Two Doors Down: Remembering Ray Manzarek Remembering Jim Morrison

by David Kamp

Ray Manzarek, who died yesterday at the age of 74, had a voice as rich and stentorian as that of Jim Morrison, the front man of the band they founded in 1965, the Doors. But Manzarek put his voice to work as a raconteur rather than as a singer.

In 2000, when V.F. was assembling its first music issue, I interviewed him for “Live at the Whisky,” my history of the Sunset Strip club the Whisky à Go Go, where the then unknown Doors scored the residency that secured them their fame—and infamy.

“Have you read the name of my book? What’s my book called?” Manzarek boomed at me when I arrived at his door in Beverly Hills, where he lived at the time. Fortunately, I had read his book, though so many Doors songs and albums have titles that lend themselves to memoir—“Riders on the Storm,” "Strange Days," “Break on Through”—that I’d forgotten the title and hazarded a guess. “Light My Fire?,” I said.


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