Light My Fire
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Light My Fire

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  908 ratings  ·  50 reviews
With the turbulence and psychedelia of the sixties as a backdrop, this is the untold story of the wild and nihilistic life of The Doors and lead singer Jim Morrison, by the only one who was there from the beginning.The Doors. Arguably the most important rock-and-roll band of the sixties, unquestionably a catalyst for American music as we know it. Their music was the produc...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 29th 1998 by Putnam Adult (first published January 1st 1998)
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Ian Paganus
Place Holder

Manzarek was jealous as hell of Morrison, but at least he had the guts to recognise the myth that Morrison created around himself and not try to squash it (even if so many other people want to squash it).

Densmore was more of a straight shooter, but I think you need both books to find the truth (if not more than two).

But you have to care enough about the truth.
Carol Storm
Wonderful, inspiring book by a down to earth guy who loved Jim Morrison a little too much!

Having been a lifelong Doors fan and having already read all the standard books, I assumed that this book was just going to be keyboard player Ray Manzarek's personal love letter to his friend Jim. I figured all it would be was a tribute to Jim's genius, and lots of feel-good stories that would put their relationship in a positive light. And I got that. But I got more. Much more.

The irony is, Ray is on eve...more
Not just an account of the rise and fall of the Doors, LIGHT MY FIRE is especially an expression of the creative process, psychedelic style; back when drugs were used for opening doors instead of escaping from life.

This is how Ray Mazarek sees it. He had the ultimate example of the different uses of drugs, in the two personalities of Jim Morrison, poet and addict. He also had a group of four musical personalities who, combined, created more than any of them could have created alone. Ray's descri...more
Christian Danielsen
Me & Jim (& John)

Ray Manzarek's "Light My Fire" is (of course) a very interesting read for all Doors fans. The book doesn't uncover much new information about it's main topic, Jim Morrison, but it certainly says a lot about Manzarek's psyche and how he wants to appear before the reader.

Everybody knows Manzarek as the cool, storytelling dude with the sixties slang, that talks like he's reading from a script, and it is also how this book is written - sort of, because the "beat generation s...more
Jim Cherry
Heartfelt Tribute to A Lost Friend

Perspective is everything. Light My Fire is Ray Manzarek’s perspective. Jim Morrison is an icon and will always be an icon. There are those who knew Morrison as a person and Manzarek is in a unique position to relate the story of The Doors, and to avoid having to answer the same question for the rest of your life “what was Jim like?”

Manzarek and Morrison were UCLA film students who started The Doors. Light My Fire takes us through Manzarek’s early years in Chic...more
Ray Manzarek is such a charming and enthusiastic narrator that he manages to convey the excitement of being young, literate and in a bitchin band in the middle of that Sixties cultural revolution. He clearly still adores Jim, and that love really comes through in an almost parental way, which makes sense all these years later, and most of this book concentrates on those early years, when they were forming their friendship and discovering art and film and music. Evocative and wonderfully new-agey...more
"And Jim is always with us. In the air, in the ether, in the electricity. In the sounds and rhythms of Door's music. In the images of his poetry. In the joys and anguish of his soul, which he so publicly bared to us. . . And in each new generation's discovery of The Doors and Jim's plea of: "Please, please, listen to me, children. You are the ones who will rule the world." In each new generation's quest for its own freedom, Jim is there. The Doors are there."
On the one hand, this book serves to demystify the legend of Jim Morrison. It was fascinating to read the accounts of The Doors' early days from someone who was there in the middle of it all. But Manzarek's frequent references to his charismatic lead singer in god-like terms make it sound like he was just as enamored of the Lizard King as the public was.
Excellent account of the history and experiences of the Doors, written by fabulous keyboardist Ray Manzarek. He and Jim Morrison met at UCLA as film majors, and after graduating and dodging the draft to Vietnam, decided to make their band, The Doors. Jim Morrison was the classic Dionysus, I write about it on, in the account under my own name, Jean Bakula, under Greek Myth, Dionysus. Ray Manzarek was the Apollo to Jim's Dionysus. Although Jim was so talented, he was angry that people...more
Sep 04, 2011 Briánna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Briánna by: friend
Interesting. Ray had nothing but love and respect for Jim, even when he was at his lowest.
Maris Bennett
Finally picked up this book which I bought years ago. As a 'child' of the 60s, I figured it would be good. After all, who better to write a history of the Doors than its co-founder? Ray Manzarek was an amazing storyteller. His descriptions of people, places, recording sessions, concerts, were detailed & fascinating. I felt as though I'd time-traveled reading his stream-of-consciousness-style sentences. Highly recommend this to those who, like me, lived in the 60s as well as those wanting to...more
Alexis Vélez
Primero que nada tengo que dejar claro que soy fanático de The Doors, Jim en particular fué mi mayor influencia en mi corta experiencia de alrededor de 4 años en los escenarios del Rock n' Roll como vocalista de una banda y que lamentablemente Ray tenía que morir para yo buscar estas memorias. Jim Morrison sentó muchos precedentes en la historia de la música; además de ser un consumado poeta y artista, fue de los primeros que logró hipnotizar a sus seguidores con su presencia escénica. No queda...more
Paul Gleason
Ray's book on his life in The Doors is a fun and quick read. He's as lighthearted and enthusiastic as John Densmore is serious and cerebral. The two memoirs stand as entertaining, revealing, and, as these things go, somewhat contradictory books.

But we're here to talk about Ray's book, which I found to be an entertaining grab bag of stories about The Doors and, most interestingly, Ray's tremendous admiration and, you could even say, worship of his friend, Doors' singer Jim Morrison.

