This week in history had been a busy week for The Doors, but a week that would make The Doors famous and the start of the Jim Morrison legend. On Sunday the band appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, famously disobeying Sullivan’s wishes by including the word “higher” in Light My Fire. The band shot a photo session with Joel Brodsky that would include the “young lion” photos of Morrison, and Jim also sat for photos with Gloria Stavers of 16 Magazine. On September 22, 1967, The Doors appeared on the TV show “Murray the K in New York.”
Murray the K, real name Murray Kaufman, had worked all his life in show business mostly in public relations and as a song plugger (a piano player who played sheet music of new songs to get the public introduced to the songs). In 1958 Kaufmann became a DJ at WINS-AM radio station and made radio history by using creative, dynamic programming such as innovative segues, jingles and sound effects. Tom Wolfe called him “the original hysterical disk-jockey.” Kaufmann was the top rated disk-jockey in New York when The Beatles came to America in 1964. Kaufmann gained access to The Beatles (with the help of Ronnie Bennett of The Ronetttes), accompanied them to Washington D.C., their Ed Sullivan Show appearance, Miami and later the set of “A Hard Day’s Night,” earning himself the nickname “the fifth Beatle”, bestowed upon him by either George Harrison (whom he roomed with in Miami), or Ringo Starr.
The video of The Doors appearance on Murray the K only comes in pieces, not even “R-Evolution” earlier this year had the full appearance. The components of the show include The Doors on a New York rooftop with Jim Morrison lip-syncing “People Are Strange” with the rest of The Doors standing around looking uncomfortable except to change positions during the song to keep it visually interesting. They weren’t allowed to mime their parts and the director didn’t give them any direction. The appearance also included what can only be described as a precursor to a music video which has a James Bond-ish or Hard Day’s Night-esque feel to it (see video at the top of this article). In it, some women who are dressed in space-suits of some kind and have the ability to immobilize, rob the U.S. Treasury, and screech away in cars. One of the cars pulls up to The Doors hanging out on a street corner and beckon Morrison over at which point one of the women snatch an Indian talisman from around Morrison’s neck before racing away. The conclusion of the video has the band chasing the women to a park, which leads into “Light My Fire” with The Doors seemingly recovering the Indian necklace. This is the only TV show The Doors appeared on that added a story line to the music (no matter how loose). In the years before MTV, Kaufmann may have been one of the first to lay claim to the music video.
There is also a video on Youtube of Murray the K talking about Jim Morrison.
Subscribe to The Doors Examiner and get article’s as they’re published, just click the subscribe button. Thank you for reading The Doors Examiner!