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TheStreet Open House

Our Love Become a Funeral Pyre

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The UK publication The Week called Daft Punk's single "Get Lucky" with Pharrell Williams "the sound of the summer and probably the year." Currently it's at No. 15 in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100.

It's a good song. I like the group and its new album, "Random Access Memories". But "Get Lucky" isn't my choice for song of the summer.

Don't get me wrong, the song is infectious -- more of an ear worm than the rest of the album (and I mean that in a bad as well as a good way). It should do well and may even reach No. 1 for a while.

But it doesn't get my vote for song of the summer. That will go to a song written and recorded in 1967, "Light My Fire," by The Doors.

Why that song? Because Ray Manzarek is dead. A founder and the keyboard player for The Doors, Manzarek died this week at age 74. Nobody who followed him ever had a bad thing to say about him, particularly his musicianship.

But this isn't an obituary. Ever since I heard the news, I can't get "Light My Fire" out of my head. Call it a speculative investment. I'm looking for LMF to skyrocket. Again.


A "summer song" is a special category of pop hit -- it has to represent the freedom of summer, the holiday, the sun, the nakedness and the potential for romance. Summer songs typically aren't freighted with deeper meanings the way "Light My Fire" is. "Get Lucky" is more typical -- easy, steamy, nothing deeper, extolling the virtues of a mindless good time.

But 1967, the year "Light My Fire" was a summer hit, wasn't like any other year. Call it the "Summer of Love" if you like, but innocence was already hard into the process of being thoroughly smashed, like Grandma's best porcelain.

There was a small city within a city camped out and grooving on each other at Haight-Ashbury, that's true. But the Vietnam War was also in full swing (although we weren't allowed to call it a "war. Our teachers told us the correct term was "conflict").

Race riots rocked Newark and Detroit. Malcolm X had been assassinated in 1965 and into that void stepped a militant "black power" movement. Meanwhile, young people of every kind everywhere were being routinely treated as potential threats to society.

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