Doors guitarist Robby Krieger says that at first, he "didn't like the idea" of Stoned Immaculate: The Music of the Doors. The tribute album, which will debut at No. 72 on this week's Billboard charts, features Krieger and the other surviving Doors — keyboardist Ray Manzarek and drummer John Densmore — collaborating with the likes of Bo Diddley, Aerosmith, Stone Temple Pilots, and Creed on new versions of the Doors' songs.
"Most of the [Doors] covers I heard before had been pretty bad for one reason or another," Krieger says. "Most people don't try them very much; I think they figure it's going to be pretty tough to beat the original, maybe, because our songs were so kind of weird and different and not very commercial. But when I heard some of the groups they were getting for this, I did get kind of excited — especially when I heard they actually wanted to play with us. I thought that sounded like fun; you don't usually do that on your own tribute record."
Other artists to appear on the collection include old-guard heroes like John Lee Hooker and newcomers Days of the New and Smash Mouth.
Krieger says Creed's Scott Stapp came the closest to the late Doors frontman Jim Morrison with his rendition of "Riders on the Storm," while Days of the New's Travis Meeks got the cojones award for taking on the ambitious "The End."
The guitarist was also pleased that he, Manzarek, and Densmore got to create some new music for the album — mostly to accompany some of Morrison's spoken-word pieces — after tracks by Marilyn Manson, Bush, Chrissie Hynde, UB40, and the Marvelous 3 were pulled due to record-company politics.
Stoned Immaculate's afterlife includes an episode of VH1's Storytellers that was shot in Los Angeles and debuts with a 90-minute special at 10 p.m. Sunday, then condenses to a 60-minute form for reruns.
There's also talk about a Doors tour of some sort in 2001: Krieger says the trio is considering some shows with Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman and British violinist Nigel Kennedy, who helmed the new Riders on the Storm: The Doors Concerto orchestral album. The guitarist would also like to see some sort of touring version of the Stoned Immaculate concept.
"It would have to be the right thing; you'd have to have the right kind of singers," he says. "If we could do something like we did on the VH1 special, where you have five or so singers, I think that would be cool. If you just have one guy, it's going to be, 'Oh, he's replacing Jim' — you know what I mean? People are talking about stuff like that, but nothing's really planned, nothing of substance, at least."