Writers: The Doors
Producer: Paul A. Rothchild
Recorded: Fall 1968, Los Angeles
Released: December 1968
|Players:||Jim Morrison – vocals
Ray Manzarek — keyboards, piano
John Densmore — drums
Robby Krieger — guitar
Reinol Andino — conga
Harvey Brooks — bass
Curtis Amy — saxophone solos
|Album:||The Soft Parade (Elektra, 1969)|
The Soft Parade was one of the most expensive albums of its time, costing the Doors more than $200,000 to record.
Inspired by a fight between guitarist Robby Krieger and his wife Lynn, the original version of “Touch Me” featured the line, “Come on, now, HIT me, babe.” Lead singer Jim Morrison‘s idea for the change to “touch me” went unopposed.
Though Krieger and Morrison were most responsible for the Doors’ songs, this album — the band’s fourth — marked the first time individual credits were used, sparked by a fight between Krieger and Morrison over another tune.
“Touch Me” peaked at Number Three on the pop chart and selling a million copies.
At the end of the song, a phrase can be heard that many people do not quite hear correctly or else wonder where it came from. The phrase is, “Stronger than dirt,” and it comes from an old TV commercial for the household cleanser Ajax.
The poppy feel of this song, complete with horns and strings, fueled criticism in some circles that the band had sold out. Acerbic critic Lester Bangsreferred to Morrison as “Bozo Dionysus.”
While the single was climbing the charts, the band faced its greatest challenge — charges Morrison exposed himself onstage at a Miami gig, allegations that cost the band millions in lost revenue from canceled shows after the news broke. Morrison was found guilty of indecent exposure and profanity and sentenced to eight months’ hard labor followed by twenty-eight months’ probation and a $500 fine. The singer died while the verdict was being appealed.