The historical “Light My Fire” performance took place on September 17, 1967
In 1967 The Doors are banned from The Ed Sullivan Show
The controversial band The Doors were banned from the popular The Ed Sullivan Show on September 17th, 1967 after Jim Morrison broke his agreement with the show’s producers. At the time The Doors were one of the best selling Rock bands in the U.S, their hit “Light My Fire” had climbed to No.1 on Hot 100 during the Summer, back in New York to promote their new album “Strange Days”, The Doors were invited to play The Ed Sullivan Show, one of the American TV shows with the largest audiences that was recorded and broadcast live. The conservative Ed Sullivan who already had in the past censored some acts such as Elvis Presley accepted The Doors to play on the show under the condition that they would replace the “Light My Fire” verse “Girl We Couldn’t Get Much Higher” due to it’s drug connotations to something less explicit.
At first the band agreed with the producers, after all The Rolling Stones one of their favorite bands already had accepted to replace “Let’s Spend The Night Together” to “Let’s Spend Some Time Together” earlier that year. The band started by doing the mellow “People Are Strange, however when the second song “Light My Fire” was performed the lyrics came out without any changing, and not only that, the wild singing style of Morrison, featuring towards the end his signature yelling which were not suited to TV audiences back then, contributed for their contract of 6 appearances in the show to be cancelled. When the stressful producers yelled at The Doors backstage warning them they would never do another appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, reportedly Morrison’s answer was “Man, we just did The Ed Sullivan Show”. Despite all the controversy surrounding their appearance, The Doors performance on the show went on to become one of TV’s most historical music moments and it’s often featured on The Ed Sullivan Show top performances.
Watch the controversial performance of The Doors playing “Light My Fire” at The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967
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