How 'Light My Fire' Got The Doors Banned From Ed Sullivan

By Jacob Shelton
Left: Jim Morrison in an undated photo. Right: Morrison on The Ed Sullivan Show. Sources: Tom Copi/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Vimeo.com

The Doors were one of the brainier, moodier rock groups of the late '60s, thanks to tortured-poet frontman Jim Morrison -- listen to "Light My Fire," though, and their pop song chops are clear. With Jim Morrison’s baritone swaying over one of the catchiest electric piano lines you've ever heard, the music gallops along with jazzy flair that showed off the band’s players. While "Riders On The Storm," "Road House Blues," and "The End" might be more representative of what The Doors were about, the (almost) danceable "Light My Fire" is a testament to their range.

And although it was a #1 hit on the Billboard chart, it wasn't pablum. In fact, it was considered controversial by some squares, and it ended up getting The Doors dis-invited from planned Ed Sullivan Show appearances.

The song begs the object of the narrator’s desire to take their relationship to the next level, but rather than be a simple track about a boy and a girl the track takes some twists and turns. The story behind the song, and where it took the band is a must read for any fan of The Doors.