Mr. Ed Sullivan was quickly becoming the face of censorship in the 60s, at a time when American rock, and youth, wouldn’t have it. Traced back to the late 50s, with Elvis’ infamous shot-above-the-waist set, image gave way to lyrics as the new decade encroached, CBS and Sullivan cracking their conservative whip at Dylan in ’63 to choose something other than the libel-slandering “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues.” Moreso the network’s decision there, Sullivan was still the fall guy. And Dylan as punk as ever didn’t agree, didn’t play. The Stones shockingly bent over a few years later with “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” choosing to serenade the nation’s most viewed television program at the time with “let’s spend some time together.”
Jim Morrison and The Doors, though, on this day in 1967, they broke the levee, playing it cool with Sullivan and the network in the dressing room, agreeing to change the racy panache “girl we couldn’t get much higher” line of “Light My Fire” to “girl we couldn’t’ get much better.” It was a quiet go-for-broke moment that Morrison, the new wild child of rock, pretty much just made love to on stage, keeping “higher” rightly in its place, post-coitally standing on stage in his leather pants, and letting America, CBS and Sullivan have at the freedom. The Doors exploded of course, but were banned from the show for life.
You know that it would be untrue
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl, we couldn’t get much higher