The Doors had finished up their European tour in Denmark in September of 1968, Jim Morrison reportedly had spent a restful and productive vacation from The Doors. He and Pam had entertained Ray and Dorothy Manzarek preparing breakfast for them. In his memoir “Light My Fire” said of the visit “It was the most adult thing I ever saw Jim and Pam do. I was so proud of them, they were a couple. A man, and a woman, a unit, making breakfast for their friends…bacon, fried eggs, toast with imported strawberry jam from Poland, and French roast coffee…they seemed quite at home, and quite happy…” Morrison also may have visited the Abbey Road Studios and met The Beatles (or at least John Lennon and George Harrison), and had met with poet Michael McClure who had read Morrison’s poems for the first time and was considering Morrison for the lead in a filmed version of his play “The Beard.” So when Morrison walked into the studio on October 22, he discovered what he considered to be a betrayal by the other members of The Doors and would be the first serious fracturing of the band, “Light My Fire” had been sold to Buick to be used in a commercial.
When Morrison heard that the other members of The Doors had sold the rights for “Light My Fire” to Buick for $50,000 he freaked out arguing that selling the song to a commercial was selling out the principles of The Doors, a rock band that combined poetry, theatre, and music intended to have their audience ‘Break on Through.’ Manzarek in “Light My Fire” argued that A) they didn’t know where Morrison was and couldn’t reach him. This may ring a little hollow as Manzarek had related the anecdote of having breakfast with Morrison and Courson at their London apartment. B) That the Buick Opel was “…a cute four cylinder, two-seater. Like a little Corvette but with a fuel efficient engine and easily over forth miles to the gallon. It was both ecologically correct and stylish. I thought it was a use of technology geared towards the New Age.”
The other members of The Doors argued it was a done deal the contract had been signed but Morrison threatened “I’m gonna smash a f***ing Buick to dust on the stage….It’s gonna be a part of my new act. ‘Smash a Buick to Smithereens.’ We’ll see how they like that.” Morrison also threatened a lawsuit. When word got back to Buick they quietly decided to go a different direction with their ad, toward an older audience and not the younger rock ‘n’ roll audience. The Buick deal was undone.
It was from this point on that Morrison considered the other members of the group not as bandmates but as business partners.
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