The cool thing...more
Jul 07, 2008 Bookmaniac70 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bookmaniac70 by: Beebarf
As a great Doors fan, I enjoyed this book. Ray Manzarek really tried to remain honest and true to the spirit of the group and relate to us the story of its creating,success and crisis. He offers a really witty,intelligent and profound image of their work and present very convincingly their goals and the joy of creating music together. of course,it is also a book about Jim Morrison. Manzarek makes a very intriguing analysis of Jim`s psyche. In the same time,we learn about Morrison only what Doors...more
I read this book in late 1999 not long after it was released. I can recall I had it read before Thanksgiving that year but cannot recall the exact day so I estimated it as best I could.

I really enjoyed this book when if first came out as I was living near Los Angeles at the time it sort of brought back of feeling of the L.A. scene at the Whiskey A-Go-Go before it became the icon it is today on the Strip. Even still the "Whiskey" characteristically has the look of the old days but the feel is som...more
I was expecting some self serving whitewash, how great a group we were story, and whilst there are elemement sof that, there is much more to the book.

Jim Morrison's death serves as bookends to this story. Ray Manzarek details his childhood and how he met Morrison and subequently formed The Doors.

Whilst there is a certain amount of placing Morrison on a pedestal, there are also insights and tales of his darker side, or "Jimbo" as Manzarek refers to him.

It's another example of being in the right p...more
Kate Lawrence
I was never a big Doors fan, although I do recall precisely where I was when I first heard "Light My Fire" on the radio (in my family's kitchen, washing the dishes). This biography of the band, written by one of its members, gives details and insight that journalists reporting on the band from outside would never know. Unlike other accounts of the band, it presents Jim Morrison in a very sympathetic light, as the author cared deeply for him. I recommend this to anyone interested in one of the to...more
It was an interesting book. I really liked that it spent most of its time talking about the music, and how they made it. Most rock star memoirs talk about the chicks and the drugs and barely mention the songs at all. It was weird when he would suddenly start preaching for the reader to help usher in the new age, or insulting Oliver Stone out of nowhere. Also the way he reports some of the conversations seemed a little contrived. "Gee whiz Jim, I think you're swell" "Golly gee Ray, I think you ar...more
This is a must for any Doors fan. "Riders on the Storm" by drummer John Densmore is not anywhere near as good because Densmore was never really buddies with Jim Morrison. Ray Manzarek, however, was close to Jim before they formed the band, and understood him as a partner. This book, along with the more journalistic "No One Gets Out of Here Alive" by Danny Sugerman, are the two best ones by insiders. Although I have not read the newer Ben Fong-Torres book yet.
When I say that I really liked this book, I actually mean to say that I loved parts of it and other parts were just kinda 'ok'. And the funny thing is, the parts I loved were unexpected, while the 'just kinda ok' parts were what i picked the book up for in the first place. Ray Manzarek writes about music with rare passion and clarity. He writes about The Doors like I write about trios of redheads at some rave at Pigeon Point...all soft and sad and sappy.
Sean Chick
This is a fun and insightful read, but Manzarek is a little too willing to cry over the lost spirit of the 1960s. His rants on the subject are tiresome. In regards to Morrison he holds back too much of the bad. Densmore's book is a better read in every way. No hard feelings though. Ray was the musical heart of the band, the man who kept the ship going, and probably the best rock keyboardist of all time.
Kesä on oivaa hömppälukemisen riemuaikaa!
Aikas oli tuttua Doors kanonisointia ja Morrisonin kukonpoika roolin ylistystä, sitä tuttua tavaraa...
Suosittelenkin mieluummin No One get Out Alive opusta, yltää hieman pintaa syvemmälle.

Kuitennii on aina aikas hienoa lukea sisäpiiriläisen tuntoja, ja Manzarek tiivistää ajan tuntoja osuvasti - tosin unohtamatta korostaa omaa rooliaan.
It's the Doors by one of the band members. The only thing better would be Morrison's corpse writing an autobiography. Ray writes his version of the mysticism and legend that is now just remembered. He holds Jim Morrison on a totem pole, but does the book justice by teaching us join him in the Jim-worshipping. Great rock story!
Jarkko Kokkonen
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I love Ray's writing style, and it's disheartening that he didn't write more. He's every bit the poet Jim was. The book is also chocked full of literary, film, mythology... all sorts of references, so it gets better when you read it again every few years or so.
Sep 15, 2007 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: rock and rolls fans
I have always been pretty skeptical of any book claiming to have inside scoop in any band. I found this book to be very insightful, honest and highly entertaining. Ray Manzarek's account of the rise and fall of The Doors is certainingly a great read for anyone who is a fan.
I found this book to be fantastic. I could really feel Manzarek's passion when I was reading it. It is because of this passion that makes me want to read more about the amazing band that is The Doors. It also makes me want to get back to writing again.
Jun 20, 2007 Hayley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the doors
A good selection for those of us who can't get enough of Jim Morrison. A nice perspective from Manzerick, but if you're a shameless Doors fan, definitely check out "Dark Star", which features great photo spreads.
i got this one signed by him too. this was the first book i read about the doors after watching the movie- i referenced a lot of the literature that he mentioned and started my journey into the beat culture.
I love Jim Morrison of The Doors!!! The book did not get all five stars because it was a little bit long, and at times I actually wanted it to go faster so I would get to the good stuff.
The worst Doors-Bio if you're not a huge Ray Fan... I love the Doors and read all of the books about them, but I just can not finish this one. Ray's a big fat blabbermouth :)
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Ray Manzarek was an American musician, best known as one of the founders, and keyboardist for the rock group 'The Doors'.
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