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Hello, I Love You by The Doors

Album: Waiting For The SunReleased: 1968Charted:
1
15
  • Jim Morrison wrote this in 1965 after seeing a beautiful woman walking on the beach. He wrote these lyrics in this notebook:

    Sidewalk crouches at her feet
    Like a dog that begs for something sweet


    He wrote the rest of the song that night, crafting the most popular song about beachside beauty since "The Girl From Ipanema." He also popularized a pickup line - "Hello, I love you. Won't you tell me your name?" - that has yet to work for anyone but Jim Morrison.
  • The Doors first recorded this song in 1965 when they put it on a six-song demo before Robby Krieger joined the band. They didn't put it on an album until 1968, when they needed material for their third LP Waiting for the Sun. The plan was to use an extended piece based on Morrison's poetry called "Celebration of the Lizard" for the entire first side of the album. When that didn't work out, they looked for other material and dredged up "Hello, I Love You." It was a good call: The song went to #1 in America, giving them their second (and last) chart-topper, following "Light My Fire."
  • Many fans considered this a sellout to Top 40 music. It was very radio-friendly, and not as deep or introspective as previous Doors songs.
  • The music is similar to The Kinks' song "All Day And All Of The Night." So similar, that The Doors paid royalties from the British single to The Kinks after the threat of legal action.

    Looking back, Ray Davies was philosophical about the episode, recalling to Mojo magazine September 2012: "The funniest thing was when my publisher came to me on tour and said The Doors had used the riff for 'All Day And All Of The Night' for 'Hello, I Love You.' I said rather than sue them, can't we just get them to own up? My publisher said, 'They have, that's why we should sue them!' (laughs) Jim Morrison admitted it, which to me was the most important thing. The most important thing, actually, is to take (the idea) somewhere else."
  • Robby Krieger ran his guitar through a fuzz box to get a distorted effect like Cream's "Sunshine Of Your Love."
  • The line "Queen of the angels" refers to Los Angeles, the "City of Angels." The Doors were from LA.
  • This was the first Doors song that was successful in Europe, reaching #15 in the UK.
  • The R.E.M. song "Pop Song '89" is a play on this. Instead of talking about sex, they talk to the girl about politics and the weather.
  • Artists to cover this song include Neil Young, The Cure, Missing Persons, Adam Ant, Eurythmics, Simple Minds and Buddy Rich (in a big band style). The only other charting version of the song came in 2010 when a version by the cast of the TV series Glee went to #66.
  • This song was used in the movies Platoon, Casualties of War, and Forrest Gump. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Lance - Malibu, CA
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Comments: 42

Real fans don't go looking for any excuse to shout "sellout"; they accept & enjoy the fact that truly good artists have a wider repertoir than one sees at a first, shallow, glance. . .George - Vancouver, Canada
I recall being in Los Angeles to audition for a Ginger Ale commercial and then going to Venice Beach with my cousin who lived in Fullerton.

There was a caucasian guy with curly hair, bare chested and bare feet who was at the beach and said 'hello' to me from a distance. I looked at him and then my cousin who told me he was with some group called the Doors. I totally ignored him.

