Light My Fire: My Life with the Doors

Ray Manzarek, Author
Ray Manzarek, Author Putnam Publishing Group $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-14399-1
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-425-17045-8
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-7126-7924-4
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-09-928065-1
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Legendary Doors keyboardist Manzarek cannot seem to figure out whether his close friend and bandmate Jim Morrison's wild antics were the result of a poetic desire to push the envelope as far as the singer could, or if the famous 1960s rebel (who died in Paris at the age of 27) was just a gifted drunk. This ambivalence gives rise to an interesting, open-minded chronicle of one man's (Morrison's) alcoholism and its impact on his loved ones. Manzarek surely loved Morrison--they were friends and collaborators before either man had met the other two musicians who would complete the Doors's lineup, drummer John Densmore (whom Manzarek claimed Morrison never liked) and guitarist Robby Krieger, who penned ""Light My Fire,"" ""Touch Me"" and ""Love Me Two Times"" with little or no help from famed lyricist Morrison. Manzarek takes every opportunity to philosophize about the ills of capitalist America, and he incessantly, passionately alludes to Greek mythology, Hinduism and Christianity when relating tales of his rock band's rise and fall. It's all love, peace, happiness and Morrison, except for the caustic passages regarding Oliver Stone and his big-budget biopic, The Doors, which Manzarek despises. ""Grow up and see it like it really is, you fascist,"" the keyboardist writes at one point, which makes one wonder why Manzarek, an award-winning filmmaker and graduate of the UCLA film school, didn't make the movie himself. 16 pages of photos, not seen by PW. (July)
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