Customer Reviews


15 Reviews
5 star:
 (12)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Manzarek's Book 'Light My Fire' - Review by Annie
I read the Sugarman / Hopkins Biography of Jim Morrison, which was brilliant. I was so fascinated with Morrison and the band, that I was keen to read more so I purchased 'Light My Fire' and WOW! The Morrison Biog is like being on the outskirts of the group, looking in at The Doors - which is amazing, but reading Ray's book you are actually THERE, inside, 'with' The Doors...
Published on 11 April 2005 by Miss Annie M. Michael

versus
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pompous and revisionist
Many a book has been written about Jim Morrison and The Doors and none of them may actually reveal everything about the mind and person that was Jim Morrison. The most honest and heartfelt book so far was 'Riders On The Storm' by Doors drummer John Densmore. Pulling no punches about his own shortcomings and failing to appreciate the uniqueness of the band he was in at the...
Published on 19 Aug 2009 by Raf Jansen


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Manzarek's Book 'Light My Fire' - Review by Annie, 11 April 2005
By 
Miss Annie M. Michael "Annie Michael" (Ilminster, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors (Paperback)
I read the Sugarman / Hopkins Biography of Jim Morrison, which was brilliant. I was so fascinated with Morrison and the band, that I was keen to read more so I purchased 'Light My Fire' and WOW! The Morrison Biog is like being on the outskirts of the group, looking in at The Doors - which is amazing, but reading Ray's book you are actually THERE, inside, 'with' The Doors. It's honest, and beautifully written - quite spiritual - and he takes you through events, from his childhood and how he got into keyboards, to the conception of The Doors, through the highs and lows, closing with the decline of Morrison. It is tender and sad as Ray loved Jim dearly, but well analysed, so that you do not end up feeling depressed. A very inspiring book, and a joy to read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Read !, 11 Dec 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors (Paperback)
I Have read a few books on the Doors and their music, but none as good as this one!. Ray Manzarek really takes you through what it was like to work with the "Lizard King" and the other three members of the Doors.You can feel the excitment and disillusionment that he felt as they were starting out on the long and winding road of fame and fortune.Cracking book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ray and his philosophy, 4 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors (Paperback)
Ray Manzarek makes it pretty clear in his striking and interesting personal memoir that his main preoccupation is to keep the myth of Jim Morrison alive. Ray was the one who kept it all together in the past, the band, the music, and the genius Morrison. When he noticed the split in Jim Morrison's personality (Jim and Jimbo) which Ray calls Jim's fatal flaw, he didn't give up to pull Jim from the abyss and try to save him and show him where to go. "Jimbo won", Ray sadly commits at the end of the book. This book - not surprising at all - is mainly about Jim Morrison, although he is giving the fans interesting and funny stories of himself growing up in Chicago, his first contacts to music and females. Then all those great stories how The Doors were formed, how the band found and experienced their very own musical style, the frustration carrying the demo around and being thrown out the record companys' offices, the first bookings at the London Fog and those deep psychedelic nights at the Whisky. The heights and lows of success, the boredom and the highpoints of studio work, and everywhere there's Morrison, the bright poet, but also the dark dionysos, as described by Ray in his very typical, mythical and intellectual style - hey didn't we know all that before? Yes, we've heard the same sentences before in countless radio shows, TV interviews and read that in millions of articles. Here in this book it was all packed together in one - Ray's philosophy, Ray's point of view on life, career and the "diamond of The Doors". A very interesting account of what happened inside the inner Doors circle up to Jim's death in 1971- from Ray's view, which is totally different from the one of John Densmore's. Of course it was John who felt himself urged to put a few things right on the official Doors website, packed into very harsh words. Jim Morrison wanted Densmore to leave the band (according to Ray) - this is one of the stories that might interest fans. He surely expresses his anger against Oliver Stone who he calles "Bonehead" and even "fascist". The book is a great source for research. I miss the life and times of The Doors after Morrison, all that getting together for An American Prayer and for those live-albums and the Ghost Song video. How does Ray feel about John and Robby today? Pity, no certain words about that. But as an exciting story-teller of past events and great memoir to read, Ray's book is definitely RECOMMENDED! Rainer from The Doors Quarterly Magazine Online, West Germany
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an insight!, 28 Jun 2003
This review is from: Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors (Paperback)
I have just finished this book and I have to say that it is possibly he best book of the Doors I own. Although I got somwhat lost in the Rays style of writing, his passion behind his life and friends is clear. A definate must-have for any Doors fan. Thanks Ray
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all Doors Fans, 28 Aug 2008
By 
John Mccormick "Max Demon" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors (Paperback)
Even if you are not one of those in the Manzarek camp in regards to the story of the history of the Doors this is still a really important read for any true Doors fan. As the guy who first introduced Jim to playing on a stage with a band and the person who formulated the concept of the Doors (With Morrison) that fateful day on Venice Beech, this book just has to be read. This book is a deeply intelligent and philosophical story about his time with Morrison and the band, as well an interesting look at his own personal background.