In the late 90's I was listening to a documentary on the radio about the Doors when one of the members said that Jim Morrison had seen a beautiful black woman on the beach he said 'hello' to, but ignored him was the inspiration for the song. Why did you leave this part out? Until someone tells me differently, I am the person who was the inspiration.
Temi - San Jose
On September 5th 1968, the Doors performed "Hello, I Love You" on the British TV program 'Top of the Pops'...
At the time the song was at #5 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; five weeks earlier on July 28th it had peaked at #1 for two weeks...
Also at that same time Jose Feliciano's covered version of "Light My Fire" was at #3 on the Hot Top 100 chart...
As stated above "Hello, I Love You" reached #15 in the U.K. and on August 13th, 1968 it peaked at #1 {for 1 week} on the Canadian RPM 100 Singles chart...
R.I.P. Ray Manzarek {1939 - 2013} and to 'The Lizard King' {1943 - 1971}.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
On August 4th 1968, the Doors' "Hello, I Love You" was in its second week as #1 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...And exactly two years later on August 4th, 1970 Jim Morrison was arrested for public drunkenness after being found lying unconscious on the doorstep of a private resident in Los Angeles, California.Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
Although I never knew you Jim, "Hello I love you, Can I jump in your game."Anna - New Oxford, Pa
Funny thing is, this is one of my go to songs while I think about a girl that I used to work with. Ironically enough, she's also what one would call a 'Dusky Jewel' due to her being a dark skinned beauty. Apart from all that, it's a very catchy song that's easier on the ears than a lot of these Nicky Minaj/Chris Brown type songs out there. Nothing that's discriminating towards women or color as far as any song goes, especially one from the 60's and the late great Jim Morrison himself. I bet that if someone had covered this song today, it would possibly do just as well as it did when it came out, if not better.Phil - Neenah, Wi
I think the shortest Doors" song might be "Poor Otis" on the "Soft Parade" album. "Wild Child" might be a contender too. Although I've corrected Jim's grammar in my mind at times (can't stop the English teacher demon in me), I love every song. I also love Zep, but I agree with Darryl "Stairway to Heaven" is not their best. Plant even said in an article years ago he thought "Kashmir" was their iconic song. Janie, New YorkJanie - Valley Stream, Ny
Ray Davies did not sue The Door or Jim. His lawyer told advised him to sue and Ray refused, even though he had been sued plenty himself.
Jim Morrison later admitted that the song had been heavily influenced by The Kinks, prompting Ray Davies to say, and I quote, 'so I think that that admission was payment enough'.
Sorry, I didn't mean to be pedantic, I just don't want people thinking Ray Davies is petty.
Dave - Toronto, On
From the lips of Ray Manzarek.He and Jim were on Venice Beach. Jim saw a very young and very beautiful Black girl and wanted to approach her. Ray told him that he couldn't because she was way too young. Jim wrote this song about her. "Do you hope to pluck this DUSKY jewel" is a reference to the fact that she was BLACK. Ray told this story to Gary Bryan on the KRTH morning show in Los Angeles several months ago. If I hadn't heard the show, that line would have remained an over 40 year mystery to me.Regina - Los Angeles, Ca
Pretty short for a Doors song, just over 2 minutes ["People are Strange" has that honor, though there still then were a lot of more mainstream bands using that length.]Steve - Whittier, Ca
I think it was very trendy for some people to say things like "The Doors Suck" , "Jim Morrison was an asshole" {your point is ?} and "Hello , I love you" was a bad, tacky song......All of these statements, of course , are total nonsense, the Power of Robbie's distortion/fuzz at the end grabs you by the nuts , the song is overwhelming and as powerful as anything around today. Are people really going to hold the fact that it went platinum against them or the song ? You want sellout ? How bout the horribly overplayed {and horrible understatement} wimpy, hippydrippy "Stairway to Heaven" ? {and no, of course I know that isn't a doors song, thank f--king god!} Now , that is a sellout..."Touch Me" was a sellout, but none the less good song...The only truly bad doors song {with Morrison} would be "Tell All The People" . That is overblown , over produced , Jim is in and out of key and obviously so drunk it is amazing he got through it....could certainly tell he really liked that one....he was in and out of key on several songs, but all the others worked regardless, almost like a jazz vocalist ....just added to the feeling , "Summer's almost gone" comes to mind....Darryl - Los Angeles / San Diego, Ca
i dont get why everybody thinks this song is so awful. even if the topic itself isnt very deep, the lyrics are still incredibly poetic. seriously- "sidewalk crouches at her feet" "to make the queen of angels sigh" "dusky jewel"- its poetry! and musicmama, i dont know about you, but i would not bitchslap someone as awesome as jim morrison, even if he did say "hello, i love you". haha.Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
well said AlexandriaNady - Adelaide, Australia
The line "Queen of the angels" does NOT refer to Los Angeles, the "City of Angels." Jim stole the line from Edgar Allen Poe.Michael - Jacksonvillw, Fl
This song is sung by Kevin Dillion in Casualties Of War.Joel - Columbia, Sc
