Flashback to the Doors’ Infamous ‘Light My Fire’ Performance Live on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1967

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Submitted by karajayne on Thu, 12/08/2022 - 14:18

Flashback to the Doors’ Infamous ‘Light My Fire’ Performance Live on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1967

Posted 8 Dec 2022
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(Image via YouTube)

The Doors scored their first No. 1 on the US singles chart with an edited version of Light My Fire, which spent three weeks in the top spot. The country loved the song so much that even the full six-minute and fifty-second album cut eventually made its way to the radio airwaves. 

As a testament to their success, a few months later the psychedelic rockers were invited to perform the single live on The Ed Sullivan Show – a right of passage for any up-and-coming artist of the era. It would be a legendary appearance and their only appearance when it ended with the Doors’ infamous banning from The Ed Sullivan. 

The incident was ignited by Jim Morrison’s refusal to change the lyric “Girl we couldn't get much higher” despite producers’ requests due to the word “higher” being deemed inappropriate for a family show. Forever the rebel poet, Morrison defied the advice, concluding, “we’re not changing a word.” 

Just 22 seconds into the performance, Morrison delivered the offending lyric without hesitation, eliciting a telling smirk from guitarist Robby Krieger. But Sullivan wasn’t smiling. The show’s stoic host was equally unwavering in his post, with a producer delivering the news directly after the band’s performance that “Mr Sullivan wanted you for six more shows, but you’ll never work The Ed Sullivan Show again.” To which Morrison famously replied, “Hey, man. We just did the Sullivan show.” 

Watch the iconic performance below.

The Doors | ‘Light My Fire’ [Ed Sullivan Show, 1967]

The Doors may have appeared only once, but Morrison was right, it was all they needed to create one of the most iconic moments in music history. With his long curls, and leather-clad attire, the radically charismatic Morrison merged the sultry intensity of Elvis and the metaphysical intellect of Bob Dylan, with an unwavering dedication to “break on through to the other side” that would fuel rock and roll rebellion for decades to come.


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