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August 3, 1968 'Hello, I Love You' and Cleveland

August 3rd 1968 The Doors “Hello, I Love You” hit number one on the Billboard charts. Almost exactly a year after “Light My Fire” attained the same watershed status (see related articles below).

“Hello, I Love You” wasn’t supposed to be on the third album. Originally titled “Celebration of the Lizard” the third album was supposed to include the title track on the whole second side of the album, and was to be The Doors biggest theatrical piece and epic song. When “Celebration” fell through, and The Doors realized they were going to need more material to fill out the album they automatically went back to Jim’s Venice journals and wrote songs in the studio. The Doors scrambled to fill out the third album, with songs like “Summer’s Almost Gone,” “Wintertime Love,” and “Love Street.” No one had remembered “Hello, I Love You” until Adam Holzman, Jac Holzman’s ten year old son remembered the song from the demo and told his father it would be a hit song.

“Hello, I Love You” dated from the earliest of The Doors history. Ray Manzarek said that Jim had written the song as they sat on a wall on the Venice Beach boardwalk and watched a cute girl walk past. “Hello” had also been on one of the demos they had done when the band was still Rick and the Ravens.

By the time of “Waiting for the Sun” The Doors were a much more polished band and gave the song a slicker more professional feel to it. Although the lyrics were Morrison’s, the song lacked some of the darker tone and feeling that Doors songs usually had, but Jim Morrison defended the lyrics as being as good as any other lyrics he had written. Adam Holzman’s intuition proved to be right “Hello, I Love You” was a hit song and hit the pop audience right in their flower power psyche. “Hello, I Love You” was released in early June of 68 with the instant elevator music of “Love Street” as the B-side.

Over the years there has also been a lot of speculation that “Hello, I Love You” ‘borrowed’ a riff from The Kinks “All Day and All of the Night.” Another criticism of the song was that it was too ‘pop’ for a Doors song, but that was kind of corrected in 2000 when “Stoned Immaculate” came out and “Hello, I Love You” was covered by Oleander who managed to find the dread in the song that had unusually eluded The Doors.

Later that night, The Doors play the Cleveland Public Auditorium and Jim Morrison gives a very drunken performance (was the band celebrating “Hello, I Love You” hitting number one?) that lurched from Morrison forgetting lyrics in "5 to 1," during "When the Music's Over" Morrison interjects some poetry, and pushes the audience to near riot during “Light My Fire” during which fans rushed the stage.

An audience recording of the concert exists and at times the content of Morrison’s performance rivals and even foreshadows the Miami show in March of 1969. At the time The Doors were shooting their documentary “Feast of Friends” and a portion of the Cleveland shows up in the film showing Morrison being escorted off-stage and is so wound up he swings at the camera being manned by Paul Ferrara. You can hear the full show in the video above this article. The video itself is from different sources and shows.

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