This song is on the Platoon soundtrackLance - Malibu, Ca
maybe when you people can write or sing as well as Jim Morrison, THEN you can criticize him.Alexandria - Preston, Ct
I just heard it again today. What I said about the lyrics stands, but even more grating is the music: It has one of the most annoying beats I've ever heard.Musicmama - New York, Ny
Jim Morrison never sold anything out except possibly himself... He was the best... THE BEST!!!Dan - Greenville, Sc
That's right. Jim did write it after seeing a beautiful woman walking down the street. The story goes that Jim and Ray was sitting on the beach in Venice when they saw this woman who resembled Venus. Jim went home and wrote a song about what he would've said to her if he had the guts. Well, it's a great party song anyhow.Andrew - Adelaide, Australia
Sellout? jesus, why does popularity have to be associated with selling out? What ever happened to just being yourself? Some people get so caught up in being an individual, they acually quit being themselves to simply stand out...
Tool's popular now. Is anyone going to call tool sellouts??? p.s. If you are going to bitch slap a guy for saying that to you, you must have some issues.
Alex - Layton, Ut
"Hello, I love you/Won't you tell me your name." Lemme tellya, if a guy were to say that to me, I'd give him a real good bitch slap. And I'm not a violent person.Musicmama - New York, Ny
Some people say this song was a sell-out, a commercial song, but Morrison thought it up while on the beach, looking at a tall sexy, black woman if I'm correct. Nothing commercial about it, its only how the listener percieves it to be.Tristan - Philadelphia, Pa
One of the best songs, it says what it means, "hello, i love you", a simple "you are welcome in my world, stay and live with me, no connections"Only1out10livestr8 - In Your Uterus..., United States
Definitely not one of their best, but I still love it. I don't think there is a single Doors song that I dislike.Nadine - Riverside, Ca
Seems like you and I have omething ncommon Christina. I like a lot of early Kinks stuff too.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Ray Manzarek was NOT there when HILY was written by Jim Morrison..Jim wrote it as part of his sojourn on Dennis Jacobs rooftop...Ray just insinuated himself into the story afterwards like he normally does.....Alex - Stockton, France
Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek were sitting in the beach. A beautiful tahitian girl passed by them. Jim wanted to say something to her, but didn't know what. The next day Jim came to Ray and said: "Do you know what i wanted to say to that girl yesterday in the beach?" And then he poured out the lyrics of "Hello, i love you".
The Doors has never been a sell-out in any way.
Alvar - Estonia, Other
this song has to do with a woman that Jim Morrison saw on the beach. and the lyrics are what he wanted to say to her.Meagan - Lebanon, Oh
Tanya is right. But jeez, the doors can't keep spiting out "Riders On The Storm's and The End's constantly! Whenever they do a pop to balance out their forte' they are critized! O ya, on a sidenote, I just listened to "Other Voices" today and thought it was going to suck. Jimorrison was and is the heart and soul of the doors, I thought, and making an album without him is silly. But it turned out to be a very good album, and I really enjoyed it. Too bad they don't have any "Other Voices" tracks on Songfacts.Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
If you ask me, and you maybe shouldn't, this is the best song by the Doors. I love the lyrics.Jonathon - Clermont, Fl
Hmmm... Hello I Love You does sound similar to All Day and All of the Night. I happen to like early Kinks, you see.Christina - Arnold, Md
This song is very fun to listen and to sing along to, and I admit, I love Jim Morrison's voice.Galina - New London, Ct
My dad and I enjoy The Doors.... especially this song.Galina - New London, Ct
Your posted lyrics aren't correct....'dusky' jewel is the word Jim Morrison used to describe this beautiful (dark/olive skinned?) girl! One of my favorite songs of all time...Ernie - Long Island, Ny
I agree with you adrian the song definitely wasn't a sell-out. It's really poetic like Jim Morrison's other songs,and it had that thing that Robby creeger did on the guitar.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
How could it be a sellout? It was written in 1965-66, before 'Light My Fire'!Xavier - Melbourne, Australia
The evidence is provided by not only Ray's own mouth, but in the lyric, "Do you hope to pluck this dusky jewel?"Tanya - Los Angeles, Ca
According to Ray Manzayriek (sp?), The Doors' Keyboardist, the song was about a young 16-year old, Black girl Jim noticed on the beach. He wanted to talk and get to know her. Ray talked him out of it. So he went home and wrote this song based on her.Tanya - Los Angeles, Ca
It's a "the doors" tune.. enough said. cant get better. sellout no sellout money no money its the doors!Yasmin - I Live In London, England
This song definitely wasn't a sellout. It includes the usual poetic poignancy of Morrison while the fuzz effect on the overdubbed guitars sounds awesome, especially on headphones. It creates a very distorted sound, almost like heavy metal.Adrian - Wilmington, De
I read somewhere that Jim saw a beautiful girl on a beach and was in awe of her. He wanted to go straight up to her and say "hello I love you" but the rest of the band told him not to do so as she was underage, maybe 16 or 17. Jim wrote these lyrics instead.Jess - Springfeild, Il
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