Following Dangerfield's act, The Doors took the stage to perform two of their biggest hits. Ed's introduction was short and simple, "Now, The Doors…here they are with their newest hit record, "People are Strange." Against a hanging backdrop composed of an assortment of actual doors, the band opened to the screams of adoring fans. Morrison sang the haunting number with a vacant look in his eyes. Immediately following that song the band segued into their number one hit, "Light My Fire."
When it came time for the line, "Girl, we couldn't get much higher," Morrison, the unyielding poet and uncompromising artist, sang it just as it had been written. As he finished the now infamous lyric, the camera caught guitarist Robby Krieger with a quick but telling smirk. But Sullivan's producer and CBS executives were not smiling.
Following The Doors' performance the ever gracious yet stoic Sullivan can be seen clapping his hands and mouthing the words, "That was wonderful. Just great!" to the band. But instead of shaking hands with the group, he went straight to a commercial for Purina Dog Chow.
Backstage, the show's producer was furious and told the band "Mr. Sullivan wanted you for six more shows, but you'll never work The Ed Sullivan Show again." To which Morrison purportedly replied, "Hey, man. We just did the Sullivan show."
This recording of The Ed Sullivan Show is itself rare for having captured a live performance of two of The Doors' most famous songs, delivered at their peak. Manzarek's dexterity on keyboard is wonderfully showcased during his organ solo. That night audiences watched the charismatic Jim Morrison, with his long curls, tight leather attire and his pure rock ‘n' roll attitude.
The Doors may have appeared only once, but they changed the The Ed Sullivan Show forever. Their influence spawned a shift in the type of music that was booked on the show, and more gritty rock acts would be soon be showcased to cater to the increasingly influential teen audience. http://www.edsullivan.com/artists/the-doors