John Densmore Explains How The Doors Discovered The Meaning Of ‘Mr. Mojo Risin’

The Doors drummer John Densmore recently explained how the band discovered the meaning of the phrase “Mr. Mojo Risin.

Densmore told Uncle Joe Benson on the “Ultimate Classic Rock Nights” radio show that the song “L.A. Woman’s” tempo picked up when Jim Morrison began singing “Mr. Mojo Risin.”

“We slowed it down – ‘Cops in cars, the topless bars / Never saw a woman so alone’ – so then we take it down,” the drummer explained.
“And then he starts repeating ‘Mr. Mojo Risin’,’ and I thought, ‘Oh, well, we’re rising here. Let’s speed this up, you know, like one would when one gets excited.’ I had to, several minutes later, in my mind, increase the tempo back and get it hopefully to the original tempo that’s in the first couple of verses. If you compare the two, it’s a little faster, but it’s the same area.”

Densmore added that after finishing the song Morrison told bandmembers, “Check this out! He writes down ‘Mr. Mojo Risin’… and then he takes the letters and starts making arrows and writing the letters all twisted around, and it spells ‘Jim Morrison.’ Oh, my God, this guy’s a genius!”

When asked if Morrison already knew about the anagram, Densmore replied, “He did – but he didn’t tell us!”

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