Los Angeles – Doors manager Danny Sugerman, who befriended the members of the legendary Los Angeles rock band as a youngster and spent the rest of his life tending to its legacy, has died after a battle with lung cancer, associates said on Thursday. He was 50.
Sugerman, who died at his home on Wednesday, was responsible for reigniting interest in the band with the best-selling 1980 Doors memoir “No One Here Gets Out Alive,” which he co-wrote with veteran music journalist Jerry Hopkins.
He also served as a technical advisor on Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie “The Doors,” which starred Val Kilmer as the group’s magnetic late frontman, Jim Morrison.
“Danny is standing side-by-side with his great friend, Jim Morrison, and the two of them will now be laughing together into eternity,” Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek said in a statement.
“Danny was the No. 1 Doors fan of the world,” Doors drummer John Densmore told Reuters. “I told him no one loved Jim as much as he did.”
Indeed, Sugerman stated in his Doors book, “My personal belief is that Jim Morrison was a god.”
The Doors, famed for such tunes as “Light My Fire” and “Riders on the Storm,” enjoyed a wild heyday in the late 1960s. Sugerman went along for the ride, hooking up with the band when he was 14 after seeing them play a show.
He answered fan mail, compiled a scrapbook, and then Morrison suggested putting him on the payroll as a management associate. He went on to manage the affairs of Densmore, Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger after Morrison died of heart failure in 1971.
Densmore, who visited Sugerman shortly before he died, said he had been sick for some years. “Cigarettes took him out,” he added.
Sugerman is survived by his wife, Fawn Hall, who testified against her former boss Oliver North in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s, and by a brother and sister.