Ray Manzarek dubbed him “The Fifth Door.” Originally encouraged by Mama Cass Elliott to migrate to the City of Angels, Doug Lubahn could have been a full-time member of The Doors.
Yet the session bassist opted to remain with his band Clear Light, one of LA’s premier psychedelic rock ensembles, which waxed a brilliant debut album in 1967 for Elektra and faded into obscurity soon after.
On Doors’ record dates, Doug deftly approximated Manzarek’s left-hand keyboard figures- a wise modus operandi as the band did not bring actual bass players on the road and their performances would have suffered even further given the lounge Lizard King’s booze addled on-stage diversions.
As such Doug contributed to significantly to the band’s hallowed canon, performing on Strange Days (1967), Waiting for the Sun (1968) and Soft Parade (1969) on seminal tracks including “Moonlight Drive,” “Love Me Two Times,” “People are Strange,” “Hello I Love You,” and “Wishful Sinful,” among others.
In 1970 Doug was a founding member of jazz rock pioneers Dreams, featuring Randy and Michael Brecker, Billy Cobham, and John Abercrombie – which garnered critical acclaim despite a lack of commercial success. An accomplished vocalist, Doug also toured and/or recorded with Billy Squire (Emotions In Motion / 1982), The Monkees, and Ted Nugent, among others.
Coda: Doug also authored a fine memoir: My Days with The Doors and Other Stories.