The Doors frontman Jim Morrison refused to sing what became bandmate Robby Krieger’s song “Touch Me” in its original form, fearing that it would lead to violence in the streets.

The track, which appeared on the band’s fourth album, The Soft Parade, was released as a single in 1968 after having gone through some changes during the recording process, as keyboardist Ray Manzarek once told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.

“Robby wrote the song, and the song was originally called ‘Hit Me’ – ‘Come on, come on, come on, hit me, babe,’” Manzarek, who passed away in 2013, said. “And Morrison said, ‘No way am I going to sing a song saying ‘Hit me.’” He said, “Robby, people are going to walk up to me in the street, and hit me! They’re gonna go, ‘Come on, come on, come on, hit me’ and punch me!”

Krieger asked Morrison how he’d like the lyrics to be changed, and Manzarek recalled the singer saying: “Well, I don’t want to be hit… I mean, if people are gonna do anything I want them to – wait a minute, I got it… I want ‘em to touch me.”

The Doors - ‘Touch Me’

“Touch Me” went on to be another hit single for the Doors, and is remembered for featuring a wide range of additional instruments. “We had done three albums of the Doors, and John and I, being the jazzers, we always wanted to bring in some horns and strings,” Manzarek said. “On ‘Touch Me’ is the great Los Angeles, Southern California jazz saxophone player, Curtis Amy, who does that fabulous solo at the end. So that’s why we did it – jazz and classical, the Doors bring it all together, man!”

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