Touch Me by The Doors - Songfacts

Touch Me

Album: The Soft Parade (1969)
Charted: 3


  • Doors guitarist Robby Krieger wrote this song as "Hit Me," based on fights he had with his girlfriend. The 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 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Victor - Boston, MA
  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Katie - Australia

Comments: 39

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 24th 1969, the Doors appeared in concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City...
    At the time the quartet's record "Touch Me"* was at #7 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; a little over two weeks later on February 9th it would peak at #3 {for 1 week} and it spent eight of its thirteen weeks on the chart in the Top 10...
    {See the next post below}...
    * They performed an eight song set, opening with "Touch Me" and bassist Harvey Brooks accompanied them on all eight songs.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 9th 1969, "Touch Me" by the Doors peaked at #3 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on December 22nd, 1968 at position #72 and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    The day after it peaked at #3 on the Top 100 it reached #1 (for 1 week) on the Canadian RPM Top singles chart...
    It was the group's third and final Top 10 record on the Top 100; the other two reached #1 ("Light My Fire" for 3 weeks in 1967 and "Hello, I Love You" for 2 weeks in 1968) and they almost had a fourth Top 10 hit, "Love Her Madly" peaked at #11 in 1971 ...
    R.I.P. Ray Manzarek (1939 - 2013) and to The Lizard King (1943 - 1971).
  • Alan from Allentown, PaAnyone know what is said during the last four notes after the sax solo?
  • Steve from Whittier, CaOh, my bad: "Love her Madly", NOT "L.A.Woman" [just the album source for that and the next mentioned] was the Doors comeback in 1971, before "Riders on the Storm".

    [And for Frankie Valli solo completists, as far as 1967 is concerned, "To Give '[The Reason I Live"], itself similiar to "Can't take my eyes off", was the other Valli 1967 contribution.

    Enough for him. We return you now to the Doors already in progress and "Touch Me". I loved thsat Jack Black lesson to that one kid doing that song to broaden his musical horizons, with a changed word or two.

    From a Frank R.Tharin, Jr. Chart Champions
    Touch Me, Doors Top 100 12/28/1968
    From Joel Whitburn: Touch Me Top 40 appeareance 1/04/1969

    Both from Billboard.

    Didn't take long for it to hit the top 40!
    SC, and btw that May date that I put of course SHOULD have been March! March 20, 2010.

    That's all for now.
  • Steve from Whittier, CaMay 20, 2010

    Ah, thanks Brandon. [Seattle,WASH] I had forgotten that Come on Marianne by the Seasons was the prototypye for Touch me [I have on mp3 Donny and Marie's version for confirmation]. Speaking of which, this is obviously going for the audience of that and the Seasons lead Frankie Valli's solo vocalist breakthroughs the same year as "C'mon Marianne", which would be 1967. Strange coincidence: "Can't take my eyes off you" by Valli and "C'Mon Marianne" by him and the Seasons were BOTH in the top ten at the SAME TIME as the Doors major first, "Light My Fire". Unlike that or "Riders on the storm", Touch me was pretty much the same length single as LP.

    And of course "Fire" was a easy listening debut for Jose Feliciano in 1968, the year that "Light my Fire" was reissued [both times the now long rare mono mix, btw, even edited more than the reissue].

    As for "Touch Me":
    It's from Dec.1968-Apr.69 [one book mentioned the song was "released to capitalize on the" [March 1969] "Miama Incident"-boy, talk about reversed info here!

    It's the best of the songs, and sad to see "Doors Purists" putting it down as "sell out". [This was more competing IMO with both the Four Seasons by then and with Motown, more of which is detailed below.] These are exactly what makes it fun.. Yeah, the single THEN LP came, and the closing lines "Stronger than dirt" were mixed in.

    "Touch Me" also had fellow Elektra artist Judy Collins's own late 1968 biggie "Both Sides Now"'s xylophone mixed into the final vocal lyrics before the instrumental coda [again, q.v. below] LP.[This was "The Soft Parade",Elektra.As mentioned the last produced by Paul Rothchild and not by the group itself.]

    It was also good timing with Stevie Wonder continuing the similiar "lounge" trend at Motown, with "For once in my Life", out in November 1968.

    Its use of an instrumental endings evokes yet anohter song, and also a rockier fall 1968 hit, already at its peak when the last two were released October 1968's Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride", despite the reprise of ITS chorus. [And the seismic shift down in tempo in "Carpet Ride" done, of course, in the final vocal, not counting that Tide-infleunce LP dirt-reference lyric part, right before the instrumental part, in the part mentioned above regarding the mixing of "Both Sides Now"/Judy Collins xylophones tinkling away.]

    And yes, the song definitely was inspired by real real personal violence, was about violence, called Hit Me [Britney Spears or her writers and producers OBVIOUSLY DID NOT think about the ramifications of HER title about hitting!] and title and subjects and some lyrics changed to a romantio song about touching. Oh, and Jim sounds liek Tom Jones there, obviously by intent. This was the last for the group till 1971. ["L.A.Woman" and another unusual tunes, the Dave Brubeck-Vince Gurardliish "Riders on the Storm", the swansong and only other song by them to be immensely long then edited besides "Light my fire", and charting July 3,1971. By that time, their leader was a day away from dying in Paris,France,mysteriously.]

    Mar.20, 2010
  • Cheryl from Columbus, Indiana, Injim morrison was ahead of his time. too bad he didn't really know what he had to offer. he was so sexual in nature. i'm not sure why some people put this song down. it may not be as bold as other door songs, it is still captivating tune. i only wish we could go back in time.
  • Hugo from Guadalajara, MexicoAbout the black eye... Robbie Krieger came to my city in 2007 with Raiders on the Storm, and the press ask him about that black eye on the video, but he said it wasn't a fight with Jim.

    He said the night before the video was filmed they have a car accident and he hits against the car sit, that cause that black eye, not a fight.
  • Josh from Bemidji, MnTouch Me was originally titled Hit Me, and was about a poker game that Robbie, Ray, and Jim had played, where Jim had complained about the game being boring, then proceeded to take Ray and Robbie's money. (He won, not stole it.) Jim had requested that the title and therefore some of the lyrics be changed, because he did not want one of their fans taking the song literally.
  • Jesse from San Antoino, TxIf you every seen the real footage and you can see robby has a black eye. Supposably a day before he got in a fight and they socked him in his eye
  • Barry from New York, NcI always liked the horn and string arrangements on the "Soft Parade" LP. It really gave the record its own identity and showed that the Doors could go well with instruments besides the core guitar, keyboard and drums. Quite a few other artists in the late 60s were using horns such as Janis, Chicago Transit Authority and Blood Sweat & Tears. Even the Beatles used horns on various tracks (Got To Get You Into My Life; Savoy Truffle, Obladi-Oblada) so why couldn't the Doors use them too?
  • John from New York, NySaw group open Madison Sq Garden concert with this song.Electrifing.Concert ended with all but Jim leaving stage saying he wanted to play more but they didn"t(prob. drunk)
  • Jane from Austin, Txi always sang "stronger than dirt" at the end. i thought i was just hearing things.
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesThe single version omitted "stronger than dirt". The instrumental-only conclusion was what WLS listeners heard beginning the week of December 30, 1968. It reached #1 the week of February 3, 1969, and was gone by the week of March 10. WLS DJs joked about that final bar's resemblence to the Ajax jingle. At least once, Larry Lujack opened up the microphone and sang "stronger than dirt". Months later, the song was revived, and the words were present; obviously, this was the album release, and the band had remixed the song to include the line. I thought they hadn't meant it that way originally but had heard the jokes and put the line in as a kind of Beatle-esque gag.
  • Chris from Tulsa, OkRobbie Krieger wrote some great stuff and was a very good guitarist. He never really got the credit due him.
  • Nady from Adelaide, Australiathis isnt Jim Morrison's idea of a passionate lovesong at all. Has anyone even heard of Indian Summer or Blue Sunday? These are songs Jim wrote for Pam and are two of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. Pay no attention to thet movie by oliver stone either, half of that never even happened.ilovejimmorrison *biggest fan right here*
  • Ed from Berea, OhActually, Rothschild did produce the next album, Morrison Hotel but walked out of the LA Woman sessions complaining they were making lounge music. Go figure!
  • Susan from Toronto, CanadaDoors producer Paul Rothchild thought that since the Beatles had brass on their SGT. PEPPER album, the Doors should have brass on the SOFT PARADE album.
  • Alina from Karlstad, SwedenThis song always makes me happy :)
  • Mike from Windsor, Canadapersonally, i think the songs krieger wrote were awseome but i like the ones that morrison wrote better
  • Tristan from Philadelphia, PaStronger than mud? I always wondered what they said. For a song so often set aside as being a commercial Doors sellout, its actually not too bad in the begining.
  • Mike from Hueytown , AlThis is probably my favroite Doors tune. I can't help but laugh at the lyrics. " Can't you see that Iam not afraid? " hahaha In the Doors movie Jim/Val Kilmer was drunk or high during one concert and the words to this song were changed to "Come on now f*** me babe" and then the line that followed was muttered and jumbled up so bad it didn't even make sense hahahahaha

