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Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors Paperback – October 15, 1999
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"The best book yet about The Doors." --Booklist
From the Back Cover
No other band has ever sounded quite like the Doors. No other set of musicians has managed to produce quite so enthralling a combination of music and lyrics -- and no other front man has ever transfixed an audience quite the way Jim Morrison did. Ray Manzarek, the band's cofounder and keyboard player, was there from the very start -- and until the sad dissolution -- of the Doors, and in this heartfelt and colorfully detailed memoir, he brings us an insider's view of their brief, brilliant history, from Manzarek and Morrison's friendship at UCLA to the legendary Sunset Strip performances, from their string of groundbreaking hit albums to Morrison's tragic demise in 1971. No one can tell the story of the Doors like Ray Manzarek can. And now, in a world where, amazingly, the Doors still sound as fresh and fascinating as the day they made their debut, he finally tells it -- from the beginning to the end.
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Ray acknowledges that along with the band’s fame they ‘entered the gates of Babylon.’ However, songs such as, Strange Days, gave voice to non-conformists, the art world, avant-gardes and those who didn’t fit mainstream society. Educated, literary and well-read, Ray and Jim are evocative of artists like Scott Fitzgerald. For example, they were thrown out of Whiskey-a-Go-Go, after Morrison sang, The End. One of the proprietors ‘went ballistic’ accusing Morrison, and The Doors as base and immoral. Ironically the song was a tribute to Oedipus Rex where Morrison’s lyrics make the political point that American fascism is just as barbaric and crude as Ancient Greek society. Today some can relate to the triumph of the right with its neo-liberal rot.
The Doors shone a light on American authoritarianism and the expectation of compliance. Bill Siddons said, ‘They didn’t take out warrants until yesterday. If they arrested Jim at the gig there would have been a riot.’ The arrest and prosecution of Morrison was a beat up because he hadn’t actually done anything wrong, he simply represented the counter-culture. Ray rambles at times and inserts many esoteric references, which may put some readers off. Despite some short comings Light My Fire is a great read.
want to be on the inside. The writing is great, and you won't be bored. Thanks Ray for sharing, and we'll miss you!
Check his interviews on YouTube also. He was articulate and intelligent. A few hours with him would be a great way to spend your time.