April 27th, 2010
When You're Strange, a film about The Doors
Interview with Robby Krieger

Robby Krieger, guitarist for The Doors, talked to PBS at this year’s SXSW festival about AMERICAN MASTERS When You’re Strange, the first feature film about The Doors, premiering Wednesday, May 12, at 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).

Krieger talks about the use of previously unseen archival footage in the film, Doors fan Johnny Depp as the narrator, and his own inspiration for creating music.  As the key songwriter for The Doors, Krieger penned some of their biggest hits – notably their mesmerizing #1 hit, “Light My Fire.”  Krieger is listed among Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”

Note: This video clip includes a reference to illegal drug use.

  • Dawn

    AWESOME!!! I can’t wait to watch!

  • Carol


  • Cindy

    This looks interesting. I just hope we’re “allowed” to watch it here in Utah . . .

  • The Spy

    It’s playing here in WV

  • mike

    robby’s so cool.. i got to see the doors with ian astbury at the old chicago theater and it was so amazing to see him with his sg and that slide on his finger playing hiss ass off. cant wait to see the film it’s gonna be great thanks pbs

  • Morpheus

    Is this documentary available on PBS.org?? I don’t have cable or satellite; I have a crappy converter and a crappy antenna and the signal sucks!!

    I really pray….that this is going to be available on PBS, by this weekend if not tonight! It really doesn’t help that the comments never load properly on my computer. I NEVER see my own comments come up, so I don’t even know if they are being posted or if I am experiencing some error that I isn’t even being explained or not.

  • Tom

    When will this air again?

  • Denise Pellinghelli

    I missed it, will it play again?

  • pat

    Thank you PBS for showing this wonderful film about the Doors! It was such an amazing glimpse into their lives and the mood of America.

  • Julia

    Great documentary!! I think The Doors were one of the greatest bands ever.

  • Cx.

    Robby, should you ever see this…

    Thank you for your music… it has given me 40 years worth of incredible joy. Always will.

    Just thank you, man.


  • Roger G.

    I have been a Doors fan since the beginning. Being one of my favorite bands, I have pretty much all of their works and even have a black and white 5″ x 7″ signed by not only John, Robbie and Ray but Jim himself.
    My friend’s cousin was their sound man and I was told many “Doors tales”

    I was at the Boston concert when they were recording Absolutely Live and when I watched the show last night it brought back great memories. It was great to see some footage that has not been seen before.

    The one thing that bothered me about this show was they dwelled too much on Jim’s demise rather than elaborating on his great poetry and other parts of his life that not many people know about. Like when he was a young boy and saw the Indian incident and what it did to him.

    Not that it would ever happen but, with all of the talk about celebrities faking their death, it would be great to one day read the news that Jim was found dead of old age and a room filled to the ceiling with his great writings.

    A lot more could have been said about the good recording sessions and the tours of the good shows, but I guess people nowadays want rage. Everyone is a Rider on the storm….

    Johnny Depp’s narration (5 stars) video footage of rare films (5 stars) production of show (2 stars)
    Oliver Stone already did the same thing in 1991 and as Ray said “That Oliver Stone thing did real damage to the guy I knew: Jim Morrison, the poet.”

  • Michelle

    Watched it and LOVED IT!!!!! Going to boston to see Robbie and Ray – can’t wait!.

  • Lindsey

    I missed it ! Is this going to replay ? My bf loves the doors and is so upset we missed it !

  • Mike

    looks like May 16th 2:30 am

  • Mike

    I believe the schedule shows it will air again Sunday May 16 at 2:30 AM….I missed the first one too…I’ll be up to watch it.

  • D.H

    If anybody remembers the movie Eddie and the Cruisers,there is a part in that movie where people are chanting “Eddie” and you see Eddie going back in time from adult until he is a kid and the music they are playing sounds like music in this film. I always thought Eddie and The Cruisers was based on the idea of The Doors with Jim faking his death. This was a great film on The Doors and there’s some great footage of jim.

  • Wad

    For those who missed the doc (I accidentally found it and only saw a bit) go to tvguide.com. Search “American Experience” and you’ll see several re-run dates and times. I’ll be taping it this weekend. I’m going to the Boston show.

