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Album: The Soft ParadeReleased: 1969Charted:
Doors guitarist Robby Krieger wrote this song as "Hit Me," based on fights he had with his girlfriend. They lyric was, "C'mon, hit me, I'm not afraid." In a rare show of restraint, Jim Morrison insisted on changing it to "Touch Me."
At the end of the song, Morrison chants "Stronger than dirt!" The line is from an Ajax commercial popular at the time where a white knight rides around destroying dirt. The last four chords of the song were also lifted from the commercial.
This was released as a single seven months before the album came out.
Many critics claimed this was a sellout, as the horn and string sections were not typical of The Doors. The band admitted they were trying to broaden their audience and achieve commercial success with this album, which they did.
The sax part was played by Curtis Amy, who was a popular session horn and flute player who got his biggest exposure playing on Carole King's famous Tapestry album. Jim Morrison remarked that the song was the first rock hit with a jazz solo.
This song was popular around the time Jim Morrison was arrested in Miami for indecent exposure. The song had nothing to do with Morrison's arrest, apart from an unfortunate title, but some radio stations refused to play it as a result. Morrison was convicted and sentenced to six months in jail for the incident, but he died while the case was being appealed. In 2010, the governor of Florida pardoned Morrison, believing that the conviction was politically motivated and that no conclusive evidence showed that the Doors frontman exposed himself.
The album took nine months to record, which was a very long time by 1969 standards. Their producer, Paul Rothchild, was very particular throughout the process, which drove the band nuts. Their next album they produced themselves.
The Doors performed this on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. Curtis Amy recreated the sax solo he played on the studio recording.
Original Doors Krieger, John Densmore, and Ray Manzarek recorded a new version of this with Chrissie Hynde for the 2000 Doors tribute album Stoned Immaculate
The street talk on this single was that it was about masturbation. Many kids were exploring their personal sexuality in the '60s.
In the movie The School Of Rock
, Jack Black broadens one of his student's musical skills by teaching him to play this on the keyboard. The song is featured on the movie's soundtrack.