way it went. And then later I find out that Robby says, "Yeah, we did ask you to join the band."

DCM:     What did you understand the Doors' concept to be; how they wanted their material to sound; the impression it would give to the listener and how did you contribute to this concept?

Doug:     I just did my job. I did the best I could with what they were giving me which was outstanding, outstanding material. It wasn't that I was trying to influence their sound in any way. I was just there to take care of my job.

DCM:     You state in your book how they'd sometimes tell you exactly how to play.

Doug:     Robby and Ray were astounding at coming up with the best bass lines. I learned so much from them. How to say a lot with few notes. And so it was a wonderful experience for me.

DCM:     "Five to One" is the song that people still talk about, trying to figure out what Jim meant by his lyrics. Do you have any ideas?

Doug:     The only thing I could come up with is the population was changing; that we were going to take over; that the ratio was 5 to 1 and eventually we were going to take over, which we did. Other than that, you'll have to ask Ray or Robby or John about what it really meant. But that's what it always meant to me. We're taking over. You're outnumbered; we're taking over!

DCM:     You used 'fuzz bass' on this one. Can you explain to non-musicians what that means?

Doug:     You run it through a fuzz tone which is something they came up with for guitarists to use to give it a fuzzy sound. So Paul suggesteDoug:     "Let's try it with the bass." So we did. It was a bizarre sound at the time. Very bizarre. I think that was the last time we ever really used it on any Doors material.

DCM:     The first and the last time?

Doug:     On a Doors song… I did use it with Clear Light on one song called "Mr. Blue" which actually is on my website.

DCM:     Now, not only are your Doors / Morrison experiences in the book great, but the other people you knew, just blew me away! I'm going to say some names and if you can, please tell us a little about these people.... John Sebastian? There's an interesting story about him in your book…

Doug:     Oh yeah, diving buck naked off the diving board at the big party. I got to know John Sebastian very well actually because I was with Dallas Taylor when he was working with Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Stephen Stills had a house in Sag Harbor I think, or some place like that, I don't remember exactly where it was, and John Sebastian lived right down the road. And so I would see a lot of John Sebastian and he was another one of the nicest people I've ever met in my life. He could have been a snot-nosed rock star but he wasn't. He was just fun. And I would go over to his house and he would come and visit me. He had a wonderful wife. I remember her, she was gorgeous. She'd swing by. I have nothing but good things to say about John Sebastian.

DCM:     What about Dallas Taylor? You played with him in Clear Light…

Doug:     Right.

DCM:     Did he play on any Doors albums?

Doug:     No. But he actually came in one time to one of our sessions. We decided to just fool around. So there was Dallas on drums, and me on bass, and Ray and Robby. We just had some fun with it. I don't know if it was ever recorded. We just had fun with it. And they were pretty impressed with him.

DCM: What can you say about Keith Moon?

Doug:     Ah, just the nicest guy. Another one. Just the greatest guy. I only met him once which was at a jam session at Peter Tork's house. A party. It was me, on bass; Keith Moon on drums; Steve Stills on guitar and Pete Townshend on guitar. It was the four of us.

DCM:     An all-star band!

Doug:     Yeah. Just up there having some fun playing. It was a huge jam session. There were all different groups of people getting up. And I walked in. I knew Steve Stills. And I just walked up and grabbed the bass and we started to play. It went on for about half an hour. I didn't even know that it was Keith Moon on drums 'cause I didn't recognize him. At the end of the session I just walked up to him and I said, "Hey, my name's Doug Lubahn. You play a mean set of drums. And he looked up at me and he goes, "You too. You play a mean bass. I'm Keith Moon. Nice to meet you." And it was like Oh God! It was just so much fun.

DCM:     Bob Dylan?

