Jim and the rest of The Doors signed with Elektra Records in 1966 – shortly after getting canned by Whisky a Go Go. Rumor has it that their debut album The Doors was recorded in about a week. All songs were credited to the entire band, despite who actually penned the lyrics. All was copacetic – despite the regular tripping and almost immediate skyrocketing to fame. The band’s first single Break on Through wasn’t terribly successful, though – so their label quickly turned the public’s attention to Light My Fire which quickly hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart in June of 1967. TO date, it is still the bands most popular song.
The song that made Jim and The Doors a household name also helped Jim take one of his first steps toward infamy. The band performed the song on The Ed Sullivan Show toward the latter part of 1967, and they were asked to drop the line “girl we couldn’t get much higher” because of its drug connotation – and they agreed. But when the live show was airing, Jim sang the lyrics as written – thus pissing of Ed and the network folk and getting them banned from future appearances on the then-popular show.
The Ed Sullivan Show debacle was simply the first of many public middle fingers Jim threw out there during the height of his fame. He was avidly anti-establishment, and as such drew a huge following from the late 1960’s counterculture – and as such alienated a lot of the mainstream. Including his own family, whom he listed as ‘deceased’ on the packaging of his first album.
Despite the fact that Jim wasn't a big believer in his own immediate family, he found a pseudofamily in the artistic community. He frequented small, independent theater productions and famously knew Andy Worhol. He was a supporter of the arts, and more importantly of the artistic. Currently, The Jim Morrison Project is working to keep Jim's artistic legacy alive by promoting art and artists in Jim's hometown. Whether you are an artist or supporter of the arts, checking out their website is a great way to get involved and keep Jim's memory alive.