  • Randy Ramsey

    I agree with Roger G. in that Jim’s poetry was not taking seriously …..Oliver Stone did do damage to Jim’s poetic side and made out to be a drunk out of control fool…. Morrison was well….different than you and I

  • AW

    What was the part about the dog or coyote lying on the road in the desert?? It looked like he was going to run over it w/ his car & kill it … I found this so disturbing that I had to change the chanel, & hoped I could forget it but it’s still bothering me. What’s the story? I don’t know whether to hate the guy, or was he being compassionate w/ no other options but to run over & crush/kill the poor animal? alana111@mailaka.net

  • Courtney Henley-Anderson

    PBS is finally getting hip! This will be the most successful doc they ever have aired! Here’s hoping they will remain intelligent but start taking some more good risks like this.

  • JeanO’Reilly

    Great Thank you PBS, Johnny Depp and the Doors…LOVED the last line!

  • Janet

    Thanks Robbie and John. What an awesome documentary! You guys were cool and composed through pandemonium of the ’60’s. You all rock so does Jim!!!!!

  • Randy Snyder

    This documentary is too cool; almost as cool as Jim Morrison. Now we need a documentary on Mojos’ alleged death. I’m one of the millions who think he’s still with us and just waiting for the right time to let us know he’s still here. Just like forty-three years ago; I still get weak in the knees when I hear him sing “Light My Fire” (even if I am a guy). I know you’re out there Mojo. This film would have been a perfect point of re-entry for you. Oh well; I’ve been patient for thirty-nine years now; guess I’ll need to be patient still. I still love you James Douglas Morrison.

  • McMurphy

    This is the best documentary I’ve seen yet about Jim Morrison and the Doors. Johnny Depp did an excellent job narrating with a perfect cadence throughout the film. There was plenty of footage I’d never before seen including concert scenes and back stage clips of Jim chatting with fans. I didn’t realize the Who opened for the Doors in 1968. Jim is seen flipping through the playbill with some fans. At this same concert, after the Doors take the stage, it’s hinted that perhaps Jim incited an incident that caused the show to be stopped. He pissed off a girl’s boyfriend in the front rows leading to him throwing a chair that hit another girl. Jim plays down the whole thing backstage and tries to charm the injured girl. We see where he could be guilty of instigating a lot of the trouble he later got into on stage.

    As for the footage at the beginning where Jim is driving around the desert in his Ford Cobra (he only bought American cars), I believe this is from an amateur movie he did called HWY or Highway. I’m guessing, but I’ve read that he filmed this about a killer who hitchikes in the desert after killing someone. Probably, taken from the song “Riders on the Storm”. Remember, the Doors and their music could be very dark and macabre. They were more like the Velvet Underground in that respect. Jim never bought into the whole peace, love, hippie trip that was happening in San Francisco. The Manson murders changed America’s perception of the hippie movement long after the Doors music warned about the darker side of human nature.

  • Richie Rich

    Long live The Doors! Long live PBS!

  • TEE

    i missed it . when is it playing again. i love the doors. !!! please someone email me and tell me when it will play again

  • Bill

    When will it be rebroadcast again. ?

  • Paula

    Fantastic show! I had never seen this footage before and neither did my husband. This show was so well done, you really got a feel for who Jim was outside of the books that were written about him, and the short clips that are shown. I will be taping this show if I can find it being rerun this weekend. Just great stuff about one of the most creative and best bands of all time.

  • Evelyn, The Castle Lady

    Ditto on the rebroadcasting and also when will the series be for sale on DVD ?

    ; )

  • Lori

    I am so sorry I missed the program. Will it be aired again? If so, when?

  • BrownWatch

    Itz 2010. In this psycho-emotionally STERILE environment, it’s so refreshing to see this!


    This was a fantastic documentary. I was sixteen years old and attended the Miami concert, played his music all the time then, turned my daughter on to it (she’s now 25) and still play it now myself. Instructions are to play When the Music’s Over and The End at my final hurrah. Jim Morrison and the Doors will live on forever……It would be nice if he really is still among us .


    i had my phone set for the day and time and don’t ya know i put a.m. instead of p.m. I WANT TO SEE THE WHOLE THING BADLY. I BEEN LOVING MORRISON AND THE CREW FOR 30 YEARS. CAN I AT LEAST BUY THE DVD. I ONLY SEEN THE LAST 40 MINUTES. SAD

  • peijin

    i was also disturbed by the dog/coyote because it looked like its hindlegs run over and nearly severed from its body and was in its death throes. i wasnt sure if that was really jim in the car or if it was some reenactment–in any case, still disturbing. good flick though. would have been nice to have been alive at the time.


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