Skip to main content

Watch Robby Krieger Play The Doors' "Spanish Caravan" with a String Quartet

Robby Krieger performs in Hollywood June 7, 2015.

Robby Krieger performs in Hollywood June 7, 2015. (Image credit: Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Music Lifeboat)

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," "Riders on the Storm" and so many more.

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.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Damian Fanelli
Damian Fanelli

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor, and his non-Pulitzer-Prize-winning stories have appeared in Guitar Aficionado, Vintage Guitar, Total Guitar and countless other publications, including 13.7 metric tons of daily newspapers. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton and Ty Tabor chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (one of which appears in the 2015 Disney film 'Tomorrowland' starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson). He's in two NYC-area bands and plays Teles with four-way switches, B-benders and semi-snazzy aftermarket pickups. He quotes Terry-Thomas twice daily.