Its greatest weakness is also its greatest strength, that being that its written by Ray Manzarek and thus can't be trully objective. However this is also its strength as a book, as it offers a deeply profound inside view of what life was like from inside the band.

You can come away with your own take on things and how Manzarek see's certain things but you can't question how well it's written and just how powerfully it conveys the collective message of the Doors.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 4 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors (Paperback)
I recently finished reading Light my fire and it was simply a great read. Ray Manzarek pulls no punches in his honesty about Jim Morrison and his personna and tells many interesting tales about the band, their fall outs and their problems. Despite his occasional acid frenzied rants this book is simply great!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doors legend recounts his crazy days with Jim Morrison, 20 Jan 2002
By 
A Customer (Galway, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors (Paperback)
Ray Manzarek held a pivotal role in the musical mechanics of The Doors with his carnivalesque keyboards being the most recognisable musical trait of the band. Jim Morrison, to many people not thouroghly aquainted with bands philosophy, was viewed as something of an ape, eternally encloaked in a vapour of alchohol. However, Manzarek paints a much more complex, yet human, portrait of Morrison. But this is no simple ode to the ghost of the dead poet. Manzarek recounts his own life before his union with Morrison ; his youth in Chicago; his emergence as a film student in UCLA; his undeniable passion for life. The Doors, like many other of their contemporaries, had a philosophy, be it adapted from those of Jung, Freud and Nietchche and Manzarek delves into these liberally. They were, as Manzarek puts it, "the times of chaos, madness the times of trancendence". One may find some of Manzarek's and the Doors's lifestyles extreme, fanciful or even pretentious but it all makes for a liberating, refreshing and utterly entertaining autobiography.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pompous and revisionist, 19 Aug 2009
By 
Raf Jansen - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors (Paperback)
Many a book has been written about Jim Morrison and The Doors and none of them may actually reveal everything about the mind and person that was Jim Morrison. The most honest and heartfelt book so far was 'Riders On The Storm' by Doors drummer John Densmore. Pulling no punches about his own shortcomings and failing to appreciate the uniqueness of the band he was in at the time it all happened, as well as admitting to never fully understanding Morrison who, let's face it, remains an enigma even today, as we will never read his own insights about the Doors heyday.

Enter Raymond Daniel Manczarek, Doors keyboard player, with an agenda. And a big agenda to boot : with this 'biography', Manczarek attempts to rewrite Doors history, twist Jim Morrison's words and message, not to mention Jim's psyche and to top it all off, he lashes out at those who don't conform to his viewpoints while leaving no room for the reader to make up their own minds, which is aptly illustrated by the ever recurring end question in nearly every chapter : "Wouldn't you?'.

