Picks and Pans Review: Light My Fire

updated 07/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Ray Manzarek

For someone who claims to have spent much of the '60s on acid, former Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek has survived with his memory remarkably intact. In this wryly intelligent memoir, Manzarek, today a record producer, seems clear about every gig the Doors played and every joint they smoked 30 years ago. Light My Fire mixes juicy behind-the-scenes bits—he recalls that during the recording of "Light My Fire," charismatic bad-boy singer Jim Morrison was tripping on acid and used a hose to douse an imaginary fire—with energetic, note-by-note accounts of the evolution of the band's songs. Alas, the one person he fails to bring into focus is the Lizard King himself: Morrison remains a shadowy, self-destructive figure who resisted all efforts to help him change his tune. "None of us had the psychic strength to call him on the carpet and read the riot act to him," Manzarek admits. (Putnam, $26.95)

Bottom Line: Many cuts above the usual rock bio

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