Friday, February 5, 2010

Wonderland Avenue by Danny Sugerman

When Danny Sugerman was thirteen years old, he attended his first Doors concert. He loved the music scene of L.A and was from a very privileged and wealthy family in Beverley Hills. However, behind closed doors, his family life sucked. After his father leaves because of his collection of frogs, snakes and lizards, his mother got a new boyfriend who hit Danny and made his life a living hell each time he came home. It got to a point when he just couldn't tolerate it and left; staying the night at the studios of The Doors where he worked as their fan mail handler. It was then Jim Morrison and the rest of the band found out what kind of hell he was going through. This is a funny and interesting look at how Danny's life comes a full circle only to end up right where he started; not knowing how he got there.

The last time I read this book was in 2004. I remember buying and just flying through the book at a record speed. It took me along for the ride and I loved it. By the end, I wanted to read the other books; and fortunately, I had one of them ('The Doors: Illustrated History') which I received for my 19th birthday from my brother.

Daniel Stephen Sugerman (aka Danny; October 11, 1954 – January 5, 2005) was the second manager of the Los Angeles based rock band The Doors, and wrote several books about Jim Morrison and The Doors, including No One Here Gets Out Alive co-authored with Jerry Hopkins, and the autobiography Wonderland Avenue. Sugerman replaced the original Doors manager, Bill Siddons, shortly after Morrison`s death in 1971. He helped film director Oliver Stone with the production of the 1991 movie The Doors.
Sugerman began working with The Doors when he was 12 years old, starting with answering their fan mail. As stated by The Doors` drummer John Densmore, Danny was "the manager and driving force behind The Doors" who "guided our career for over 30 years". He lived his life keeping the legacy of The Doors alive.
Sugerman was interested in working out a distribution deal with for a number of live Doors recordings that were yet unreleased. No deal was forthcoming, and Sugerman later determined that it would be practical to offer the recordings on CD to fans via the Doors` own official website. Sugerman was a recovering heroin addict who found solace in Buddhism. He died on 5th, January, 2005 after a prolonged struggle with lung cancer due to years of smoking, and was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.

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