While I have to agree with Manczarek that Oliver Stone did a very bad job with his take on the Doors biopic, his persistent jabs at band mate John Densmore are an all too transparent attack on the latter for being painted in a less favourable light in his own biography, thereby illustration Densmore's points against Manczarek to a tee. Apparently the other reviewers here read past that. Several biographies deal with the emergence of Pamela Courson in Jim's life, but only Manczarek paints it so that she's linked to John Densmore being denied in favour of Morrison. And that's not the only revisionism going on here.

Manczarek must also have written this biography in an attempt to paint himself as the real centrepiece of the band. If you believe him, he - and to an extent his 'cosmic mate' Dorothy comes up with all the band's greatest ideas and reactionary moments, like the 'forgetfulness' to refrain from the use of the word 'higher' at their Ed Sullivan Show performance. It is Ray who time and again comes to the fore as a band peacemaker and ideologist. While the former might have been true on occasion, how believable is denying Morrison his rightful place as coming up with the band's lyrical concepts in favour of Manczarek's own 'brilliant' ideas? A lot of after the fact justification, too, can be found in this book, like the thinly veiled attempt to justify cashing in on 'Light My Fire' by selling in to Buick by claiming to have environmental arguments to do so. At least Densmore called his own greed by its name.

But the fact that annoys me the most is that Manczarek not only twists and turns the character of Jim Morrison to conform to his own ideas, he also does it by royally stealing lines from his dead band mate. Hardly a sentence in this book isn't injected with 'Morrisonist' lyrical imagery. And when they aren't, they're full of pompous intellectual and spiritual narrative, as if to blow the reader - who obviously are Doors fans like me for the most part - away and prove that Manczarek is equally a genius among genii. But all it does is illustrate how contrived his efforts really are, thereby illustrating the negative aspects of the whole hippie scene and philosophy he still claims as his own.

While there must be some truths to this book and Manczarek's view on his time with the Doors in their heyday, his overblown attempts to shape the past into his perfect world view only unmask him as the hippie panhandler Morrison fulminated against in 'Five To One' and who's selling out the memory of a great band and a great singer and poet. If what he claims is true and Manczarek and Jim were such good friends, then this book is a great disservice to the memory of that friendship on top of everything else. Luckily, I bought this second hand, so none of my hard earned bucks went to Manczarek's already overfilled pockets. Ray Manczarek is a very talented keyboard player and panhandler, but much less of a 'mensch' and a friend than he'd like the world to believe. And not a good writer either. To be avoided unless you like your fact intertwined with a lot of fiction and revisionism.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Manzareks life story, 27 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ray is a gem of a human being and one can't help but to love this guy. Now that he's passed over to the other side my prayers are with him and his family. What fine music this man helped bring to the world, he's an inspiration and the book brings a smile to my face, a sigh now and again, and a big thank you Ray.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth At Last, 7 May 1999
By A Customer
This book is by far the most truthful and most accurate account of the life and times of THE DOORS The greatest RocknRoll band ever! Ray Manzarek portrays a most moving and emotional account of his life and that of the other doors - Jim Morrison in particular. This book gives you the real Jim Morrison - the poet. Ray Manzarek was almost it would seem a father figure to Jim and they had equal admiration for each other, along with Dorothy, Rays lover, soul mate and best friend. Dorothy was Rays inspiration and also it would seem a great support of the group especially when they first started. Also in this book I think you can really understand why there was so much friction between Jim Morrison and John Densmore. Ray is very tactful when he approaches this subject but also very truthful. There is no doubt Jim and Ray were the founders of this group but the Doors were made up of four people and it wouldn't have been the Doors if John and Robby weren't part of it. This book also give a good portrayal of how talented Robby Krieger was and how under estimated his contribution to the group had been portrayed in many other books. I would recommend this book to any die hard fans of the doors, and also if you want the real truth behind the legend of Jim Morrison this is the one to read. It portrays Jim as more than an alcoholic and junkie as many an author would have you believe. Jim Morrison was a Poet and a very sadly misunderstood person. One of the greatest talents of his time and his legend will ALWAYS live on.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors
Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors by Ray Manzarek (Paperback - 6 May 1999)
6.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews