C'mon, hit me ... I'm not afraid!
When Robby Krieger of the Doors presented the original demo of 'Touch Me', lead vocalist Jim Morrison refused to sing the lyrics in fear that it would lead to violence in the streets.
The song appears on the band's fourth album, 'The Soft Parade. Keyboardist Ray Manzarek once said that the track was released as a single in 1968 after a couple of changes were made during the recording process.
Robby, people are going to walk up to me in the street, and hit me!
"Robby wrote the song, and the song was originally called 'Hit Me' – 'Come on, come on, come on, hit me, babe,'" the late Manzarek said a few years ago. "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 then asked Morrison how would he want the lyrics to be changed and Manzarek recalled him 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 song eventually became a hit single for the band. "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!"
Listen to 'Touch Me' below.