  • Noa from Haifa, IsraelJim Morrison's ideal love song... this is how Jim shows love, lust, passion, even though he didn't write it himself. I doubt Jim would've sang anything he didn't believe in even if he thought the lyrics/tune were flat, sold-out, sounds like everyone else and so on. I find this song romantic. And hearing a live version of it is even better.
  • Nadine from Riverside, CaI like this song...granted, it's not as good as, say, The Soft Parade or The Unknown Soldier, but I like Robby's songs (Love Me Two Times, Wishful Sinful, Light My Fire, etc). It provided a nice balance to Jim's more poetic songs. I think Robby was a very good songwriter, my favorite definitely being Wishful Sinful, beautiful song...
  • Chris from Paradise, CtThis is a great song......the sax is amazing..
    -Chris Galea
  • Ej from New York City, NcMy uncle worked at The Red Lantern in California and use to sell weed to Jim Morrison
  • Cliff from Fort Wayne, InI found this at Ask "At the very end of "Touch Me" you can barely hear Jim Morrison say "Stronger Than Dirt". This is in reference to an Ajax(?) jingle. Apparently Jim was disappointed that The Doors had sold their single "Light My Fire" for use in a Buick comemrcial. "Stronger Than Dirt" was his jab at the other Doors for selling out."
  • Chris from Minneapolis, MnIt's "stronger than dirt," and it is sung by Ray Manzarek.
  • Xavier from Melbourne, Australia#1 - Yes, the song is about fighting within a relationship context. The original title was 'Hit Me', before the band realised the less than pleasing nature of the title.

    #2 - Robby had a black eye, as he and Jim - radical social figures at the time - were apprehended by some 'young fascists', as Ray Manzarek so clearly put it, and took a beating. Jim slid his way out of the struggle, but Robby got king hit.
  • Danny from Sydney, AustraliaMorrison says "stronger than mud" at the end, not "stronger than dirt"
  • Mary from Medina, NyProbably my favorite Doors song. This is a good one
  • NÃ?sio from Belo Horizonte, BrazilSorry. It was not Ray. It was Robbie Krieger himself...
  • NÃ?sio from Belo Horizonte, BrazilCan anybody explain to me the wounded eye of Ray in the video of this music? Is that somebody had really HIT him in the eye?
  • Josh from Las Vegas, NvIt was originally about fights but now it's a love song, Choclate
  • Steven from Long IslandChoclate, Georgetown, IL
    do you really think its about fights ?
  • Kelly from Burbank, CaWhen I fist listened to this, I was a bit suprised. What happened to The Doors? I mean it was okay and everything, but it sounded like a corny love song, completely unlike their amazing and powerful hits "Break On Through" or "The End". Furthermore I was suprised Morrison agreed to making this...I mean I'm not him so I wouldn't know what he was thinking but it sounds nothing like the original Doors material, which was excellent. It's still an okay song though, as I said before.
  • Horace from Western, MdWHen they performed this on the Ed Sullivan show, Morrison either forgot or intentionally did not sing the "come on, come on" lead in to the second verse.
  • Will from Portland, OrI think its fine if a band sells out, as long as they make good music

    I just found out the meaning of this song! Its about a guy who wants to be touched
  • Ashley from Troy, Miactually, the "stronger than dirt" part is only chanted by jim morrison. his band members had chosen to sell one of their songs to Ajax to use in their commercial without his permission. "stronger than dirt" is jim's retaliation
  • Brandon from Seattle, WaThe riff is influenced by the Four Seasons "C'mon Marianne."

    This is also a great Doors tune that I find really enjoyable to listen to. It is not as aggressive or for that matter offensive as other Doors songs. But, for me anyway, I find "Light My Fire" and "Hello I Love You" also good to listen to.
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