2005 – Danny Sugerman, longtime manager of the Doors, dies in Los Angeles after a long battle with cancer. He is 50.
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 also managed Iggy Pop, and produced his song “Repo Man.” He also wrote Appetite For Destruction: The Days of Guns ‘N Roses in 1991.
Sugerman was married to the former Fawn Hall of Iran-Contra fame. They briefly met MP3.com cofounder Rod Underhill while Hall was employed as an administrative assistant at the San Diego headquarters of the original MP3.com. Underhill, the founding Music Director of MP3.com, stated that “Sugerman was very interesting. He had appeared to go out of his way to appear visually like Jim Morrison. Same type of haircut, similar clothing. The similarity was uncanny.”
Sugerman was interested in working out a distribution deal with MP3.com 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 in 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.
Danny Sugerman Dead at 50
Danny Sugerman, who first saw The Doors in concert in 1967 and landed a job at their West Hollywood office answering fan mail, eventually becoming the group’s manager, died last night, at the age of 50, after a long struggle with lung cancer. Born in L.A. in 1954, Sugerman attended Westchester High School and immediately became involved with The Doors. He co-wrote the 1981 N.Y. Times best-selling Jim Morrison biography, No One Here Gets Out Alive, with Jerry Hopkins, then followed up with the autobiographical Wonderland Avenue and books on Guns N’ Roses and The Doors. Sugerman also consulted Oliver Stone on his 1990 movie The Doors, which starred Val Kilmer as Morrison. Danny had been co-managing The Doors with Jeff Jampol and The Firm.
Said John Densmore, The Doors drummer, “Throughout his time with us that stretched from the 14-year-old kid who Jim Morrison suggested we hire to do our scrapbook, up until his passing on January 5th 2005, at age 50, Danny Sugerman has been the manager and driving force behind The Doors. He wrote a New York Times bestseller about the band and guided our career for over 30 years. I was with Danny a couple of hours before he passed, he knew he was going, and I only hope that when my time comes, I face it with as much courage and dignity as Danny did. He crossed over as a Bhodi Sattva.”
Sugerman is survived by a brother, Dr. Joseph, sister, Nan, and wife, the former Fawn Hall. A recovering addict, he was active with organizations like the Drug Policy Foundation, Musicians Assistance Program and NARAS’ MusiCares Foundation.