“Fortune-tellers usually don’t predict doom and gloom in your future—it’s bad for business.”
In 1968, The Doors were playing a show in Santa Barbara, and while in town guitarist Robby Krieger, along with drummer John Densmore, were dragged by longtime Whisky a Go-Go stalwarts and friends, Donna and Sharon, to visit a psychic with “the Gift,” called Ms. Clara. Everyone but Donna received their good fortune. Hers would reveal itself weeks later when Krieger, Donna, and her boyfriend were involved in a car accident driving to a fishing trip along the Mexican border. All three sustained injuries, including Donna who was left paralyzed from the waist down after the accident.
Krieger, who long battled with survivor’s guilt and remained on and off friends with Donna until her untimely death, was only left with a black eye following the incident but was still scheduled to appear with the band on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour a few days later. As they performed, Krieger only pretended to play, and when asked about the infamous black eye, would often embellish the story saying he and frontman Jim Morrison got into a fight before the show, or that the band was attacked by rednecks that didn’t like their long hair.
“I used to love it when Jim gave conflicting stories to the press to keep people guessing about us, and I like carrying on that tradition,” says Krieger. “My black eye should serve as a reminder that no matter how much a person thinks they know about The Doors, there’s always more to the story. Much more.”
Nearly 50 years later, The Doors founding guitarist Robby Krieger, who penned some of the band’s biggest hits, including their number one hit “Light My Fire,” along with “Love Me Two Times,” “Touch Me” and “Love Her Madly,” captures pockets of memories, monumental moments, and sets the record straight on the true connection of The Doors—and the most famous black eye in rock ’n’ roll—in his first memoir Set the Night on Fire: Living, Dying, and Playing Guitar with The Doors.