Watch Robby Krieger Play "Spanish Caravan" with a String Quartet
Robby Krieger played some memorable electric guitar parts during his time with the Doors. These include a trunk load of “singable” or hummable solos—”Light My Fire,” “Twentieth Century Fox,” “Love Her Madly” and “L.A. Woman”—and catchy, imaginative riffs—”Roadhouse Blues,” “Love Me Two Times,” “Break On Through” and “Riders on the Storm.”
But in the context of what other rock guitarists were playing and recording in the late Sixties, it’s one of Krieger’s acoustic performances that has truly resonated throughout the decades. Yes, we’re talking about “Spanish Caravan,” an impressive flamenco-style track from the band’s 1968 album, Waiting for the Sun.
While the composition is officially credited to the Doors—Krieger, Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore—and sung by Morrison, the flamenco-style guitar intro is pure Krieger and features his reworking of a melody from “Asturias,” a classical piece by Isaac Albéniz. Of course, Krieger also blazes his way into electric-fuzz-guitar nirvana on the same recording—all of which melds to form a very unique late-Sixties masterpiece.
Anyway, Krieger still performs “Spanish Caravan” on tour; in fact, it’s one of the highlights of his solo shows.
“I really missed playing flamenco and had been getting back to it little by little,” Krieger told Guitar World in 2010. “Ray [Manzarek] and I started doing ‘Spanish Caravan’ during our Doors [reunion] shows, and I would perform a longer and longer intro to it as I got more comfortable with the technique and better at it. What I play now is quite similar to what I recorded on ‘Russian Caravan,’ the intro to the first track on [my 2010 album, Singularity].”
Below, check out a fan-filmed Hollywood performance of “Spanish Caravan” by Krieger and a quartet from the LA Philharmonic on June 7, 2015. It even features his son, Waylon Krieger, on vocals. The famous “Asturias” section starts at 2:56; the vocals kick in at 3:31.
For your listening pleasure, we’ve also included the original Doors version of “Spanish Caravan” and a performance of “Asturias”—the classical piece mentioned above—by classical guitarist John Williams. As a little bonus, we’ve thrown in a “Spanish Caravan” lesson video. Enjoy!
To keep up with Krieger in 2018, check out his website, robbykrieger.com.