Since Ray Manzarek, the group's keyboardist, is such a great story-teller I got his book, Light My Fire: My Life with the Doors. (The title is an odd choice since Robby Krieger, the guitarist for the group, actually wrote that particular song.)
Like a lot of Doors fans, I suppose, I went through my Jim Morrison phase back in my twenties. Now I'm much more interested in Manzarek and Krieger, and to a lesser extent the drummer, John Densmore.
I found out somewhere along the way that Manzarek was originally from Chicago and attended St. Rita on the South Side. How, I wondered, did a kid from the Catholic League make it out to Los Angeles and start a band like the Doors with Jim Morrison?
Since my son John and I have been taking long walks on Sundays lately, we (and I mean I) decided to walk the three and a half miles or so to Manzarek's childhood home. I did my best to explain to John who Manzarek and the Doors were and how important they were (and still are) to me, but I think he went along just to humor the old man.
"Do you think I'm really weird, John?"
"Dad, remember who I live with?"
As I was taking these last shots John said, "Watch out for the rat."
"Huh? What?" I looked down and there was a dead rat in the street. I jumped about five feet in the air and John said later, "You should have seen your reaction!"
But I thought it was fitting:
I think you can hear Manzarek's voice in the background on this one.