The Rolling Stones vs. The Doors – Clash of the Titans
In Clash of the Titans this week, we’re putting up two songs from 1967 that caused controversy — and classic rock history — when their bands performed them on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’ the Rolling Stones‘ ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’ and ‘Light My Fire’ by the Doors.
On Jan. 15, 1967, before the Stones made their fourth appearance on Sullivan’s show, CBS told the band that the title of their new single, ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together,’ was unfit for the family-friendly program. Instead, they would have to sing, ‘Let’s Spend Some Time Together.’ The Stones complied, but Mick Jagger‘s eye-rolling every time he sang the new lyric let the audience know that it wasn’t his call.
Eight months later, on Sept. 17, 1967, the network asked the Doors to change the lyric in ‘Light My Fire’ that said, “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher” to “Girl, we couldn’t get much better,” due to the drug connotations of the word “higher.” Although the band said they would make the switch, come airtime, Jim Morrison sang the original line, which went out over live TV. The stunt earned the group a banishment from the Sullivan show.
So which is more rock n’ roll, subtle contempt or outright defiance? We’ve embedded clips of both performances below so you can decide. This Clash of the Titans will be open until May 18 at 11:59PM Eastern, and you can vote once an hour.
Watch the Rolling Stones Perform ‘Let’s Spend ‘Some Time’ Together’
Watch the Doors Perform ‘Light My Fire’