How Jim Morrison's Defiance Got the Doors Banned From the Ed Sullivan Show

by Jack Whatley
(Credit: CBS)
(Credit: CBS)

We’re dipping into the Far Out Magazine vault to revisit a momentous occasion in the career of the counter-culture kings The Doors. It was a moment which could have quite easily cost them their career but, in the end, may well have made it. It was the moment they were banned from The Ed Sullivan Show.

During the sixties, there was no show on television quite like The Ed Sullivan Show, its vast appeal transcended class and generational divide, seemingly gathering every family in front of their TV set. Equally, during the sixties, there was no band quite like The Doors and their enigmatic lead singer Jim Morrison. So when these two juggernauts of popular culture met there were great expectations—after all, it had gone so well for The Beatles. But, instead, it all went very badly, very quickly.

With a recently scored number one in their holster, following the rise of their single ‘Light My Fire’, The Doors were the hottest band around and were a shoo-in for a special spot on the esteemed variety show. Led by Morrisson, The Doors represented the dark and devilish side of pop music and Sullivan’s team knew it.


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