Flashback to The Doors' Performing 'Light My Fire' on American Bandstand in 1967

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Flashback to The Doors' Performing 'Light My Fire' on American Bandstand in 1967

The Doors. Photo by Central Press/Getty Images. 

In 1967, 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, the psychedelic rockers were invited to perform the single live on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand – a right of passage for any up-and-coming artist of the era. It would be a few months before the band’s infamous banning from The Ed Sullivan Show following  Jim Morrison's refusal to change the lyric “Girl we couldn't get much higher” ... the rebel poet instead added extra emphasis to the contentious word.

But Dick Clark wasn’t interested in taming the Lizard King’s radical fervor. Surely, Clark knew Morrison's gyrating leather-clad hips had the power to whip a 1960s audience to hysteria; in other words, it was the recipe for irresistible viewing. 

After The Doors kicked things off with a glorious rendition of Crystal Ship, the host took a moment to interview the band, wrapping up with: “Well, do the thing that set the whole music business on fire. Ladies and gentlemen, again, The Doors!”

Watch the scintillating performance of Crystal Ship and Light My Fire below.

The Doors | Live on American Bandstand in 1967

Over 50 years on, The Doors’ influence on culture and music is undeniable. Morrison combined the sultry intensity of Elvis, the metaphysical intellect of Bob Dylan, and an unwavering dedication to “break on through to the other side” that undoubtedly inspired the punk movement that would follow in his wake. 


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