Quick: Name All the People Who Played Bass in The Doors

“Aha!” you say, “Trick question! The Doors never had a bass player in their lineup! All the bass parts were played by Ray Manzaerk on his keyboards!”

Well, yes and no.  While The Doors never had a bass player as a full time member, a bass can clearly be heard on a lot of their recordings. Ergo, someone must have been playing bass. But who? Glad you asked.

The following people were known to thump the four-string for Doors recordings:

  • Patty Sullivan (later Patty Hansen)–yes, a woman–on Rick & the Ravens recordings. This was the band that evolved into The Doors
  • Larry Knechtel, part of the famous Wrecking Crew of studio players.
  • Doug Lubahn:  Bass on much of the second, third and fourth albums
  • Kerry Magness:  An ex-member of the Kingsmen
  • Leroy Vinnegar:  Acoustic bass on a couple of tracks.
  • Harvey Brooks:  Six tracks on The Soft Parade including “Touch Me.”
  • Ray Neopolitan: Joe Cocker’s bass man
  • Lonnie Mach: Blues player that can be heard on “Roadhouse Blues”

More on all these guys at Ultimate Classic Rock.



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

3 thoughts on “Quick: Name All the People Who Played Bass in The Doors

  • July 14, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Love your blog! My husband and I starting our own music blog too! Keep up the good work. We love seeing others with the same passion as us for music!

  • December 17, 2020 at 12:06 am

    How could you miss Jerry Scheff on L.A. Woman? Credited right on the album.

  • June 21, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    How could you not credit Jerry Scheff? He literally did more recordings than all of them combined. Not to mention the entire LA Woman album


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