Doug:     Yeah, he was my neighbor, he was my freakin' neighbor! And I wasn't aware of it until a friend of mine who had a photo shop said, "Oh, by the way, you know who was just in here?" "No." "Bob Dylan." I said, "Baloney." My friend's name-he was really a great guy-was Mike Something. He said, "No I swear to God. Bob Dylan was just in here." He goes, "Me and Bob are like this." He does the crossed fingers thing. I said, "Yeah, really? Why don't you introduce me." And he said, "OK." A couple of days later, he calls me and says, "Hey, come over to the photo shop." So I walk in and there's…Bob Dylan leaning against the counter! I mean, I lost all my breath. It was like, I don't believe this, he wasn't lying. And Bob and I hit it off so quickly, so fast. He became a very good friend. We would have breakfasts together. He would come to the house and we'd just whip up the fried eggs and bacon and we'd sit around the table and talk. Another one that I was shocked that he was just so down-to-earth. He was such a giant but we became pals and hung out together.

DCM:     Jimi Hendrix?

Doug:     Oh, Hendrix. Hendrix…he, as you might know, developed quite an interest in the group Clear Light and when he was interviewed in 'Rolling Stone' and asked about his three favorite bands Clear Light was one of them. What he would do, he'd come to our shows and…finally he walked up to the stage one night and just said, "Hey, can I sit in?"

DCM:     Like anybody would say, "No."

Doug:     Yeah, exactly. I mean I was just shocked and it became a regular thing. He would show up and we got to become friends. He became friends with everybody in the band, and he would hang out with us in the dressing room and then when it was time to go on he'd sit in the audience for awhile and then either he'd walk on stage and play bass-I'd give him my Gibson, that was back when I had my Gibson bass, he loved it, he loved my bass-or he would get up and play guitar. I mean it was just unreal, and you know, people…their mouths were dropping, it was like, My God, it's Jimi Hendrix! And we sounded great. I mean we really sounded great! It was just a lot of fun. DCM:     What about Stevie Ray Vaughan?

Doug:     Oh, that's a good story. Stevie Ray Vaughan was playing L.A. the same time the Billy Squier Band was playing L.A. We were in the same hotel so I befriended him because I really loved the way he played-he was another one of the top guitarists I'd ever heard. So we became pals, and we had nothing better to do after our shows than just set up some amps in his room and we'd play. It was amazing. I mean we played for days and days, having fun. We actually talked about starting another band because he loved the way I played bass and I loved the way he played guitar. We drove the hotel management crazy. They would have someone come up to the room and ask us to keep down the noise. We'd say, "Okay," slam the door and then continue to play even louder! It was funny stuff!

DCM:     Ted Nugent?

Doug:     He used to show up at some of the Billy Squier shows when I was in that band. I guess he really liked the way the band sounded because when we were on a break one summer he called our manager and said, "Hey, do you think the guys would like to come and do a record with me…obviously without Billy…but the rest of you, would you like to come and do a record?" And Billy heard about it and said, "Hey, fine, go for it."

And so we went and did the record with him. It's called "Penetrator." The guy is just one of the most interesting people I've met in my life. I mean, he doesn't do drugs, he doesn't drink, but he always had the funniest, funniest things to say. We would be on the floor gasping for breath. And a wonderful, warm person. It was a blast. I'm so glad I did the album.

DCM:     You brought Alice Cooper to see The Doors for his first time?

Doug:     Yeah. Well, his band was still called The Nazz at the time, I think. I don't remember when they changed their name. It went from The Nazz to Alice Cooper.

DCM:     The Nazz actually played warm-up for The Doors later on at the Cheetah.

Doug:     That sounds about right. Well, we had the Clear Light house that was just a massive jam session every night, pretty much, and The Nazz were there and the list goes on and on and on. I can't remember half the people that were there. It became the place to go and just have some fun. It was a massive house. I mean huge mansion. So we had everything all set up in the dining room and it was an open-door policy. Just show up and play and let's have some fun. They were regulars. We just hit it off so quickly because they were very impressed that we had a record deal and we were really impressed with them because they loved to play as much as we did. So we'd just go crazy. Hours and hours of jam sessions.

DCM:     To hear more about Doug's Doors stories, please consider adding this one to your Christmas list! It is recommended 100%! I literally couldn't put it down after I started reading it! Click below for Doug's website:

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